Tuesday, March 31, 2009

PHOTO 101: Picture Samples!

Here are some shots from March's 101 Photography Class. Thanks to our great models and WAY TO GO class. Your shots rocked...(sniff, sniff) you make me proud! Let me know what you guys think.

Oh, and the first shot is of me talking to some of the lovely ladies in the class. Does it totally look like I'm wearing the bumpit or what?

If you are interested in taking a class for April:

2 spots left in Photo 102
4 spots left in Photo 101
Email: erinsummerill(at)hotmail(dot)com for more info

Sunday, March 29, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: My Fair Godmother

What can I say? I LOVED IT! In fact, I loved it so much that I actually sat down today and read it in one sitting. If you haven't figured it out yet, Young Adult fiction is my 'thang', so I picked this novel up a few weeks ago. Sadly, because of my own writing ventures, I haven't had time to read at all. None. Nada. Zip.
I have been missing my reading time, so after I loaned this book to a friend, and she returned with a raving review, I had to pick it up.

What did I think? This novel is a spin on the Fairy Godmother idea. The characters are charming, engaging, clever and emotionally deep. The reading is light; yet, witty, funny, dramatic, edge of your seat intense and ENJOYABLE.

If you want a short synopsis of the novel check it out HERE.

Who would like it? I would say everyone, but it definitely is a must read for all the ladies out there, teenagers, and your younger reading fans!

What have you been reading lately? Tell me your favorite book!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Nikki!

Happy Happy Birthday Nikki Dear...

Send my older sister a happy birthday by clicking on her blog today.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Food for Thought

I don't know if this is just a problem of mine, but when I see something edible that is exquisite. Awe-inspiring. Decadently Gorgeous. My Mouth Salivates! If it looks good, then I want to eat it...and not just eat it, but sometimes it talks to me, and forces me into submission.

See's Candy Example:

Me: I'm going to be good, I don't need to buy a piece of Sees candy today (as I walk haltingly past the Black and White Sweet Trap in the Mall)

Frustratingly Fabulous-Looking Caramel: Erin, Ohhhhh Erin...You know you want to eat me. Look how rich and chewy I am. Think how enjoyable it will be to sink your teeth into me.

Me: No, I don't need you. What have you ever done for me besides enlarge the junk in my trunk? Besides, I just walked by here an hour ago and dropped three bucks on four pieces of your pricey friends. I DON'T NEED YOU!

Freakishly-Alluring Sees Candy: Oh, Erin. COME EAT ME! You'll never be happy unless you do. All the cool people are buying some. If you don't you'll never be popular or be asked to the prom...

Me: Oh, the turmoil. What to do? ok, well maybe I'll buy just one. Do you hear me devil candy? Just One! (five minutes later I walk out of Sees, toting a 1/2 pound box of demon delights!) Yesterday, one of the lovely-looking, lasses that so happens to be taking my Photo 101 class, brought me this decadent, delightful, dream of a dessert. (SIDE NOTE: Alliteration...using the same starting sound multiple times in a phrase or a sentence for added emphasis...are you getting my added emphasis?)

I vowed to bring home this beauty and share it with my sweet kid-watching hubby. Although gorgeous, I was sure each tasty morsel was loaded with unwanted CALORIES.

So, did I? Did I share it with my hubby? Of course...


That devil delight had me suck it down in two giant chomps. Blasted talking treats.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Henry!

It's been 6 years since you were born. Wow! I can hardly believe it. As any naive parent might expect, I thought I had you pegged. You were supposed to be born with black hair and olive skin, just like your older brother. Boy, was I wrong or what? My little blonde heart breaker - you are such an awesome kid.

6 things I love about you...

1. Sassy, sassy...SASSY - I don't mean that in a bad way. You know what you want to say and you just say it.

2. What a Winner! - Like your momma, you have that flare of a competitive edge. (Summerill's are winners.)

3. Unique - Even though people often comment that you stand out in our little family, you take it with stride because you love being you.

4. Little Reader - Thank you Brandon Mull again...Henry, you are a great little reader and your young age. You make me proud.

