Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I'm having one of those days where the ADD is threatening any chance of productivity. I'm not even sure why I just can't bring myself into focus today. I've given in to one of my standby methods to center myself- eat a big meal, take a short nap, and turn on an old familiar movie. Instead of the usual results, I'm even more distracted.
My knee is a little achey. I remember how I twisted it, and it makes me laugh.
The knot on my forehead is pounding. I feel like I've grown a second head up there.
I can't help but notice that one of the speakers in the surround sound system is out of place. I cannot possibly be expected to focus until the sub-woofer is thumping out the growling engines of the USS Enterprise in just the right location.
That pile of laundry isn't going to do itself.
Why have we not invented automated laundry yet? NASA needs to get on that.
Maybe I should spend a few more minutes proofing my manuscript today, and come back to writing this other article later?
Not including blogging, I will write about 20 pages of material today. And edit about 20 more pages.
Maybe I should invest in reading glasses.
I love it when the couch vibrates from the surround sound.
I forwarded myself, from one email account to the other, 6 emails today. Not one has come through yet. I checked spam and the sent files. This is the third time this has happened. Black hole bizarre.
I hate that I don't have a very good facial memory. I remember people when I see them. But when I close my eyes and try to picture a face, I can never do it.
I didn't put in just one movie. I put in 5 (Star Trek, Harry Potter 7, Martian Child, He's Just Not That Into You, and Serenity). And now I'm wishing I had a 10 disc changer, because I want to put in some more movies.
I need to have a Star Wars movie marathon. I've never watched all 6 in a row. That would be fun.
Blogging isn't helping me focus either.
It's going to be a long day. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Big in Japan (Book Giveaway!)

My friend and awesome author Jennifer Griffith has written another book! And lucky me, I got to be one of the advance reviewers for it, AND I get to give away a free copy!!

At home in Texas, Buck Cooper is considered obese and too big to be taken seriously. But a last minute trip to Japan with his parents changes everything. One minute he's the foreigner who stands out like a (tall) sore thumb, the next he's discovering his true potential in the elusive world of sumo.
Big in Japan is big on laughs, landscapes, and love. The main character is enjoyable and relatable and makes you wish you could give him a big teddy bear hug. Whether or not obesity and sumo are in the reader's future, the main character's struggle with his self-image, self-loathing, and personal courage, will strike a familiar chord.
Author Jennifer Griffith grew up in Idaho and learned to speak Japanese while she lived in Japan for a year and a half during college. She earned a degree in writing and has worked for the U.S. Congress. She writes a column for her local newspaper and blogs about writing and candy. At 5’1″ Griffith is far too short to ever consider sumo wrestling. Big in Japan is her fourth novel, and her first with Jolly Fish Press.
To be entered in the giveaway, just leave your name in the comments. (Buck Cooper would appreciate that I'm not making you do anything fancy like leave your sumo name, or imaginary Olympic sport you would totally dominate, in order to be entered. He's a down to earth kind of guy. Just your name will do!)  I'll give it till Sunday, and pick the winner via random.org then!

(Or you can just buy your own copy from Barnes and Noble or Amazon!)

Whirlwind Trip to Washington (again)

After my whirlwind weekend I am ever so glad to be home and in my own bed again. I love my little car, but it kills my back. I don't have this problem in other cars. It seems to be exclusive to my car. There is something about the seat and the way I hold the steering wheel! It just does me in! Add in over 12 hours of driving solo this weekend, and that's a lot of back pain.
Also, a lot of Dr. Pepper.
Car Door: 1, Erin: 0. Fourteen hours after this picture was taken, and it now looks worse. And it hurts a LOT more than when it happened.
It was a great weekend though. I got a lot accomplished, saw friends and family, had some fun, and enjoyed the experience of speaking to the singles conference. As I said before, I enjoy speaking and it doesn't intimidate me. However, when I arrived (much later than I had intended to) at the conference, and saw that most of the audience was older than me, I got a little concerned that they would not take me seriously, or would not care. It was a really good learning experience for me to see not only did they listen to me, but that by listening to them, I learned something. So often the singles world really forces the divide of the ages, and acts like we can't all get along. It was a good experience for me to remember that maybe we don't all want to be on the same volleyball team, but in spite of our age differences, we have many similar life experiences.

