Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday's Red Dress

Photo Source
Take those shoes off and let the butterflies chase you through the mud. 

It is Friday. Feel it in your toes.  The squish of it tickles.

Date night, please. 

I'll take the laptop on my sofa in front of a well worn movie.

Let's skip the red dress, pumps and spend some time together doing what we always do. 


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Poetry...light hop

Turn the light off. 

You are ruining my darkness. 

Little flowers illuminate your path.

See if I follow. 

Fog, why are you holding the shimmer?

Little light you aren't mine. 

I don't think.


Or do you belong to the tree? 

It is those damn bees.  

Haven't written any poetry in a while.  John Chapman, over at A Vested Interest,  kicked off his first blog hop.  I know how sad it is to see a blog hop fall apart.  So thought I would throw some support that way. 

Gotta throw some good karma out there after yesterdays post.  :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Random rant...and the line in the sand

Photo Source
I work with a man that has a very bushy beard.  It looks like he is eating a squirrel and can't finish the tail.  He has the same lunch period as me. Ever see a billy goat eat?  Pretty sure I know what it looks like.

Now, I am not ranting against all facial hair on a man.  There is that line though, once crossed a sexy stubble turns into obscene mess.

I am sure there is this same line with women's leg hair. Maybe there is a sexy stubble...alright maybe not so much.  Is there something a woman has that a little is not too bad but a whole lot is oh my God call the circus?  You don't have to answer...pretty sure before I finished typing that I thought of 5.  I'm gonna put myself to bed...I'm crazy talking.  I blame all the writing I did this weekend and my wacky sleep schedule being off.

Hope you guys had a great Monday. Hollar at chatcha later.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shout out Sunday-Beginning, middle and end

Not to be all braggie but this is week two and I didn't forget.  I know stop you're swooning.  The twitterverse has introduced me to a huge group of fellow writers and I would feel remiss if I didn't share my findings with everyone.
Photo Source

Karl with a K posted 25 tips on building characters. I had to write an entire manuscript to get to know my characters...and then a pre-story.  Hudson Grey was a stuff nut to crack. (Hee, hee I wrote "nut.")

C.S. Lakin came up with an interesting check know I like a list.  Check out her list of where all stories must begin.

Patricia at Publishing a book is an Adventure has interesting advice on steps of how to start a blog tour.

Critique my Manuscript has a pretty comprehensive check list of questions to answer when asking your beta readers and editor friends for help.  I know some shy away from list, but for those of us who love something to check off this is amazing and would have been so helpful to me last year and will help me this year.

The Guardian published an interesting article, 20 Things You Need to Know Before You Self Publish. It looks at the stigma that goes with self publishing what you can do to not be a stereotype.  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther's day

Photo Source
I don't have any great traditions to mark this great man's day. I wish I did. Maybe a special menu, toast, or place to gather with family that would give this day the value it deserves.

My sister used to love Dr. King because his day meant we got her birthday as a school free day.  It made the family feel extra connected to him. (That reminds me I need to get her a card.)

I wonder sometimes as a history teacher, maybe as a writer...what if he still was alive?  How would his cause have changed?  What would he say about the state of racial equality today? What great speeches or books would he have produced?

I wonder what his dream would be today?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Shout out Sunday...for the writer

Photo Source

This week all of shares are a result of the Twitter gold I have dug up.  Not really dug is interesting that when you follow those in the writing industry that they all have blogs and those blogs have some crazy good advice.  Take a look:
  • R.S. Hunter posted a I think my most favorite post of the week.  "Naming your characters," it seems like it would be so stinking simple.  But I absolutely hate it. I am so joyful that now I have a handful of links to help me come up with character name gold!
  • Saundra Mitchell has an interesting blog post on creating your own press kits.  As Indie authors take the bull by the horns we have to educate ourselves on all of the nuances of the process of marketing your own book. 
  • Wendy L. Young has great advice and suggestion on how to leverage your time on Goodreads as a writer.  She gives tips to turning your time on there into money.  
  • Mike Wells bestselling writer of suspense, thriller fiction posted the most amazing post on, "How to write a two sentence synopsis." If you are an old timer here you remember the months I spent writing and rewriting that stupid sentence. If only I had his think of the time I would have saved.  

