Follow by Email

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Battle of the Books!

Best Blogger Tips

Hey guys!

I just had the best time in the Terre Haute area of Indiana, presenting as part of their awesome Battle of the Books!

Star in the Forest was one of about twenty books involved in the battle, and I was honored that they asked me to come and meet all the participating kids, who came from schools throughout Vigo County.  There were a few hundred kids total, and they were all amazing!  And so were the teachers and librarians who worked so hard to organize the Battle events.

I wish I'd remembered to take pictures at the presentation, but I was so busy chatting with these incredibly enthusiastic students that I completely forgot.  (Thanks, Angie Miller, for the above photo!)

I did manage a few pictures with my delightful liaison, Kathy Deal, who gave me the warmest welcome an author could hope for...



My farewell lunch included this gigantic milkshake... I didn't even get hungry on the plane ride home.


 I was so impressed with all the friendly cooperation among community members to make this event a success!  Thank you, Vigo County, for an unforgettable visit!

And now, on a different note.... I can't resist whispering this to you:  
Exciting, new-book-related stuff is happening in my life right now!  I hope to be able to tell you about it soon... but in the meantime, let's be secretly happy together! :-)

xo,
Laura


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Costa Rica trip!

Best Blogger Tips
 
Playa Pelada-- the beach a three-minute walk from our rental house...

Hello everyone!

Thought I'd share some images from the trip I took with Ian and Lil Dude to Costa Rica over spring break.  We stayed at Playa Pelada, on the Nicoya peninsula... bliss... (except for all those times we got lost because none of the roads were marked... and a few other moments (stay tuned for more on that)).


Riding on horseback through the jungle (Lil Dude and Ian did this without me-- I'm allergic to horses, hippos, hamsters, cats, guinea pigs, and bunnies.)


On the beach...


Mangrove swamp!



 Howler monkeys hung out in our yard and woke us up every morning before dawn... they made this low, growly sound that brought to mind a zombie apocalypse.


I love caves... and these were accessible only at low tide, which made them extra enchanting for me!


En route to the caves...


I hardly brushed my hair for two weeks-- the sea and salt and wind made it wild... and then one day, I noticed dreadlocks forming, and finally gave in and had a looooong session with the hairbrush.


The other end of "our" beach... a place where local, ex-pat, and tourist families all hung out together at sunset.


My boys...


Lil Dude is such a creature of the sea... the sand and water could entertain him all day.


He learned to surf from an instructor that looked like a Costa Rican version of young Brad Pitt.



Ian practiced surfing too-- he's still a beginner, but very enthusiastic. ;-)


We hung out at this gelato place in the hot, hot, HOT afternoons...


Lil Dude LOVED the pool at our house... that's his snorkel you see on the right.


Our porch, where I read some magical books and scribbled in my journal and sipped agua de sandia.



Bougainvillea is so pretty... I wish we could grow it in our garden in Colorado.


Hibiscus, too...


We snorkeled here one morning... the most exciting discovery was a giant rusted fishing knife as big as a sword.  Fake pirate fights ensued.



We watched many sunsets from many scenic spots...


I feel compelled to interrupt this series of sunset photos to show you how we afford an international vacation every year.  I present to you my car (which has no hubcaps, a torn interior ceiling thanks to Lil Dude ripping it off as a toddler, and -- in addition to transporting us--it serves as storage for junk for several months/years at a stretch until making it to Goodwill.)


So I occasionally ask myself, Laura, would you rather have a new car or go on yearly international vacations?  Laura, would you rather have hubcaps or pay for half a plane ticket?  Laura, would you rather have that ripped ceiling fixed or pay for the other half of a plane ticket? Laura, would you rather get the car detailed or pay for a night at a rental house in some tropical paradise?  You get the idea. I believe that making travel a part of our lives is largely about priorities.  And really, visiting another country will stimulate your mind and spirit and senses SO MUCH MORE than a nice shiny new car (or the latest technology) will.... Anyway, pardon that rant, and now, on with the sunsets!


Well, actually, I also feel compelled to tell you that although we did experience high levels of bliss on this trip, every day one of us threw a temper tantrum (as with every family vacation we take).  It could be me, Ian, or Lil Dude... and I've learned to accept this as the small price you pay for vacation bliss.  (For example, one day I threw a tantrum about the jackhammer noises thundering from the house next door.  Ian threw a tantrum because Lil Dude and I claimed it was too hot to accompany him on a tidal pool exploration one afternoon.  And Lil Dude threw a tantrum because Ian and I wouldn't clean out all the bugs and leaf debris with the pool net one morning.)  I just feel it's important to juxtapose these sunset pictures with a little grounding in reality, you know?


Okay.  Now back to reveling in sunsets.  It's funny how usually temper tantrums don't happen in the moment you're watching sunsets over the ocean... everyone stops what they're doing and stares at the disappearing sun and just soaks in all that beauty.


Here's to happy travels in your future!


xo,
Laura

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thank you, Notre Dame Academy!

Best Blogger Tips
I'm so grateful for the warmth the Notre Dame Academy (near Boston) showed me on my author visit for their One Book One School program! 


 The girls and faculty are amazing in so many ways-- I'll never forget my time there...


xo,
Laura