Thursday, January 22, 2015

There's An Old Saying...

When you're ass deep in alligators, you tend to forget that your original job was to drain the swamp.

That about sums up life over here at Chez Quinn. Urchins are still sick. Youngest also has an infected ingrown toenail. My father-in-law was in the hospital again, but has been discharged. Two full critiques to finish before the end of the month. And Environmental Field Day.

What's that last one? (Feel free to skip this boring paragraph and watch the video below. It says the same thing, only differently.) 140 first and second graders one day. 190 3rd - 5th graders another. I write a curriculum for each on an environmental theme. Same topic, different age appropriate activities. I shop for all supplies, but create most from scratch. All outdoors at the local state park. 20 or so volunteers to make it work. 10 teachers. 4 buses. I'm in the activity and learning creation stage right now. Lots of research and lesson planning. When I can find the time.

But I'm refusing to let the Tongue In Cheek Year In Review Post be one day later than it is. So without further whiny excuses, here it is.

2014 Tongue In Cheek Year In Review

I revealed that I got an R and R from a publisher and asked you all to chime in on how to achieve balance in my life. I heeded all of your advice, applied it and am now a better person. (see above. Then see name of this blog.) I also went on a convoluted, conspiracy ridden tangent on why people should start wearing desks as the ultimate wardrobe accessory. I also did the 2013 Year in Review, and posted two reruns featuring Elvis sightings and dangerous polkas.

I lost a wonderful friend to ALS. I took notes on how to party hard from the 3 year olds and wished I could sport a rockin' diet coke mustache. I shared the conversation I had with my youngest Urchin in the public restroom about best uses of The Force for toilet flushing. And I expounded on the intimate relationship I was developing with the spinning beach ball of death on my dying computer. Among other things.

I wondered if I should AtoZ. I got a new computer. (yay!) I wished everyone a Happy St. Patrick's day via certain Muppets singing Danny Boy. Then the Scottish had their hilarious, bawdy say. I revealed my AtoZ theme, asking all the probing questions that arise here at Tongue in Cheek re: Polkapocalypses, 'Possum Queens, super villany, etc. And I shared something beautiful.

April was the A to Z Challenge. I am so glad I participated (but I won't be able to this year). My theme was "She Actually Posted That?-The best reruns this blog has to offer." There was super villainy, Hostile Polka takeovers, Zombie Stinkbugs, The merits of the mullet, my tribute to sideburn art, awkward taxidermy, conspiracy theories linking Bratz dolls to the imminent alien invasion, much 'Possum Queenin' and lots more of the run of the mill craziness that ensues here at Tongue In Cheek. And a good time was had by most.

Author interviews prevailed during the merry, merry month of May. Melissa Maygrove, Sara Walter Ellwood, and Victoria Smith all rocked the Sea Monkey SAT portion of the interview. I tortured harangued took complete advantage of The Man as he was trapped in the mini van with me for four hours by bouncing ideas off him about a plot point for my next book. The conversation went like most of our conversations. Those of you who've been around a while, know what I mean. I also went to paradise, aka writers' retreat.

The fabulous Marci Koski nominated me for a Liebster Award. I accepted. With vigor. And a side of crazy, but you guessed that already, I'm sure. I helped reveal Carol Kilgore's cover for Secrets of Honor. Beautimous! And I treated you all to another rerun. Wasn't that nice of me?

I found out that Earth has a club. And most likely a manifesto. A long one. Crystal Collier revealed her cover for Soulless. Gorgeous! I reposted an enduring question for the ages and used Barbie, Ken, GI Joe and The Princess Bride to illustrate it. Then I gave you a rerun in which we have even more fun with taxidermied squirrels. Plus lamented about the difficulties that dog every one of The Urchins' birthday parties. All while I was camping for two weeks. ...Why are you looking at me that way?

I was kidnapped by Carnies. And then some other stuff happened.

While on vacation, I saved my family from a goat reeking devil phone pole. When asked to describe myself for the wonderful Melissa Maygrove's Follow Fest, I wrote, "I recently escaped from evil kidnapping carny folk. I love roller derby, the hermetically sealed environs of my happy place and riding my motorcycle."

I asked for advice on how to hide all my crazy when talking to agents and editors at the NJRW conference. And then I took you on an unholy trek to the land of hideous mumus. And it was epic.