I had a LOT of time in the car driving up and down and all around this weekend. It gave me a lot of time to think and sort of relax. The good part is that I find my writing mojo again. And my political mojo. Both had disappeared or burned out on me for a while. But after lots of time to myself, and lots of walking around the National Monuments in DC, I'm feeling whole again. It is definitely time to get back into politics, campaigning, and caring!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Single in the Hot Summery City

The best part about this picture is that thanks to Instagram, you can't see the big burn on my forehead from a very hot curling iron accident.

I've been falling back into that habit where I have so many things to write during the course of the day that by the end of the day, I have little desire to write something for fun on the blog. 

Life pretty much revolves around doing my two freelance jobs during the day, and finishing up what is required to publish my novel at night. Every day I think, "This is the day! This is the day where I finally finish everything on this stinking book, and I never have to work on it again!" But no, by the end of the day something else has come up, and I have to push off the launch another few weeks. Does it ever end??

This weekend I am speaking at a singles conference. I don't dislike public speaking. I am one of those unusual people who actually enjoy public speaking, especially if I can interact with the audience some. (And I hope to be able to do that this time.) But I am always intimidated by speaking to singles. I feel like a fraud or imposter, and that they will see right through me. After all, what do I know about anything anyway? (I half-fear all of my ex-boyfriends actually answering this question.)

I don't expect to know anyone attending the conference, which helps a little. (Speaking to my peers is my least favorite form of public speaking.) But at the same time, I really wish I had a few friends to drive up there with me. It's a long drive! (Anyone in the DC area want to go with me? I'll give you a free ride to Delaware and the beach! In exchange, you may not come to the part where I speak, and I'll let you control the radio.)

So my question to the masses today is this- what do singles want to hear another single talk about? I'm being billed as the girl who writes about singles and dating for Meridian. The theme for the conference is "Faith in Every Footstep," which does not lend itself well to dating/singles, unless I get a little dark and gloomy about persevering through bad dates and singledom.

Just a little sidenote to all of this. For the past 2 years, I've been largely out of the singles scene due to geography. I'm not in it because it doesn't exist. For the last 2 months I've actually been making a huge effort to have an active (or active by Roanoke terms anyway) social life again. As I have jumped back in to the dating pool, I've noticed a lot of things have changed, and a lot never changes. For starters, I haven't really been all that active in any social/dating scene since Facebook got popular. (Back in the Dark Ages.) There is something of an exception for my last year in Utah, but there's an asterisk on that time period as compared to now. I find it fascinating how much social media has changed dating and social interaction. But that's a discussion for another day and time. And definitely not this late at night (12:45 am as I write this). Maybe that's what I should talk about? Dating in the Digital Age? What do you think? Although, I may have more questions than advice or answers.

Monday, July 23, 2012


The good news is that all of the Kickstarter funds were raised! Thank you to all who supported me. It really means a lot!
Now to do more work! As all published writers can tell you, writing the book is only half the battle. Then comes the marketing, editing, more editing, graphic design, marketing, promoting, editing, and rewriting the synopsis 5,000 times until you actually like it.
(And then we get to do it all over again for the next two books. Fun.)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Last Plea for Help!

As you know, for the past several months I have been working hard to write three novels. I am happy to report that the books have been written, and the first in the series is ready to publish.

But self-publishing is not easy. In order to succeed a self-published book must be beyond reproach. And in the case of the books I have written, they must go a step further. These books are centered around family values, good morals, and a smart woman who refuses to compromise what she believes in.

It is exactly the kind of book that will be mocked for not embracing more "forward" thinking, or progressive ideas.

The book must be accurate (I reference real events, history, government, and the stock market- this book required a lot of research!), perfectly edited, and above all else, an exciting and engaging read. To ensure the top quality of a self-published book it takes more than just a passionate author. It requires editors, graphic designers, and other professional services, to produce a high quality self-published book.

As you can imagine, it is scary for me personally to put so much work into these books, and wonder what sort of criticism I will get when they are released. But I believe in what I am doing. I believe that there is an audience out there that will enjoy a book about a smart, funny, and moral woman as she navigates relationships and her career. Doesn't the world deserve a character who stands up for family values?

I hope you will join me in my new cause to bring family to mainstream fiction.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not gonna lie. It kinda makes me mad!

