|Don't Miss Out on |
The December PBParty New Draft Challenge & Critique Train!
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
It was just another pandemic day. I planned to be busy with marketing and PR-related planning and doing after my morning cardio walk, stretches, and breakfast. But first, during an early hour of the morning, I had my coffee, checked emails, and noticed an interview with a new agent on "The Mixed-Up Files..." blog. I opened it, prepared for the usual description of wishlist requests that would have nothing to do with what I wrote. I felt a slow "zing" meander through my body as I read, "Lyrical picture books and novels in verse" (huh? really?) and a little statement indicating the kind of positive attitude and emotional resilience I write in my columns and guest blog posts. I finished the interview and looked up Joyce Sweeney at Twitter. "I'm not accepting submissions." Okay. I'm respectful of what people say. Ten or twenty years ago, I would have shrugged, felt sad for a few minutes, then moved on. On this day, though, well into my writing journey and feeling pretty comfortable with who I am and what I write, I decided to email Joyce. With respect for her statement about being closed to submissions, I let her know that I'd never seen such a good match, and that I'd appreciate it if she would consider my work once she reopened to submissions. And I meant it. I just wanted to connect, and respect the limit that was presented. Shortly after (I mean, a few minutes), I received a lovely email from Joyce: "I like your style, Carol—please send me your best work." I felt so immediately comfortable that I conveyed that my "best" work involved several different types of picture books, listed them, and asked her to choose. She did. She loved it, and asked for more...and then more...until I'd sent almost all my ready-to-go file of varied-subject, varied-voice picture books. She read, we talked, we signed. I have never felt so relaxed and comfortable with an agent. I trust her to care for my work and help me guide it in the right direction as necessary. As a longtime children's writer with a debut novel-in verse this September (2020), and poetry for the very young in a number of the children's magazines, I feel a freedom to refocus even more energy on my writing, since my written and revised work is in the best of hands.
About Carol Coven Grannick:
Carol Coven Grannick is an author, poet, and chronicler. Her poetry and fiction for young children has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous magazines, including Hello, Babybug, Highlights, Ladybug, and Cricket. She is a regular columnist for the Illinois SCBWI Prairie Wind, reporter for Cynthia Leitich Smith's award-winning blog, Cynsations, and a member of the GROG blog. Her awards include: Finalist, 2014 Katherine Paterson Award at Hunger Mountain (VCFA) Honorable Mention, 2018, Sydney Taylor Manuscript Competition Ragdale Foundation Writing Residency, 2016 Illinois Arts Council Grant, 2019. She is a member of The Society for Children's Writers and Illustrators and The Chicago Writers Association. She looks forward to many conversations with young readers about REENI'S TURN.
Thursday, December 10, 2020
My call story is filled Drama! Drama! Drama! I was honored to have been selected as a mentee with #PBChat. I polished, edited and re-worded three manuscripts with my mentors At the end of the mentorship program, we were given another amazing opportunity to post the first 50 words in an exclusive pre-vetted agent's/editor's micro site along with the other finalists. Weeks past without a single bite. Then miracles of all miracles I got a request for the full manuscript from an agent! Within 30 days she asked for an R&R...and R....More drama! The agent had not yet been announced so the 3rd R was to reveal her identity. Soon, the pandemic took over the world and was consumed by making sure my family was safe while dealing with a family emergency. THAT's when I got the email, offering me representation. I had been dreaming about this day for a long time and when it finally came to fruition, I was too distracted to even respond. Amazing how in life when you're not looking, wonderful things come to YOU! Today, I've signed with the amazing Joyce Sweeney. Identify revealed! And am on submission. OH, how I love DRAMA!
About Matt Tesoriero:
I make a delicious, spicy meatball!
I was born into a large Italian-American family where we talk and listen at the same time. Big hugs and loud conversations are in my DNA. I grew up in rural Upstate New York, but we didn’t milk any cows. We preferred frolicking in open cornfields and swimming in the cold waters of the Finger Lakes. I’ve lived in Boston, London, San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale and just relocated to Orlando with my partner. I love Dunkin Donuts coffee. It provides the magical juice I use to write. I’m a certified Spinning Instructor and enjoy seeing my riders flourish and grow.
