What a Week!

Happy Monday! This is my last Monday as a teacher for this school year. Until next Monday. When I have to go to work. But no children will be involved. Just me, some co-workers, and my sweet attitude about already being back to work. This week I’m doing a giveaway, so keep reading…

I had a GREAT time at the Wal-Mart Shareholder meeting Friday. I have a bunch of celeb pics to share, but those will have to wait. Let me tell you about my Saturday. I was kindly invited to the Library Center in Springfield, MO, to Teen Book Mania by awesome tween/tween librarian and blogger The Green Bean Teen Queen. The event was to include lunch with their cool teen library council (it’s like Student Council…for the teen readers), a panel Q and A session, and a book signing. I have to get honest and admit that I like to avoid book signings. It’s just not my comfort zone, and life is too short to be THAT uncomfortable. (Story: two years ago I was at a multi-author signing at Mall of America, and I kept leaving my station to visit The Gap and buy orange juice. But in my defense, I was set up RIGHT in front of a candle and soap store, and I think the fumes killed a few brain cells.)  Anyway, I was a little anxious about this event, but Sarah, the Green Bean Teen Queen, asked, and I would probably drive to Springfield to mow her yard if she asked. And you know what? It ended up being the best day. (Not a single stinky bar of soap in the place.)

I drove to S’field and found the Library Center. I noticed right away there was an Andy’s Custard right across the street.
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It was like a sign from the heavens. Like, “Jen, I’m here for you. . .and so is Andy.” My main thought was that I could never work at the Library Center. Because I would always be walking over to Andy’s and spending all my paychecks. And being in a constant state of brain freeze.

I went inside the library and was immediately greeted by Sarah. We’d never met in person, but it was like I already knew her!! Because I did! We’ve become online buddies the last few years, and I was excited to meet her face to face. Mano y mano. (That means short girl to short girl.)
Sarah y moi 1
Isn’t she cute? Love that pink streak in her hair. Those library teens LOVE her. She’s doing great things there and great things for our books.

Other fab YA authors were there as well.
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(far left) Holly Schindler, whose first book just came out, A Blue So Dark (and I got you a signed copy! Read on…)
Me (and my frizzy hair)
Sarah, brilliant YA librarian and event planner of things like Paranormal Masquerade Balls. (Can you imagine how fun that would be?)
Brent Crawford, author of Carter Finally Gets It, and one funny guy
Brian Katcher, author of Playing with Matches, also one funny guy and an elementary librarian as well. (Photo ripped off from Sarah)

We ate lunch with the teen council. Each author was assigned two teens to be our “hosts” and be at our beck and call. I thought about asking my girls, Eileen and Jessica, to finish writing my next chapter, but thought that might be bit of an imposition. We had just met, after all. After lunch the teens led us on a tour of the library. It’s a GREAT facility.
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It looks like a mall from the outside. Just another reason to love it. And the teen library area is amazing. I forgot to take pics tho. But it’s fancy.
After the tour, we four authors were introduced and got to walk inside the conference room on the red carpet. . .
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We sat at a table at the front of the room and the teens and public were invited to sit in and ask us questions. My favorite question was “Who would win in a fight between Harry Potter and Edward Cullen?” Oh, the answer is soooo obvious. I won’t give you my full response, but it required hand motions.
teen mania
I did mention that the fact that Edward, who is 300 years old (give or take a century) still lived with his parents. One of my many reasons I’d put my money on H.P. (picture stolen from Jessica)

This is one of my teen buddies, Eileen.
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She took a few pictures for me. As I was signing books after the Q and A, she asked if I wanted a picture of the bowl of M&Ms. I thought, “This is a girl after my own heart.” Who WOULDN’T want a picture of a bowl of M&Ms?!
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I’m thinking about cropping my hand out and framing that candy.

Here’s a pic of me signing away.
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I’m only posting that because a few people wanted photographic evidence that I did indeed attend a book signing and not bail and go to a mall.
As my stepdad says, “It was a curly hair day.”

After the event, I went to a health food store. I had hoped S’field would have a Whole Foods, but they are like the town I live in and are neglected by the likes of a Trader Joe’s or WF. And I was all out of disgusting gluten free bread. Before I got back on the road, I visited the store’s bathroom. I really appreciated the large message about fiber on the wall.
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You can never get too much fiber education. In the john.

It wouldn’t be my life if I didn’t get lost on the way home. I pushed a wrong button or two and confused the GPS and it took me home via the back roads of farm land. At one point it had me go in a nice circle that led me here.
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Mighty fine gravel hill there.

