Monthly Archives: February 2007

Woo Hoo!

Woo Hoo! RT gave Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind 4 1/2 stars, top pick!!!!
This book is Karen’s break out. It is so funny. It’s hard for a romantic comedy writer to grab me, but she does with this. I was in the floor laughing at times.

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The Nymph King

I inhaled this book this weekend. I mean I sat down planning on reading a chapter at a time as I could make time My revisionand Could Not Put it DOWN. It’s Showalter’s best. It’s quite a bit hotter than I usually read, but she totally motivates the heat and it works. I loved it and can’t wait for the next Atlantis book.
My revision is almost completely plotted now, more than I ever plot. I hope that’s a good thing. I’ve certainly asked myself why certain things happen and why others don’t. I have one more question I need to answer regarding the villain to really know what needs to happen. I wish I could just sit down and write like I used to back in the olden days, but all those rejections keep telling me that’s not a good idea. 🙂 I guess we’ll see.

Nerves

This year has just about kicked my butt in the world of high school publications. I love my job, but I feel like I’ve been on deadline for six straight months. Those computer problems early on REALLY created major stress issues for the entire year. We’re finally nearing the end of yearbook deadline and I’m feeling the pressure. I have no idea how my published friends handle the stress of writing deadlines AND work.

Grey’s Anatomy was wonderful. I cried again. I was not so impressed with Lost last night. I loved last week’s episode, but last night’s felt like more of the same ho hum blah, blah, blah they did all last season. 😦

Reader Trust

If Margot Early started a book with the ABC’s, I’d read it. Why? Because I trust her story telling implicitly.  I got my e-Harlequin shipment in today and read a three page prologue in Early’s new Super. The PROLOGUE had me near tears. She went through this whole laundry list of relationships of the people in the prologue and I read EVERY word. Why? Because I know she’s not wasting my time giving me info for no reason. She’s an amazing writer. And I have TWO of her books.
I also have Gena Showalter’s Nymph King (woo hoo!), Julie Miller’s Beast in the Tower and Karen Templeton’s The Prodigal Valentine. I trust each of these authors completely.
I also bought Jennifer Armintrout’s the Turning because my students LOVE it and I needed one more book for free shipping.
In the olden days I subscribed to whole lines, but I got bored. Now I think I could probably subscribe again because it seems they try to give more variety in a month, but I can’t afford ALL the lines I’d want.

SCHOOL…
Our school board voted for the calendar the majority of teachers voted against. The new calendar gives teachers less than a two week vacation at Christmas and no days off during the spring semester except Spring Break and four days before the end of the school year.
They say they HAD to vote for that calendar because it was the calendar the community wanted and they had to go with their customers’ wishes.
This idea of education being a service industry is nothing new, but in this case, I’m more troubled than in the past.
It might be okay, but the studies I’ve seen say lower socio and ESL kids are hurt by a long summer. Our district is over 50% low socio economic. I gues we’ll see. Maybe the teachers will be proven wrong and the kids will be better served by a calendar that leaves their teachers and them completely stressed.
Ugh.

Make it real

A few years ago I heard an editor say if you write scary, make it super scary. If you write sexy, make it super sexy. If you write emotional, make it as emotional as you can.
Since then, I’ve heard this same editor make the same statement time and time again. I’ve heard other editors agree.
Across the board they say good writing isn’t enough. It takes something more.
I’m trying HARD to do this. To give the editor that something more they’re looking for. To add that extra “umph” to my story. To move it beyond the writing.
It’s no easy task.
Suddenly I wonder if I’m doing too much. If it’s too over the top.
It’s slowing me down.
At one time I would’ve definitely thought that was a bad thing.
Now I’m not so sure.

Big state test day tomorrow. I’m pretty sure our kids are ready. I do have one girl who can speak like nobody’s business but she has SERIOUS trouble writing. I wish there was some way I could help her. I wish it were as easy as saying READ every day and write in a journal, but I don’t know if that’s what works or not.

Singing With the Top Down

Debrah WIlliamson’s debut women’s fiction novel is AMAZING. I’m giving it to the head of the English department with a strong recommendation that it be added to the curriculum. It truly is a new classic. People have compared the protagonist, Pauly, to To Kill a Mockingbird’s Scout. It’s a valid comparison.
Can you tell I liked it? 🙂
It’s been a good year for my tbr list. So far I’ve loved most of the books I’ve read.

