I LOVE talking about personalized license plates. And I haven’t done it for a LONG TIME!! Turns out I’ve been saving some license plate pictures for the moment I finally realized this.
For anyone new to my blog, I love personalized license plates because I’m a people watcher, and personalized plates let you peek into the life of the car owner. It gives us a glimpse of who they are, and tells about a part of their life that is important to them. Half the fun is figuring out what it’s supposed to say. The rest of the fun is in the stories you make up to explain why that’s important to them.
And as a writer, I think it’s a fun way to build characterization. Do you know what your character would choose for personalized plates? If not, play the game!! You might learn something about them!
Without further ado, on to the pictures!
Up first: MONAMIE
Perhaps this license plate would confuse some people, but I happen to speak French, so I happen to know that this awesome license plate says Mon Amie! or My friend!
My guess would be that this is a very friendly French speaker, or more likely a French expatriate now living in Utah. But funny thing, I actually got caught taking this picture by the owner of the car! She WAS very friendly, and she was, indeed from France. I did have to explain myself, but she didn’t mind my interest, and was happy to meet a French speaker. 🙂
Up next: YRUHERE
This license plate cracked me up. I caught this picture while stopped at a light. Why ARE you here??! I was there on my way to a school visit, so a question I would soon be answering for hundreds of kids. As for this car owner, I would guess they have a wry sense of humor and mean to tell people to back off a little, OR (and more likely given the part of the country) they have strong religious beliefs and are asking the GREAT EXISTENTIAL question. Or perhaps it’s both!!
Next on the list: HRLYQUN
We have a Batman fan on our hands here, who apparently has a thing for Harley Quinn. Maybe they have a thing for the Joker. Maybe they identify with her hopeless love and tragic treatment by the man. But I like to think this is meant to be more light-hearted, and they just love the character and comic.
This one is a little less clear. LOVE to fly??? or LIVE to fly??? Or perhaps they liked that ambiguity because it’s both. The two do go together pretty well. I am guessing this is a pilot. ✈ It could be a professional career pilot, but I’m going on a limb and saying that they fly more for fun than for a job. Small planes. Maybe owns their own? Or perhaps I’m completely wrong, and they just love to drive fast. 🚥😊
Finally! My own: PBNJ
Yes, yes I did. My husband loved the idea, and encouraged this. Of course, symbols are not allowed, so no ampersand (&), but I think this worked out pretty well. People who know me have no doubt why I did this, and people who don’t know chuckle and comment: “You must really like PB&Js!”
Yes. Yes I do. In fact, I wrote a whole book about it! 😂
But I must confess, PB&Js really are a huge part of my life, and they have shaped a lot of who I’ve become. Especially as an adult. And though it may be cliché, and though I will have more books published in the future, THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY will always be my first. The one that sent me down the wonderful path of author-dom.
I want to know! What would be your personalized license plate? (7 letters max!)
This last week has been a whirlwind of book events! On October 13th, I flew into the beautiful city of Cincinnati, OH for the Books by the Bank Regional Book Festival.
I had never been there before, and I was amazed at all the beautiful houses, the river views and of course the wonderful and friendly people.
On Friday, I participated in an author panel, along with Dee Romito (The BFF Bucket List) and Jenn Bishop (The Distance to Home) for a local school. Blue Marble Books arranged this visit, and if you are in the area, and haven’t been to their store, you should go!
On Saturday, I attended the Books by the Bank Regional Book Festival, along with so many of my fellow 2016 debut authors. I saw many friends, and made a few new ones. Just to give you an idea:
And then I got to meet some other wonderful authors:
Laura was my table mate, and her super awesome book about dinosaurs being brought back to earth was a huge hit! (Alas, this blurry piture is the only one we got of the two of us). She sold out before the event was even over. You should look her up!
She was kind enough to take some paparazzi pictures of me signing books for some of the kids who came by. I loved meeting all the amazing kids who came through the festival. The grins on their faces because they were in a place with so many books, and so many authors. So proud of their reading abilities, and so proud to be talking to an author. They would ask, “Did you write that book?” And when I said “Yes,” their eyes would get so big. Working with kids is honestly the best part of being an author.
One of my favorite current books is “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.” So when Chris Grabenstein casually strolled up and started chatting with us before the whole event began, I was fangirling like crazy. He humored me (and quite a few others) by letting me take a selfie with him. Not only are his books amazing, but he is, too.
Of course, the local PBS tv station was at the event, so I couldn’t resist taking a picture with the famous Mr. Carson. He is as stiff in person as he is on Downton Abbey (hahaha!). 😉
And when Little Critter came by my table, I had to ask for a picture, because Little Critters by Mercer Mayer are a staple at my house. Even my older kids run over when we’re reading a Little Critters book.
Summers are always so full. Kids out of school. Vacations. Running through the sprinklers. Backyard barbecues. Friends. Fun. . . . and then of course you have to add in the work stuff that adults never really get out of, but that’s not nearly as fun to talk about.