With twelve nieces and nephews as my audience, I made up silly stories to entertain them. I wanted to be their favorite uncle. One of them told me, “Uncle Matty, you should write these stories down.” So I have. I always remember a day when I was volunteering as a teacher’s aide in a first grade class. I read “The Giving Tree” to the children. I remember how moved they were and how the story made me cry. That’s my goal as a writer: to create children’s stories with heart. To inspire, enlighten and entertain. I always root for the underdog and characters who feel different. PAVE. THAT. ROAD!
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
By Elisa Houot
• Who is your favorite poet and/or writer?
Do I have to choose one? I’m obsessed with Nikita Gill and Yrsa Daley-Ward. I love Warsan Shire and Andrea Gibson. When I’m real romantic, I swoon over Pablo Neruda’s work. John Keats wrote one of my favourite poems, La belle dame sans merci. Emily Dickinson was my highschool ob
I want to write a book like Catherynne M. Valente’s Deathless and dream of writing a collection of fairy tale retellings like The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. I want to be Roshani Chokshi and V.E. Schwab, especially the latter’s jump across age categories. My friend (humblebrag all the time), June Hur, is truly one of my favorite writers because she’s so good at doing atmospheric. Like I hate her so much that I adore her. I want to write romance like Alisha Rai, Courtney Milan, and Tessa Dare. Helen Hoang is also incredible.
• Do you think there was room for two on the closet door to save Leonardo in Titanic?
Maybe there was room on the door, but would it float? Does it matter? That movie scarred me for life and I never want to go on a boat or ship or cruise, especially at night.
• What is the poem that moved you the most?
UGH I hate choosing. I think I was just holding my breath the whole time I read TEACHING MY MOTEHER HOW TO GIVE BIRTH by Warsan Shire. The whole book was phenomenal and stabs you right in the heart.
To my daughter I will say,
'when the men come, set yourself on fire.'
• What is one thing we will never hear you say?
You will never hear me say that empathy isn’t one of the most important things to me. It’s something that everyone should have for so many reasons, but especially for how it impacts the way we perceive and treat people.
Mental health and inequality were my areas of focus while I was in university and while I’m not really in that field, my passion remains. When we have empathy, we’re able to look at what people might be experiencing. It’s essential as a storyteller to understand the complexities of people and life as a whole.
• What is the last music you’ve listened to?
I listen to music all day while at work. Usually you can catch me listening to some chill pop. Music for chilling. Pop is fun. I like fun and catchy. I’ve listened to Taylor Swift’s Folklore more times than I can count. I like Billie Eilish’s earlier songs, but also vibing with Hozier, Tate Mcrae Lennon Stella, Kina Grannis, Halsey, Julia Michaels, Ariana Grande, etc.
• What is your current writing project? Can you tell us a bit about it?
The best way to describe my writing this year is one word: chaotic. You could also say I am starting over and trying to rediscover my love for writing stories, after the big realization in 2019 that a piece of my heart will always belong to poetry.
Right now, I am pants-ing a teen rom-com that’s a mashup of my favourite romance tropes. I’ve tried and failed with YA contemporary novels but I think this might be the one that gets done. Oh god I hope I didn’t jinx it with that.
Note: I did not run this by my agent, Lesley, yet and I hope she’ll like it because she’s liked everything else I’ve thrown at her so far. Hi Lesley, I can’t wait to bury you in an overwhelming amount of new books I plan to write.
• Are you a dog person, or a cat person?
I am an animal person in general. I am the person who follows several animal instagrams, gets excited about going to the zoo or the aquarium. A lot of Torontonians have a love/hate relationship with raccoons, but I LOVE them and I got to pet one after a family of chubby baby raccoons surrounded me, looking for food. I washed my hands right away, of course, but only after squealing about how much I love the little babies.
