Saturday, November 29, 2014


It started very simply. My friend Jo said, When you get the first copies of your book, you have to take a picture. Everyone does it! And really, who am I to mess with tradition?
This was the Ooh, it's my book! selfie. I was somewhere between overwhelmingly excited and completely crazy.The fun thing about social media is that you can share special moments like this in the blink of an eye. And that's how the Becoming Beauty #BookSelfies were born!
I challenged my followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to post #BookSelfies with Becoming Beauty. I had no idea what would happen. Friends, new and old alike, began posting them! And pretty soon there were enough to do a collage. (And yes, those are my proud parents posting for their first ever duo selfie.)
Then there was my Book Launch and people wanted #BookSelfies with Becoming Beauty and its author. Can you tell I really put up a fight? Whatever. My hair was AWESOME that day.
During my blog tour, I got several more. That's the sister of an Instagram friend posing with a copy of Becoming Beauty on the upper right! How cool is that? And a sweetie pie on Twitter on the upper left (Thanks, Lydia!) who bought and reviewed my book on her own. (And yes, that's my bestie, Raylynn on the bottom. She really loves selfies. And marketing my book. Bless her heart.)
And of course, my littlest big fan. Her name is Cambree and she's more precious than words. And yes, she dressed to match my cover for my book signing.
And some of my oldest friends demanded a #BookSelfie when I dropped off a book to them the other day. When someone you know from your girlhood doesn't stop saying things like I'm so proud of you! Your book is amazing! and How did you do that? it makes your day. Actually, it makes your year.

The gist of my little social experiment is this: sharing love, magic, and happiness with others keeps us connected and keeps hope alive in the world.  That's always a good thing. So here's my challence: if you have read, are reading, or will soon read Becoming Beauty, snap a #BookSelfie and tag me! Just keep spreading the good will!

P.S. Are hashtags irritating? Maybe. Do they work? Definitely! Jump on the train, my friends!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Panic City, Population: 1

The first year I taught kindergarten we had something called New Teacher Induction. Sounds like you're joining some sort of clan, right? Whatever. Anyway, the one thing that stuck with me was this: For the first while, you will be in survival mode, but please, don't stay there forever. 

Little did I know that the first year teaching would test all my philosophies and patience, as well zap all my energy. My after school activities included staring blankly at the computer screen and trying to summon the energy to drive home. 

Ten years later, you'd think I'd have it all figured out. Nope. With my days spent with crazy kindergarteners and my nights spent on book promos, I'm at my limit. Vegging nightly with Netflix, though tempting, isn't feasible. And since for several reasons I can't afford to live in Meltdown City, something must be done. So, this is my advice for me and anyone else in the same boat:

Treat yourself: Get a cupcake, get your toes done, go to dinner with a friend, catch a movie. Whatever. Just do something for yourself.

Talk to friends: Speak to someone about what's bothering you. They may be able to help or they may just listen, but connecting with another human makes the process so much more bearable. And Siri can't answer everything. Plus she kind of has a lot of attitude.

Don't rant on Social Media: I did recently post Consider yourself ranted. But that was about it. Ranting makes you look unprofessional and, frankly, unhinged. Slap on the happy face for online encounters and use the phone a friend option for venting. Plus your friends already know that you're crazy, so they won't judge.
Stay healthy: Admittedly I'm not staying healthy right now...but I'm trying to rest up, get out of work on time, and put my feet up. Hitting the gym a few times a week, eating your fruits and veggies, getting a full night's sleep, and taking your vitamins really does solve a lot of problems. And hey, just step away from the pan of brownies.

Find an outlet: Books, games, hobbies, music, writing/journaling, underwater basket weaving, etc. really help to freshen your mind and recharge your batteries. Even a few minutes a day/week will turn you into a proficient basket weaver. Seriously.

Ask questions: Don't shut yourself off from people who could be of help. Suck it up, ask them for what you need! There are no stupid questions, just the ones you're too stupid to ask, Big Dumby.

Take a night/day off: Pick your poison. Are you addicted to British television, 80s movies, or romcoms? Bring it. You deserve it. And things will run smoother if you take some time out every now and then.

Yes, life is hard. But will I give up, either on my day job or writing? No way. Uh-uh. Not happening. I'll keep it together, paste on my happy face, jump in with both feet, and only occasionally have a big girl meltdown and down way too much chocolate. It's all good. 

What do you do to survive the hard, crazy, busy times? Thanks for dropping in! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Three, Two, One...Launch!

The best thing about being an author is getting into the community & interacting with readers. And hey, that's just what Becoming Beauty and I did at the Becoming Beauty Book Launch at Barnes & Noble!
First off, you should all know that I am THE PARTY GIRL. No, I don't go clubbing every night or attend uber shmancy soirées in my tiara (wouldn't that be fun!), but when there's a get-together to be gotten together, I'm your girl! Basically, my launch was like your regular girls' night, game night, movie night, or family night, but with the volume turned up. (And by that I mean extra amounts of awesomeness.)
My saving grace was the collection of friends and family who rallied around me. Sweet Julie helped me hunt down all the fun do-dads and must-haves I required for the occasion. My friend Raylynn helped me set up the event and stayed by my side during the whole Book Launch...except when she was roaming around Barnes & Noble passing out bookmarks. How cool is that? And my family claimed a corner of the store and camped out for most of the event which made me look uber popular. You've gotta love them!