5. Big Brother - I love finding you talking to Ruby and playing with Teddy. You're such a great big brother.

6. Helper - Always my little helper, you make your bed perfectly and always put the dishes away in the right place.

I love you Henry!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ask the Audience: Drinking?

No, of course I'm not talking about the alcohol type of beverage. I am talking bout' the good ole' SODA POP (Joann, if your reading this, I don't mean Soda Pop and Ice cream...he he he).

I'll be the first to admit it, I may...or may not...have a bit of a drinking problem. I like- no, I LOVE my diet pepsi. In fact, when the weather is warm I don't like to go a day without running down to Harts or Walkers to grab my 32 oz. Diet Pepsi with a squirt of vanilla and cherry flavoring. Yum! Just writing this post is making my mouth water for the thirst quenching, biting sip of DIET PEPSI.

See what I mean? I may...or may not...be an addict.

How much soda do you drink a day?

What would you say is an acceptable amount?

p.s. If you are my dear loving hubby, or my thoughtfully opinionated mom, this may not be a good post for you to comment on.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beautiful Brittany!!!

Hey Brittany, here are some of my favorites. You and Stephen were a riot to work with. Thank you Tonja, from Twisted Label Photography for your assist. This was a fun fast shoot.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

George is 8...my big boy!

My baby boy is 8 years old!

George is 8 and 8 is GREAT. My oldest son is such an awesome kid. Georgie, I love you and here are 8 reasons you are wonderful:

1. Reader...must have picked that up from your mommy (wink), I am so proud of how you love to sink into a good book. p.s. Thanks Brandon Mull for also helping out in this area, Fablehaven, has been a huge reading motivator.

2. Animal Lover...Daddy was pretty surprised the other day when he came down to wake you up for school and Millie (our loving cat) was 'cleaning' you. She was licking you like your were her baby. But, I know it is because you take such good care of her and Bubba.

3. Big Brother...When Teddy is on the war path, you are the first to step in and find him something 'constructive' to do.

4. Daddy's Boy...Your daddy loves that you still will curl up on his lap. Though I'm sad you're not a Momma's boy anymore, I love seeing you with your Dad.

5. Yardsaler of the Future...You might be Daddy's boy during the week, but I know all summer long, you are my yardsaling buddy. Not only do you love to find a great deal with me, you score the bargains.

6. Friend...You have always been open and welcome to making new friends. Where ever we go, you have no problems meeting new kids and making new friends.

7. School Star...I love that you work hard in school, and volunteer in class. Always asking questions and telling stories to your neighbors, I am sure your teacher loves you as much as I do.

8. Big Kid...It seems like since we had Henry two years after you, you've always been my big 'helper'. I can count on you to help around the home and watch after your brothers and little sis. What would I do without you for a wonderful son?

Friday, March 20, 2009


Even though I was utterly gross-i-fied (and I'm sure you were too) by Teddy's display the other day, he has since redeemed himself. Not one accident in the last two days. Hallelujah! And, to top off his run of great kid behavior, he's been playing and occupying himself in an approved manner (nothing being destroyed) while I work on finishing my book. What a cutie. Today I ran out and clicked a few shots of my sweet little boy. And, since I had my camera out, and I was feeling so good, I took some time to organize my crazy office space. I was clueless of what to do with my piles of YA lit. I stacked and organized my books for viewing pleasure. What do you think?

Hope you have a great weekend...and if you want to delight in viewing enjoyment, stop by my house and see my nicely stacked books.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Meet Millie

I couldn't stand looking at the poopy post before this one any longer. So I picked up my camera opened the front door, and waited...and waited...and waited. Finally, Millie, my agoraphobic cat, who rarely leaves the confines of my house, came and boldly sat at my front door. Isn't she lovely?
PHOTO INFO: Aperture F-4, Shutter 1/2oo, White Balance AUTO, ISO 200, 85mm (fixed lens)
Creative Tip: Rule of Thirds - Not only is she positioned in the right third of the picture, but her eyes hit the top right third intersection. Because I wanted her eyes to POP, I made sure my focus was tight on her eyes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

seriously SICK!