Everything about this kinda makes me mad.

Why does someone's very personal choice have to be mocked like that?
Sure, they had to pick a goober of a guy to make it "interesting" TV. But when they do that, it also implies the rest of us who choose the same morals are also goobers.
And that makes me mad.

All of which is just one more reason why I am so passionate about my quest to self-publish this book with its family values and good morals! Can't we choose to make the person with family values the cool kid, and not a goober on cable TV?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Warning: Bad Day Ahead

It is barely 1 pm and I feel like throwing the towel in on this day. So far, very little has gone right, and I don't see much room for improvement.
Any "career" that requires a ton of self-promotion online is bound to have its ups and downs. This has everything to do with why I wanted to get out of social media marketing as a career. I hate having to spam my own friends for a living. Even more, I hate it on days where I feel like I have failed, because it seems like my friends are the ones not supporting me.
Of course, none of this is actually true. I am very aware of the fact that I over-spam my friends. I'd ignore me too if I were them!
But that's not the whole problem today. I'm trying to be mature enough to believe that that isn't even a problem!
There's just a dozen projects I need to tackle, and so far, not one of them has been easy to do. It seems like I'm missing some major detail for every single thing!
I'm even annoyed with the dog. Why? Because she's staring at me with a toy in her mouth. I know she's thinking of a failure of a master right now. When was the last time I played with her? 
I wish days like this came with a warning sign!
I think a 20 minute nap, a good lunch (comfort food), and a do-over are in order.
While I'm doing that, you can feel free to read my articles at Meridian today-
To Text or Not to Text in Dating (which I really had expected to generate a ton of comments, but so far, nothing!)
Bigotry in America (also- no comments!)
Hmm... Makes me wonder if the comments are broken? We'll add that to my to-do list!
Ugh, and there I go again pimping myself out to my friends!

Monday, July 16, 2012

What will my legacy be?

It feels like a lifetime ago that I attended the LDS singles conference in DC. Really, it was only 10 days ago. Girls Camp can mess with your head that way.
During the conference I had a very unusual and fun experience. There were 4 sets of speakers, of which 2 were couples I knew. The first couple I had not seen since I was 12 years old. The wife was my first young woman's leader (my Beehive teacher- sorry for the odd language to my non-LDS friends), and first Girls Camp leader. I went up and asked if she remembered me. She said, "Oh honey, I may not remember your name, but I sure do remember that face! You were one of my young women, weren't you?" We talked for a few minutes. It was a unique experience to get to ask her for advice just as I headed off to camp myself. I wondered if my sweet young girls will remember me in 25 years? (I told them the story (through numerous tears), and one of them replied, "We're all cousins! We'll still be seeing each other at family reunions in 25 years." She makes a good point.)
The second woman I saw was the young woman's leader I had when I was 17. Her family and my family are still very good friends. (In fact, I highly suspect her daughter is reading this post. Are you there, Katrina?) I had no need to introduce myself to her. We had a nice little catch-up chat.
Both women were speaking with their husbands to the conference. (I talked to both men as well.) It made me think about my own youth. How blessed I was to have such amazing and smart influences on me when I was younger! Today they are sought after speakers, traveling often to address different organizations. I wish I had appreciated them more when I was a youth.
To say they have set the bar high for me would be an understatement. I can only hope to do half the job they did with me!
I can tell you exactly what influences these two women had on me as a girl. The first one was simply a graceful and elegant woman. She was firm with us, but knew how to have fun. She never had a hair out of place, and always looked good- even when we were rough camping.
The second woman taught me many lessons about laughing at life's trials, and not taking things too seriously. She was smart, funny, and kind. When I think of her, I think patience and laughter.
I hope that the legacy and imprint I leave on my own young women is one of laughter and love. Heaven knows it will probably not be patience and grace. I'd like to think I have set an example of never giving up and motivation. But who knows if the girls even know how hard I have had to work these past few years just to survive?
There is one legacy I look forward to leaving with them- my books. Every day as I have written another page in this new series I have asked myself if this is something I would want my girls to read? Is the main character setting a good example for the girls? Would I be proud of them if they grew up to be like the main character (Haley)? I'm excited to be able to leave something behind that they will be able to say, "She wrote that for me!"
Will you help me leave that legacy behind? There is less than a week left in my Kickstarter campaign, and I am woefully short the needed funds. You can donate at that first link, and read the first chapter of the book at this link!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mama Bear Meets Mama Duck (my week at Girls Camp)

