Monday, December 24, 2012

Three Winners of EVERBOUND ARCs, and Santa-Dragon

Hey Y'all!

Thanks for entering last week's contest.

The winners are:

Vi Nguyen


Kristina Snyder

Email me your mailing addresses at brodiashton at gmail dot com. Congratulations!

And now, as a Christmas present to you all, enjoy my nieces' adventure through downtown Salt Lake City, and marvel at the fact that they weren't arrested.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pre-Order NEVERFALL, and be entered to win one of several ARCs of EVERBOUND

Okay, folks. We are just over a week away from two exciting things. 

One is Christmas. 

But on the day after Christmas, December 26th (just in time for Christmas) (Kidding) the paperback edition of EVERNEATH releases, and the ebook novella NEVERFALL will be available! 

For those of you who don't know, NEVERFALL is a novella (100 pages) told from Cole's Point of View. It takes place between the end of book one (EVERNEATH) and the beginning of book 2 (EVERBOUND). 

Here's the blurb:

A thrilling new novella from the author of the Everneath series!

Jack is trapped for eternity in the Tunnels while Nikki has managed to evade Cole's grasp . . . for now. But Cole is more desperate than ever to find answers about Nikki, his best chance for taking over the throne of the underworld. How did she survive the Feed? Can Cole find another Forfeit like her who can survive it too?

Cole's quest leads him to the other side of the world, to a mysterious, dangerous society known as the Delphinians, whose price for information might be higher than Cole can pay—a price that could destroy Nikki. But when Cole attempts to steal the answers instead, his mission ends in disaster. Faced with centuries in a Delphinian dungeon, Cole is confronted with questions he's been too scared to ask himself: Is he really obsessed with the throne—or is he obsessed with Nikki? And can she really give him a new beginning as the Everneath's king . . . or will she instead bring about his tragic end?

To celebrate these events, I have a bunch of EVERBOUND ARCs to give away. So here's the deal. If you pre-order NEVERFALL ($2.99, available at Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and many other ebook places), you will be entered to win one of several copies of the EVERBOUND ARC! 

All you have to do is pre-order it, leave me a comment telling me you pre-ordered it, and you're entered! Easy peezy. 

Also, there is no way for me to check the validity of your pre-order, so I am counting on the honor system, and the fact that it would be silly to lie about two dollars and ninety-nine cents. If you're going to lie, lie about like a million dollars. In fact, have your hips leave the comment. (Because as we all know, hips don't lie).*

"Hips don't lie," quoth Shakira. 

So, click here to order NEVERFALL, and then comment away! The more people entered, the more copies I'll give away.  

Contest ends this Sunday. Winners announced on Monday. Just in time for Christmas. 

*Kid B's hips totally lie. His pants are always falling down. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bid on an ARC of EVERBOUND and support Newtown

This is probably the only thing I could blog about this morning, after the horrific events of Friday. (I have a first grader. I have decided to permanently attach him directly to me, by stitching his hip to my leg.)

The sweet people at Publishing Hearts are holding an auction of many items (books, critiques, packages from authors, agents and editors). All of the money goes to benefit the Newtown Youth and Family Services. 

One of the items up for bid is an ARC of EVERBOUND. So, if you would like to make a donation to the families of Newtown, and win an ARC of EVERBOUND (or any of the other wonderful prizes up  for bid), go to the Publishing Hearts website and follow their instructions. If you want to specifically bid on EVERBOUND, go here

The auction just went live, so as of now, nobody has bid on EVERBOUND. So now's your chance. :) I'll throw the starting bid out there. 

Five bucks. 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Starred Review for EVERBOUND

I wanted to share some good news with you! The first two of the big reviews are in for EVERBOUND. 

One is a starred review from VOYA. Here's an excerpt:

"The Everneath comes to life in lurid descriptions of the circles of hell, weaving literary and mythological references into the mix. Ashton’s vivid images of the hands of the Forfeits reaching out of the earth are chilling. ... Nikki’s dogged determination to rescue Jack clouds her judgment. ... The surprise ending will leave stunned fans pleading for more. This worthy successor to Everneath (Balzer + Bray, 2012/VOYA December 2011) will be in high demand."