Disclaimer: If you've read my blog before, you know I'm a fan of airing all my 'crap'. This post is no exception. If you're weak of stomach or you can't handle another diarrhea story (that's probably not quite as good as this one), then skip this post for the day.

I am potty training Teddy. No, I am trying to convince Teddy to potty train. No, I am miserably cleaning up endless poopy messes because I am too cheap to buy another diaper...that sounds about right.

Today, is the day, I figured. Teddy hasn't had a BM in two days so it was bound to happen. I worked out my schedule so I wouldn't have to go anywhere, and I sat him down to watch Barney. Half way through the show I heard, "Mommy."

I ran into the front room and found Teddy standing with a lump of Kaka hanging in his underwear. Crap! I missed it. I rushed him into the bathroom where he finished his business.

After I started a load of laundry, I let him watch the rest of the show. 10 minutes later, I heard, "Mommmmmmmmy." What? I jumped up from my desk and ran into the front room.

Oh my freakin' word!!! Holy Crap bucket. Teddy struggled to stand up as he slipped on the giant puddle of diarrhea that had leaked from his once clean pair of dinosaur undies. Poop, like I'd never before seen, smeared his arms and legs, coating my floor like a doodoo frosting.

I grabbed him and put him on the toilet while I tried to wrap my brain around what to do next. Starting, by washing the poop off of my fingers, I proceeded to retrace his poop steps and wipe up the floor, throw him in the tub, wash down the toilet and then SCRUB the carpet.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don't feed your potty training toddler strawberries and burritos for 2 days straight.

Apparently I STINK!

I read your shower-loving comments and I admit it, I'm a little on the STANK side of life right now. But come on? What about conserving water? Maybe I have put off showering because I am concerned about global welfare.

On a related note: Ruby, my sweet darling baby GIRL (you can never be too excited about having a girl) woke up too many times to count. So, as I lay utterly exhausted in bed, Mark, my helpful kid-waking hubby, woke the boys up for school.

"Mom, Mom" a little hand jabbed at my face, "wake up."

"Wha . . . ? What's going on?" I mumbled, wiping the morning crust from the corner's of my mouth. I rolled over on my side to see who the intruder was.

Henry plopped himself on the bed next to me and declared, "Look, I'm all ready for school."

"Wow Henry!" I was amazed with his assertiveness in readying for school. "You look good. Come give momma a kiss," I said with a huge pucker.

Henry recoiled, a twisted look on his face, "EWWWW you're breath smells stink."


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Showers. We all take them, the question is how often? I recently attended a women's get together where the subject was discussed. After much thought, I realized that last week, when I was working furiously to meet a deadline, I actually went an entire week before I showered. That may sound gross to you...or, it may not (depending on how often you lather up).

So, How often is too often? How long is going too long? (And, if you are secure enough in your stinkiness...How long is the longest you've gone without a shower?)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Photography Classes for April

· PHOTO 101 {with a twist} - This class is a COVER EVERYTHING class for photographers who would eventually like to shoot professionally, or have the ability to. We will cover basic to advanced levels in shutter, aperture, white balance, zoom vs. fixed lens techniques, posing, how to capture a candid, portrait vs. wedding techniques, back lighting, work flow, editing, and marketing your business. This class will have 4 sessions, one being a Q and A photography shoot with 2 Professional Photographers. This is a great refresher course for the experienced, as well as, a great starting point for the novice photographer. We will cover everything under the photography umbrella. Come learn how to really control your camera to get the shots that you want.

What do I need?
The basic requirement is a camera that has the capacity to set aperture and shutter speed manually. However, if you have a digital SLR that would rock! Bring a notepad and pen, and come prepared with questions you want to have answered.