Later on down the road it told me to turn a sharp right. Which would’ve led me here:
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Lumber mill.

So that’s my little trip. Thank you Library Center of Springfield, Missouri. I love my “What Page Are You On” tshirt and coffee mug and the fun memories of the day! I also loved meeting a few local school librarians at the event as well. Librarians are some of my favorite people. (Or media specialists as they’re called at my high school. Librarian=dirty word.) And it was great to hang out with other authors. Except I left with ALA envy. Two of them and Sarah, the librarian/media specialist are going to ALA in a few weeks in D.C. I must find a way to get into this gig one year. I hear you can’t pack any clothes in your suitcase because you need the space for all the books you’re gonna bring back.

Author Holly Schindler had been plugging away for almost eight years at becoming published before she got the call. Her very first book A Blue So Dark released last month! I haven’t got to read it yet, but when I saw the cover, I knew I had to get a signed copy for you.

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Here’s what it’s about:
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura’s dad left them.        Convinced that “creative” equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.

Sounds good, eh? Everyone’s books at TM sounded great. I’m going to have to order Brian and Brent’s books as well. I could tell they’re all about a little bit of irreverence themselves. But being we’re all a little girly around here (even you men…you know who you are), I grabbed a copy of Blue So Dark. To get in the running to win this signed book, leave me a comment and tell me one thing you’re planning on doing this summer. I’m doing a little traveling to Georgia and South Carolina. What about you? You have until Thursday night at 8 pm cst to let me know!

Have a great week!!!

JEN

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52 comments

52 Comments so far

  1. Lori June 6th, 2010 6:51 pm

    This summer I am planning on celebrating my friend Melissa’s birthday with our friend Kris (short for Kristen) in Branson. We are planning on going to SDC (Melissa has never been there before), the Dixie Stampede, White Water, and the IMAX. Were more than likely going to spend the night and make it a two day trip. XD Have fun in Georgia and South Carolina!! :D

  2. Tammy C. June 6th, 2010 6:55 pm

    Hi jenny! Well my summer plans have been to go to the beach but..since I live in Mobile AL, I dont think thats going to be possible anymore because of the oil spill :( So as of right now I have no idea what im going to be doing….Oh well my friend is probably going to come down and see me so maybe that counts? Lol

  3. Wynter June 6th, 2010 7:18 pm

    This summer I am going to my cabin in Eastern Washington. I spend the entire summer in a little one room cabin in the middle of no where and read books. We bring our 2 horses and our 2 dogs and we leave our busy lives behind and relax in the sun on our own private river. The cabin is on 40 acres so it’s a lot of fun to hike and just have fun! Have a great summer in Georgia and South Carolina!
    xoxo
    Wynter

  4. Megan June 6th, 2010 7:31 pm

    Hey Jenny,
    this summer i just got hired at my very first job!!! this is amazing because it is almost impossible to find a place to work when your only 14 years old… im teaching swim lessons at a water park and the sweetest part is that im getting paid more than my 17 year old bro!!!
    anyway i know its weird to say your gonna work over the summer and like it but im ok with being weird…lol

  5. Whitney June 6th, 2010 7:42 pm

    Hi Jenny-

    This summer I am starting my first “big girl” job. I just graduated from graduate school in May and start my job at the end of June. Currently, I am celebrating my mini-retirement from being a student :) and that has included many beach days.

    Where will you be traveling to in South Carolina? I’m from Conway, SC (near Myrtle Beach). I hope you have a great trip.

    Thanks!

  6. Sheri June 6th, 2010 8:08 pm

    Staying home, relaxin’ and readin’!! I live in Georgia and there are many great places to visit here.

  7. Bethany Ellis June 6th, 2010 8:33 pm

    Woo!! What fun! :) Where in SC, btw? I used to live in SC and still visit every other month :)

    This summer I’ll working like normal, but I’m most looking forward to August – we are taking a vacation and going to New Hampshire – I can’t wait! I love New England and have only been twice (in my memory – I was there some as a little little little girl)

  8. Katelyn June 6th, 2010 8:34 pm

    Hey Jenny!
    I don’t really have that much planned this summer but reading and relaxing. Hopefully my family of seven will drive to Galveston, TX in July sometime and hang out at the beach…so yeah, that’s my summer plans :)

  9. Sarah June 6th, 2010 8:56 pm

    Yay! I’m so glad you had fun! It’s so funny you mentioned the Andy’s across the street-can you believe I never go there? It’s still pretty new, so I think forget it’s so close!

    And it is sad how we are neglected by Whole Foods and Trader Joes. We have a cute store called Mama Jean’s that’s like local Whole Fooods, but again, I alway forget to go there! If the place doesn’t have books, it doesn’t register with me I guess.