DD’s desire to be a professional photographer was only hightened last week when she took photos of President Clinton. He was here for a friend’s funeral and her photo made the cover of the paper she works for.
The media had been directed to one side of the church, but her boss walked around, saw all the secret service on the other side and called her over.
She said all the stuff we see about the secret service on TV is nothing compared to the real thing. 🙂 I thought she meant TV made too big a deal of it. NOPE, she said it was WAY more impressive in person. This was her second top secret assignment. And she’s still a kid. She’s lucky.
This year she’s taken the PBR, The Globetrotters and Clinton. Not bad work if you can get it. She works for free, but her portfolio is going to be awesome, so it’s worth it.

Where did my day go?

We were in lockdown at school today. No reason, just a random check. It took over four hours, so I spent the first 4.5 hours of the morning with my first period class. Not exactly a bad thing since we were on deadline. Bu not good for 2,3 and 4th periods which were ALSO on deadline. Two days before the big TAKS test, so most kids missed English today. AND the last day of the six weeks. YIKES. This was definitely not planned.
The Daytona 500 is this weekend and I can’t wait! I love NASCAR. DD isn’t a fan, but dh and I spend every weekend watching.
I’m still reading Singing With the Top Down. It’s so good.

Grey’s

I swear if they kill Meredith I’m DONE watching the show!
That said, I LOVED this episode. It kept me crying. I didn’t really like Izzy’s big speech at the end, but that’s okay.
Crazy busy at work and I figure that’s going to continue for the next couple weeks. Ugh.
The kids are bouncing off the walls. I don’t know if it’s the weather or just all the Valentine’s chocolate, but they’re keeping me on my toes!
One of my former editors is student teaching English with one of my good friends. It’s so cool to see her. It’s hard to believe she’s old enough to be there. She’ll be a fabulous teacher.
Our school board is voting on next year’s calendar at their meeting Monday. They’re probably going to vote for the calendar 59% of the faculty that bothered voicing an opinion voted against. Most people I talked to said they didn’t even bother voting because the board doesn’t care what teachers think. That’s obvious from the new calendar. Christmas isn’t two full weeks AND there are no breaks in the Spring semester except Spring Break. One of our opt-out days is four days before the end of school (yes, thank you for giving us a day off so the kids will be NUTS the last four days!).
The first semester is twenty days shorter than the second semester. It’s a mess. But it’s the calendar the parents wanted. Next eyar kids will be out of school for a three month summer, which made perfectly logical sense back in the olden days when we needed our kids in the fields harvesting crops or moving cattle, but in this  day and age of standardized testing, a three-month summer is going to KILL our scores. Espeically those of the lower socio-ec. and ESL kids. But hey, Johnny can go to Dallas every weekend to play club soccer or softball or whatever it is that’s got parents thinking three months off from June through August is a good idea.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this decision is based on sound educational research. But I don’t think so. Oh well, we’ll do what we can and we’ll work with what they tell us we have to work with. It won’t be easy, but teaching isn’t EVER easy.

ACK

It’s 50 in my house. WHY? Because my heater quit working. AGAIN!
😦
This is the fourth time they’ve been out to fix it. This is their last chance.

Woo Hoo!

I love writing. 🙂
Day one of deadline and I got my two hours in.
And I’m blogging.
And I started Debrah Williamson’s Singing With the Top Down. So far, it’s pretty amazing. LOTS of voice. It reminds me of Peace Like a River which is my all time favorite book now, so this is going to be good. But I can only read before writing time. No more reading when I’m supposed to be writing.
Best part of Hitting the Mark: The end. I didn’t think the HEA would be so thorough. WOW. I don’t know when the Feb. Blazes cycle out, but you WANT this book. It’s wonderful.

Bonus recipe:
Chili

1 pound hamburger meat cooked.
Add these ingredients from Two-Alarm Chili Mix
    garlic and onion
    1/2 the salt
    oregano and cumin
    paprika
    1/2 the chili pepper
Stir
Pour into chili pan with
1 can Ranch Style Beans
1 can diced tomatoes (I use the chili blend)
1 can tomato soup
1/2 can water

Bring to boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Eat alone or on top of Fritos with cheddar cheese. YUM!

I discovered the soup thing by accident. I ran out of tomato sauce, so I used the soup. It was DELICIOUS! I’ll be using that from now on.