My kids are hilarious . . .

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
I tried to type up some of the funny things my kids have said over the years. I thought I'd share some of them with you. 

2013
My 11 YO looked his father in the face and said, "Zombies like brains, so you're safe." 
After which he was wrestled to the ground and ordered to proclaim his absolute adoration for his father and his infinite wisdom.

Me: how can I make my covers more appealing to men? 
Husband: boobs. Big ones.

7 YO: no! You always tell mom!
3 YO (sobbing): I promise I won't tell her. 
11 YO: yes you will. You always tell her. 
10 min later w/ chocolate on her face: mom! We hid and had ice cream before dinner!
7 YO: *slaps forehead* told u she would tell.

Surgery went well. He came out combative-I WANNA PLAY THE WII! I had to laugh a little inside.

My 12 YO just came home and told me a kid told him a racist/off colored joke. His response, "That's not funny. It's racist." When the kid told him to lighten up, my son pointed to a kid of the race being mocked and said, "Why don't you ask him if he thinks it's funny."

My 4 YO is 5 today! She's a silly girly girl who regularly slays zombies and wants to know where vampires live ("even though it's just pretend, Mom!"). She changed her name to Rainbow, feels it is her right to play with friends all day, and makes up words because it's fun. Love her!

2012
10 YO: *groans* Mom, I'm book sick. 
Me: ???
10 YO: I can't wait a whole year for book 3 to come out!
Me: Welcome to my life, buddy.

Me: Honey, look at my cover! Isn't it gorgeous?
Husband: Why is there so much purple?
Me: Well, her wings are actually made of an aurora, which is purple or this ugly green. So we went with purple.
Husband: Why are her hands over her head? It looks like she's dancing. 
Me: She is dancing. 
Husband: Why? And why are there fairies around her? I'd take those off.
Me: *glaring* You no longer get an opinion.

My son is giggling in his sleep. Cutest thing ever. Also, I want in on that dream.

6 YO, crying and storming off, "Leave me alone! I just want to be left alone." 2 YO trotting after him: "Okay. I'll go with you."

2011
6 YO spilled his peas all over the floor. 9 YO looks under the table and says, "Is that the same as spilling the beans?"
6 YO goes under the table to clean up the peas. Calls up to us, "Mmmm these are good off the floor."

My 2 YO's screaming because someone ate her smarties. It may or may not have been me.
Don't judge me.

I try to get my 9 & 6 YOs to wear their coats. I try to give them rides to school. They LIKE walking in the cold. Their coats are too HOT, no matter that it's 10 degrees outside. I really do try . . .

6 YO Logic: If you build an AMAZING Lego ship, glue it together. Your mom doesn't let you use glue, so you'll have to hide in your room. Glue will leak out the sides, so you'll have to wipe it on the carpet. She'll ground you if she finds it, so cover it up with blankets from your bed.

Don't Eat Me
By my 9 year old son.
Reasons why not to eat me
I stink
I'm ugly
I'm full of fat (your diet, remember?)
I hate your cat
I'll eat the mouse
In your house
I'll mow the lawn
I'll sweep the floor
I'll vacuum your house
I'll pick up the floor
I'll throw away that banana from days of yore.
Just don't eat me!

I promised 5 YO that if he'd be good in his class while I went to aerobics, I'd give him 1 quarter. 
He thinks about it. "How about 4 quarters." 
"One is plenty."
"How about 2 quarters?"
I smile at him. "How about 10 pennies!" 
His eyes light up. "Okay, mommy." 

This past weekend, we decided to do a family day trip at a nearby cave system. As we waited for our turn on the tour, my 2 YO daughter fell head first off a picnic table. Even standing right next to her, I wasn't fast enough to save her. There was this awful hollow crack as her head hit the asphalt. I scooped her up. Instead of screaming in pain, she cried weakly. Then her little body went limp in my arms. Her eyes fluttered back. 

My heart collapsed inside my chest and I cried for my husband. An eternity later, her eyes focused on me. We watched her closely after that. Especially her eyes, to make sure they were equally dilated and reactive to light. I also knew it would be really bad if she started throwing up. 