And Kirkus calls EVERBOUND "Intense, intriguing and highly addictive."

I am thrilled with these reviews, especially as the publication of EVERBOUND is right around the corner. 38 days! Would you like to add a countdown widget to your blog? You can get the widget on the sidebar of this blog. 

Furthermore... I don't have anything furthermore. It just felt like the appropriate segue into the next paragraph, but I got nothin'.  

Thanks y'all, especially you (yes, you!) for supporting the blog and my books. And remember to stop by Weller Books tonight at 6:30 if you want a signed copy of Everneath. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Discounts and Good Deeds... aka My Next Appearance

Hey y'all! 

Just a quick announcement.

Do you like books? Do you like supporting education? Do you like children? Do you like all three? 

Are you sick of cute kitten pictures? Do you like pina coladas? How about dancing in the rain? 

Well, if you answered yes to the first three questions, have I got the opportunity for you. I'll be signing books at Weller Book Works tomorrow night from 6:30-9:30 as part of a book fair to support City Academy. I believe if you say "I support City Academy", then 20% of the proceeds will go to the school.  

Place: Weller Book Works (In Trolley Square)
(Also, it's near the new Trader Joe's. You could make an evening out of it.)
Time: 6:30-9:30
Date: Tomorrow (December 13, 2012)
Secret Code Word: "I Support City Academy"

Books. They're awesome. 

20% of the proceeds go to the school. There's your supporting education. 

Wrap the books for your kids. There's your liking children. 


Now, as for the cute kitten pictures, there's nothing I can do about those. But as for the pina coladas and dancing in the rain? Meet me at tonight at midnight. Wear galoshes. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

After Feeling the Loss, there's Living the Loss... aka What I'm Thankful For

This post is a little late for Thanksgiving. But it took me a while to get my thoughts together.

My family has a tradition for Thanksgiving. The night before the big dinner, the grandkids all gather at my parents' house. We lay a giant sheet down on the carpet, and set two plastic tubs on top of it. Then we take turns scrubbing the kids' fingernails and hands.

Finally, when everyone is clean (relatively speaking), we each grab half a loaf of bread (special ranch bread that has been aging for four days) and we "shuffle" the bread into the tiniest crumbs we can manage.
gathered round the stuffing tubs
Shuffling: verb
To use one's fingernails, scraping against the bread, in order to create... um... smaller pieces of bread. Nay, even crumbs. Or something in between crumbs and... whatever is the next size up.

After we shuffle the bread, we add my family's secret ingredients, that have been passed down for four generations. The ingredients include a buttload (a form of measurement from the 1800's) of rubbed sage and as much butter as "your conscience will allow." The recipe made it through the Great Depression, hence the "conscience will allow" measurement.

Nowadays though, my conscience will allow at least two buttloads of butter.

Did you know a buttload is an actual measurement? Okay, a "butt" is.
Here is one:
So the next time someone says you have a big "butt", you can come back with this zinger: "A 'butt' refers to a giant barrel, and obviously I don't have one of those on my backside, so joke's on you! So long suckah!" Then smack your butt for effect. This will either work, or you'll get beaten. 
Anyway, once we have the dressing put together, we let it sit overnight. To marinate in its juices. Which doesn't sound like something you'd want stuffing to do, but trust me, it's good.

The next day, at some point while the turkey is cooking, somebody stuffs the bird with our dressing, infusing it with delicious turkey bodily fluids.

Every year, it's been my dad who does this part.

So this year, when we arrived at my mom's house, the turkey was finished cooking, and out of the oven, and the stuffing remained unstuffed.

Me: "Um, shouldn't the stuffing be... stuffed by now? Since the turkey's sitting there on the counter already?"

Mom: "I don't know. Should it be?"

Me: "Should it be... what? Stuffed? I would guess yes. It's kind of inherent in the name 'stuffing'."

We realized at that moment exactly why the stuffing hadn't been stuffed: we were missing the official stuffer. My dad. 

But neither of us wanted to admit there was a problem. We both turned to my brother-in-law Dave, who is a doctor, and therefore isn't afraid to shove things in places not spoken of at parties.