Other than my face aching from all the grinning, there were no negative aspects of the Book Launch. I loved having my family and friends around to keep me normal. (Okay, relatively normal.) And I'm especially grateful for the kind soul who went on a beverage run in the middle. She knows who she is! And, as far as numbers go, we did very well for a first-time author doing a first-time signing.

Need tips for your author event? Here's what I'd say to someone planning an event:
Rely on fabulous people. 
Ask for help when you need it. 
Don't let anyone tell you no...unless they have a better plan. 
Use social media--it's the best tool you have for getting the word out quickly. Facebook reminds them about events they've been invited to and does all the nagging for you!
Put on your happy face! You are your brand. Look happy about it.
Thanks to all who jumped in to make this a successful event! Here's a little something extra. Just for you.

For the giveaway, I asked the question “What is your favorite fairytale? Why?” And the answers were hilarious. The Top Four Favorite Fairytales are:
#1 Beauty and the Beast: When I met my husband, I thought he was a Beast, but I was wrong.
#2 Cinderella: She gets the life and love in the end that was meant for her before her father died.
#3 The Little Mermaid: I LOVE mermaids! (This was from a youngster!)
#4 Rapunzel: because...HAIR!
It was fun to peruse the entries afterward and see much people love fairytales. However, I regret to inform participants that Spider-Man is not actually a fairytale. So, so sorry about that.

I'd love to hear about your favorite fairytales! Leave me a comment below! 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Becoming Beauty: On Tour!

The Great Blog Tour & Giveaway begins!
November 9th-26th Becoming Beauty has the pleasure of bouncing from blog to blog at a dizzying pace as well as hosting a giveway. (Luckily, I will be following its progress from home, where I can bite my nails in peace and pretend like I've done this before). A big thank you to all who are participating, either as blogger or readers. I appreciate your kind words, support, and all you have done to share Becoming Beauty with your friends.

Feel free to follow along, make comments on the posts, and spread the word! I know there's a smattering of random tidbits about yours truly which you'll enjoy reading along the way. Basically, it's going to be awesome!

Here's the fabulous lineup:
November 12: Readalot, Literary Timeout
November 13: Getting Your Read On
November 20: A Backwards Story
November 22: Corinne's Garden
November 23: Enchanted by YA
November 24: Let It Be & Celebrate

And bloggers and readers alike, don't miss out on the Blog Tour Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks again! I'm excited to see the process play out! If anyone else would like to host an Author Spotlight, Book Review, or Book Blitz, comment below or send me an email. Both Becoming Beauty and I would love to be guests on your blog as well!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Adventures in Kindergarten

Even in the middle of things like book releases, book tours, and author events, life goes on and so does my teaching career. In case you're wondering, yes, teaching is hard. But we're not gluttons for punishment. We have plenty of reasons why we do what we do. Here are a few of mine:

It's Getting Hot in Here...
“You may want to take your jacket off. It's gets pretty warm in here.”

Student just looked at me, so I explained, “You know, because I'm smokin'.”

He gave me a half smirk & went to hang up his jacket. From the hall I heard, “Miss Boucher's been smoking!”

So Creepy
A handyman was perched on a ladder working on something in the ceiling. He could only be seen from the waist down. Children passed by on their way to lunch.


“That's creepy!”

Apparently they thought it was half a human hanging up there. I was too amused to correct them.

Any Questions?
 “Does anyone have any questions?” The unsuspecting student teacher asked. One child raises his hand.


“What does the fox say? Ring a ding da ding da ding ding!”

Beer. On a Wednesday Morning
Feeling like she needs a burst of energy, the teacher cracked open a Diet Coke. “Teacher, is that your beer?” A student inquired innocently.

Let me preface this by saying that our school mascot is an Astronaut. Pictured on my school shirt, the children were trying to guess what it was one day. 

“It's a man!” one called out excitedly.

Being the helpful teacher I am, I gave them a clue. “It starts with aaaaa...” They look at me blankly. “Aaaaaa...” I cue them. "Sssss..."

One dude perks up. “Ass man!” Yes, my friend, I long to say. This is our school mascot, the ass man.

Big Baby
Kindergartners have a difficult time with numbered dot-to-dots. I'm not sure why, but they do. By the time I came to the aid of one student, he had connected 1, 3, 4, 5,  and 2. So I tried to help him understand. “So you're growing up. You're 3 years old, then 4, 5. Then you go back to 2? You're a baby again?”

That was apparently the wrong thing to say.

“I'm not a baby!” he blustered. “I'm a big baby!” 

Of course I didn't make fun of him. I was too busy laughing.  

My Hands Aren't Black
When you run cardstock through the industrial strength copier, the ink rubs off on your fingers. My students discovered this during an activity and made numerous comments about how their hands were turning black. 

One of the African American students piped up. “My hands aren't black.” 

No one responded so he said it again, more loudly. Still no response. 

So he repeated it again. “My hands aren't black! Because I'm already black!”

I had to walk away and laugh somewhere else.

* * *

I'd love to hear your silly kids moments. Leave me a comment below! And here's a little something extra, just for you.

Kid Definitions: 
Skunky: when something smells bad. 

Instinct: when you stink in your body.

Chummy: when something is super duper huggable (ex: a teddy bear).

Read more of my adventures in Kindergarten in It's Playtime! Closing Time, & The Start of Something Good. And poke around the site for news on Becoming Beauty. Thanks for dropping in!