We're back from Girls Camp. The picture above is me and my "Baby Ducks" as we arrived back at the church. Actually, we're short 4 Baby Ducks in this picture. "Number Two" is in the picture as well.
Let me explain the Baby Ducks. The nickname came from how often I started to feel like a Mama Duck. Everywhere I went I had a little flock of baby ducks following behind me. All I wanted to do was get them from Point A to Point B alive, and without wandering too far off the path- not unlike a Mama Duck. And sometimes easier said than done.
Much to my own surprise this week I discovered I'm not just a Mama Duck, I'm also a Mama Bear! You DON'T mess with my girls! Don't even think about it! Come to think of it, a Mama Duck will also attack if you mess with her babies. I think the Mama Duck and Baby Ducks are a great name for us!

See the van in that photo? Let me tell you a little story.
Have you ever had a moment where you just knew angels stopped a disaster from happening?
That was me this afternoon. After a week of this Mama Duck keeping her babies alive, and getting them from Point A to Point B and just one mile short of Point A again, our guardian angels put in some overtime. Just 2 stoplights short of getting back to the church, with me driving the big van (5 of the girls were in a different car. I only had 7 girls, but the van was stuffed to the gills with everyone's gear), I made a left-hand turn. Another car ran the light, and came within micro-seconds of t-boning us. I had to swerve hard, in the middle of my left-turn, to avoid the impact. With the van so heavy (and particularly top-heavy with bins stacked up in the back), my speed around the turn, and the abrupt swerve, I felt the van go up on two tires on one side. The other car just barely missed us, but then I nearly hit another car head-on. I swerved again, just barely missing that car by a fraction of an inch.
I felt the force of how close we came to the van rolling over. I know just how close we came to both getting t-boned, and to getting into a head-on collision in the middle of a busy intersection. I have never, ever been so scared in my life.  I have also never before been more sure that an angel had to have been holding up that van to keep us from falling over.
Somehow the girls missed most of what happened. With so much stuff in the back, they couldn't see out the windows to see how close we came on the side. And only the one in the front seat saw how close we came to the other car. By the time we reached the next stoplight they were all singing along again to One Direction. I could barely breathe I was so upset.
We got to the church just 2 minutes later. I got out of the van and absolutely fell apart crying. Both the RS President (mother of 2 of the girls) and the Bishop were right there (it was the Bishop's van), and helped me get my act together. For the most part the girls missed my crying too! (Although it would have been fine for them to see me cry. Heaven knows it wouldn't be the first or last time that has happened this week!)
All in all, it was a great week with my Baby Ducks. I loved being their Mama Duck.
My favorite part of the week just so happens to be caught on video. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Back Creek Baby Ducks Girls Camp Flash Mob!

Although, I do have to agree with Christley (I think she was the one who said it?). Sometimes the best part of the week is the fun and goofiness in the car on the way home. We really know how to car jam!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Greetings from Girls Camp

We interrupt my week in the woods with lots of young women to bring you this important message-


I hope you will join me in my new cause to bring this book with good conservative morals to mainstream fiction!

Over the past 6 months I have worked hard to write 3 novels (and a fourth is still to come) featuring a woman of high moral character. What makes this book different from most other mainstream literature is that it is not a book about morals or values. Instead it is a fun, engaging, and at times thrilling and emotional, plot that just happens to be centered around a good conservative woman.

This is something not easily found in the mainstream press, which is why I have decided to self-publish.

Typically if books like these were presented to a commercial publisher the author would be forced to make the character evolve or change away from her traditional values. Or these books would be forced to go the way of a smaller, niche marketing publisher, where the general public would never discover it. Yet again, liberal values would win, as conservative values are labeled as old fashioned and undesirable. 

Why can't we have a strong, smart, conservative woman as a heroine without compromise? Isn't it time our values were represented accurately in entertainment and media?

Read a sample portion of the first chapter of the Haley project on Google Docs.

For this type of book to succeed it must be above reproach. It must be accurate, perfectly edited, and above all else, an exciting and engaging read. To ensure the top quality of a self-published book it takes more than just a passionate author. It requires editors, graphic designers, and other professional services, to produce a high quality self-published book. 