I have a cat and a dog though. The cat, Kingslee, is my adorable baby/old man who just turned 12 this past summer. I tell everyone he will live to thirty because I cannot handle imagining otherwise. My baby. Forever. Always. I pull out my baby talk just for him.
• Are you a good cook? If yes, what is your specialty? If no, what is the dish you wish you were able to cook?
I’m more of a baker than a cook! I like that baking is more specific, especially with measurements. I have the hardest time with the vagueness of meal recipes, especially my mom’s, where the amount of an ingredient is “to taste”. I do make some Filipino dishes though, like beef mechado or our version of spaghetti (which typically involves banana ketchup).
I mostly bake cookies, but I also make cakes, with hopes of making my own wedding cake one day! The oven in my home is very small though, so I don’t bake much anymore. I do, however, make lots of mug cakes, especially ones with lots of sprinkles. One thing that I should actually make again (because it’s been forever and I love them so much) are oreo cheesecake cupcakes, where the oreo cookie is the crust. It’s so good. My mom is also forcing me to make a few different types of cookies for Christmas this year. How she thinks we’ll finish it all (since it’s unlikely we’ll have a big Christmas party like we usually do), I don’t even know!
• What do you love most about writing?
Just… the creation of it all—the world, the characters, the relationships. There is so much you can do and the only limits to your imagination is you. There is so much growing we can always do to create and create and we only stop creating when we just do.
• What is your favorite movie from your childhood?
The Princess Bride. I’ve seen it so many times, I don’t even know the number. My earliest memory of watching it is asking my mom to put it on and her saying I’ve already seen it. I watch it every year! And I know all the lines.
• What was the hardest poem to write in SO SAYS THE HEART? And in SPEAK YOUR DARKNESS?
The thing about SO SAYS THE HEART is that it’s my recovery book, following a major breakup. I got out of a relationship that was about to get to its 6th year. I had been living with my partner and we were talking marriage. We kept trying to convince each other that we would always be together, there would never be anyone else, etc etc.
But when something isn’t working, that’s what you have to accept. Coming to terms with that was pure agony, but since the beginning, I told my partner that if there are any doubts about being with me, we couldn’t be together. And so it ended.
That meant SO SAYS THE HEART was painful. I cried writing half of the book. That first half? It’s bitterness and heartbreak and wondering what happened and why. The second part was when I started accepting it. Here’s the thing though: I wrote both parts at the same time, because some day were good, others were bad, and you can grieve a relationship, and grief isn’t some linear path. I was grieving, trying to heal, still grieving, and healing. Back and forth.
Some line that will always stick out are these, from Father (pg 41 in SSTH):
We are not who we were.
You are not who I loved.
And I am not what you wanted.
For SPEAK YOUR DARKNESS, it might be Prayer (pg 35).
For context, I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic elementary and secondary school. I went to church every week, went to confession, read the Stations of the Cross every Good Friday. There was always a rosary in my family’s car. I always believed in god until I was a sixteen and falling into depression. I still cry thinking about sitting on my bedroom floor, wondering why I would feel this way and why god would do that to me. I still grapple with religion and when I am at my worst, I always wonder about god.
I stopped looking for angels in the sky.
Don’t press my palms together in prayer.
When I whisper under my breath,
I no longer call out to my god.
If he’s out there, if he’s real,
Then why won’t he hear me?
That is all I can ask of him now.
• If you watched the show, who is your favorite F.R.I.E.N.D ?
I grew up watching this show but I don’t really care about it, tbh. Unpopular opinion: I don’t think Netflix needed to spend soooo much money to keep the rights to having the show on the platform.
I’ve always liked Rachel’s outfits though.
• Can you tell us more about your next writing projects, both novel and poetry?
Novel-wise, I’ve been revising a fantasy manuscript with con artists and witches, and that’s always been the project of my heart. It’s been so fun working on it again! I’ve also been working on a ghostly YA novel in verse, which should be interesting and hopefully very creepy. I have another project in the works that’s my teen rom-com with a massive trope mashup. And a new YA fantasy set after a revolution. I want to get back to writing romance soon though! Maybe something set in Casa Loma, a castle-styled mansion in Toronto.