Mom: "Dave, grab a bunch of the dressing and shove it in here." She pointed to the turkey's nether-regions.

Dave: "The turkey's already out of the oven. I see no benefit to stuffing it now. How come it wasn't stuffed previously?"

me: "Just stuff it, Dave! And stop asking questions!"

Dave (giving us a confused look): "Okay, fine. I'll stuff it."

He did, and we all stood around awkwardly, looking at the newly stuffed Turkey sitting there on the counter, and knowing it was all wrong. We waited about five minutes. 

Then my mom was all: "Okay, Dave. Unstuff it now."

Dave: "That makes even less sense than stuffing it in the first place."

me: "Just do it, Dave! And Stop asking questions!"

Dave: "That wasn't a question. But here's a question. Your family has made stuffing every year for the last six decades. How come this year it's like we have no idea what we're doing?"

me: "Dave, you are asking for a beating."

Mom: "Brodi, stop threatening to beat up your brother-in-law."

When the loss is new, you try to keep everything the same, and rely on routine, or tradition to get you through. But what if the person you're missing was an integral part of that tradition? So much so that without him, the stuffing doesn't get stuffed?

Still, we didn't talk about why the stuffing didn't get stuffed. We didn't want to reopen the wounds. It took 6-year-old Kid B saying at the dinner table, with tears in his eyes, "I miss Grandpa" for us to realize the wounds had never closed. It's okay to talk about him. And miss him. 

And as much as everything is the same, everything this year is different. But the sadder thing would've been if his loss made no difference at all. 

I guess that's what I'm thankful for this year. The opportunity to have loved someone so much that his loss is felt. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I'm at the King's English tomorrow, and some Dark Days Announcements

A few quick notes about some upcoming appearances:

Are you looking for Christmas Presents? How about some autographed books!

I'll be signing books at the annual King's English Christmas Social! It's tomorrow night (December 6th) from 5-7 p.m. I'll be there with a bunch of other awesome authors, so if you want to give signed books for presents, this is the perfect opportunity. 


Also, the lineup for the Dark Days tours and authors has just been announced, and I am one of them! My official Dark Days blogger is Amber from Me, My Shelf and I. If you get a chance, stop by her blog and say hi in the comments. 

Here are the cities I will be touring in:

February 4, 7pm
Dark Days tour with Cynthia Hand, Veronica Rossi, and Tahereh Mafi
Huntington Beach, California

February 5, 7pm
Dark Days tour with Cynthia Hand, Veronica Rossi, and Tahereh Mafi
Little Shop of Stories
Decatur, Georgia

February 6, 7pm
Dark Days tour with Cynthia Hand, Veronica Rossi, and Tahereh Mafi
Barnes & Noble
Cary, North Carolina

February 7, 7pm
Dark Days tour with Cynthia Hand, Veronica Rossi, and Tahereh Mafi
Harvard Coop
Cambridge, Massachussets

In addition to the Dark Days tour, I will also be making several appearances in Salt Lake City, Idaho Falls, Boise, New York City, Washington, D.C., Redondo Beach and Thousand Oaks. Check back to my appearances page in the next little while for details. 

Okay, that is all for now! I just turned in my latest revisions on Everneath 3: It's 
Everneath-iest. And just as the title suggests, it is actually the Everneath-iest. 

It's got love, betrayal, possessed bounty hunters, it's TV-MA SDVEZ for Suggestive Dialogue and Violence by and to Everliving Zombies. I am very excited for the way it is taking shape.

So, will I see any of you at the King's English Christmas Extravaganza? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How "One Size Fits All" Should Not Be Applied to Underwear

Okay, so, when I was in Vegas last weekend, I forgot to pack my... um... undies. 

Me... commando. Kidding.
We were staying at the MGM Grand, which has about a thousand shops inside, so I assumed that at least one of those shops would carry... sundries. 

So, I went into the nearest shop and said, "Excuse me, do you have sundries?" 

And the lady was all, "We have toothpaste."

And for a moment, I got a little disgusted trying to figure out how toothpaste would help my undy (singular of undies?) situation. 

Then I realized that perhaps I was using the word "sundries" in the wrong way. Perhaps it didn't mean what I thought it meant. Perhaps even though it sounds like "undies", it might mean something else.