At the beginning of every summer, my husband and I sit down with our kids and write out a summer bucket list. We started several years ago when a friend of mine posted a picture of theirs on Facebook. That was all the incentive I needed. A list (Who doesn’t love those?)??? Fun things to do? A get-out-of-jail free card for when the kids are bored? I was SOLD.
Anyway, it’s been a favorite tradition ever since. This year, we had a BBQ with friends on our list. So last week, each child got to invite over one friend, and we barbecued hotdogs, ran through sprinklers, had epic video game battles, and yeah. Best. Day. Ever. (at least according to my kids)
And here is where I am finally leading you to the title of this whole thing. The day before, I had discovered the iMovies app on my phone, and their fill-in-the-blank movie trailer videos. And they had the perfect template for my book! So while the kids wore themselves out, I planned out all the scenes I would need.
I even made some COOL props. Like, I could have totally been a map-maker in another life, right? (heehee) And when I pulled out the lighter to burn the edges and make it look super cool and super old, all the kids gathered around and BEGGED to have a turn. But yeah. I’m not THAT cool of a mom. Even I have my limits. 😉 But I sure had fun.
So I borrowed one of the visiting kids (with permission from the mom) and used one of my own and I made this epic book trailer! Woot! Seriously, it was one of the funnest things I’ve done this summer (and I’ve done some FUN things!). I forgot how good it can feel to stretch your creative self with new and different activities.
Since it’s Friday, and Friday is all about having fun and exciting things to come, I thought it was the perfect day to present you with my homemade book trailer extraordinaire for THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY!!
Hope you enjoyed it! And now, please tell me about your Epic Summer Adventures in the comments (because we need more ideas for next years list). 😉
My head is still buzzing over all the excitement of the last few days. On Friday, my book headed out to the world! My twitter feed went wild, and I conducted a couple of polls on two very important topics:
Team Grape vs. Team Strawberry (Team Grape: 25% vs. Team Strawberry: 75%)
Chunky Peanut Butter vs. Creamy Peanut Butter (Chunky: 27% vs. Creamy: 73%)
I’m still in shock over the tragic defeat of Team Grape!
On Saturday I had a wonderful launch party at The King’s English Bookshop, so today I wanted to share the excitement of the party with a few pictures:
I couldn’t have open food, so we had PEANUT BUTTER cups and JELLY beans.
My parents and sister surprised me with a beautiful framed picture of my cover. It was just perfect to display at the signing.
I brought my very first ever rejection from 21 years ago. (Isn’t that amazing?!) As a teen I sent a story idea to Disney, and that envelope contains their polite refusal to even look at it.
I told some stories. I read a few passages from my book . . .
We drew winners for some Pirate Prize Packs and a PB&J Prize Pack.
And I couldn’t resist throwing in a booby prize (or should I say Gooby prize?)!
And the whole thing concluded with the signing of lots and lots of books.
Thank you so much to everyone who came both in body and spirit! You’ve made me feel so special, and I’m grateful to have shared this amazing moment in my life with so many people I care about.
I wish you all a wonderful week, and much happiness!
It’s official!!! The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society is out in the world!! Huzzah!!!
To celebrate, I wrangled my dad (a.k.a. the PB&J guru) into doing a vlog with me. Because everyone should know how to make a PB&J the RIGHT way. Enjoy!
And for anyone who happens to be in the Salt Lake City, UT area, you are all invited to my launch party! It will be tomorrow, April 2nd, at 4:00 pm at The King’s English Bookshop (1511 S. 1500 E.).
Have a wonderful day! And don’t forget to comment with your vote for Team Grape or Team Strawberry!! 🙂
Today’s the day, guys! *throws confetti*
The PB&J Society Bonus Story, “Annie’s Bet,” is now live on the PB&J Society page and free to download!
I’m so excited for you all to meet Annie and Jason!
Also, I bet you’ve been wondering what a PB&J Society is exactly. So while you’re checking out the story, you can read up on the PB&J Society Rules, which are also now posted and downloadable (in a super cute poster format!).
So go on! Go check them out!
Today is the day!!!
The happy-dancing, random-screaming, exclamation-filled day that is otherwise known as my COVER REVEAL day!!
So one interesting tid-bit before you head over to Pop! Goes The Reader to see what it looks like (finally!!!) . . .
A secret I’ve been holding for a while is that Amazon has a picture of my book on its site. BUT it IS NOT THE FINAL COVER. No. You have to got to Pop! Goes The Reader for that. I don’t know when it will be fixed to the final cover, but if you want to see what the ARC (Advance Reader Copy) cover looks like, you can check out Amazon, too. (And eeep! If you happen to want to pre-order it, it’s now available for pre-order!)
Okay, okay, I will detain you no longer! Go forth! Check out my beautiful book cover that I’m totally in love with at Pop! Goes The Reader.
And while you’re there, don’t forget to enter for a chance to win an ARC of THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY by moi, Janet Sumner Johnson.