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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?

In Which I Travel the West, Talking Books and Pirates (But Not Book Pirates)

The weekend after Hook’s Revenge hit shelves, I packed my bags and set off on tour. I started in Tacoma, Washington for a signing at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association tradeshow. I loved meeting, chatting with, and signing books for some of the wonderful booksellers in the area.

PNBA 2014, photo by Laura Stanfill

PNBA 14, Photo by Laura Stanfill

From Tacoma, I took a train to Seattle where I spent the next 40 hours alone in my hotel room, completing revisions on Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code. It was just me, room service, and my laptop—with the occasional dance break to keep the blood flowing to my brain. I finished just in time to do my first school visit, meeting with sixty-five 5th graders at Olympic View Elementary.

You guys, these kids. They asked such smart questions and were so into books and reading. America, your future is in good hands.

They send me a bundle of letters and I absolutely treasure them.

letter from seattle student

That evening I had an event at the first of several amazing independent bookstores I would visit on my tour. Mockingbird Books is just as charming as its staff—a real treasure.

I had a lovely time appearing with Kevin Emerson, author of middle grade novel The Fellowship for Alien Detection, as well as numerous titles for young adults.

Kevin Emerson

Kevin Emerson shows off his wallet, in constant use since he was in fifth grade!

Martha Brockenbrough—grammar goddess, picture book and young adult author (I can’t wait to read her forthcoming The Game of Love and Death), and all around wonderful person—moderated and did such an awesome job I now want her to moderate my entire life.  She prepared magic tricks and trivia and even forced audience members to walk the plank! It was such a great evening!

Seattle, Heidi Schulz and Kevin Emerson, photo by Kari Bradley

with Kevin Emerson at Mockingbird Books, photo by Kari Bradley

The next day, Martha kindly drove me to KOMO Plaza where I had my first ever tv news interview, live on KOMO News 4 Seattle. I complained to my husband that I looked so stiff and nervous but he assured me I simply looked like I have excellent posture. You can decide for yourself, if you like:

After saying goodbye to Seattle I boarded a plane and set my sights on Salt Lake City. The morning after I arrived I spoke with 400(!) wonderful 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Antelope Elementary School. It was such an amazing feeling to read a section of my book to such a large crowd of kids—kids that sat quietly, fully engaged in what I was saying!

That evening, I had an event at the incredibly charming The King’s English Bookshop, appearing with two fantastic middle grade authors: Matthew J. Kirby, author of excellent novels such as Icefall and The Quantum League, and Jennifer Neilsen, author of the NYT bestselling Ascendence Trilogy (The False Prince, etc.).

King's English Salt Lake with Matt Kirby and Jennifer Nielsen, photo by Hannah Schulz

with Matthew J. Kirby and Jennifer Nielsen, photo by Hannah Schulz

Between Matt and Jen’s fans and my very large Utah family, there was not even standing room left for our event. Many people stood in the next room over, listening through the doorway!

Salt Lake, Heidi Schulz and Ashley Johansen, photo by Daniel Johansen

Photo by Daniel Johansen

Salt Lake, Heidi Schulz, Lindsey Lyman, and Kristi Hill, photo by Anthony Lyman

Photo by Anthony Lyman

From there, I flew to Denver for an event at Tattered Cover with Lindsay Eland, author of Scones and Sensibility and a Summer of Sundays. We had such a great time playing Truth and Dare with the audience. Anyone asking a question was able to draw a Dare Card from our deck and force Lindsay and I to do ridiculous and hilarious things. (If you would like to know how many books I can balance on my head, the answer is eight.)

Heidi Schulz and Lindsay Eland, Denver, Photo by Erica Oliver

Daring deeds with Lindsay Eland. Photo by Erica Oliver

And Tattered Cover so kindly gave me this keepsake bookmark!

tattered cover bookmark

My last event was back in Portland, again playing Truth and Dare, at A Children’s Place Bookstore. Shelby Bach, author of the Ever Afters series was my partner in absurdity there, with our shenanigans moderated by whimsicologist Kari Luna, author of the YA novel The Theory of Everything.

with Shelby Bach and Kari Luna, photo by Kelly Garret

with Shelby Bach and Kari Luna, photo by Kelly Garret

I had such an amazing time meeting readers, writers, and booksellers throughout the west. If you attended any of these events and have photos I’d love to see them! Tag me on instagram or twitter or send me an email.

So that was my tour. I loved it! Bye!

But wait, there’s more!

Though this wasn’t technically a part of my tour, I did get to do a live radio interview a couple weeks ago. If you are interested, you can listen to a recording of it here:

If you would like to see me in person and you will be in either Boise or Miami next month, you are in luck!

On Friday, November 14, come see me and kidlit authors Robin HerreraSarah Tregay, and Miriam Forster at Rediscovered Books. Details

The next afternoon we will be appearing at the Boise Public Library. Details

I will be appearing at the Miami Book Fair the very next weekend, 11/22-23, though I do not yet know exactly which day or what time. I’ll be sure to update you as soon as I know.

Can’t wait to see you, friends!


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