So, I was all, "Okay, I'll take a toothpaste. Also, as a sidenote, do you have... underwears?" Because if you use the plural, it's less embarrassing. 

She's all, "Um we have these..." She holds up a thong that has words on it. Something about which way to do something. 

I was all, "Do you have anything... with more coverage? With a back that doesn't go... between things?"

She sent me to another shop, the only place in the entire hotel that carried non-novelty undies. 

Upon entering the second shop, my face went red. It appeared the clothing designer had been challenged to make as many outfits as possible using only the material from a handkerchief. 

I asked the lady behind the counter, "Um... undies?"

She pointed me toward a basket, with tiny little black boxes inside. Each tiny box (about the size of a ring box) claimed to contain three underwears. 

Apparently Las Vegas really is magic. 

I asked the lady again, "How do you tell the sizes?"

She's all, "They're one size fits all."

me: "WTF?"

Because "One Size Fits All" is for sweatshirts, and ponchos, and sleeping bags. Not underwears!

But the lady pointed to the side of the box, where it clearly stated (in 10 pt font) One Size Fits All. And then in the small print underneath, it stated Sizes 4-8. 

me: "That is not One-Size-Fits-All. That is One-Size-Fits-A-Small-Percentage-of-the-Population-and-Have-You-Seen-The-People-at-your-Slot-Machines?-It-is-Not-THAT-Percentage!"

She's all, "That's all we have."

me: "The people who fit in these [holds up box] are not the people who forget underwear. They're the people who pack their underwear very carefully because they love how they look in underwear."

her (looks at the poor woman having a breakdown about underwear sizes. Pities her.) "Do you want the box or not?"

me (resigned): "I'll take it. Maybe I can stitch two of them together."

I have to say I got used to the feeling, and eventually I stopped picking at them. 

So... how was your Thanksgiving? I ate so much that "One-Size-Fits-All" is a mere fantasy land far, far away. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

and We have a Winner!

The winner of the EVERBOUND ARC is...

Jessica @ Books: A True Story

Jessica, email me your mailing address at brodiashton at gmail dot com

And for everyone else, don't worry. I will be holding a ton of ARC contests before the end of the year. So check back here often! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The EVERBOUND trailer revealed! And... enter to win an ARC!

P.S. Read to the bottom to find out how to enter to win an EVERBOUND ARC...

The EVERBOUND trailer is live on!  

It looks like this:
Is it geeky to get a screen shot framed?
To celebrate, I'm giving away an ARC of EVERBOUND. Entry is simple! Four steps:

1. Click on this link
2. Watch the trailer
3. Leave a comment ON EW.COM'S PAGE. Like the page too. 
4. Come back here and leave a comment telling me you left a comment. 

So, in all, you will leave TWO comments. This is important. Because it just is. If you don't leave two comments, the police will come and arrest you. (Sorry, pulling from my sister's empty threats to her children)

So... go watch! And report! And be sure to leave EW.COM a comment! 

Contest ends tomorrow.  

Update: *Contest Closed*

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Exciting News, Having to do with the EVERBOUND Trailer, and a Certain Magazine

I have some very exciting news! 

No, I haven't learned to cook. 

Yes, I had a great time in Vegas, but that's not the news. 

I'll give you one more guess...


Did you guess that the book trailer for EVERBOUND would be revealed by Entertainment Weekly ( on Thursday??????

Wait... you did? 

Okay, well I guess that sort of lets the air out of my balloon, and by "let the air out of my balloon" I mean "sucks", but it's okay. You are good at guessing. 

So here's the official announcement. will reveal the book trailer for EVERBOUND this Thursday

I'm really thrilled about this news. Why am I still in red? There we go. Anyway, I'm really excited about this, because I have been a fan of Entertainment Weekly for a long time. In fact, I'm pretty sure we were one of the first households to subscribe to the magazine.*

*Claim not verified by... anyone.

To celebrate the news, I'm sure I will hold a contest for an EVERBOUND ARC, so check back here for details on Thursday. The contest will involve watching the trailer, so make sure you have 90 seconds set aside for that. 

