Partly Cloudy, With a Chance of Crazy

P1030914Me+fabulous author Rachel Hauck at 2009 ACFW.

Things are nuts right now. I have a big project at my educational institution of employment, I'm working on my next YA (um, at least in my head I am), I'm still painting my  house, and I've been getting ready for the ACFW conference, where I'm teaching two classes. As I told my friend and editor Jamie, REMIND me next year to never do this again. Because I know next year at this time I'll get the bug to present/teach at the conference, and I should not. Because I stress about it. I mean, I take stress to new heights. No sleep for weeks, my head and house are cluttered beyond recognition, technology problems (compounded by my technology idiocy). Then there's the talking to myself out loud. (Oh, wait. That's what we call teaching ninth graders. . .)

I'm teaching a class on YA fiction and the Millennial generation, as well as a class on humor in fiction. And it's the humor one I'm paranoid about, ESPECIALLY when I got an email last week letting me know how many had signed up for it. Because I had figured on about 3 people. Three people I paid in Starbucks. But the number is now closer to 100. And it makes me a little barfy inside.

I created my presentation for these classes about 8 months ago or so. But then I scrapped most of it and started over because I wasn't happy with it. And then I added YouTube clips because, as a speech teacher, I know people remember what they see and not what they hear, so stick in some funny YouTubes! Who cares if I suck! I'll show them a clip from Hitch!

But then I had lots of technical difficulties with my YouTube embedding in my PowerPoint. And then my laptop and I got in a terrible fight (I don't want to talk about it. But I was right.  . . though maybe I shouldn't have said some of the hurtful things I did.) And so I ordered a new laptop. And then I had to set that up for the presentation. And then my YouTube clips still wouldn't work, even after talking to everyone I know (sorry, Grandma) and researching for hours on the information super highway.

Then I had to read a bunch of books to find some funny to show people that it did exist, because let's face it, we Christians aren't known for our funny. (Exhibit A: Jack Wagon pastor Terry Jones of Florida)  And then I had to organize all that research. And finally my books, computer, and heart-shaped Post-Its outgrew my office, so we had to move to the dining room, which STILL is only half painted, a fact that eats at my brain by the minute.


What a mess. And that's neat and tidy compared to what my head looks like. We have my notes, my 400 drafts of my handouts. My ex-computer. My phone. My camera. (why?) My books with various sticky notes (I have 200 varieties). A water bottle that I drained in 3 seconds.  A picture of my niece in the background showing me what a happy face looks like. A picture of my nephew beside her showing me what a thoughtful face looks like. A tiered basket where fruit should go. My Jonah Bible study from Priscilla Shirer because Jonah would've understood my PowerPoint Problems.  A highlighter, something I have a surplus of and rarely use, so I decided I wouldn't go another night without finding something to yellow up.

We also have a stack of random notes on my brother's insurance stationery. A few of my own books because the passages were easy to find, but when I read them in class this week I know I'm gonna feel like a self-promoting, egotistical, lets-talk-about-me nut job. My one subject notebook because I don't do anything without those 15 cent things of awesomeness. Sticky notes on my sticky notes with the latest updates on whatever my brain just gooshed out. A tiny box of Dove soap at the corner of the table because if I forget to pack soap on this trip, more than my presentation will be reeking. And my homepage up with a nice advertisement warning me about the dangers of METH, as if Google knew I was in a weakened state and only two file conversion disasters away from smoking some Drano.

BUT!!! Things have finally come together, there's a new computer in my life, and I have rebuked my vampire ways and started sleeping again. So if you're coming to ACFW this week, I can't wait to see you, meet you, and show you my nifty YouTube clips to totally distract you. Though in all seriousness, prayers would be greatly appreciated. And obviously needed.

In other news, you can win a free copy of So Over My Head, the third book about Bella Kirkwood HERE at I found this deal on Twitter, so just another reason for you guys to Twitter up and join me on that addictive social network.

And I had a fun interview over at Novel Teen with the fabulous fantasy author Jill Williamson. You can read that HERE. AND there's a book giveaway there as well! So two chances to snare So Over My Head.