After over half an hour of crying, she finally settled down. Later, my ER nurse sister-in-law checked her out and proclaimed her fine. She said that children knock themselves out easier than adults because of their softer bones. As long as she didn't have any symtoms of a concussion in the first two hours, she should be fine.

But for those few seconds, I stood on the precipice of my worst fears. That something bad would happen to one of my children. That I would have failed to prevent it. 
And today we learned not to stick our tongue on trampaline frames.


"Connor, why are you wearing your brother's clothes?"
Connor hikes up shorts 3 sizes too big. "Because my brother told me to."
"Corbin, why did you tell your brother to wear your clothes?"
Corbin grins. "Because it's funny when his pants fall down."


8 yr old to his 4 yr old brother: "You're dead. I killed you!"
4 yr old's response: "Jesus will repair me!"


Connor with pointer finger pointing and a glare: "Mom, I get to make up all the rules, 'cause I eat all my food and now I'm big."


Connor said, "Mom, we're out of the damn juice." I blame his father.


Today Corbin asked me, "Mom, what's a pee can?" "Huh?" I responded. He showed me his cereal box. I started laughing. "Bud, that's pronounced pecan."


Connor grabs my cheeks between his hands (not those cheeks, think lower) and exclaims, "Mom, you have a BIG butt!"


We had a fantastic Christmas! Thanks goes out to Derek for picking up on the slack (I'm sick). Connor got a submarine. He came downstairs butt naked and asked if he could get in the tub. 1.5 hrs later, he came out looking all wrinkly lol. Lily was bound and determined to swallow SOMETHING inedible. Corbin just wanted Connor to leave his stuff alone. Best Christmas I ever had. 


Connor this morning: "Oh me gosh!"

Connor just said, "Mom, this pudding is damn good."


So, last night, Lily spat up almost her whole bottle. Covering me, two blankets, and herself. "Man, I wish she'd stop doing that," I growl. Corbin pipes in with the perfect solution, "Maybe we should duct tape her mouth shut!" And no, he wasn't kidding.


I asked Corbin what he did on his first day of school. "Well, recess was pretty fun." "Oh?" I say. "Whaddya do?" Without missing a beat, "Chased the girls." 
I'm in big trouble.

Old article from when I was League of Utah Writer's President

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
I found this gem as I was going through my hundreds of files. It's an old newspaper article from before I was published. And the book I referenced? Witch Song. Kinda fun looking back at when I was still a newbie.

Amber Argyle, President, League of Utah Writers, reads through a sample of her writing as Marion Jensen, front, follows along during the group's monthly meeting at the Logan City Library in Logan, Utah, Wednesday, April 23, 2008. (Alan Murray/Herald Journal)

By Devin Felix
Published:
Monday, April 28, 2008 2:57 AM CDT
Putting your writing into the hands of other writers and asking them to criticize it is a harrowing experience, says Cache Valley author Marion Jensen.

“It’s like putting your 3-year-old up there and they say, ‘His nose is way too big. He’s just homely.’ And your first reaction is to say, ‘You, me, in the parking lot. Now,’” he said.

But if you can fight back the urge to beat up your critics, having others analyze your writing is one of the best ways to make it better, Jensen said.

For that reason, he is a member of the Cache Valley chapter of the League of Utah Writers, a group that meets monthly to read, critique and celebrate each other’s writing.
The group meets in the archive room of the Logan Public Library. With its shelves of books, chandeliers and mahogany table, the room seems a fitting place to sit and discuss the arrangement of words and the conveyance of ideas.

“The League is to support writers in all genres and stages of their writing,” said Amber Argyle, the group’s president.

They come from different backgrounds and are in different stages of life. They are hospital employees, university professors, stay-at-home-moms. And they are all writers.

A few have published works already under their belts.

At Wednesday’s meeting, member Janet Kay Jensen spoke with pride of Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys, her new novel about a Mormon man in love with a woman who grew up in a polygamous community. The book is a finalist for several literary awards and has even gotten some coverage in the press in Australia, she said.