In other news:

Remember that time I came home from New York City to find a beta fish on my bookcase? Well this time I came home from Vegas to find a parrot in my living room. She was so colorful, I had to look around me to make sure I'd really left Las Vegas. 

And actually, she's pretty adorable. I named her Pigeon. 

Sam's all, "Why did you name her Pigeon?"

I'm all, "I don't know. She just looks like a Pigeon."

He's all, "That's like naming an award-winning poodle 'Mutt'."

Then I was all, "We should name her Mutt Romney!" Then I laughed, but I laughed alone because it's not a very funny joke.

We settled on "Pigeon Scout". The "Scout" part comes from our favorite girl name, but we didn't have any girls. I finally have another girl in the house. 

*Fist bumps Pigeon* 

*Pigeon gets knocked to the floor because she has no fists*

So, what do you think of Pigeon Scout? And what do you think of my exciting news? 

And how long did you say parrots live? 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What Happens in Vegas... is that I'm Wearing a Corset. I can guarantee it's a one-time deal.

Hey y'all! 

Are you in the Vegas area? Do you want to be in the Vegas area? Would you like to go to Vegas this weekend? Me too!

So if you're in the area, or if you have access to an airport, or boots that are made for walkin', then get your bum down to the Vegas Valley Book Festival. 

Saturday is devoted to YA! I'll be on a Paranormal panel at 12:30 and then I'll be signing books, along with a buttload of other amazing authors later in the afternoon. And then that night, I'll be attending the Steampunk Ball, also with a bunch of other authors. 

I tried out my steampunk outfit today. 

By far the best part of shopping for a steampunk outfit is looking like a middle aged mom (which I am) and walking into a store that carries whips and gadgets and saying, "I'd like to try on every corset you have."

The guy at the counter gave me a very weird look. So just for fun, I followed up the request with, "And make sure there's space in the dressing room for two..."

And then, when he looked even more confused and not just a little bit disgusted, I winked and said, "You know, room for two... because it takes two to tango..."

And then when he dry-heaved a little in his mouth, I remembered I was a middle aged mom, and so I sealed the deal by saying "And by tango, I mean I've got two kids at home who are waiting for me to make chicken nuggets. So just give me my corset." 

I can pretty much guarantee I'm the only person who tried it on with a shirt beneath it, and a sweater over it. What can I say... I like layers. 

I have a clock hanging on a chain around my neck, black boots with buckles, lace fingerless gloves and a tiny hat that was apparently made for elves, not humans. Either I'm rocking the steampunk, or I'm going to an 80's revival. 

So what do you think of the outfit? Does it exhibit enough steampunkery? 

I decided to drive to Vegas, so I need some new music to listen to. What songs/bands have y'all fallen in love with lately? Any songs you can't get enough of? Please leave them in the comments, so I won't fall asleep on the drive. 

And if you're coming to Vegas, make sure you find me. I may even be giving away a bunch of EVERBOUND ARCs. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Winner of the EVERBOUND ARC

Thank you for all of your suggestions! I think I have a favorite (from your suggestions) that I'll be presenting to my publisher. So, yay! 

And for those of you who don't win this time around, I got a bunch of ARCs from my publisher, so I will be holding giveaways-a-plenty. 

As for the winner of the EVERBOUND ARC, chosen at random by Kid C, congratulations to...


Please email me at brodiashton at gmail dot com, and leave me your mailing address, and I will put the ARC in the mail, take it to the post office and... um... send it. No idea why I'm feeling the need to be so specific, but there you go. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Help me Name my Book and Enter to Win an ARC of EVERBOUND

Hey y'all! 

So, I turned in Everneath 3: it's Everneath-iest turned to editor Kristin, and I thought to myself, Hmmmm. That title might be a tad long for a book. 

That's where you come in, dear bloggerville. Please help me name my third book! And if you do, you will be entered to win an ARC of EVERBOUND!

Here are the rules:

1. The title has to start with EVER
2. Refer to rule #1
3. No expletives please. 
4. Don't talk about Fight Club. 
5. Remain Seated Please. Permanecer sentados por favor.

Leave your title suggestion in the comments, and you're entered! One entry per person. Contest ends... I don't know. Let's say Next Wednesday. Capiche?

