Monthly Archives: November 2015

Writing Time

So here it is Nov. 30. I didn’t participate in NaNoWriMo. I always participate. I’ve had clubs time for students to participate. It’s just one of those things I do, but this year has been crazy, so in early September I put the manuscripts away and said writing had to wait. I’m at work until 5 and then the grading and planning starts. I’ve let me job work me instead of me working the job.

I thought taking writing off my plate would make things better. Wrong.

Instead I miss the books and resent the time I’m not spending on the books I love to read and write, romance novels where sex is not a bad word 😉☺️😘, where my villains are evil and sometimes my characters drop effff into their dialogue. I love creating stories about the people that wander through my mind suddenly appearing fully formed and demanding I give them a voice.

I blame Nora or maybe Johanna Lindsey or Debbie Macomber or hundreds of Harlequin authors who have written so many amazing books that I’ve loved reading over the years. I fell in love with romance when I was a kid, and I’ve loved writing it for as long as I’ve written novels for others to read. Those first books I wrote were for my friends. I wrote serialized teen romances in spirals and passed them around to my friends who demanded I write faster.

Not writing didn’t make things better. I might not have been as tired some mornings because writing until 2 a.m. to finish a scene that had to be done hasn’t been part of my life, but the tired I am, the psychological tired of forcing myself not to write, has been a real drag.

Sooooo, I’m done with that. It’s back to the writing world of a self-published romance author. I’ll still write the Sharlene books too. My guardian angel needs to solve her mysteries, but romance will be my focus.

Liz Lee took a break. It was a trial, just to see if maybe first semester would be better if she spent some time on the shelf while Mary Beth Lee worked the day job into the nighttime hours. Bad idea. Lesson learned.

Praying for Paris

Praying for Paris.

Praying for Paris.

I’m sitting here watching the news, and my heart is breaking.

I love Paris. If you’ve followed this blog for long you know that. Paris taught me the power of a dream. How a 14-yr-old girl can imagine sipping coffee and people watching under the Eiffel Tower all the while knowing it will never happen but wanting it so desperately anyway. Taking French in college and dreaming about “one day.” And then actually going for the first time in 2008.

Last summer when we were there Paris felt different. I’m sure the massacre sat there in the back of my mind stalking my thoughts and changing my perceptions the whole time. I still loved Paris, but I was scared.

I don’t understand hate that leads to terror attacks, but I know we can’t let fear control us and we can’t let it lead us to hate. That’s how the terrorists win.

Prayers for Paris.

Grrrr, argh

Sunday was so airy and light

Posting a blog about how you’re going to focus on the positive is like waving a red flag at the universe with the challenge of throw everything you can at me. I refuse to be a B.

And dang it, the universe won.

I forfeit, universe. Forfeit. You win.

I’m going to focus on one freaking minute at a time.

Positivity is a Choice

This sweet girl helps me find the positive to focus on. ❤️❤️❤️

This sweet girl helps me find the positive to focus on. ❤️❤️❤️

I choose my focus.

I choose to focus on the good that surrounds me at my job, at home, in life.

That doesn’t mean I lie to myself or accept things that can be changed or ignore the negatives. It means I will take those things in stride and do what can be done, but I will focus in the positive, on the yes, on what is right.

This is my affirmation. It’s something I’ll have to tell myself again and again. That’s a good thing.

I choose my focus. Every minute, every day. I choose.


No multi-tasking here. DH and I enjoyed the Dallas Stars win last weekend.

No multi-tasking here. DH and I enjoyed the Dallas Stars win last weekend.

Break your list down into chunks and attack it one thing at a time.

I never realized how important teaching this skill was. I mean my editors have lived by the list forever, but other than me saying make a list so you can cross things off of it, I never really thought of this as a learned skill.

And then this year happened.

Last month we assigned newspaper three stories at once. The result: crash and burn. Most of the students tried to do three things at once. They didn’t understand the list, prioritizing, doing one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is embedded into who they are. They couldn’t turn it off.

Yesterday the same thing happened. Photographers were  given a list of assignments and they got the photos taken but they lost them before they were uploaded. They were doing too many things at once and work had to be redone because of it.

I’ve caught myself doing the same thing. A couple days ago I was at the Y on the elliptical, listening to a book and a CNN story caught my attention. When the reader announced the book was done, my attention snapped back. I had no idea what was in the book, but I can tell you about the electronic music culture, the rave law and how EMTs at music events try to address the drug problem without making it seem like they condone drug usage.

We’re so busy today it seems like multi-tasking is a must, but the quality of work suffers because of it. Sometimes it seems like multi-tasking is a must because our lists are so long.

Multi-tasking while working through a long list only makes a mess.

My editors get this. They’re masters of the list and amazing at delegating.

I think they’re better than I am with this is a lot of ways.

The list is a lesson I’m teaching from now on, and it’s something I’m going to live as well.

This crazy busy world we live in is just too overwhelming without the list. Multi-tasking makes it worse.