Where and When can I jump on board?
Classes will be held in North Orem, UT, with the exception of the bonus shooting workshop.
PHOTO 101 - April 7th, 14th, 18th, and 21st. 7:30pm - 8:50pm. 6:00pm. The saturday shooting workshop (April 18th) will be held at an on-site location and will be announced during the class.
PHOTO 102 - April 7th, 14th, 18th, and 21st. 6:00pm - 7:20pm. The saturday shooting workshop (April 18th) will be held at an on-site location and will be announced during the class.
What is the cost?
Tuition for PHOTO 101, or PHOTO 102 is $95. A non-refundable deposit of $50 is due at the time you sign up for the class to retain your seat. The remainder of the amount is due one week before class begins. In order to give you a more in-depth experience we have decided to keep the class size to 10 seats. Only 10 students may register for each class, so sign up today.

Where do I SIGN UP? Email erinsummerill(at)hotmail.com to reserve your place.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Have I Got A Story For You...THE CONCLUSION!

#1 Rule when approaching an agent, editor or THE PUBLISHER - never, never, NEVER spill your guts about your story unless they ask.

#2 Rule when approaching an agent, editor or THE PUBLISHER - Be interested in them!

"So, I noticed that you also published Fablehaven and James Dashner's 13th Reality," I started, trying to butter up to him by showing my knowledge base of books he's had a major role in publishing.

"Yes, that's right," he nodded a smile creeping to the corners of his mouth. (SCORE, I got him to smile).

"Since I'm such a fan of the books you've published, I was wondering what else you might be working on. Can you tell me what else is coming out besides Mark Forman's novel?" Finishing my loaded question (loaded as in, I hoped it would lead into me suggesting that I send him my novel), I smiled brightly and shifted my weight, trying to look as comfortable as possible.

(Rule #2 worked like magic) His eyes lit up and he dropped his tight folded arms, speaking expressively as he explained that he really wanted to break into the fantasy romance genre. Since Shadow Mountain is clearly a huge contender for YA fantasy, he thought it would be great if they broadened their base.

Nodding as he spoke, I could barely contain my mounting excitement. YA fantasy romance? Why, that's exactly what I write. Believe me when I say I had to strain my muscles to stop my feet from dancing an Irish jig.

He spoke about one manuscript they had in mind, but he was looking for more.

(Insert light bulb flashing above my super cute do' for the day)
"Hm," I said sweetly, "that's interesting you should mention fantasy romance. I just so happen to write fantasy romance, and in fact, my fantasy romance novel is just about done."

"Really?" His eyebrows arched in posed interest.

"Fo' shiznit!" I wanted to exclaim, but I kept it to a simple, "Yes, and I believe it has great promise to it." I spoke a little bit about the super-secret-special writing class I am taking and the writing group I'm a part of. As I spoke, he nodded, seeming to actually listen to me.

After I finished, I gulped back thinking how I could take the final plunge and ask him if I could send him something.

Before I could ask he cut into my thoughts, saying, "That sounds interesting. Would you like to send me something?"
Hello! Would I like to send him something?!?

Flustered I asked, "So, I can send you something?" Agh, did I just ask him if I could send him something after he just asked if I could send him something? Why are things so confusing?

He broke the sudden awkward silence. "Yeah," he said, tilting his head to the side nodding slowly...very slowly, "that would be fine."

I struggled to hear the rest of what he said as I fought the pounding heartbeat that pulsated in my ears. Could this really be happening to me?

After I left with his name and directions of where to send my submission, I walked keeping my composure until I figured I was out of ear shot. When I felt the coast was clear, I jumped nearly 5 feet in the air whooping and hollering, "Are you freakin' kidding me? Seriously? Did I just meet a publisher?" Costco patrons scooted out of my frenzied way, eyeing me curiously. But, I didn't mind. I just made my first leap into the world of publishing.

Have I Got A Story For You...Part 2

Did I seriously just walk away from a Publisher? I'd been told in class that should this opportunity ever arise, which it next to never would, then I should jump on it. I wrestled with the decision, turning every 10 or so seconds to Mark asking, "Do you think I said enough? Do you think when I send something in he'll remember me? What more do you think I should do?"

Mark, in his all-knowing supportive way, suggested that I call Peggy-my fun, fellow writer who attended the BYU writing conference with me. Of course that's what I should do! I whipped out my phone, dialed the number, and had Peggy at my disposal to spill my publisher run-in story with.

