Steamphone Shenanigans (Steam Powered Giraffe fans will see what I did there)

Just like Lia’s thing is to troll my manuscript, it seems Emily’s thing is to leave all kinds of crazy pictures on my phone. She’ll frequently steal borrow my phone for Snapchat and Instagram, and I never know what I’m going to see when I get it back. The following are a few of my recent favorites:

Oh, and hey guys, look what I did to my new leather phone case! I glued some gears on it and called it steampunk. It’s the closest I’ve come to steampunk in freaking forever.

Blog blog noodle noodle

So at the beginning of January, I got excited about finishing Cobalt and all the other positive changes that are happening in our lives, so I got bold and tempted fate with a Facebook status update guaranteed to induce an epic fail:

Sure enough, within a couple of days, the epic fail showed up like this:
The van was totaled, and now I’m stuck at home with a serious case of cabin fever. I hate losing my independence! Plus, it was my mom’s van I broke. 😦 She’s just glad we’re all okay.
I’m not one to be daunted, however. Cobalt‘s rewriting is going well, I’ve lost six pounds, and I’m gaining all kinds of editing experience with my new work responsibilities. And I narrowly avoided another fail by deciding to keep my phone’s insurance when I was in the AT&T store a couple weeks ago trying to get my bill reduced. The very next day, my smartphone decided to derp out. So my insurance mostly covered a shiny new Android without requiring a new contract or anything.
On the subject of fails, texting fails are some of my favorites. I’ve had a few good ones, like this one when I was apparently sleep-texting Emily:
All I remember about this is that I actually thought I was answering her question when she was reading Cobalt.
Another good one:
Here, Anya got ahold of my new phone.
Autocorrect struggles are my very favorite kind:
I had a lot more like those saved on my old phone, but they were forever lost when it died.
Now it’s time to take care of my procrastinating fail, I guess, and start working on my legal articles!

Our 2013 in pictures

Blogging the other day was so much fun I decided to do it again! I thought I’d make some kind of year in review thing. No weighty resolutions, nothing fancy – just a buttload of pictures of memorable things that happened in 2013. But some funny things first…

A friend sent this to me from this fun blog. I died. Because everyone loves grammarrrrtically correct pirates.

Don’t you hate it when Michael Buble messes with your presents?
And now. Lots of fun things happened this past year that I didn’t have my camera handy for, such as when we went to Lagoon and I decided to put my phone in a locker after it fell out of my pocket on a roller coaster (thank goodness it was picked up by a park employee). Most of the time, however, I obnoxiously have my phone on hand to get lots of embarrassing pictures.
Like when I had too many kids to fit on the church steps on Easter.
Or when the kids did weird things at a museum.
We found strange but friendly livestock in our neighborhood.
And snakes!
Someone finally got a job and made something of her life.
And someone got really weird outside the mall.
I turned the big 4-0…
And we had a couple other important birthdays. 🙂
The cats discovered they’re comfortable to sit on.
And I discovered a pretty (but uncomfortable) couch for $16 at Savers!
I lost weight (but not too much).
The girls freaked out over meeting this famous YouTuber in Salt Lake City (same time as the Lagoon trip), mostly known for his hilarious life stories.
We went on a midnight hike and picnic in the desert…
And brought home a cool pet!
Some of us suffered horrendous injuries.
And Emily kind of went insane or something.
We got lost in a lot of corn mazes. I mean A LOT. I didn’t know there was so much corn in Idaho, I thought it was supposed to be potatoes?
And we geeked out over some pretty awesome movies.
All in all, 2013 was a pretty good year, and I’m excited to see what 2014 will bring!
While I was looking up a good Olan Rogers video to link to, I found this new video he posted about his Eat A Slice With Me tour. Wow. He’s just an amazing guy. Apparently our part of the tour was a bit of a turning point for him, which he starts mentioning about four minutes in, and there are clips of the hours-long line we stood in. Worth every minute.
And now I’d better stop procrastinating on an assignment that’s due in the morning! Have a wonderful, happy new year, all you nice peeps. 🙂

Musings on what a loser I am, but also kind of a winner

So I haven’t blogged since June?! Let’s just gloss over the fact that I’m a total blogging loser compared to some of my amazing writerly friends, because I have some exciting news! Before I get into that, a little on what’s been going on in the lives of the Baker clan, for those who are interested. If you’re not, scroll down to the really weird picture and read from there.

So now I’ve been working for BKA Content for over a year, and still loving it! It’s wonderful to work for a company that makes me feel so valued, even if my bosses are a little nuts. I also hold them responsible for several new gray hairs over the past year. 😉

The kids are thriving here in Idaho and getting good grades. They’re in counseling and continue to heal. We just enjoyed our second happy, peaceful Christmas here with my family.