For poetry, I haven’t started on a big project yet, but I’ve been working on short collections that will be Kindle exclusives! The first of the series, LOVE LIKE INSECTS, came out on November 1st and has about 60 pieces.
Romantic poetry has always been my favourite to write and I’m sticking to themes to challenge myself instead of reusing the same metaphors.! For those with Kindle Unlimited, it will be free.
• What is on the top of your bucket list?
It used to be going to the Philippines, but I actually accomplished that in September 2019! Now, I’m not entirely sure what I would want to before I die.
I want to see castles. Maybe Versailles? Or Neuschwanstein, the sleeping beauty castle in Germany that inspired Walt Disney. I want to see the tourist-y side of the Philippines with its beaches.
Wait omg I want to touch a snow leopard and hug a red panda. Is that crazy? Whatever.
• What is your all-time favorite book?
UGH I can never choose. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. I have read it a million times. As mentioned earlier, Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente is iconic. So is The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. I think I might always love Roshani Chokshi’s The Star-Touched Queen.
I also LOVE romance books, especially when they make me cry. I think I fully sobbed through Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai and The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. On the YA side, I think I could read To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han a hundred times.
• What is the song you know by heart that you can’t help but sing every time you hear it?
Wannabe by the Spice Girls. That’s my anthem.
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Kyan Howland - Repped by Joyce Sweeney
Curiouser and Curiouser
Since being a child, I’ve felt how stories permeate the atmosphere.
Being a sensory synesthetic I wake every day to taste, listen, breathe, feel, and see everyday stories come and go. I worked decades as a hospice nurse witnessing those final moments, holding hundreds of stories with my heart, hearing both adventure and regret.
I’m especially curious about what others call mistakes. Like Miles Davis, I believe they can be music as you choose the next note and moment. As a writer and relentless editor, I’ve struggled with perfection but never let it keep me from making up homemade songs as a child died. I enjoy taking a few favorites and putting them to a new song on my guitar, like the one I did for a three year old called Oopsa' Daisy Dinosaur.
And so when another mistake happened where the convertible top ordered was the wrong color, I went with it and made the most of it. Having a sandy top rather than black, demanded a blue car rather than silver. So with the help of friends I dipped my car deep sea blue. Then we added images of mermaids and ideas from stories and songs I wrote and put them all over my new art car. This has sparked much dialogue in parking lots as families ask about the rainbow hive or the phrase ‘slow is the new fast” uttered by the purple turtle on the bumper.
I believe taking time to be curious doesn’t kill the cat, whoever came up with that metaphor missed alot. As my blue cat Vega nestles beside me, she would agree, be curious and find the magic in the moment, which has never been more important at this time on the planet.
About Kylan Howland:
Kyan is an award-winning Singer/Songwriter and Author. Her love of instruments from handspan to acoustic guitar, and her four octave voice make for an incredible reading and keynote. Studying with Bobby McFerrin and earning her Masters in Creative Writing, she innovates with word and sound. Westside Voice wrote “she enchanted both young and old”.
She created the Lullaby Club online, where her stories, songs, and ASMR relax the whole family. Her social media LIVES reach thousands and she’s been featured on Public Radio, as well as being a popular artist-in-residence at schools, hospitals, and conferences. She painted her blue convertible with magical images from her stories and songs with the help of friends, and is beloved as the singing nurse.
Having worked hospice and behavioral health, she knows the edge where a child jumps from a window and a grandmother reveals her secret cinnamon bun recipe with her last breath. Her own NDE gave her a love life to cloud nine and a bravery to advocate for the planet and LGBTQ community.
She lives on the shores of a great lake with her cat Vega, and they both turn mermaid on Saturdays, because life is too brief and beautiful, not to!
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
By Elisa Houot
Lauren Connolly is a contemporary and paranormal romance author and librarian. She is the author of Rescue me, and took part in the Only One Bed anthology. You can find her on her website.