When I asked her what I should do, she promptly said, "GO BACK!" Of, course that's what I should do, I thought. But, what should I say? Peggy reminded me of the great tips for talking to an agent, editor, or publisher that we'd learned in class this past week. So, mental tools ready and waiting, I charged back over to the publisher...followed by my super supportive hubby, Mark, my rowdy -hanging off the Costco shopping cart- boys, and my darling sweet baby girl. Seven or so feet from THE PUBLISHER (I felt I should put that in all caps to better explain his control of the publishing world at Shadow Mountain), I stopped, turned to Mark, my kind, kid-controlling man, and said, "I don't think I should pitch my book to him with the boys screaming and running around us in circles."

Mark cocked his head to one side, considered my point and nodded his head in agreement. He quickly ushered the boys down to the sweet candy section, and left me to face THE PUBLISHER ALONE.

Tentatively, I approached THE PUBLISHER, scanning to see if he was already talking to someone else. To my luck, he was not. Mark L. Forman was occupied signing books and THE PUBLISHER stood off to the side observing silently. My stomach flip-flopped; he stood there needing me...well, someone to talk to...and I could be that someone.

(cue celestial angels singing, "Hallelujah!")

"Hi, I'm back," I said, trying to contain my bursting excitement. "Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?"

Turning to face me straight on, he unfolded his arms and placed a hand in the pocket of his crisply pressed khakis. Everything about his attire, from his costly red knit sweater to the stiff collar of his blue dress shirt, screamed PROFESSIONAL. Had I not been keeping a strong grip on my composure I might have had one of those involuntary shudders...you know the type, where you feel a chill and your body jerks oddly like you're on shaky ground - and then you look around to make sure no one was watching you. (long explanation, but really I was on the verge of having my own little attack)

"What would you like to know?" He asked, the power at controlling the publishing world stained across each of his words.

Part 3 to be posted soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Have I got a story for you!

Where have I been...hmm, (pulling my fingers together like Smithers from the Simpsons) that is the question.

Writing, writing, more writing...(my mom says to stop using so many "...", but I love them so deal while I tell my story). I have this crazed, fantasy story running around in my dreams that is slowly working its way out of my fingertips and onto my hard drive. Yes, one of my greatest aspirations is to be PUBLISHED (cue celestial angels singing). Like all great stories mine involves a devestatingly, dreamy guy that falls in love with a witty, funny girl. And after trials and tribulations...(oh, I can't share that. It would spoil the ending. Sorry)

Anyway, In the effort to become a better writer, I've been attending a secret writing class taught by the coolest New York Times best-selling author (who I also can't tell you about because it's a secret). Please don't be annoyed with all the non-telling, I will get to the telling. I promise.

In addition to laboring over my dream story, I attended a writing conference with a fabulous fellow writer. While there, famed author, Lynn Kurland, encouraged me to join RWA - Romance writers of America. I jumped on that suggestion and signed up online.

The first meeting for the Utah chapter was held this past Saturday. What did I do to further my dreams and become a writer? NOTHING. Nada. Zilch. I was too tired to go, so I stayed at home, feeling the nagging desire to go to Costco.

About noon, Mark, my super sweet hubby, and my brood of three wild boys and one darling baby girl, headed to THE COSTCO. Arriving there, I found Mark L. Forman signing copies of his novel Slathbog's Gold. Of course I picked it up and spoke with him about his writing process. I'm sure I talked his ear off, asking him question after question. Somewhere during my probe of his knowledge, the man next to him introduced himself.

(Cue high angles singing gloriously) Chris Schoebinger of Shadow Mountain Publishing extended his hand and said, "Hi, I'm Mark's publisher. I wanted to scream. Jump up and down. Pee my pants. So, of course what did I do?

I walked away...

Part 2 coming soon

Friday, March 06, 2009


It all started 10 years ago when...Hold up, wait a second...NO, it all started 15 years ago when...

Mark (hopefully he is laughing when he reads this and not planning my murder) first took out my oldest sister, Leslie. And to clarify, she asked him out because he is devilishly handsome (...or they were friends and she wanted to go to the dance).

