Adventures of Heidi: Snakey and Sal, A Friendship Tale

Holiday season television is about to hit an all time low. We are talking about lower than inside the belly of a snake low. In case you haven’t heard about it, here is the trailer for Discovery’s Eaten Alive:

Granted, I know nothing about the show other than what I saw in the trailer, but it seems like a cheap stunt—and one that I will likely watch.

Speaking of being eaten alive, who wants a Poorly Illustrated Adventures of Heidi story? All right, kids, gather round!


Once upon a time there was a Heidi. At the time of this telling Heidi was seven or eight and looked something like this:

haircut heidi

This particular story took place during Heidi’s unfortunate haircut-like-a-boy-with-a-bad-haircut phase.

Heidi and her older brother liked to play under bridges and on highway overpasses and at nearby industrial ponds. These things were not forbidden because it was the nineteen eighties and no one knew what kids did all day.

If Bob Ross had painted the industrial pond near Heidi’s house, it might have looked like this:


See the happy trees?

Bob Ross would have been romanticizing something far muddier, but Heidi wasn’t one to be overly critical about art.

Heidi and her brother often brought new pets home from their explorations at the pond. Tadpoles and frogs, neat looking bugs, even once a tailless cat who promptly had kittens behind Heidi’s dad’s shed, but this story isn’t about any of those.

This story is about two pond critters Heidi and her brother brought home one day:


Snakey, the garner snake


and Sal the salamander.

Heidi and her brother loved their new pets and wanted them to love each other. They made a comfortable home for them from a large orange tupperware bowl, some grass, and a small tin of water. Then they left the two pals alone to get acquainted.

Dun dun DUN.

Heidi and her brother returned from eating dinner to check on the new best pals. Only… where was Sal?

They searched diligently for the little guy, but let’s be honest, there weren’t a lot of places to hide in that big orange bowl. There was really only one place he could be…

snakey's full


“Does Snakey look a lot fatter to you?” Heidi’s brother asked.

“He really does,” Heidi replied.

“SAL!” they cried in unison, but not really because crying in unison usually only happens in books.

Here’s what really happened: Heidi’s brother lifted Snakey from the bowl.

Heidi’s brother gave him a gentle upward, squeeze, like Snakey was a tube of toothpaste.

Snakey opened his mouth and…

up he comes


Heidi was surprised.

Heidi’s brother was surprised.

Snakey was surprised.

But perhaps most surprised of all was Sal, who had survived his brief trip into the belly of a snake.

All parties involved felt it was best if Snakey and Sal did not become friends after all.

Heidi and her brother allowed them to vacate the orange bowl and relocate to separate areas of the backyard where they were both likely eaten by birds lived happily ever after.

The End


On My Mind: November 3, 2014

Halloween candy, specifically how much I have or have not eaten this year. My average is way down, but I haven’t had breakfast yet.

Last week my family and I went to see the 1922 German silent film, Nosferatu, at The Elsinore Theater, an amazing historic theater and local gem.

Though the gothic theater was a perfect setting for this film and the live organ playing was fabulous, I couldn’t stop thinking of this:


When I was a kid, my family would occasionally go to see dollar movies at The Elsinore. I was fascinated by the building, mostly because the gothic construction led me to believe it had once been a church. However, the giant mural of witches made me think it had been a church to Satan.


Shakespeare, not Satan, Heidi.

I was only mildly bothered by this, since it was no longer being used for dark purposes (other than showing some terrible movies).

I just sent out my November newsletter, which is always fun for me to write. If you haven’t subscribed, there’s a link right over there in my blog’s right sidebar. ——>

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Hook’s Revenge to a subscriber at the end of the month.

Now I’m thinking about pie. I might need to go make some breakfast…

Someone found this blog after googling “greatest thing on internet.” I’m flattered, but must decline that honor, as it clearly belongs to this:

What’s on your mind?

The Terrible Wonder of Launching a Book (with lots of pictures)

Signing a book for author Fonda Lee and her daughter Photo by Kelly Garrett

Signing a book for author Fonda Lee and her daughter
Photo by Kelly Garrett

I am woefully late in posting this update. I’ve had an Add New Post window open on my laptop for well over a week, but every time I actually went to add said post, I allowed myself to get distracted. I’m finding it hard to explain how great and terrible launching a book is.

The night before Hook’s Revenge was released into the wild,  just after turning out the light, my husband asked, “Are you excited? Tomorrow is the big day!” and I promptly burst into tears. There weren’t words to express how not-excited I was. I was, in a word, overwhelmed.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t all that afraid of how Hook’s Revenge would be received; I was simply exhausted. I was in the midst of a grueling round of edits for Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code. I had been experiencing some health problems and was working to sort them out. And I had been ticking item after item off a never ending Back to School list (my book was set to release on the same day my daughter would start a new year at her homeschool co-op).

I explained to a friend that every part of me was stretched thin, that I felt like I was making a peanut butter sandwich with my life, but the peanut butter was almost out and furiously scraping the sides of the jar still wasn’t giving me enough to spread to the edges of the bread.

So I cried. I cried because I felt like the day I had waited my whole life for would be ruined. I cried because I didn’t know if I had enough metaphorical peanut butter in me to make it through the congrats and the parties. I cried because it just felt so big and I didn’t know how else to express it. I cried myself to sleep.

