Last Week, Family Love, and a Call for Votes

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It’s our last week in America. Wahhh! But it’s been a really good week so far. Yesterday morning I got to meet up with an old friend in the park where we both played as kids, and we shared a picnic with all of our children. The day before yesterday, I celebrated a whole bunch of really wonderful professional news (which I hope to be able to share here sometime in the next few months!) by eating ice cream with my family, then going out to dinner with my oldest friend at a really great Mexican restaurant. We sat in an outdoor booth on the rooftop while sparrows flew around the tables, and talked about everything.

And oh, thank goodness, I finally got some new author photos, with a LOT of family help. Can I say just how grateful I’ve been for all of my wonderful sisters-in-law over the years? My last author photos were taken by my sister-in-law Gail (a former professional photographer, now anthropologist), back in Leeds six years ago, and she went make-up shopping with me first, loaned me her straightening iron for my hair, and generally talked me through the whole process of getting ready for a professional photo.

This time, it was even more of a full family process, because my mom (an amazing photographer who has had photos on magazine covers) took the photos for me, and my sister-in-law Jenn not only went make-up shopping with me to help me pick out what I needed (and loaned me her straightening iron! thank goodness my sisters-in-law are all more prepared than I am), but also finally put on my eyeshadow for me when I gave up, since I am totally clueless in the whole cosmetics department.

99% of the time, I go without makeup and feel good about it. But every so often, I really want to wear it, and I am so glad to have fabulous, supportive women in my life who are willing to step in and help me when I need it! And oh, is the whole process of photo-taking so much more fun when I’m hanging out with people I love and laughing through the process. I tend to get really self-conscious about having photos taken, but getting them taken with Mom and Jenn was just perfect.

If you read this before the end of August 19th, I’ll still be trying to narrow down my choices – I need to send two photos to the publishers of my upcoming adult novel, and I’m trying to decide among three finalists:

Small-Steph-Author-Photo-1

Small-Steph-Author-Photo-2

Small-Steph-Author-Photo-3

If you have any opinions, voting is not only allowed, it is hugely encouraged! I would love any help, and people are already voting over on my Facebook page. (But if you read this after the 19th, I will have already sent off the photos, so it’ll be too late.)

Right now, I’m figuring out the stories of two different novels, in different genres, that I want to write…I’m trying desperately to read as many library books as I can before I have to return them all in the next few days…and I’m trying to fit in as much hanging out with old friends and family as I possibly can, while knowing that it will never feel like enough.

But I’m so glad to be here!

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