  • A to Z Challenge is coming soon to a blog near you. This challenge last year helped my readership explode from 25 to 120.  It was freaking awesome the amazing people that I met and that have become the community that I regularly talk with and visit.  If you have never done a challenge like this than be on the look out and think in terms of the alphabet post titles.  It is fun and you will love it.
Enjoy having a look around.  I sure did. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Week in review: twitter, awkward moments and First

Photo Source
I have had a very exciting week. Might be strange since this is semester exams and it has been rainy and dark out all week. What could possibly ratchet up my enthusiasm for this nondescript week in this dreary part of the month?
  1. While the little darlings test, I get to sit and play on the computer.  Any day I get to do that is an awesome day.
  2. I was struck by some of my latest antics with an absolutely brilliant idea for the next unit I teach. The unit is about the boom and bust cycle of industries in Texas.  I know sounds thrilling...every year I try to jazz this puppy up.  Some are a little better than others but none are just ringing my bell.  Well, after watching a days worth of documentaries I thought..."Why couldn't my kids do this?" So I have devised a wild plan to have each class take on one industry and write/film/edit a movie of their own.  This could be super amazing or disaster.  I am really hoping we get amazing. I will keep you guys updated. 
  3. Do you ever have one of those "Office" moments at work and smile to yourself as you watch it unfold?  I love and look forward to these lovely little awkward times.  They bring nothing but joy and me.  One of these very moments was building all last week and finally ended on Friday. I have to say the build up to the moment made me feel like Christmas was coming.  I was giddy all week...and so thrilled on Friday when I could finally share all the fun antics that led up to this awkward celebration with everyone.  Fantastic!
  4. Another exciting thing was I ran my first blog hop.  It had pretty limited involvement.  Apparently the linky thing app is not so bueno for the nube. I will have to chalk that away as experience learned for next time.  It was fun to try to host a mixer...and a bit of a let down that it was about as well attended as most of my house parties. At least I am consistent. 
  5. I have been in complete Twitter nirvana. I have had a Twitter forever but didn't get it and was a wee bit scared of saying anything.  I had 200ish followers and was shocked because I never got on. That all changed two weeks ago.  I jumped on there and lucked into a #writerschat.  Where I bumped into some great writers with some pretty amazing and helpful advice. Not only did they have interesting things to say but they were so stinking friendly.  I was hooked. Then last week I had a full conversation with Janet Reid. (Top ten New York literary agent extraordinaire)  I had sent her a querry letter a year an a half ago and never heard back.  I probably deserved that.  She is super funny and sassy on Twitter. And she replies to her replies, kind of rare with some of the super famous twits. She and I had a fun sassy conversation.  She didn't ask to see my book nor did she remember me.  But super encouraging anyway. 
  6. And this week I was nominated/volunteered to write for the state social studies journal.  I am super hyped!  But the due date is next week....nice. I better get to writing.  Don't want to mess up my first due date. :0) Hope you guys have a great Saturday.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Can you be quiet? I'm trying to reflect over here!

"Take time to be quiet."  ~Zig Ziglar
Photo Source
Maybe I am on edge a little. The end of the semester does that to us.  Students, parents and administrators all put on the pressure for big passing numbers and that leaves teachers grinding their teeth trying to coerce students to turn in those last minute assignments and at least attempt to study for semester exams.  Then after they whiz through your 100 question test in less than 30 minutes we have to attempt to keep them silent for the remainder of the class period while you grade exams, filter through the plethora of parent emails, and try to finish up all the end of the semester paperwork.

All that being said...this is still the best job that ever was!

While rushing to enter grades, and wrestling with the pressure to get paperwork and training completed it is a challenge to remember that we all need some give ourselves time for reflection.

You know the real reflection...where the laptop is not on your lap...or near you, and the kids aren't running in crazy circles around your sofa.  I have written about his before, I find that my best reflection time is when I am driving.  Sounds strange but it is when I go on autopilot and seep deep inside my head.  (It is a little bit like Narnia inside there.) It is at those times I get book ideas, stories play out, I day dream, remember and say the best one liners to conversations that I couldn't say during the day.  I find that when I get home after a beautiful period of reflection I feel completely rested and ready for whatever crazy maybe waiting for me. And trust me it is always waiting for me.