The next morning, I awoke a published author. You know what? Other than the puffy eyes, I didn’t look or feel all that different from the day before. But throughout that day and the days to come, you, dear reader, brought about a change in me. You congratulated me on Facebook and Twitter, via text and email. You sent me pictures of my book in bookstores and in the hands of eager young readers. You filled up all my empty spaces and gave me the energy, the excitement, and the joy I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find.

Today I’m sharing pictures of my launch parties. Tomorrow I’ll drop back in with pictures from my book tour.

Take a look at my face. That smile is genuine. You put it there. I can’t thank you enough.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day Hook’s Revenge Launch Party at Powell’s Books

Launch at Powell's

Full house! More than 100 people attended my party, many in pirate costume!
Photo by Walt Schulz


My lovely niece Ashley
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Me and my adorable great-nieces. Photo by Kelly Garrett

Me and my adorable great-nieces
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Author Kiersi Burkhart and her young pirate friend. Photo by Kelly Garrett

Author Kiersi Burkhart and young pirate friend
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Author Susan Hill Long and her daughter
Photo by Kelly Garrett

My husband, Walt, as Mr. Smee Photo by Kelly Garrett

My husband, Walt as Mr. Smee
Photo by Kelly Garrett

My daughter, Hannah, in full pirate dress. Photo by Kelly Garrett

My daughter, Hannah, in full pirate dress 
Photo by Kelly Garrett

Ticktock. Photo by Kelly Garrett

Photo by Kelly Garrett

Pirate Party and Hook’s Revenge Celebration at the Salem Public Library

Salem, OR Launch Party, Heidi Schulz and Landon Springer, Photo by Brittany Springer

Peter Pan and me Photo by Brittany Springer

Launch Party Grog, photo by Heidi Schulz

Walt, Hannah, and I spent a couple Sunday afternoons affixing labels to our “grog.”

Cupcakes and pixie dust, photo by Heidi Schulz

Cupcakes, chocolate gold coins, and Pixie Sticks (pilfered pixie dust). Sorry parents!


Thank you to my sister, Julie, for so beautifully setting up the food!


Even my mom dressed up!

Thank you to Powell’s, the Salem Public Library, everyone who attended, and each one of you. You brought the peanut butter!


On My Mind: August 11, 2014 (and a giveaway)

If you are impatient super excited for the giveaway, scroll down to the bonus item.

Road trip! My family and I just got home from an awesome summer road trip. Here are a few photos:
road tripWe drove about a thousand miles and had about a thousand little adventures. Ocean, mountains, caves, a jet boat ride up a river, ATVs, and yes, I fed a giraffe. (It was scary.) We had a really lovely time.

My debut book comes out next month! Last week, I got my first copies. You guys, they are so beautiful. Look!

Hook's Revenge

Want to see more? Hook’s Revenge has an amazingly good illustrator, John Hendrix. He just posted pictures of the interior art. Here’s one:

Isn’t it gorgeous?! The rest can be seen here, on his tumblr.

You all know my history with terrible selfies, right? Well, I accidentally took a good one. How did this happen?

Mind if I talk about my book some more? Because it really is on my mind.

School Library Journal gave Hook’s Revenge a starred review!

Among other really nice things, they said, “The evocative language moves beyond simple description and engages the audience’s imagination. Most notable, however, is the wickedly funny narrator who doesn’t hesitate to add his amusing commentary and pointed dislike for the audience to the narrative.”

Read the full review here.

I was also just interviewed on Riffle. Swing by to hear about books kid-me would have loved and why I am over the moon for Atticus Finch.

Pie. I’m thinking about pie.

Bonus Item
Want to be among the first to hear about events, giveaways, and book news?

No? Okay.

Well, do you want to win stuff?

Yes? Good!

I’m giving away a signed hardcover of Hook’s Revenge and a $25 gift card (maybe to you?)! Enter by signing up for my newsletter in the month of August. I promise not to email you too often and to always try to be entertaining.

Sign up in my sidebar, over there on the right, under where it says “I also have a newsletter,” or sign up on my Facebook page.
Good luck!

On My Mind June 9, 2014

They grow so fast! These pictures of Liza Minnelli and Apple were taken just six short weeks apart.

Stuff I’m doing. If you are local to me, come see me Wednesday night, talking Twitter at Willamette Writers. Details on my events page.

Chickens, again—a little bit sadder. Due to an ill-timed gust of wind and a heavy coop door, we lost our Annie. Perhaps she has joined Phillis somewhere? I hope so. They were the best of friends.
Chicken Annie
Farewell, Chicken Annie!

And now for something happier! There are only 100 99 days until Hook’s Revenge is released!
Start practicing your pirate here.

Still chickens. I couldn’t resist. Meet Fat Amy (blonde) and Matilda (brunette).

What’s on your mind today?

The Mystery of the Missing Phyllis: Epilogue

After we destroyed her secret nest, Phyllis disappeared again. It’s been more than two weeks and we are quite certain she is not in the yard. I think she may have taken her final bow.


Goodbye, Phyllis, you wonderful, terrible diva, you!

Meanwhile, Liza Minnelli awaits in the wings, looking forward to the spotlight.


I can’t even guess as to what antics she will get up to.



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