Famous Author status: Last night, I got to meet Laurie Halse Anderson- famous Young Adult author.

She writes a lot of realistic fiction novels, such as Speak, and her books have won all sorts of awards.

Her new novel Wintergirls tackles eating disorders. I can't wait to read it!

Favorite Laurie Halse Anderson insights (paraphrased clumsily by moi):

1. If we keep throwing books like The Odyssey and The Scarlet Letter at teens, and never encourage them to read more contemporary, reachable novels, then we'll lose teen readers.
2. All the moments of her life she spent worrying about her own body image added up to a giant chunk of wasted time.

3. Sometimes you have to push yourself to write the book you don't want to write. The book you think you cannot write. The book that needs to be written.

Okay, she totally rocks.

Next week, watch for my blog contest. The prize will be an autographed copy of Speak.

I also met
James Dashner, author of the middle grade series The 13th Reality. After sitting next to James at dinner, I soon discovered he is my soul brother.

He was all, "Your book is about aliens? Cool."

And I was all, "Your upcoming YA trilogy The Maze Runner is about a dystopian future in a similar vein as The Hunger Games? That is so... so..." And then I couldn't speak anymore.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, "Love Lift us Up Where We Belong" started playing. Needless to say, I was much more starstruck than he was. I can't help it. I get all gooey inside when I hear the words "Dark Dystopian Future".

The first book in his Maze Runner trilogy hits stands October 13th, 2009. I can't wait.

So, I'm taking my niece home the other day, and she mentioned my post about how my ears are my favorite part of my body.

She says: "You are so much more than just a pair of ears... (wait for it)... You also have great teeth."

Ummmm, thanks?

My teeth, however, are yellow. It comes from my horrible habit of drinking cola and eating dandilions.

I tried to whiten them once. My dentist bro-in-law even made me one of those invisalign trays, so it looks like you're not even wearing anything.

So one morning I put the bleach in the tray, and went to Costco.

I hadn't eaten yet, and I just can't say no to those Costco berry smoothies. Ya know what I'm talkin' about?

I figured I could carefully sip the smoothie, through the straw, and then swallow it without messing up my trays.

So, I take my brilliant plan out for a spin, wandering the aisles and sipping my berry goodness.

Then I turn a corner, and nearly bump into a guy I used to date in college. You know the kind: where you swore if you ever saw him again, you'd look killer, and then wouldn't he be sorry. Yeah, that kind.

I consider ripping the tray out and chucking it into the clothes section, but that would not give the impression for which I was striving.

So I just smile and survive the pleasantries.

Later in the car, I check out the rear view mirror, and nearly choke on my berry smoothie.

Somehow, the purple juice had gotten sucked into my whitening tray, and the effect made me look like I was wearing one of those NBA mouth guards, like James Posey.

Umm, so take that, old boyfriend? All this could have been yours.