*The clock was set...5 minutes of writing and my Write on Wednesday is complete...even if it isn't Wednesday any more.  The Linky thing will be up all week.  Join in the fun and hop about see what the rest of the gang has put together. I know that Jaimee Hunter Online, the blog goddess that kicked this winning fun time off has a fantastic story to share. So take a minute stop by say "Hi" and connect. We would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Editing on layaway...I am not even kidding

Writing your first novel feels like it takes a part of your soul.  This last year after mourning that I was finished with my book.  I was sad about the routine ending, and characters being gone.

I found a new emotion...complete overwhelming frustration.  I got buried in edits and rewriting only to discover that changing the comma placement wasn't going to make book magic.  It needed a point of view change. Meanwhile, I wore out my friends and annoyed the snot out of them to be honest with me.  They were nice, bless their hearts...but I needed bold and crazy honest.  Maybe it wouldn't have taken so long for me to stop and figure out the true problem. A year later a dear friend, finally said it. It all clicked.

I could have saved us all a ton of time if I had known about kind people like this.  

Kindle All Star Editing  was started by Bernard J. Schaffer.  He is a writer and editor with massive skill, finesse and boldness.  Unattached to my feelings or any writer's feelings to be nothing allows him to be totally honest.  As a writer he understands that we don't always have the fund-age to shell out for expensive editing services.  So...he has a solution...payment plan. Music to my ears.  I have to say that this service makes me so happy inside. I might not lose all of my friends when this next book is finished.


Write on Wednesday...linky please

One of my favorite bloggers, InkPaperPen, has a feature called Write on Wednesday. I have taken part pretty regularly...okay on occasion. She is still on her winter break...I miss her and it...   

Every week she is kind enough to provide us with a writing prompt and one of those awesome linky things that we can all post our wonderful post to.  The best part is the opportunity to meet new folks and see what everyone comes up with.

A friend of mine, Aunt J-Me Says So, decided that the wait was over and we needed to have our own Write on Wednesday.  She chose the following prompt: 

"Zig Ziglar, American author and motivational speaker, has some of the best quotes to encourage and inspire. Some make you think and then laugh at his point.CLICK HERE to find a quote you can write about. Put your quote at the top of your entry, set your timer for five minutes and WRITE!"

Photo Source

You cannot solve a problem until you acknowledge that you have one and accept responsibility for solving it.  
~Zig Ziglar

This could be the very lesson that God has been trying to teach me for the last ten years.  I can face some problems quickly and efficiently.  Others...I completely bury my head in the sand and ignore because if I don't see it they can't find me...right? 

I think this is why I love my dog, Snoop dog so much.  If you tell him it is bed time, his least favorite time of the day, he jumps on the sofa and shoves his head into the cushion. Cushions are soft, comforting, and don't forget oh so dark.  Basically the best place ever. 

I have been taking baby steps.  Step up on a scale.  Track what I eat.  Take my damn medicine. Eat healthy food. Stay away from bubbly sweet soda, soft warm cookies, and gooie creamy dishes. Think thin thoughts.       When it is will transcend into taking long walks. 

What is important is I acknowledge the problem, and accept responsibility, and know that I am the only one that can solve it.  

How about you?  Join in the blog hop...with a link, and visit your fellow bloggers. 

1. Reflect with me

2. Aunt J-Me Says So

You are next... Click here to enter
This list will close in 6 days, 4 hrs, 8 min (1/19/2012 12:59 AM CST)

Monday, January 9, 2012

OCD...Tweet me!

Photo Source
You my dear reader know I get my little obsessions.  Lately it has been twitter. It isn't the newest thing out there but I finally figured out what in the world I am doing on there...well mainly I have started participating in the writers chats.  

It is energizing.  All hyped up on fresh chats I felt emboldened enough to comment on Janet Reid's comment.  For those not in the know...Ms. Reid is a hot shot New York agent.  I submitted my first book to her.  She never replied.  I respect her for that...the first book sucked.  Anyway...she replied on Twitter and for a solid hour she and I were conversing.  That has never occurred on Facebook.  It was like chatting it up with a rock star.  I'm pretty sure we are practically besties.  

So all drunk on my chat with the celebrity I have made a crazy goal...1,000 followers by December.  Doable...I am sitting at 388 now so that will be a drop in the bucket since I am practically there.  

Why do should I even attempt the 1,000 followers?  It is all about community, fresh ideas, and getting your brain used to quick thinking. Not to mention you never know who you are going to meet.