She walked around the mall like this on the premiere night of The Hobbit.

Christmas is also fun for cats who like to lick the Christmas tree! He started opening one of the boys’ presents right after I took this picture. O_o

And now, an announcement

Normally it doesn’t take me so long to finish writing a book, but I had a few setbacks in the personal life department. I’m back on track and ready to kick butt! I promised my 15-year-old that I’d finish Cobalt by Christmas (because she was going to hurt me if I didn’t), and I did manage to finish it very late on Christmas day. She’s re-reading it now, and finding some minor typos for me. My goal is to have it polished and ready to submit to small publishers in March (I’ll hold off submitting to agents until I get some feedback from publishers).
You’d hurry up to finish your manuscript too if you had this freak following you around threatening bodily harm. Every author needs a motivator like Emily!
So, to celebrate, I’ll share a snip from the second-to-last chapter, along with one of Lia’s special embellishments at the end. I came out of the bathroom last week to see her skipping away from my laptop. “I like your story!” she said. I was confused for a moment, because she hasn’t read Cobalt yet. Then I realized what she must have done. Her best embellishments are the ones that catch me by surprise – although the ones I twist her arm to do for me are pretty good, too.

“Which key is it, which one?” Alexei was frantically jamming one key after another into the keyhole.

“I don’t know!” Kate cried. “Gerta never let me have the keys. Hurry!”

“I’m trying, I’m trying!” There was a loud click, and the door swung forward. Five exhausted, terrified people and one ruffled, hissing squirrel tumbled into the dark kitchen. Everyone scrambled forward and moved out of Anthia’s way so she could slam the door shut. The faint sounds of enraged howling, like a strong wind through the tops of the trees, came through the keyhole. Alexei quickly locked the door, and Kate grabbed a rag from the kitchen table to stuff into the keyhole. For good measure, she pushed a small rug up against the bottom of the door. 

Trembling and out of breath, everyone found chairs to collapse into. Kate yanked the kitchen curtains closed against the shafts of moonlight shining through the barred window, then felt along the wall until she found the switch that lit the kitchen globe.

“Well, everyone,” she said, leaning weak-kneed against the wall, “welcome to my home.”

They looked around. What they saw terrified them. Hanging on one wall was a portrait of a large woman, about the size of a whale, leaning naked against the hull of an airship. Captioned underneath were the words “Sexiest Lady Alive, Gerta.” Resting on a counter they found a jar of eyeballs and a basket full smaller eyeballs, sitting next to a beaker of even smaller eyeballs, which stood atop a tupperware container of the smallest eyeballs you could ever imagine. In the sink they found a half-eaten PB&J and that wasn’t even the worst of it. There was twice as much jelly in that sandwich as there should have been. It would totally overpower the peanut butter! Probably why it was only half-eaten. Whoever made that sandwich must’ve been a huge jerk.

And now, the funnies

 How could I leave my first blog post in over six months without something funny, and some musics?


I’ve had this song stuck in my head the last couple of days. Not this awesome cover, but the original.

Lia Channels Her Literary Weird Al Again

Yippee, Lia punks Cobalt again, this time playing with some alliteration. I love it when she does this, even if it makes me look back and question my writing style. I wonder if she’s making fun of me. Well, of course she’s making fun of me! Hehe. She should write an entire Cobalt parody, it would be hysterical.
The first few paragraphs are mine, and then it’s pretty obvious when she picks it up.

Their pursuer chose that moment to appear at the line of trees behind them. With a noisy cracking of limbs, it lurched out into the clearing and paused. They could all see it in the twilight: the gray bulbous body supported by what looked like a dozen or more writhing tentacles. It hesitated at the Forest’s edge, looking just as confused by the abrupt end of the foliage as they’d been.

“Looks like the younger brother of the thing that brought the ship down!” Viktor said.

It was true. The creature was many times smaller than the monstrous beast that had attacked the Velia Rose, but it looked no less deadly. The body pulsed and swiveled, until a pair of malignant black eyes glared at the group only a couple dozen feet away.

The beast stared them down malignantly with its muddy eyes. It moved malevolently towards the meek mass of migrants with maliciousness in mind. Suddenly, it did the macarena. Needless to say, the travelers were mystified. Never before had they seen a mollusk macarena with such magnificence.

“My oh my,” shouted Milek. “Such majesty!”

“Marvelous,” mimed Marty the mechanic.

