Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random things about me (from my facebook account)

1. I am officially Irish one day per year (my birthday!).
2. I once went shopping for a large, male mutt and brought home a purebred female runt.
3. I met (Then) Governor Bill Clinton and shook his hand.
4. I then called home and asked if all politicians were fake like used-car salemen.
5. I've finished writing 3 books.
6. If you add the fractions of books I've written together, I've written 6 books.
7. I've entered the Pillsbury Bakoff 14 times.
8. I've made the finals of the Pillsbury Bakeoff....zero times.
9. I sight-read for the piano better than I play after I've practiced.
10. I love to sing.
11. Only my children love to hear me sing.
12. Our beagle is named after a stuffed animal.
13. I bowl better on the Wii than at the alley. (MUCH BETTER)
14. Once, I bowled so badly the bowling pro gave me free lessons.
15. I did worse after the lessons.
16. I survived teaching in an inner-city school.
17. A Kindergarten class scares me more than a room full of seventh graders.
18. I have a poem being published in a North Carolina book.
19. The main thing I miss about teaching middle school are the conversations with my students.
20. Ironically, I have a middle school child who I cannot converse with sometimes.
21. I also miss my drama club.
22. Sunday was spent making 30 Santa hats.
23. I made Santa hats in January. (LONG story!)
24. One day I will have swam in every ocean (3 down already...Atlantic, Pacific, and ARCTIC!)
25. Today we were reunited with two "long-lost" relatives...through Facebook!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bridges Poem

My life's path takes me across canyons,
Each path turns, twists, travels
Uphill, downhill, and through the darkness.

I rarely find my path to be smooth; it's
Each path divides, divides some more.
My life's journey looks endless and confused.

Then I come to the whitewater.
I must decide if I continue on this path
Or seek calmer eddies.

The bridge juts out across the river,
Jagged metal,
Broken concrete.
Is there a safer place to cross?
Do I risk drowning in my anger?

I travel up mountain paths: steep,
At the top, I see the valley.
My destination? The other side.

The way across swings precariously,
Frayed ropes,
Splintered wood.
Beneath the sharp, jagged points
Stand ready to pierce my fears.

The next bridge causes trembling,
At what point will the logs shift,
Sending me down to the endless depths?

The log shifts and the old tree bends,
Rolls sideways,
Creaks and cracks.
I lose my balance and regain it.
I crawl the remainder of the way.

Each bridge brings new challenges to face,
Without courage and a strong will,
The bridges remain untouched, uncrossed.


Today was not the best of days; understandably so since attending a funeral never makes for a fun morning. The mother of a friend and very special co-worker (technically, she's my assistant, but I see her as my equal) passed away this week.

I'd never been to a funeral officiated by a minister from this particular denomination. Catholic funerals tend to be somber and sometimes upbeat, but quiet. It was a bit of a shock when the minister raised his voice during his eulogy. If it had not been a funeral, I think members of the congregation would have been shouting amen a lot during his sermon on heaven and hell. (Remember Seinfeld? "Not that there's anything wrong with that!" It was just not what I'm used to.)

Instead of writing today, I've been working on making hats. Jester hats to be precise. "Why?" you might be wondering? Well.....my mother-in-law has handed me three large garbage bags of fleece, fake fur, pompoms, etc. to make hats for crafts fairs. She was making them last year and is unable to continue so...I got them! There's some great fabrics in there, but I couldn't picture a lime green santa hat...hence the jester's hats! If I make a few each week, I'll be more than ready for crafts fair season in the fall. (Usually I sell glass beads and stained glass suncatchers. I'll just be branching out and diversifying this year! :-) )

I did start my adult novel yesterday. It did not go as smoothly as I'd hoped. The biggest problem was that my brain moved faster than my pencil (I couldn't be at a computer. I was supposed to be listening to the workshop presenters on a subject that does not pertain to my job.). Big SIGH! Maybe it will be better tonight and tomorrow.

On the good news: my poem has been selected as one of the winners for the "Forever Young" writing contest for the NC Reading Association, and it will be published this spring in a book!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

To write or not to write...not really the question!

Two extra days off from school and what do I have to show for it? An email to my Scout troop, a clean house (but loads of laundry yet to do), and this blog. Why didn't I write, you might ask? (I know I'm asking myself that!) Hmmmmm......

Three kids, two dogs, mountains of wet clothes/boots/coats/etc., twelve hot chocolate spills, a pot of soup, and interruption after interruption! Oh, and that's not to mention the tree that came down in the snow storm that took out part of our fence. That, at least, got fixed fairly quickly. The house was cleaned this morning with everyone pitching in, and now...it's either blog ;-) write, or mate the huge basket of socks sitting on my bed. (How on earth did the pile get that big?????)

Anyway, I've planned out most of my next project. This one will be different. It's an adult humor novel. (Dry, sarcastic humor...definitely not Adam Sandler material) Right away, that's a difference for me. I'm a third of the way through the third MG novel in a series, have a YA in mind that will be realistic fiction (just have to make sure no one in one branch of the family tree recognize themselves!), and I've written 1-1/2 adult suspense novels.....this one should be interesting. It falls more in line with the dark humor of my short stories.

Thinking of short stories....only about 6 weeks left before I find out about the last writing contest. "Death Dreams" is one of my favorites of the short stories I've written. It would be great if others like it too. Soon I'll be sending out "Missing You", a story that has suspense, grief, and hope all rolled into just a few pages. It's based on a song I wrote years ago, isn't that weird?

Ah, enough procrastination! Write already! Why are we both wasting time on this blog? :-)

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Why do I always seem to get the most ideas when I don't have enough time to write these ideas and work on developing them? I've got an idea that I think would be a lot of fun, but it's hard to actually have time to do it! I'd planned to work during soccer tonight (while I sat in the car), but it's been cancelled and the kids are driving us crazy already! If I try to write, they have a million and one questions and interrupt and I lose my train of thought and AAAAAGGHHH!!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Some day...

Imagine being 23 years old and finding out the lump in your neck was cancer. Then imagine you found out while at school, with a class full of 5-6 year olds in front of you. Even worse, the doctor who callously called you at work with the news tells you its already spread to other places.

Today was not a good day for any of us at work. To find out such a vivacious, friendly person is in this situation is very depressing. It makes you look at the world a little differently.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What a long day!

The first day back at work after a holiday is always the longest day of the week. Today was no exception. My first Girl Scout meeting went very well. The only drawback is that I haven't had time to write down more of my idea for the realistic fiction book.

How much is too much? That's my problem. How much of the truth can I incorporate before every family member knows exactly to whom I'm referring? How much fiction should I insert without ruining the realism? I guess I'll know as I write, but I have to be careful. While some family members will never read the books I write, the one person I don't want to hurt, the person whose story I'll be telling, might read it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Busy days

Today was busy with Scout stuff...both boys had activities, and then I had a lot to do to be ready for my first meeting on Monday.

On the writing front: a family member's situation has inspired me for the idea for a realistic fiction novel for YA. I'm playing with the idea of journal entries morphing into each chapter. It would start with first person as he begins to relate the events happening, and then it would become a more omniscient third person with the action/dialogue etc. One complication is changing it enough that certain family members don't recognize themselves in it. I don't want to start a family feud.