Would you like an extra entry? You can tweet the following (only once please): 

Help @brodiashton name EVERNEATH BOOK 3, and you'll be entered to win an ARC of EVERBOUND!

On your mark, get set... go! 

ADDED: EVERBROCCOLI is already taken. I'm sorry, I know that is the first thing that comes to mind. Please suggest something else. 

P.P.S. It's okay if your choice has already been suggested. Suggest it anyway! I want to see which ones are the favorites too. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sandy and Ogden Peeps, I'm Comin' to Getcha! But not in a scary way... Plus, Kid B's Self Portrait


Have you ever wanted to see what I drew when HarperCollins asked me what I envisioned for the cover of EVERNEATH? 

Then come to the Sandy Library tonight at 7:00 p.m. I will be talking about my publishing process, my rejection letters and my own homemade version of my cover. Plus, I will be giving away the last of my Everneath guitar pick necklaces. 

If you can't come tonight, then plan on the Pleasant Valley Library in Ogden on Thursday at 6:30. I will be doing more of the same. But different!

If you live near either of these wonderful libraries, stop by and say hi. Please. I'm not going to beg. Fine, pretty please. 

On to the post! 

Do you ever wonder how your kids see themselves? Well, I am no longer worried about Kid B's self-image. Here is a self portrait he drew at school:

A few things of note:

1. Those are rays of sun emanating from his body.
2. Those are other people he's standing on.
3. That is a trophy he's holding. Probably for all of his hard work. You know... being the source of all light. And trampling on those around him. Takes work.

Yeah, his ego is perfectly in tact. 

So, yon bloggerville, will I see you at either of my library events this week? 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Cover of NEVERFALL... and my next appearance in Northern Utah.

So, without further ado... adieu... adoo, and because I know nobody is reading this line, what with the pretty cover below, I now present... 

The cover for NEVERFALL! 

I love this cover for so many reasons:

1. It's similar to the other covers, but it's like a negative of them, which is good because it reflects the fact that it's told from Cole's perspective. 

2. It's dark, and it makes me think that when Cole sees Nikki, that's what he sees. 

3. I've always wanted to be in silhouette. If I could, I would exist in silhouette 24 hours a day. In fact, I'm in silhouette now. 

What do y'all think? Do you like it? Do you think it reflects the tone of the book? Do you want to see it in person? 

If you answered 'yes' to that last question, you're in luck! I will be speaking and signing books at the Garland Library tomorrow night from 5-7 p.m. It's near Tremonton. Here's the info:

Garland Library 5-7 p.m. 
86 W Factory
Garland, Utah 84312

And when I say you can see the cover 'in person', I mean I will be 'in person' and I will show you the cover on my iPhone. 

p.s. I've never been to Garland. Nor their library. If you live nearby, please come and see me. It's near Tremonton. Please come. 

p.p.s. Not to sound like I'm begging, but I will give you a treat if you come. Like... maybe a guitar pick necklace. :)

p.p.p.s. Bring your friends.

Friday, September 28, 2012

If Utah were a Cake, it would look like This:

Okay, so blog posts are going to be sporadic. I have reasons. Tons of reasons. Reasons pouring out of my eyeballs like the tears of a Packers fan at the Seattle game. And reasons do not slide out of the tear ducts like actual tears do. They are prickly and they scratch as they go.

Do you like that piece of stellar writing above? Good, because one of the reasons for the sporadic blogging is the fact that my deadline for Everneath Book 3: The Everneath-iest is October 15th, and that third book is filled with useless metaphors and nonsensical analogies like the above.

And when I'm not writing, I'm trying to keep up with this guy:

Kid B loves Skylanders, and he loves McDonald's, so he made a Skylanders/McDonalds store. You can order fries, or Skylanders, or fries and Skylanders. The possibilities are endless.

Have I ever told you that Kid B also loves babies? My phone is filled with pictures of random babies and familiar babies, like this one:

Not sure if he just feels like babies speak his language or what. One of his favorite babies is our neighbor, Baby Rex.