I cannot do this alone! I need your help to ensure top quality! If you are passionate about bringing true conservative values and morals to mainstream literature, please donate to my Kickstarter campaign today. 

Kickstarter helps people raise funds for creative projects. In order to receive the funds the full dollar goal must be met. If it falls even just a dollar short the funds are returned to the donors. (Donors are not charged until the full amount has been pledged and raised.) There are thank you rewards for different levels of donations. You can have a character named after you, or get a free copy of the book, or even have the whole book named after you- all depending on your level of donation. 

I can promise you this is a fun, exciting, and interesting series of books you will enjoy reading. You will identify and root for the heroine all the way. But before these books can make it to print we all need your help to make it happen!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Put Good Conservative Values into Mainstream Fiction

For the past several months I have been writing a new book. One book turned into two books and then into three. And there is a possibility there may even be a fourth book before this series is over.
I wrote the bulk of the first book in about 6 weeks. If you've never tried to write a novel before, trust me when I say that is insanely fast. But I was inspired and obsessed with my story. All I wanted to do was write it.
At the time books 1 and 2 were the same book. I hadn't planned on making them 2 separate books. But through the all important editing process (adding nearly 100 more pages to just the first half alone) I realized it needed to be 2 books. I've been fortunate enough to work with several good friends in order to edit, revise, and edit again to make this book happen.
I have felt strongly for several years that I wanted to write a book with a strong female heroine who does not have to compromise her values or what she believes in in order to succeed. I feel all too often mainstream entertainment is the story of a woman who gives up on what she believes in in order to be happy or fit in elsewhere. I have wanted to find or write a story that was about a woman who made the tough decision to stand by what she was taught, and didn't use her sexuality to win. It is incredibly disheartening just how hard that can be to find. And what few stories out there that do attempt this, tend to be very preachy, and niche-market only.
I am excited for this character that I have developed and the events she goes through. She faces very real world decisions, and addresses them realistically. Of course, it is entertainment and fiction, so they are not real world scenarios, but they are real world responses. The main character, Haley, is one that women will identify with, and will find strength in. They will recognize and identify her feelings and responses, and look up to her for how she approaches them. At least, that is what I hope women will do!
I've opted to self-publish this book for multiple reasons. First, I don't believe there is a mainstream publisher out there who will take a book that is this conservative without making key changes. Because I want to keep the morals intact, I don't want to deal with a commercial press. Second, smaller publishers that would accept this type of book  would sell it in a niche market (even though it is not a religious fiction book). I don't want to get put into a niche, so I'm avoiding it altogether for now. I have other reasons that I can explain to you if you really want to hear them.
The self-publishing world isn't as cheap and easy as writing and uploading. There are other details that take time and money. For instance, hiring a graphic designer to create a book cover! All writers, no matter how good they are, need a good editor. The feedback and editing process only improves books. And editors have to be hired and paid as well. Last, but not least, in order to protect and copyright your work, you have to pay for an ISBN. And that alone is $100. Plus there is shipping, galleys, etc., that all take time and money as well.
Which brings me to my kickstarter campaign. I'm trying to do a little fundraising to get this book (and the following 2-3 books) off the ground. I'm so close to getting it all done, but it is money that holds me back.  Being able to pay for quality editors alone is the most important detail. It will take it from "a nice story that girl wrote," to a book that will make people sit up and take notice. Funding will help make the difference between being sold to my friends and family, and the quality and production needed to reach a mass audience.
If you would like to contribute to making the Haley books happen, please check out my kickstarter campaign. Contributions can be as low as $1! For $5 you get your name on the acknowledgements page. For $25 you get a personalized (and creative) YouTube thank you video. For $50 you get a signed copy of the book when it is available.
I know there are many of you who would love to see a book about a strong, morals driven, smart, single woman and what it takes for her to succeed. I hope you will make a donation!

