Friday, November 7, 2014

Raindrops, Banana Boats (the kind you eat), And My First-Ever Book Launch Party!

Aaaaaand...she's back!

This is not really going to be a "this past week"'ll be more like a "this past weekend" one, mostly because my weekend was a LOT more interesting than my week. 

And I'm telling you a LOT.


I had a youth group beach bonfire!

For those of you who haven't been with me that long, I've already had one youth group beach bonfire before. And that was back when we had five kids and two youth leaders.

But now our youth group has swelled. It's now twenty children, including myself, and we have six youth leaders.


Anyway, we had a ton of fun at the come along on our adventure!

We got there, unloaded, set up camp, and started eating. (That's kind of the number one priority on our beach bonfires. Eating.)

We roasted hot dogs first. I kept touching my hot dog to the wood, but since I'm a kool klassy person, I just ate it. It was very well-roasted :-)

I also tried mustard on my hot dog for the first time and I actually LIKED it!

I actually think mustard gets a bad rep for being yellow and icky and disgusting. But it's actually delicious! I loved it!

(btw, there will be a lot of exclamation points in this post)

Then we went down to the water for a little. It was actually kind of warm, considering it was FREEZING out (I was wearing four layers: my dad's letterman jacket--because I don't have a boyfriend--and my HS sweatshirt and my shirt and my swimsuit tankini top).

Then we went to play volleyball.

That's me on the right. I'm sort of dying of laughter on the right, and everyone else is just standing around, like, "Rachel..."

See, let's get something straight:

I am not athletic.

I am not the first person who is not athletic. I will not be the last person to be unathletic. (I will also not be the last person to think that unathletic is actually a word.)

But I am seriously not athletic. I have to practice a sport for several years in order for me to be good at it, and even then I'm not that good. (Soccer and tennis are my main.) 

So when I tried to play volleyball, I failed. I failed in IMMENSE AND ENORMOUS amounts. I got sand all over me, like, ten times. I was happy to even touch the ball.

Then, of course, I was injured. As I was running, chasing the ball, something sharp jabbed right up into my foot!

It was a silver needle, free of rust, and it didn't really go that deep--there was no blood.

But it was freaky! I pulled it out of my foot!

Needless to say, I retired from my short-lived beach volleyball career.

(How do people even play sports?)

And don't worry, I don't have tetanus or anything. (At least, I hope I don't...)

When we got back, we ate banana boats and ice cream cones stuffed with gobs of marshmallow and peanut butter chips and chocolate chips.

It sounds good on paper, but honestly, I'm not sure if I like them anymore. I think I don't like them mostly because A) I'm not crazy about bananas, and B) you have to put the bananas and cones into the fire, and it doesn't really enhance the flavor of anything. It's more like a ritual than an actual thing.

And then the banana gets all roasted and gooshy and it was kind of gross.

But that's okay. I love s'mores.

Then, of course, my brothers had to be unorthodox. They took the sticks we used to roast the hot dogs, and then they turned them into bows with strings. And then they "sparked" the tips of more skewers and used those as arrows, and they shot "flaming arrows" into the sand.

It was decently safe--the skewers weren't actually on fire, and we were surrounded by water and sand, for heaven's sake--and it was kool, but it was so boy.

It looked fun, though.

When it was dark--like, really dark--we went down to the water and took cliche Instagram pictures. There was a ledge, and we stood on it and pretended to be cool.

VVV. That's me down there. VVVV

My arms look puffy because I was wearing my dad's letterman.

I like to look at this picture and pretend that I actually have muscles. (I don't. I'm a big weakling.)

After, we went back and ate s'mores.

Then we climbed rocks and went to these caves, and then went back, ate more, and told jokes.

It was an awesome youth group outing; I honestly loved it. More people = more fun, in my boat (at least, when I'm in the mood to associate with people).


I did homework. And I got hooked on Costco enchiladas. We went to someone's house for lunch, and I tried Costco enchiladas, and they were AMAZING. They had a ton of chicken in them, and they were so good.

I usually don't like Mexican food, but these were good.


Monday was probably my favorite day out of all this week.

i went to shannon messenger's book launch party!

For those of you who don't know, I absolutely love middle grade fiction. Middle grade fiction is mainly all I read, besides Christian chick lit and the occasional YA dystopian. I actually review MG and link my reviews up to Shannon's site for "Marvelous Middle Grade Monday."

But anyway, when I found out that her Everblaze launch party would be located relatively close to where I live, I asked my mom, and she said, YES, SO WE WENT!

And it was fantastic!

Here's how it went:

  • We got there.
  • I attempted to do homework. (Attempted.)
  • I bought two copies of Everblaze (because I'M GIVING ONE AWAY OVER HERE SOON SQUEE)
  • I read the first twenty pages.
  • I got into a discussion with two other girls about who we shipped Sophie with. Someone wanted Sophie to end up with Dex, both of them agreed with me that Fitz had no personality, and all of us loved Keefe but couldn't see Sophie with him. Personally, I ship Sophie with Keefe, but it's not going to happen. I know #Sophitz will happen if the boy in the bramble jersey doesn't factor into the picture.
  • She talked about various things: her cats (she has six), her ideas for a future Keeper movie (animated), the names she comes up with for her characters (they all have hidden meanings!) 
  • She had the signing!
  • HER CUPCAKES WERE MADE BY HER MOTHER AND THEY WERE AMAZING. I've literally been craving cupcakes ever since I had those, and I don't even like cupcakes! Or frosting that's not whipped! But those cupcakes were so good!
  • I did homework. (Sort of.)
  • I MET HER! I told her that I was Rcubed's alter ego, and she remembered me from MMGM (I think). And we took a picture, but for some reason my mom only took one.
And in the one that she took, I had my stinking eyes closed.

(And yes, my eyes are actually closed. Usually when I smile, my eyes are a little bigger than that.)

But Shannon was sooooo nice and funny! And the event felt really personal--her husband and her parents and grandmother were there, and I definitely want my first book signing to be like that. 

It was kind of funny, because mostly everyone there was younger than I was. The girls I talked to were in seventh grade. 

"Are you in eighth?" one of them asked me.

I told them I was in tenth, and both of them were like, Ohhh!

I also got an awesome view of who my target audience is, and I could see the "book community": we all bonded over a love of Shannon's book. I didn't even learn the girls' names: we just started talking about it, and it was pretty amazing.

For the first time, I think I found people who loved Keeper as much as I did.

The next day, I finished Everblaze.




K, bye.

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