Lauren majored in Professional Writing for her undergraduate degree, but never felt like she was truly pursuing a writing career until she started writing every day. The only reason she could stick with her daily writing practice was because she found the genre she loves to write: romance. For years, she avoided admitting how much she adores love stories because of the stigma the romance genre often faces. But when she embraced what she loved to write, that's when getting words on the page became easier.
Lauren’s favorite part about writing is when she elicits an emotional response from herself. This could be making herself cry, but she loves it even more when she makes herself laugh. She figures if she thinks the joke is funny, some reader will, too!
Here is Lauren’s advice for emerging authors: you don't have to write every day, but if you want to finish a project you will have to write during times where you have no inspiration. I believe it is unrealistic to expect bursts of inspiration to get you through an entire manuscript. Take advantage of those times when they come, but don't completely forget about your writing when your ideas feel flat. Keep working on your craft, until you learn how to inspire yourself!
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome! We are delighted to offer you a VIP ticket for our very special show today, starring our equally very special author, Lauren Connolly… and her characters.
Please give a round of applause to our guests…
Paige and Dash, from Rescue Me
Olive and Theo, from The Bed Hierarchy (available in the Only One Bed anthology)
Holly and Ben, from You Only Need One
Hannah and Nathan, from Love and the Library
Paige, Olive, Holly and Hannah sit on a large couch near Lauren while Dash, Theo, Ben and Nathan stay behind the scenes.
Ladies! We will give you a scenario, and you will have to determine which of these gentlemen over there will be the best to have by your side. You can take your time and discuss it before giving an answer. Lauren will help you if you can’t reach a unanimous decision. The gentleman picked will earn five points.
First scenario. Who is most likely to prepare a grand gesture moment for your birthday? (And, for the utter romantics in the audience, tell us what he would do)
Hannah – “Nathan definitely would. But he already named a slice of pie after me. Is there a way to top that? Can the guys hear us?” Hannah taps her mic. “Hey, Lucifer, I think you peaked early.”
Paige – “He named a pie after you? Is that an option that exists in this world? Dash, are you taking notes? Oh, sorry, I’m supposed to be on your side. Which I totally am! Um, yeah, so Dash is great at planning fun dates. He always tries to take me somewhere I haven’t been before. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of exploring with him.”
Holly – “Ben and I don’t really do grand. He’s more likely to get me a bunch of small things that would make me happy. My favorite snacks, a new book, a fun board game. I’d rather have all those little gifts than some grand gesture. Plus, we just started a small business together, so money is kinda tight.”
Olive – “Okay, you all are sweet, but I’m warning you now: I’m here to win. Theo would crush a grand gesture. My guy is expected to pull out all the stops on my birthday. We’re talking video slide show of every picture we’ve ever taken together set to the sappiest love song in existence. He’d probably make me a crown, to alert everyone that they are in the presence of a badass. Then there’d be a dinner out on the town, cause he’s a shit cook. I still love him though. At some point during the day he’d find an adorable animal for me to pet, then there’d be a surprise video chat with my family because you do not leave out the Buchanan clan. And since I don’t know the age of our audience, I’m not going to give too much detail about birthday bedtime. But trust me, there’d be plenty of grand stuff happening then, too.”
A silent beat.
Lauren – “Wow, okay. That was a lot, Olive. And that does sound like an awesome grand gesture. But… I think I have to go with Hannah’s Nathan, only because he’s already proved he’s up for a grand gesture with that pie-thing.”
Olive – “Bullshit.”
Hannah – “Score!”
Five points for Hannah and Nathan.
Second scenario. You just fought with your love interest over something stupid, and neither of you is willing to admit they’re wrong. Who would be the most likely, between the four gentlemen, to reach out and apologize?
Paige – “Dash! We’ve gotten so good at communicating, but also, he’d probably worry I’d tell my parents about our fight. I think my dad scares him. I mean, Dash isn’t really scared of him. Just a little. He may or may not have compared him to the Grim Reaper.”
