I’m So Excited, I’m So Excited…

Do you want to know why I’ve been saying this?

excited

And doing this?

vip-excited-celebration-o

And acting like this?

tumblr_mbqr1xlqx71r2e4eh

As you can see, I’m super excited to announce to you that I am now represented by the lovely super agent Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis!

We’re already hard at work and I’m well…excited…about the projects we’re working on. I’ll give you more details in the near future. But for now, I’ll just do one more of these…

dancing-baby

xo stef wade green

What’s Your Favorite Word?

I’ve been a logophile ever since I can remember. The word nerd inside of me can’t resist a multi-syllabic hundred dollar word. Back in high school, I took a class called Word Clues where we nerdily dove into the amazing art of etymology. Not that I sit down and read the dictionary (often), but I’m always on the lookout for another word to add to my vocabulary. Using a new word in conversation gives me an embarrassing wave of excitement.

Word Girl

My four-year old son loves the PBS show Word Girl, which often touts the little ditty, “What’s Your Favorite Word?” Such a loaded question. I have so many! Because I’m a lover of lists (if anyone knows a word for that, please let me know), here, in no particular order, are a list of some of my favorite words I’ve learned throughout my life. You may know them, you may not. Try using these in a sentence this week.

1. Prestidigitation: magic tricks
2. Septuagenarian: a person in their 70’s
3. Inertia: an object at motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside force
4. Quagmire: a boggy area of land
5. Triskaidekaphobia: fear of the number 13
6. Languid: weak, faint or fatigued
7. Onomatopoeia: a formation of a word from a sound associated with what it is named
8. Cacophony: a harsh mixture of sounds
9. Sanguine: optimistic or blood-red (double bonus!)
10. Muckrake: to search for and expose scandal or corruption

These are my favorite words. They may not be earth shattering, nor are they meant to be. These words for some reason, have stuck in my brain since the first day I heard them. I love to use them whenever I get the chance. I actually find myself editing them out of my work. They are great, but they aren’t always so great where I decide to place them in young adult fiction. However, I may just sneak one in every once in awhile for an extra giggle.

So it just begs the question for you…”What’s your favorite word?”

xo stef wade green

The Things My Grandpa Taught Me: A Tribute

This new year rang in with little time before the loss of my 90-year-old grandfather. He was a special person, not just to me, but to everyone he met. In times like these, I resort to the same thing. Writing. So here is a little piece of my grandfather that I would like to share with you before getting back to all things YA.

The Things My Grandpa Taught Me

Our lives are made up of a series of moments. On its own, a moment is a simple memory. Applied, these moments transform into life’s most valuable lessons. I’m blessed enough to have too many special moments with my grandfather to count, but what I can count on are the lessons he’s taught me. These lessons will continue to live on in me and will hopefully in my children and my children’s children. From my grandfather, I’ve learned to cherish every simple moment, because you never know the lesson it may teach.

The things my grandpa taught me:

For hard work, there is reward
My grandpa did not believe in handouts. Whether it was a dollar for weeding the garden or scoring the game-winning run after hours of practice, you earn what you work for.

Laziness is not an option.

The value of a penny
I kept a piggy bank as a child. So did my grandpa. He always asked if I was still “saving my pennies” and when I enthusiastically replied yes, he would take me into his office and give me a large jar full of coins. “Well, add this to them,” he would say.

I still keep a piggy bank.

Fundamentals
If there was one thing my grandfather believed in the beloved sport of baseball, it was fundamentals. A good throw has a good follow through. If the ball hits your bat, put your head down and run. Keep your eye on the ball.

And such is life.

You can never have too many friends
If my grandpa had a Facebook account, he would have had over 1000 friends. But my grandpa did not have Facebook. He had paper and a pen. He had a car. He had a phone. He had a voice.

And he had friends. Lots of them.

Be proud but not boastful
My grandpa never missed a moment to tout any of his children’s or grandchildren’s hard earned successes, whether we were getting straight A’s or “natural athletes who could excel at any sport.”

But he never hesitated to put us in our place.

Respect for formality
My grandfather respected tradition and formality. He fancied dressing in suits and ties. There were absolutely no baseball hats at the dinner table. And don’t you dare take liberties while singing the National Anthem. There is a time and a place for casual ways but convention and tradition indeed have their place.

I just can’t wear jeans to church.

All things grow with love
Keeping a garden is not an easy task. I know this as my grandpa’s love for gardening has been passed down to me. You can’t make a garden grow. They require ample time, love and patience.

And with patience, comes joy.

Family first
As a parent, I now realize the sacrifice of my grandparents to house and entertain all of their rambunctious grandchildren on New Year’s Eve. It wasn’t until later in life that I could comprehend the greatness of the gift of taking the entire family on a cruise. If there is joy, you celebrate with family. If there is sorrow, you mourn with family.

And today, we do both.

Faith in the Word
I remember climbing onto my grandpa’s lap to read Bible passages. I remember his strong yet comforting voice reading the story of Jesus birth before Christmas dinner. There is no greater gift than the lesson of God’s love, which my grandfather has given me.

And for that, I am and will be eternally grateful.

xo stef wade green

Poetry Friday: January 10th

It is finally time for another installation of Poetry Friday. I’ve cradled an inner poet since I was very young and will always hold it close to my heart. I’m happy to have a place to share a few archived poems and some new ones to come.

This poem dates all the way back to 2003, which happens to mark the beginning of the relationship with the man that would later become my husband. It’s nostalgic. It’s young adult. It takes me back in time and that is why I love it. I hope you do too!

January 10th

Your hat was on backwards
the day at the train station
I picked you up and
we drove away.
The lights of the skyscrapers
twinkled like seas of fireflies
above the backyard of my house
on Pinehurst Street
on humid Midwestern nights.
My hair was freshly cut
like the grass.
I am allergic to grass.
You said you liked it
even though you weren’t sure
you did.
My heart beat differently.
You sat next to me
your arm leaning on the car door
vibrating from the bass of the stereo.
I sang softly to the windshield
and the steering wheel
as the city grew smaller
and smaller
and smaller.
I could hear you listening.
You looked at me and smiled
as my car held us tight
and headed to
another place.