    BTW-my husband says he’s taking you up on the mowing the lawn!:) I can’t wait to have you in Springfield again!

  10. Carla June 6th, 2010 9:34 pm

    Well, this summer I am going to read, read, read. I will also work on my tan while reading. Having a Hispanic husband and half Hispanic children, I look like the wicked step mom when we’re out together in the summer. I plan to go to the library and get at least 5 books for each of my children and one chapter book to read with them. I plan to read with them everyday, and not just at bed time. My almost 1st grader is on a 2.7 reading grade level…must keep that level growing!!
    We will also do Silver Dollar City as much as possible…I’ll read in the car on the way as well. May even pick a book to read aloud to the whole family or do an audio book. For those of you who can do this, I would recommend Bud, Not Buddy!
    Have a great summer and have a lot of great books with it!

  11. Missy June 6th, 2010 9:41 pm

    I plan on going to Austin, TX and spending the entire day in IKEA and eating 50 cent hot dogs!

  12. Lindsay June 6th, 2010 11:37 pm

    Going to Disney with my family in July. I am determined to ride Rockin’ Roller Coaster no matter how long the line is and I refuse to sit through that awful president show again…I don’t know what they have to do with Disney anyway.

  13. shabbygeek June 7th, 2010 12:49 am

    Summer’s been a crazy start for me already! Working an out-of-state shoot (currently in Missouri) this week, then plan to travel to California to help on a shoot towards the end of the month with our sister production company. It’s a network shoot, too, so I’m SUPER excited.

    Also planning on taking a much needed vacation with my husband to Orlando the first week of August. Universal Studios, here we come! =)

  14. Jenny B. Jones June 7th, 2010 8:36 am

    Is EVERYONE going to Orlando this year? I have yet to see Disney World myself, and I’m so jealous.

    And congrats to those of you working this summer. Summer money was the best.

    And Missy, thanks for rubbing it in about IKEA. Yet another thing we don’t have in AR (or anywhere near us), and I’ve never been.

    Sarah, I had such a good time at the library. You guys know how to organize an event! And provide M&Ms! (And the lawn mowing deal is now off the table.) ; )

  15. A J Hawke June 7th, 2010 9:35 am

    Thanks for the ride along on your trip to Springfield. I’m always being told that to get out of my comfort zone is so good for me. If you figure that out after your experience at the book signing, let me know.

    Sarah is to be congratulated on knowing what that little bit of extra is, M & M’s. Otherwise, it woulod have been so plain.

    Your question caught me off guard. Make plans? Know what I’m doing ahead of time? What a thought! So you probably can guess my answer, I have no plans. Maybe I’ll get some…does it take money?

    Hope you enjoy your plans for the summer.

    Blessings,
    A J

  16. Amy June 7th, 2010 10:21 am

    I’m planning on reading all the JBJ books I haven’t yet read. :)

  17. Annie June 7th, 2010 12:24 pm

    I’m going to Honduras this summer to visit family – I’m half Honduran. We haven’t been back to Honduras in seven years, when we were there for my aunt’s wedding. I am super excited to go back and see my cousins and grandparents and other family! And I’m excited because my college roommate and best friend Kelsey is coming with us! :D

  18. Jacelyn June 7th, 2010 12:39 pm

    I see you wore your “hip” sandals to the book signing event! Very chic. This summer I’m mostly sticking close to home, (lots of work and summer university courses) but our family will be spending a day at the Seattle Zoo, apparently they have an amazing butterfly pavilion. Also, my boyfriend and I are planning to take my teenage brother and sister to the local theme park and, in his words, “feed them as much greasy food as possible and take them on the biggest rides to make them…” at this point I stopped him, but he still had a gleam in his eye. Ahh, well. Good times with the fam.

  19. Kaitlin Rose Jones June 7th, 2010 3:44 pm

    i would like to read this book… that is, after i finish So Over My Head… IT IS SO GOOD. so that won’t take long.
    at all.

    So, here’s my plans for this summer:
    -ride my 3 donkeys (Jack, Smart, and Dumb) jk. their names are Festus, Jack and Noname.

    -lots of trips to Branson, Missouri (the flokart music capital of the world) that also has a great theme park :)

    -play basketball and softball tournaments

    -watch GAC all I want :)

    PLEASE ENTER ME IN THE DRAWING!

    thanks,
    Katie

  20. Pauline Thomas June 7th, 2010 8:36 pm

    I’m planning on hanging with my mentee this summer. His father abuses him, and we were able to show the abuse through an investigation. Now he is in a safe home and feeling quite lonely because he’s away from his family. I want to take him to all the places that inspire happiness in a boy: Universal Studios, Disneyland, and Knott’s. I plan on buying him so much food he explodes and millions of stuffed animals. Amazing how one kid can change your whole perspective on life.