Screen Time

My new little netbook has arrived. Do you see how small it is next to my old laptop?? I'm so excited.  It is just an 11" netbook. Just a baby really. It barely weighs over 2 lbs. Considering all of the places I have to travel over the next few weeks alone, I cannot wait to carry this little thing around. The big brown laptop? It weighs closer to 7 lbs, I think. It is great for watching movies on, and for saving my eyesight on days where I have to type for 12-16 hours. But it is killing me to haul it places. The new one only weighs a tiny bit more than my Nook. (Oh how I wish tablets were more convenient for endless hours of typing. But they just do not work for full-time writing needs. Le sigh.)
I have to give the Amazon seller some credit here. I ordered my laptop at 1 am (maybe 2 am) Tuesday morning. Amazon didn't offer an overnight shipping option, but I did pay for the best option available. (I needed it by Friday when I leave town. I tried to buy one from 5 different stores in my town. But due to the derecho and ongoing power outages in my town, EVERY single computer retailer in my town was closed. Talk about crazy bad luck.) I emailed the seller and asked if I could pay for upgraded shipping. They told me not to worry about it and they would take care of it. That was early Tuesday morning. It is now before lunch on Thursday and the netbook has arrived. [Assuming the netbook works great] I will definitely buy from eBizTek again!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Fourth of July

While reading an article this morning about the role women played in the American Revolutionary War I found a comment that quite frankly, cracked me up.
" I am disappointed in the anti-British attitude running through this article. Sad."

Seriously people?

My Fourth of July wish to you all is good fireworks, plenty of air conditioning, and liberty from stupid people.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Anyone want a writing gig?

Anyone interested in a writing job?
The Motley Fool is looking for more bloggers. It's a great gig.
As far as money goes, they pay better than any other freelance blogging gig I have ever found.
Worried you don't know anything about the stock market? Don't worry, you can be taught! As they put it to me when they took me on, "You can teach the stock market, but you can't teach good writing."
There is an extra, crazy huge bonus for new bloggers who sign up in July. (And a nice referral bonus for me!)
It is freelance work, pick and choose if and when you want to work, and even pick your own topic. (Granted- it has to be a stock market topic.) They offer direct deposit, and a very transparent, easy to understand payroll. (Which is also hard to find in the freelance writing world.)
If you live in the DC area you can attend a workshop they are offering in August (you have to be accepted as a blogger already). You can attend even if you don't live in DC, and just really want to visit.
If I can write [successfully] about stocks for one of the most respected, widely read expert sites, trust me, you can too!
If you want more info, email me.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Into every camp a little rain must fall?

It seems like every summer of my adult life has revolved around Girls Camp. I know this can't actually be true, because when I lived in Utah I didn't go to Girls Camp. So there are at least those 3 summers I didn't go. And I know I didn't go every single year in Virginia, but it sure felt like it.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. I love Girls Camp! (For the life of me I cannot bring myself to say Young Women Camp. It doesn't roll of the tongue the right way. Not to mention, there's very few "womanly" qualities about a week in the woods with teenagers.)
In one week from today I take off for another 6 days at Girls Camp. This year is a little different from my past years. I'm really carrying more responsibilities than before, and I'm in charge of more girls (from my congregation) than ever before. That's bringing just a little anxiety into my life. But as I have said many times before, my girls are awesome, and totally worth the effort.
Last year at camp we endured one of the worst heat waves to ever hit our part of the country. To say the girls and the leaders have been nervously watching the weather would be an understatement. I've been watching the 10 day forecast closely. And as of right now, it doesn't look like heat will be our problem. But thunderstorms may very well be! In the five bermillion times I have been to girls camp, I have never had a major rain problem. I think there was one or two times we had a little bit of rain. But I've managed to never see a real storm while camping.
I'm not going to lie to you. I fear my number is up.
Even though I own two perfectly adequate tents already (one of which is in storage in another state), I went out and bought myself another tent this weekend. I couldn't help myself. (The Coleman SunDome to be exact. I paid less than Amazon's price though. It was on sale for $59.) I know what the camping conditions are like where I am headed, and I want to know that I am in a tent that can handle the worst Virginia weather can throw at me.
Just for fun, here's a clip from last year's camp. This is our stake's favorite "song." (Although I personally hesitate to call it a song. A cheer would be a more accurate definition.)

For those wondering if I was affected by the major storms (derecho) that hit Virginia and DC this weekend- no. I heard it and felt it, but somehow no damage. It did pick up a shovel and move it across my yard, but that's about it. Much of my town is still without power, and trees are down everywhere. But up here on top of the mountain, we are doing just fine!

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