Olive – “First off, I now want to meet your dad. And second, Theo would have to apologize because I’m never wrong. Just depends how long it takes him to figure that out.”
Hannah – “I’ve got to be honest, I’m not sure Nathan would. Arguing with each other is our thing. We’d probably have to settle the dispute by playing Mario Cart. Loser apologizes!”
Holly – “Ooo, I like that idea. Board game battle would be my choice! But Ben would definitely apologize before we got that far. I mean, I gave the guy my kidney. That pretty much means I win all arguments for the rest of eternity. Not that I’d hold that over him…”
Lauren – “Good points all around, but Holly is definitely right about Ben. The guy just can’t stay mad at her.”
Five points for Holly and Ben.
Third Scenario. Who is most likely to prepare you a Sunday breakfast after you spent the Saturday night out late with your friends?
Olive - “Theo would make the best breakfast you could ever imagine!”
Hannah – “Didn’t you say he was a shit cook in round one?”
Olive – “Damn it. You weren’t supposed to remember that.”
Hannah – “Sorry. And anyway, Nathan isn’t much better. The guy lives off Kraft mac-n-cheese. But he would kindly escort me to the dining hall and offer to hold my tray for me!”
Holly – “Ben and I cook together all the time, so you can bet he’d have pancakes ready and waiting for me. Plus, my favorite green tea. He might even run to a bakery and grab some almond croissants. Crap, now I’m drooling. Does this game show have snacks?”
Paige – “Dash always makes sure I wake up to the smell of coffee, and after a late night out, I’d need that. Cooking breakfast, though? He’d might try. More likely he’d buy a dozen bagels or grab some beignets.”
Lauren – “Oh gosh, almond croissants versus beignets? That’s a tough one, but I think I have to give it to Dash. That idea of waking up to the smell of fresh coffee really sells it.”
Five points for Paige and Dash.
Lauren – “So that means Hannah and Nathan have five points. Holly and Ben have five. Paige and Dash have five. Then Olive and Theo have zero.”
Olive – “No points? How did we get no points?! This game is rigged!”
This round is called “Prove me you know me…” and this time, we invite Dash, Theo, Ben and Nathan to join their partners on stage. Before coming in front of you, Paige, Olive, Holly and Hannah answered a few questions about themselves. Now, we will test their significant others to see who know his lady best. Each good answer brings three points to the happy couple.
Ladies, when you met your love interest:
1-You were attracted to him but waited for him to prove himself to you before giving him a chance
2-There was no chance in hell you would ever agree to a date with him
3-It was love at first sight
Ben – “Well, when we met, Holly was all about keeping things above board so nothing went wrong with the kidney donation. So, I’m going to go with option two, no way in hell.”
Holly – “That’s what I said!” Holly shows her whiteboard with the number two written on it. “I mean, I never expected him to be so hot, but I was still set on us only being friendly, nothing more.”
Ben – “But I wore you down.”
Holly – “You did. Weren’t happy with just a kidney, were you?” Holly sticks her tongue out at Ben.
Nathan – “I’m also going with number two. Shorty hated me when we first met.”
Hannah – “Well you called me Shorty! But he’s right. I thought he was Lucifer come to torment me. Still think that, only I fell for his devilish ways.” She holds up a board with number two.
Dash – “Uh, well, Paige had just gone through a bad break up, so I’m also going to say option two.”
Paige – “Dash! You dope! You’re the sexiest man I’ve ever seen, and you were working at a dog shelter. What straight woman wouldn’t have wanted to jump your bones immediately? Honestly, I was waffling between option one and three, but yeah, that break up was bad and I wasn’t ready to trust another man just because the sight of him set my panties on fire. Anyway, I said number one. Just waiting for you to prove I could trust someone again.”
Dash blushes furiously as his eyes try to devour Paige from across the stage.
Theo – “Well—”
Olive – “You better get this right.”
Theo – “I was—”
Olive – “We have zero points. I do not accept zero points.”