  21. Kelley June 7th, 2010 8:48 pm

    Hi Jenny-

    I’m going to be working this summer babysitting- but its going towards my car! And i’m going with my family and friends to Alto Frio/Garner State Park. By the way, I love your books! Thanks for writing! Looking forward to reading more! (:

  22. Natalie June 7th, 2010 9:35 pm

    I’m planning on working to save up some money to pay off the rent on my new apartment this fall, but I’m also hoping to squeeze in a few trips to the St. Louis Zoo and maybe go on a family fishing trip. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  23. Sylvia June 8th, 2010 12:55 am

    I know this is actually not “doing something”, but I plan to rest, and relax. And also, read a lot:) Thanks!

  24. Katrina June 8th, 2010 6:59 am

    This summer in June, I am going up north to one of out state parks in Minnesota with 18 other
    girls and moms. The girls are friends of my sisters’ but I have one of my bffs along too. We go up north and set up our “village”. Las year we had about 10 tents set up! I spent lots of time in the kitchen, becaus I love to cook!! That’s what I’m doing afte school gets out!
    Katrina

  25. Lynette Eason June 8th, 2010 7:43 am

    Hey Jenny, sounds like you had a blast! Very cool. I will be writing, writing and doing more writing this summer since I just contracted for six new books. Yay! But I will also be cruising the Carribean (how do you spell that anyway?) in July for a week so excited about that. And I LIVE in South Carolina!! What part are you coming to? Maybe we can meet for an ice cream or something. (I don’t do coffee.) Have a great trip!

    Lynette

  26. Moriah June 8th, 2010 9:07 am

    Hi Jenny!

    I’m planning to play at our town’s ‘homecoming’ festival this July, with the band my sisters and I have. Not to mention getting a real job. Hopefully.

  27. Stephanie June 8th, 2010 1:26 pm

    I’ll be going to class this summer but I hope to get in some reading and maybe some swimming with my daughter.

  28. Jae June 8th, 2010 5:03 pm

    I plan on going to Track “Legion” Camp this summer… :)

  29. Sarah June 8th, 2010 6:42 pm

    I’m going to volleyball camp!!!!And then after that sleep…. LOL!!!! ;)

  30. Joanna June 8th, 2010 6:55 pm

    Cute cute dress! I love it!

    And that is such a bummer that you have to go gluten free. My bro-in-law is gluten intolerant, but we recently found a nearby pizza place that does gluten free. Which is totally awesome ’cause who wants to be 13 and not able to eat pizza?!?

    Summer plans: work in my garden and a trip to DC!!

  31. Erin McFarland June 8th, 2010 8:26 pm

    i’ll be wherever the AC is :) crossing my fingers to getting out to FL to see my sis-in-law in August (she’s the one that sent me my first Jenny B Jones novel!) aaaaaand… potty training the twins. woot!

  32. Ken June 9th, 2010 5:41 am

    Here in Australia we have winter so I’m planning to stay warm and cozy with some nice hot chocolate.

  33. Alli June 9th, 2010 6:55 am

    I’m planning to go either to Wisconsin or Minneapolis.
    I’ll also do some campgrounds around my area.
    Oh, and by the way, I also take pictures of just m&ms who wouldn’t?

  34. Robin June 9th, 2010 8:58 am

    Photo opportunities with food are not to be passed up!

    My summer plan is to finally paint a room in my house. It’s time!

  35. Robyn June 9th, 2010 12:15 pm

    This summer I’ll be in a couple of weddings, baking some cakes, and if I’m lucky – maybe going on a roadtrip to the West Coast. Fingers crossed!!

  36. anndren June 9th, 2010 2:23 pm

    Hello Jenny,
    This Summer I plan on not spilling chili in customers’ purses at work, making sure none of my Vaction Bible School kids have mental breakdowns about who gets to hold my hand and sit on my lap(again),relaxing in the sun with a few(hundred)books and watching Boy Meets World daily. I am also having my wisdom teeth taken out and being video taped while I am still a bit sedated. I’ve heard that makes for greatly entertaining Youtube videos. Oh and also I’m gong to try not to check my Twitter and Facebook so often, although no promises there. As you can see, I like to live on the dangerous side of life.