If you are in the neighborhood...give me a tweet..or a follow. :0) 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Flash Mobs, Movie Stars, and Life's Disappointments

photo source
I'm not really a dancer.  Well, unless I am in the car and alone...then I am basically amazing.

This week has been all about reviewing for semester exams for my little 7th graders.  As a much needed little boost to their grades I thought I would be the benevolent teacher and allow a little extra credit.  The kids could sing and dance to the song 'Elbow Room' by School House Rocks. It has been a parade of awkward fun while we "review" Manifest Destiny. One of my classes decided that singing by themselves would be too embarrassing so they asked if they could do it as a class.  I informed them no.  Then two, or three looked at each other smiled and asked in unison, "Can we do a flash mob?"  This has been on my own bucket list for some time.  But this takes me back to my first sentence...I'm not so much a dancer but I can totally facilitate.

After getting permission we only had 40 minutes to prepare our dance.  Not a ton of time...and most of the little dancers were in the same category with their dance ability as myself...bless their hearts.  We did it!  They were adorable even though we had some problems with our sound.

Take a look.

Afterward the kids were walking on clouds...the class went right to my class where we were high five-ing ourselves and one of the students had her phone out to monitor our response on her Facebook.  With every comment the kids were loving life.They were pretty sure the video would go viral and we would all end up on Ellen.  Who doesn't love some Ellen?

The kids started to quiet down then my little Facebook watcher shouted out, "OH MY GOD!  The guy from Modern Family is eating lunch at our school right now!" Everyone was pretty sure that it was a hoax to try to out shine us.  We sent a spy down and were saddened to find out we had been out shined.

There he is...

Now if you look carefully at the you see the fashionable lady with the khaki sweater?  This dear friend of mine is a huge fan of the show and had just introduced herself to him and asked if she could get a picture with him when they were finished eating.  Eric Stonestreet, Cameron on the show, said that would be fine.

My friend went back to her room, beside herself with anticipation to get her picture with him.  She ran down there toward the end of lunch and he had left.  No picture.  This resulted in huge, upset trauma.

I told her to not freak out just get on Facebook and get one of the pictures that the kids had taken. Earlier this same day she had gone on and on about how evil Facebook my suggestion was not accepted with any kind of excitement. I got the pictures for her...less than a minute on Facebook and her dream had come true there were a series of pictures of her walking away after talking to him.

We all learned several lessons:

  1. When you think you are the coolest thing out there, you can quickly be out done. 
  2. Always make sure you have good sound when doing a flash mob. 
  3. Be careful of the things you chose to rage against because it may one day save your sanity.   

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year New You

photo source
The start of a new year makes everyone a little pensive...I mean it is 2012...the rumored end of our existence.  If you usually don't go for the good ol' resolutions, I get it.

At least I'll try.  I love list. I love goals.  That makes this time of year the very best of all that is good with the world. There is such hope in January.  The promise of doing better. The promise of being better.  Speaking of being better....a Facebook friend, that I went to high school with shared the best link.  The post is 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself, offers some advice like: stop spending time with the wrong people, stop putting your own needs on the back burner, and stop trying to be someone you are not.  It is a great yourself a favor and stop on by.

Happy humpday folks!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Great day in Paradise

Photo Source
Back to was a great day.  I don't know why but couldn't stop smiling.  Was thrilled to see the kids, and even happier that they were all sleepy and grumpy from staying up too late.  We started the day getting inspired...

After watching I asked them why I would show them such a violent video on a Monday?  Some lost the point completely..."because you want us to fight??" Nice.  Most of them got it. It is to help them get motivated for the semester exams, and for the new goals they have made for the New Year.  It made me smile.  They make me smile.  

I have had a great start to the New Year.  I took part in my very first twitter writer chat. I have watched before...I know creepy.  I was scared to jump in, it all moves super fast. But this year I am not going to be a bystander...I jumped in and met the nicest people. Several nice folks followed my twitter.  Got some writing buddies that we are goal checking with.  I set the goal of 10k words.  It is what I was doing normally when I was in total groove with the first is painful to get back there.  I got all in the 'zone' and looked to see how many was like 500...a drop in the bucket. 

Speaking of buckets...I better get back to writing.  Get Motivated!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Try something new

To help us all on the goals and resolutions we have determined to achieve this year...have a watch and remember we can do it!