Crystal Collier traversed the author interview and Sea Monkey SATs. I shared how I mercilessly tortured Peeps over a campfire, and I related a crazy childhood story to illustrate the power of words. Among other things.

I was very distracted. I wished you Merry Christmas using Elvis. And I shared the concept of one word new years resolutions. All while presiding over the infamous New Year's Eve Breeches Drop hosted by the blue haired old ladies and their overworked minion. (me)

So that's all the crazy of 2014 in a really huge nutshell. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

As for 2015, I may have some really exciting news to reveal in the next couple of weeks.

AAAANND, Loni Townsend will be here next month to take the Tongue In Cheek author interview, complete with Sea Monkey SATs. Be sure to stop in to check it out.

Until next time, Citizens!


Pat Hatt said...

Damn, you never have a lack of things to do. Blah to all the germs ad sickness, hopefully it calms down quick. Remember all those posts too at your zoo.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm sorry everyone's still sick.

You had a busy year for 2014! I enjoyed your summaries for each month.

Loni Townsend said...

Whoooboy! You are a busy urchin-mama! Amazing you're able to be calm on the outside. :)

Best of luck staying on top of things, and I hope those kiddos get better soon.

The Happy Whisk said...

Wow, sorry to hear about the family.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Do your legs spin like that Muppet's?
Sorry everyone has been sick.
And sorry you won't be able to join us for the Challenge this year.

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

oh no, can't believe everyone is still sick!! really hope everyone is back on their feet, soon!!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm all excited to hear you news. Hoping, hoping, ...
Those kids better get healthy soon.

Lexa Cain said...

I'm sorry to hear your kids are sick. I hope they get better soon. I had a problem with a recurring ingrown toenail for a long time and and finally chose to have the whole nail removed. It's much better this way.

Good luck on the Environmental Field Day.

Muppets!!!! :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

Looking forward to that really exciting news!!!

Sherry Ellis said...

Sorry your kids are still sick. The crud is going around here, too. Hope everyone feels better soon!

Andrea said...

Wow! That was one heck of a review...I am trying to remember last week it feels like sometimes! Get well soon everybody!

Al Diaz said...

It's terrible when kids get sick. I hope they feel better by now. And you had an eclectic year. Dragon wishes this one is full of nice things but health above all.

Christine Rains said...

I hope everyone feels better soon. And what a year you had! Can't wait to see what this year will be like.

debi o'neille said...

Cute video. I hope everyone is on the mend of illness, because if your 2015 is anything like your 2014, you are going to be busy. Good luck and have a great year.

Ava Quinn said...

Thanks for all the well wishes, everyone! As of this moment, most of the germs have worked their way out of the Urchins. (Except for Youngest's ingrown infected toenail.)

And thanks for reading a long post!

Stephanie Faris said...

You had a very busy 2014 and it sounds like 2015 is kicking off with lots of chaos, as well! Can't wait to hear your good news.

Liz Blocker said...

SO good to have you back, ingrown toenails and science curriculum aside. Ok, or not aside, because you have to do them. I'm still glad to have you back!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Sorry about the sick family. :( It seems you had a pretty busy 2014. I'm wondering if your special announcement has something to do with your trip to the SCBWI conference. hmmm

M.J. Fifield said...

Sorry to hear that the urchins are still sick. Hope everyone's feeling better soon.

I can't believe I missed the Peeps over an fire post. I usually indulge in Peeps once every Easter season. Never considered turning them into s'mores, though.

Chemist Ken said...

Just reading all the things you did makes me feel like I was lazy last year. Keep up the good work, but don't burn yourself out!

randi lee said...

Hi Ava! First, thanks for stopping by my blog recently and offering your support for my should-have-been-ages-ago return. Second, you're one busy lady! Congratulations on all of your successes and accomplishments last year, and I hope everyone in your circle feels better soon!! :)

cleemckenzie said...

By now everyone should be up and running, right? No sick kids?

Loved your review of the year. Isn't it amazing how much we do and how how it can be reduced to a list.

Hope 2015 is great for you.

Entrepreneurial Goddess said...

Hello there.
Thanks for sharing. I'm just stopping by briefly before the next A-Z Challenge begins. Visiting from the 2014 A-Z Road Trip.

Entrepreneurial Goddess

Jemi Fraser said...

Hope everyone is well - or at least on their way toward it! Also hope you had a blast with your environmental fun!

Melissa said...

You've been a busy gal. Makes me tired just reading about it. >.<

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