Marion Jensen has published two books under the pen name Matthew Buckley, Chickens in the Headlights and Bullies in the Headlights. At Wednesday’s meeting he passed out copies of chapter one from his latest, a children’s book called The Super Trio, in which twin boys from a family of super heroes on the cusp of their 10th birthday wait anxiously for their super powers to surface.

Group members followed along as Argyle read aloud the first chapter of a fantasy novel she began that morning. Then they gave their thoughts, pointing out an ambiguous phrase, complimenting a strong image. Later, group member John Nelson distributes chapter 38 of his book, a thriller set in a world after a pandemic has wiped out much of the globe’s population.

They discuss the challenges of balancing writing with work and family. Tamara Copley used to looked forward to becoming a stay-at-home mom so she could have hours of free time to use for writing, she said.

Now that she has a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old, she spends most of her time “chasing babies,” she said, which makes it tough to find time. But she finds the time because she’s a writer. Now she uses her kids as a test audience for her children’s books.

“I’ve heard it so many times, if you want to be a writer, just write,” Copley said.

The League of Utah Writers has chapters throughout the state. In addition to meetings of individual chapters the group hosts conventions. These meetings, which are attended by writers, publishers and literary agents, are a great way for writers to try to improve their craft and get noticed, Jensen said.

The League also provides opportunities for writers to interact with each other online. If a member has a question, someone on the group’s e-mail list is likely to have the answer.

Writing can be a lonely task, Argyle said. It’s usually just one person alone at a keyboard. Having the input of other writers is crucial.

“We get a sense of reality bouncing our writing off each other,” Jensen said.

Ultimately, the group provides a chance for people who share an addiction to share their addiction.


#Gramber Searching for my happy ending

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Life has thrown some hard things my way. Like, lots of hard things. Lately, my career has been one of those hard things. Sales were down 33% for me in 2015. It was a huge blow to my confidence. I had the same awesome books - only more of them - and they were selling worse. After careful study and thought, I believe this has more to do with the industry than anything I've done (mostly to do with Kindle Unlimited (it undercuts indie authors, as does the scammers that flourish on the program)).

Last week, I released Daughter of Winter. I was disappointed in the sales. I was hoping that by this point in my career, it wouldn't be so hard to sell a damn book. I have good reviews, amazing covers, great content. And again I find myself facing that moment, where I'm deciding whether or not to quit . . . I've been there so many times in my writing career thus far. So. Many. Times. At this point, I never thought to be here again. And yet here I am.

And I have the same answer I've always had. There's this knowing inside me - knowing that I'm going to make it. Knowing there is a happy ending on my last page. I've already proven it a hundred times before. I can prove it one more time.

{Release Day} Daughter of Winter

Thursday, April 21, 2016
Bargains. Only the truly desperate make them. Only the truly desperate need them. And always, the desperate pay. 

The silence and never-ending dark of winter are all Elice has ever known, for she is the daughter of the Winter Queen. Isolated in a northern queendom with only the seals for company, she dreams of color and music and life. So when a whaling ship crashes just offshore, she doesn't hesitate to rescue the lone survivor, Adar, who quickly becomes her friend. She must keep him hidden from her mother at all costs, for if the Winter Queen discovers him trespassing, she'll kill him. 

When her mother reveals just how dark her soul has become, Elice realizes she is as much a prisoner as Adar. To ever know true freedom—to ever become the woman she was meant to be—she must flee with him. But in their flight, she begins to see hints of something more nefarious. The darkness that has taken hold of her mother is spreading, staining the world with its influence. 

Unbeknownst to Elice, a bargain was made long ago. A bargain she was born to fulfill.

Here's the purchase links:
 Amazon: http://amzn.to/1N74pgi
iBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/daughter-of-winter/id1061184951?mt=11
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/daughter-of-winter-1
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daughter-of-winter-amber-argyle/1123641840?ean=2940152478631
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17185327-winter-s-heir

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