Theo – “Olive—”
Olive – “Just look into my eyes and read my mind.”
Theo – “Three! Happy?”
Olive beams across the stage. “Hell, yeah I am.” She holds up a board with the number three. “I knew he was the one the second he boosted me out a bathroom window so the cops wouldn’t catch us at that frat party. You know you’ve got a good guy when they help you run from the police.”
Theo – “Of course. It wasn’t my personality, or my intelligence, or my looks. Just my willingness to act as your accomplice.”
Olive blows him a kiss. “Love you.”
Theo rolls his eyes even as he grins.
Ladies, what is your partner’s most annoying habit you wish you could change?
Ben – “I’m going to say my obsession with comedies from the nineties, probably. Half the time I talk in Chris Farley quotes.”
Holly – “That doesn’t actually bother me. You know what does?” She holds up her board.
Ben – “Dark night walking? What does that mean? Like, a batman thing?”
Holly – “No! The fact that you walk around at night without turning any lights on. It freaks me the hell out! I keep thinking our place is haunted.”
Ben chuckles. “Yeah, I should probably stop that seeing as how you chuck things at my head whenever I do.”
Holly – “It’s self-defense.”
Nathan – “I’m not sure this counts as a bad habit, but I’m going to go with claiming the chair in the library she likes.”
Hannah – “It does count!” She holds up a board that reads ‘stealing the chair’.
Dash clears his throat. “I guess, Paige doesn’t like it when I skip meals. Sometimes I forget to eat during the day. You know, I get busy, then it’s time to clock out, and I haven’t had lunch.”
Paige – “Yes!” Paige holds up a board that says, ‘Not eating enough’. “I want to feed him all the time. I’m constant shoving food in his pockets hoping he’ll remember.”
Theo sits in silence, staring at Olive.
Olive – “Well? Are you going to give an answer?”
Theo – “Just waiting to hear if you have any pre-answer commentary.”
Olive – “Smartass.”
Theo – “You know it. I’m going to say, Olive hates when I work during vacation. Since I work remotely for the most part, it’s hard to shut off that part of my brain even when we’re supposed to be relaxing.”
Olive – “You sir, are the smartest of asses.” Shows her board with ‘Not respecting vacation time!’ “Often I have to use creative threats to get him to power down his laptop.”
Theo shrugs. “Not sure I mind.”
Ladies, what are your all-time favorite songs?
Ben – “Crap. We always listen to Preston and Steve when we’re in the car together, but that’s a radio show. Um, music you like… maybe Kelly Clarkson?”
Holly – “Not a bad guess. But that’s not what I wrote.” She holds up a board that reads ‘In My Blood by Shawn Mendes’. She shrugs. “Kinda reminds me of you. And me. And how we didn’t give up.”
“I like that song,” Ben says softly, and they share a smile across the stage.
Nathan starts singing off key, “I like me better when I’m you.”
Hannah sings back, “I like me better when I’m with you.” She holds up a board with the words ‘I Like Me Better by Lauv.’
Nathan – “She played that on repeat for week straight.”
Hannah – “Still love it!”
Dash – “Paige likes listening to country. There’s this one song she always plays when she’s driving her Impala on some backroads. I think it’s called My Church.”
Paige – “I can’t believe you remembered!” She holds up her board with ‘My Church by Maren Morris.’
Theo – “Just based off of what you sing in the shower I’m going with WAP.”
Olive – “Damn it! You’re right, I should’ve written that. Still, your guess was in the ballpark.” She holds up a board with ‘Pynk by Janelle Monáe.’
Theo – “Ah, no, you’re right. I should’ve known you go with Monáe. That’s my bad.”
Olive sighs in defeat. “Maybe we should stick to beer pong instead of trivia.”
And our winning couple tonight, with twenty points, is…
Hannah and Nathan!
Thank you so much for joining us tonight, and we hope this made you want to read more about our lovely couples and their stories.
Nathan crouches down so Hannah can latch onto his back for a piggyback ride. They then proceed to march around the stage, cheering in triumph over their glorious victory.