Mark took out my second older sister, Nikki. There's no getting out of this one, HE took her out because she was (and still is) a rockin babe with the curves in all the right places...(ok, that's probably not why he took her out...at least not the entire reason, but they did date!)
After Mark returned from Australia, he found that he no longer liked Nikki. So, after dating around and not just the right girl, he knocked on my door...Literally. But, I wasn't home. When I returned home from work that day my mom informed me that Mark had come by to see me.
"What?!? Why does he want to see me?" I was exasperated.
My mom, in her all knowing voice replied, "Erin, if he wants to ask you out, then you say yes and you better be nice to him."
To my mom's credit, If she hadn't threatened me, I probably would have said NO. But, I said yes. We went out, and the sparks flew...at least for me they did. After our second date, Mark decided he'd had enough of my wild ways and wanted a girl a little more, shall we say, BORING!

But, NO ONE turns me down, so I STALKED him relentlessly...and the rest is history...at least 10 years of history.

Here is a walk down our 10 year memory lane:
1. A year after we had our first son, George, we moved out of state was to Cashmere, Washington. And we found this wonderful little bakery...if you are driving from Wenatchee to Leavenworth, you must stop at the Anjou Bakery!

2. Our first family pet was the fatty hermaphrodite cat - SMOKEY (remind me and I will tell you the story of Smokey's gender confusion)3. Our first home was a 1926 brick bungalow home in the great state of Utah. I loved this home...and all the friends I made while living there. In fact, those friends were a big reason why we ended up returning to the same area to buy our second home. 4. Our second son, Henry, came while we lived in our first home.
5. Then, after a few job layoffs and a need for direction in life, we packed up and moved to HAWAII! (really, isn't that what everyone should do when they're laid off?)6. While living in Hawaii, Mark took the big Leap! Not only did he get his MBA at University of Hawaii, but I finally convinced him to jump off the 'Rock' at Waimea. He did it (after deliberating on top for 30 minutes)!7. We had our Third son, Teddy. (And for the first time in my life my hair had a crazed life of its own thanks to Hawaii's humidity)8. After 2 1/2 years living near the beach, we packed up, and moved back to PG where we bought our second home. 9. After 3 wild boys filled with energy, we had our sweet RUBY JO!
9. Of course we've had our ups and downs. But it's good to say after 10 years we're happy, we have our little family of 6 and each other. What more could you ask for in 10 years?

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Top 5 Reasons YOU should have gone to the

1. Had you gone to the greatest concert duo ever to grace Utah county, you would have seen that you are not as freaky as half the other concert goers out there. People dressed in all types of eighties get-ups swarmed the UVU Center. Unfortunately, I didn't think about going 80's before hand, so I missed out on the fun of looking like this:

2. You would have been able to dance your (insert whatever word you feel comfortable with) Off! Since Vanilla Ice decided to grace the stage a full 1 1/2 hours after the opening act of LOVE YOU LONG TIME you would have had plenty of time to DANCE yourself into a frenzy...we jammed out to all the great songs from the late 80's and early 90's.

3. You would have amazed yourself by knowing all the words to: Shoop Song - Salt and Peppa, California - Tu Pac, Billie Jean - MJ (of course you know this one), Kiss - Prince, and Gangsta's Paradise!!! Yes, of course I sang along to the great dancing music...and yes, I knew all the words. (Man was I cool a decade ago)

4. You would have loved Vanilla Ice's 'Pyrotechnic' show...Umm, more like a lighter and a hair spray can. Come on Vanilla, did we really pay 30 dollars to see a freaky Clown run around the stage while you sing like a troll on crack? (ok, truth, I got the tickets for free...but for those that did pay, you were right to BOO Vanilla Ice for ruining his own ICE ICE BABY song.)

5. You would have LOVED MC HAMMER...because even though we had to leave early, I hear he rocked the house down with his skinny leg pants and crazed dance moves!

No more looking like this:

Oh, and bonus: You would have remembered that 'WE GOT TO PRAY JUST TO MAKE IT TODAY!'