Thank you for letting me vent. Now it's your turn. Wednesday we're gonna talk only of positive and thankful things, but what have you been stressed out about lately? What's taken over your metaphorical dining room table? (In a dining room that still needs to be painted…)



Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 12 comments
Kristin - September 12, 2010

I too have an obsession with sticky notes. Although mine aren’t cute and heart-shaped. They’re just ugly neon orange. I write down one of my homework assignments on each one and line them all up on my desk, because I like that stressful feeling in my gut. =)

Honestly, I’ve been stressed out about balancing school work and my sewing/crafting. I’m going to a local craft/fall festival next month, and it’s my first one ever. I’m worried that I won’t have time to make enough items to sell before then, since I have to work around my classes and homework.


Julie Garmon - September 12, 2010

I’m one of the thousands that will be in your humor class. Can’t wait. This post makes me look forward to it even more! Why not present covered in sticky notes–all over yourself. 🙂

Kaye Dacus - September 12, 2010

I’m signed up for the humor class as well (hopefully I’ll actually be able to make it!)—and I’m also feeling stressed over finding out I have over 100 people signed up for both of the classes I’m teaching. And one of those classes is on inspiration/imagination/creativity—about which I’m feeling totally unqualified to speak, as I’ve had none for several weeks or months.

Ugh . . . well, off to the editing project I have to get finished before I leave for Indy.

Jess - September 12, 2010

I don’t think YOU should be stressed about using humor in writing because you are simply hilarious! I love your books, your blog, and your FB postings because of your humor! You will be fantastic and you can’t lose with fun YouTube clips especially if they include scenes from Hitch (love that one!).

Mary R Snyder - September 12, 2010

I’m not one of the 100 and it really makes me sad. But since I’m not coming to ACFW, I’m okay with it.

I must tell you that I LOVE that you have multiple types of Post-its. I’m a bit of a Post-it FREAK! Love them. They make my heart sing! And also a hi-lighter hoarder. Don’t know why I love them, but I do…. wasn’t that a song.

In all seriousness, I’m praying for you. I know you’ll be FANTASTIC and I so wish I were going to be there! You’ll be wonderful!

Liv - September 13, 2010

I have the same sticky notes; aren’t they awesome!!! I’ve been stressing about math; I hate it and was thrown to the sharks this year with stupid PRIME FACTORAZTION!!! I didn’t even think FACTORAZATION was a word!!! (mumbling)stupid math, i’ll factorazize YOU!;-I sigh

Nicole O'Dell - September 13, 2010

I just realized what’s missing from my life: STICKY NOTES!!! I need some. In the worst way!

See you Friday for a quick lunch and a hug, then I’ll be praying for you all weekend! 🙂

Lindsay - September 13, 2010

Oh my gosh. I can totally feel for you right now. I’m only a senior in high school but on top of homework and tests I have two jobs, (one at Dairy Queen one at the public library) two families I babysit for weekly , and young group to be in charge of which means constantly e-mailing, making and taking phone calls and filling in dates on a calendar. This week is even worse because the annual festival is coming to town and I have to miss the thursday and friday night of it cause I’m working. I’m drowning in schedules. The only thing keeping me going is memory verses, thinking of the free saturday that is coming up, and what do ya know…sticky notes! They’re everywhere in my room, car, planner, you name it. Why I’m spending time on the internet tonight instead of sleeping or studying is beyond me. I just need some time to breath ya know? And I thought senior year was gonna be a breeze…HA!

Mattie - September 13, 2010

That does sound oober doober stressful… What’s got me stressed is finding a balance between homework and swim practice, finding my sharpies, and talking to this really cute guy I like. It’s difficult to look hot when you’re sore and sweaty and probably smelly from gym class the period before you see him… And then there’s the issue with my hair taking on a mind of it’s own and not cooperating. But at least I have my friends who do hair checks, let me borrow their lip gloss, and give me ideas on what to talk about with said cute guy 🙂

ashleynashville3 - September 14, 2010

good luck at ACFW!!!!

Sarah-GreenBeanTeenQueen - September 15, 2010

Oh-I want to go to that conference just for you session! Will you kindly share your powerpoints with me when you’re all done? (Pretty please??) I know you’re going to rock and it’s going to be great!

And don’t get me started on stress-I’ve stressed myself out so much over this summer I’ve been to the doctor twice with random health things with the diagnosis that I’m too stressed! And yet I keep adding more things to my plate. I never seem to learn…

Erin Valentine - September 16, 2010

Your class is going to be FABULOUS!


Leave a Reply: