Monthly Archives: March 2007


We competed at District UIL today. I only have one student advancing to regional. 😦
I such a sore loser.  I tell my kids that in subjective events like journalism it’s all karma. Some years the judging goes in your favor and some it doesn’t. But when you read one of the best papers you’ve ever seen and it places fourth and you read the one that placed first and it’s one big cliche, well, it gets a little old.
Oh well. Such is life. (speaking of cliches).
I guess Brittany probably feels a little like I do when I read a book I hate and wonder WTHHHHHHeck? (That’s what we say in the newsroom)
But that’s the thing about writing. What works for one reader might not for another. I need an editor to love my stories.
We needed a judge today, but we didn’t get one.
DD didn’t place for the first time since she’s been in high school.
One a bright note, one of my eds placed third in one even and first in another, so that’s AWESOME.
And I got to work on revisions, so that’s another awesome.
Now I’ve got to figure out how to make my kids feel better about not placing.

Other than not winning team points, the worst thing about district: two other schools wanted to host district, but the principal of the school that did insisted his school should hold the tournament. The only people from his school who were working the meet: the UIL coaches from that school. Those poor teachers were run ragged and they had ZERO support from their personnel. Unbelievable! I felt so sorry for them. How strange that their principal ASKED to host and then didn’t make sure they had people there to help. I don’t get it, and I’m VERY thankful my principal wouldn’t do that to us.

New Show

The last thing I need is a new TV show, but I couldn’t help it. I had to watch Raines. And it was AWESOME. Quirky, emotional, awesome. I don’t usually watch a lot of TV on Friday nights, but I’m going to make this show a priority. If I can’t watch it on Friday’s, I’ll catch it online.

They released school five minutes early today. The buses were here and massive looking storm was headed toward us. I’m glad I’m not the one who has to make this call.  You don’t want to mess up the bus schedule, but putting kids on buses in the middle of  a severe storm with 60-70 mph winds isn’t exactly a good thing either.
Fortunately the storm looked horrible and sounded vicious but wasn’t really all that bad as far as spring storms go.

Meetings, meetings, meetings

So today at a meeting a teacher said the people in her department didn’t want to do any extra
All I could think was
isn’t ironic that the one department that desperately needs to be doing extra
doesn’t want to?
I didn’t speak the words though.
Instead I sat there thinking about the 60-hour weeks I’ve been working
And about the kids in my classes who are burned out beyond belief
And about the kids I know who desperately need extra help
And I let it overwhelm me.
I let myself think,
What’s the point?!?
When an ENTIRE DEPARTMENT says We don’t want to do extra, and they feel perfectly justified in saying say and even, really, quite PROUD of that, how in the world can I, one person, make a difference?

I let this bother me ALL night.

I don’t get it. I mean WHY teach if it’s not about the kids? Why bother?

Maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe those teachers are just worked to a frazzle and the end of March is the time when all that comes out. Maybe. But I don’t think so.
And it frustrates me because there’s not a thing in the world I can do about it.


Tornado season is here. 😦
I hate when they predict overnight storms. Daytime storms I can handle. I’m awake, so no big deal. Night time…ugh.

So I’m teaching feature writing this week. Make the emotional connection. Make me feel. Tell the story. It’s my favorite part of the year. I use this fabulous baby-sitter horror story from an awesome writing book: Bobby Hawthorne’s The Radical Write.
There’s a great story about a little girl locking herself in a dark closet screaming bloody murder.
Here’s the feature turned in from the prompt:

Junior Katie Dayton heard the loud yell and knew this job had just turned into the stuff of nightmares.
The five-year-old left in her care had locked herself in the closet and Katie didn’t know what  to do.
“BLOODY MURDER!!!!,” the little girl screamed.

Sometimes I love my job.
Bloody murder.

Grrrr 2

That’s me. Today.
When 30 minutes after lunch maintenance stopped by to let me know I had to take down the
Whatever it Takes poster above my door
The Excellence mind map and goal posters on the right side of my hall
The Staffers of the Issue photos and bios for both staffs over the course of the year
The First Amendment posters my students have made over the years
The Europe trip info outside my door
The quote from Reading Lolita in Tehran (If you haven’t read this, you MUST!!!! It’s amazing) that hangs used to hang right next to the Europe trip poster….

Hours of work, a few hot glue burns, untold rolls of tape

I had to take down right that minute

at the end of March (HELLO, summer anyone?) with no freaking warning


At least not today.

What really sealed the deal: The guy who delivered the news said: No use getting mad like that. It just wastes energy. (ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!)

I think I just found the new dead body for my next mystery.



For the first time all year I’m REALLY caught up on yearbook.
Just in time for the craziness of distribution to start. 🙂
I’ve been listening to last year’s National conference sessions, and they are SO good. My favorite so far is Susan Mallory’s Screw the Muse. She talks about how you have to write. Period. How you can’t let writing be the first thing to give when time suddenly disappears. Very inspirational session.  The other day Julie Cohen talked about writing in small bits on Romancing the Blog. She said one hour a day  gave her one full book in a short time. I’ve read Julie Elizabeth Leto’s layering articles which are based on writing when you have even less than an hour. It can be done…even when you’re putting in twelve-hour days. 🙂 I sure hope the twelve-hur days are done for a while now.

New Keeper

Karen Templeton’s Pride and Pregnancy is FABULOUS. It’s now sitting on my keeper shelf in case I need a pick me up in the future. Usually I love a book because of the hero, but I’ve got to say the heroine in this book is one of the best I’ve read. Karleen Almquist deserved this happy ending! And the secondary characters are awesome too. I HIGHLY recommend this book.
Next on my reading list: Catherine Mann’s new Desire. I love Mann’s Intimate Moments. I hope I love the Desire as much.

Golden Heart and Rita calls went out today.I didn’t enter this year, but I still loved reading the Call stories today. 🙂
Stop by and tell Mary congrats when you get a chance.

My good friend Karen Kelley‘s new book Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind hits stores soon. The reviews have been awesome and I’m telling you, it’s FABULOUS. HOT, hot, hot and funny AND a Top Pick from RT. And then she’s got this AWESOME cover to top it all off. 🙂

When you read it, let me know what you think!


What I hate
When the local ABC affiliate cuts from Grey’s Anatomy at 8:57 just when Izzy and George are having THE TALK because there’s a severe thunderstorm. The thunderstorm’s been there for a while. It’s no worse than it was earlier, in fact, it’s a little better. WHAT is wrong with these people?!? It wasn’t a tornado or even big hail. It was a little wind. Hello. This is Texas/OK. We know wind. UGH.

What I love:
Reading a good book. Except when I lose it, which makes no sense. One minute I’ve got it. The next, poof. It’s gone. Once I found a book in my freezer. It usually happens when I get too busy. So far I haven’t found the book. I sure hope I do soon.

I missed an important committee meeting this week. I was at work, but I could’ve rearranged my schedule. I just completely forgot the meeting. I have no idea why. I NEVER do this type of thing. Only suddenly this semester, I’m doing this kind of thing ALL the time. I misplaced a major assignment for my university class. I forgot to judge the newspapers sent to me six weeks ago.
And now I’ve misplaced my book, and I have no idea what George said to Izzy other than “I’m not going to hurt her just to clear my conscience.”

New Beginnings

So after a lot of soul searching and reading some great advice on e-Harlequin, I’ve decided to put aside the book I’m revising. I love Riley and Callah’s story and I feel it’s got a great foundation now. There’s stronger romance and better character driven conflict and I have a great plot completely worked out. But without editorial direction, I have no way of knowing if I’m truly going in the right direction.
Instead of revising, I’ll work on my new book and HOPEFULLY apply everything I’ve learned over the last three years and then, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll get that editorial direction I’ve been looking for!

My new hero is inspired by David Boreanz. For me he is no longer Angel. Now he’s Josh and he’s one heck of a sexy detective. 🙂

Looking very intense here

A little closer to Josh on a daily basis

And then because, hello, I do write romance…

A few weeks ago Mary asked if jewelry on a guy worked and I said a little goes a long way. This necklace works and then some.

Here we go again

School restarts tomorrow and I’ve vowed to change the way I’ve been doing business this year. No more living for the job. No more putting myself in last place. Now this is going to take some work on my part. A year ago, no problem. But this year I’ve trained my family to expect me to put my own wishes behind theirs. Same with the kids at school. And while none of them has taken advantage of that mentality, they’ve certainly had me on my toes all year.
That can’t continue if I’m going to write.