“Miraculous,” mumbled Anthia. The massive mollusk modeled for the multitude.

“Mayhaps I might join your merry mass? We may have many marvelous misadventures and I can match many in mighty melee!”

“Nope,” said Kate, and stabbed the squid right between the eyes with her little dagger thing. To this day, nobody knows how she did it because apparently she’s not very good at fighting or whatever.

Wait, I’m not done being funny! I want more, before I go back to the day job.

Oh! I had a major fangirl freakout over this one. One of my favorite steampunk bands (I’ll post some music below) favorited my 40th birthday tweet!! I didn’t even know they were following me. 😀

And this time last year:

I Suck Because… – Oh, last year I didn’t think we were moving to Boise. And I was switching to my maiden name. Heh. I also had a broken foot. What else is new?


Why Are We Not Laughing?!

Correction: Why am I not laughing? Well, I do laugh every day but I haven’t done my blog funnies in a while. Does anyone miss them? Does anyone even read my blog since I got all boring and angsty??

My laptop is crying right now.

I’d do this. Would you do it? I totally would.

Suddenly I stopped eating Oreos for the rest of my life

Aw, Sweet Brown. She’s talking about Oreo Spider!

Pretty much my sentiments exactly about this season. I have faith the finale will redeem itself, though. Thoughts?

I’m dying. I was like, “What is the internet’s sudden obsession with sloths? Have they replaced kittehs as the new meme, I don’t underst…AAAHAHAHAHA”
And finally, these total dorks cracking me up at a party at the YMCA. I especially love how they just get into it at the end when the Y employee starts dancing with them!

This time last year:

Being Your Own Reviewer? – I reviewed my books honestly, then glowingly, then hated on myself. Fun stuff! Oh, and a short Cobalt excerpt too.

Birthdays Are Relentless – And Some Music

So this last week I had a milestone birthday, which I am surprisingly okay with – probably because all year long I never told anyone I was 39. I kept saying, “I’m going to be 40!” so when the dreaded day finally arrived, I was just over it already. And it was awesome because my parents went all out with the decorations and I GOT CAKE which is a huge deal for someone who’s not quite but almost given up sugar.

Take a look at the purple suckers in the cup on the table. There’s a story to follow.

Okay, there were only 12 candles, but it took me FIVE TRIES to blow them all out! You don’t realize the meaning of “restrictive lung disease” until you actually really try to use those weak lungs. (I am totally making an excuse for “just getting old.”)

My awesome step-dad painted this beautiful picture of Anya, and I got a print with a custom-made frame.

So about the purple suckers. They were root beer-flavored. I got in trouble for chomping down on mine (I don’t have any patience with hard candy), because my mom said they were supposed to make a fart noise when you lick them. Lia and Emily patiently licked theirs, waiting for a fart that my mom assumed was due to the suckers’ design. When everyone started to express their disappointment that no raspberry sounds were forthcoming from their pops, my mom took out the package to try and figure out how they were supposed to work. I grabbed my phone to look up reviews, and discovered the fart wasn’t in the design – it was in the ingredients! And the reviewers all gave the suckers 3 to 5 stars. -_-

I’m more than okay ripping some good ones in the comfort of my own home, but not in front of my sister and my step-dad! And I quickly found out that if I didn’t walk around all clenched, I sounded like a bag of popcorn in the microwave.

That’s the story of my 40th birthday party.

Now for musics. I’ve been obsessed with the following songs lately:

Lia’s already laid claim to the beautiful Russian actor in the Woodkid video. Sorry, ladies.

Hooray for the League of S.T.E.A.M. and their awesome props! Also – there’s just something about a guy in guyliner. MMM.

I am really getting into chap-hop lately, which is saying something because I hate traditional hip-hop and rap. Mr. B is one of the quintessential chap-hop blokes over in England, and I’ve been overplaying this song like crazy. Which is cool, because we just put up our interview with him over at Behind the Steam!

And earlier today we talked with some more lovely fellows from England – our first non-music related interview, with some filmmakers who are working on an indie steampunk webseries project. (Geek alert, one of the actresses was a former Doctor Who companion!) But they’re in need of funding for the project, which can be found here. We found them all so charming and friendly that we promised to get the word out to help them make their project come true. Our interview with them is set to release on Monday.

Now here’s a couple of funny pictures because I need to get them off my hard drive! :B

This time last year:

Monday Sickie – Yeah. I’m getting over another flu. I’m always sick on my birthday! And I’m appalled that a whole freaking year ago I thought I was within weeks of being done with Cobalt. That’s it, I really need to get strict with a fiction schedule.