  37. Heather June 9th, 2010 2:49 pm

    Hey Jenny! This summer I’m working VBS at my church and going and I just got back from a choir tour with the church also. We went to Missouri. Our theme this year was “Outside the Walls” which means we sang at places like the Arch, Six Flaggs, and this little town to throw a where we threw a block party and played with the kids at the childrens home. It was amazing to see what God did.

  38. Kim June 9th, 2010 3:20 pm

    Hey Jenny! Loved your Glee review BTW. I am graduating on Friday morning from UC Davis and then I will be working at a new job with my autism study internship. I will also be vacationing in Hawaii with my family for a week! Hope you have an unforgettable summer! (BTW Loved Just between you and me)

  39. kristina June 9th, 2010 3:36 pm

    In July we are going to the Smoky Mountains for our first year anniversary!!!

  40. karenk June 10th, 2010 7:58 am

    this summer i plan to read…i have your books jenny on my “to read soon” pile :)

  41. OGP June 10th, 2010 8:32 am

    HEY! Love ur books! Am obsessed with u!!! If your like in Fort Mill I’m gonna freak out thats like 30 min. frm my house yay

  42. Micheila June 10th, 2010 1:54 pm

    Hey, Jenny!
    This summer my family and I are going to Illinois to visit my dad’s family. I haven’t seen my dad’s family in about seven years. So, I’m really thrilled to see them.
    After a few days with the extended family (which will probably be a bit crazy) my immediate family and I will be spending a few days in Chicago. I’m so excited to go! I’ve never been to a city before (I know, I’m a poor, deprived kid). I’ll definitely be taking a ton of pictures to remember it all.
    Then, on the way home, we will be stopping in Ohio so I can see my best friends. I’m super excited to see them. It’s been a little over six years since I’ve seen them when we moved away.
    So, yes, that’s what I have planned for this summer. I also hope to get to go to the beach because the beach is my favorite place in the world.

  43. Sally June 10th, 2010 5:17 pm

    I am going to my niece’s wedding. My daughter is going to be in her wedding and I am very excited about that. In a few days I am taking my kids to the beach. I just love to walk on sand!! My daughter and I both love your books and I want to read Just Between You and Me this summer, too.:)

  44. Gracie June 10th, 2010 6:31 pm

    I am working as a cashier. I love talking to people so basically htis summer i am getting paid to have fun. I am also going to cosmetology camp so I can learn how to not make my friends hair and makeup look like the bride of Frankenstien, and how to not burn their heads with curling irons! :)

  45. Sam June 10th, 2010 10:50 pm

    (I’m not entering for the contest. Even though I think it’s past the time, I’m just clarifying. And now I feel dumb. Ahem.)
    I just wanted to say how awesome this event was. I was one of Holly’s host people thingymabobbers, and it was so much fun. You all were amazing, and I can’t thank you enough for coming out to see us.
    Plus, I have to agree.
    The springfield library?
    Fan-tas-tic. :P

  46. Holly Schindler June 11th, 2010 4:08 pm

    I’m spending my summer as I spent my spring: renovating my childhood home. ‘Member THE MONEY PIT with Tom Hanks???? Oh, yeah. I’m there…Really, Jenny, I just wanted to say thanks so much for hosting a giveaway. I’m so glad we met!

  47. Jenny B. Jones June 11th, 2010 4:27 pm

    Your summer plans are really making me jealous! Does anyone have room in their suitcase for a short writer?

    Holly, so fun to meet you as well. Loved hanging out with fellow authors!

  48. Brian Katcher June 12th, 2010 1:27 am

    I had a blast, hanging out with you guys. Why do I look constipated in every picture I see of myself?

  49. Jenny B. Jones June 12th, 2010 12:56 pm

    Brian, I didn’t think you looked constipated. In fact, in all the pics and vid, I think “now there’s the face of a regular guy. He must eat his All Bran.”

  50. Nancee June 14th, 2010 6:17 pm

    Hi, Jenny — I don’t want to be included in your drawing (I have my own autographed copy of Holly’s wonderful book), but I do want to thank you again for coming to Springfield and sharing your warmth, your wit and your wonderfulness with our teens. I so enjoyed having all the authors at the event and bragging to everyone about how successful it was because the authors were all so generous. BTW, I loved So Not Happening!

  51. Rachel June 25th, 2010 8:49 pm

    I just read your free Kindle book and wanted to know more about the author so I hopped over here and read your blog. When I saw you’d been in Springfield I wanted to mention Mama Jean’s, but I see your friend Sarah already did. I would love a Trader Joe’s though!

  52. ugg classicol August 2nd, 2010 10:14 pm

    why the teas in my eyes,becuse i love it so deeply.

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