Kid B holding Baby Rex's hand.
The other day, Kid B and I went to pick tomatoes at Baby Rex's house. Baby Rex was stuck inside with a stomach bug. The two little friends were separated by a single pane of glass. Kid B held his hand up to the glass, like he was visiting a loved one in prison. Baby Rex did the same. It was the saddest thing I'd ever seen. Here's the picture he took:
It's only a pane of glass, but it might as well be an ocean. 
Then there's Kid C. For his Utah Geography test, he had to bake a cake in the shape of Utah and then decorate the different regions. I don't think his teachers took into account that fact that some parents don't know how to cook.

I was all, "How are we possibly going to bake a cake in the shape of Utah?" Because believe it or not, they don't sell utah-shaped cake pans. I feel sorry for the kids who live in West Virginia.

It only took me a few days to figure out that the way to do it was to bake a regular rectangle, and then cut out the top right hand corner.

Be quiet! I don't care how fast you figured that out! Okay? Okay.

Here's Kid C putting the ingredients together. (And by 'putting the ingredients together', I mean 'opening the cake mix')

And here's the final product:

I have to say, Utah tastes delicious. Especially the mountainous regions.

Utah is also very fattening. 

So, what's everyone up to this weekend? Anything fun? 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How a Blind Dog and a Good Samaritan Made me Think Anything is Possible

So, I was turning left on one of the busier streets in the neighborhood, when I saw a dog wandering back and forth across the median.

I thought, he probably knows where he's going. Then I got a better look at his eyes.

Can you see them? They are completely milky white, and they were watering profusely. I pulled my car over, just as another man did in front of me. We got out of our cars and helped the dog to the side, and checked him for any tags or any type of identification.

There were none.

The man who stopped with me was named John, and judging by his accent he was from somewhere in Great Britain. And all I have to say is, this dog is so lucky he wandered into the same street down which John was driving.

For those of you wondering - at this point in the story - what I named the dog, I'll tell you... I named him "Blindy." I did this for two reasons:

1. I'm incredibly uncreative.
2. I wanted to give him the opportunity to "own" his disadvantage. Turn it into an advantage. This way, when someone asks him his name, he can announce proudly, "Blindy. I was named after Edward Blindy the III, who conquered ancient Rome." And then the person who asked his name can look all uncomfortable, all the while, Blindy knows the person is really thinking, "Um, I would've thought the name came from his milky white eyes." And then Blindy can feel happy that he's messing with someone.
3.  Do you think I over thought it a bit? 

John decided to take Blindy to the nearest animal shelter, but neither of us was convinced that someone would actually come to claim him. An old, beaten-down, blind dog? I tried not to admit to myself that most likely he was abandoned. 

I gave John my number and asked him to keep me posted. He called about an hour later, and said, "The shelter says there's no electronic identification, and because he's blind and old, they will probably put him down soon."

Inside, my heart cracked a little. I asked John, "So... where is Blindy now?"

There was a pause on the other end of the line. "Um... he's in the back seat of my car again. I couldn't leave him there. I'm taking him to my vet to make sure he has no diseases he could possibly give my other dog, and then I'll take him home."

Another pause, because I have tears in my eyes. 

Then John continued. "He's old. He can't have that much life left. I can take care of him until then."

Can you guys believe John? He lives in an apartment. He can't have that much extra space. And yet the second Blindy wandered into John's pathway, he had a home. 

The vet pronounced Blindy disease-free, and so John took him home. A few hours later, I got a text from John saying he'd given Blindy a bath, and now he wasn't as scruffy. 

John asked me to post ads about Blindy. Even though I worried that there might be those with nefarious purposes who troll the lost and found boards, looking for animals for all the wrong reasons I put an ad up on KSL's lost and found with Blindy's picture. I still had hope that someone out there loved this dog, and was looking for him. 

So I told John that if anyone does answer the ad, put them through a rigorous background check. Make them prove that they know and love Blindy. 

But really neither of us thought that would be necessary. 

The next morning, I got another text from John. Blindy's owners had contacted him. They brought pictures to prove their paternity. They loved and missed him, and were so relieved to see our ad on KSL. 

I left for my conference in Cedar City that day thinking anything was possible. Doesn't that make you think anything is possible? And don't you want a friend like John in your life? I do.