Tag Archives: dh

Gold Medal, Conference escape, Sometimes husbands really screw up!

Last year’s yearbook earned Gold Medal status from Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Woo Hoo!!!!
Publication competitions are a lot like manuscript contests. Last year my book got SLAMMED. This year, they love us. I love us too, so I ignore the slam years. 🙂

I’m in San Antonio this weekend with two of my editors. We’re attending the TAJE conference. I love this conference. It’s so uplifting. And BOY do I need uplifting!
And I needed the escape from home to finish this book!

Speaking of home, I just reminded DH he wouldn’t see much of me from now until December (Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines!). His response: That sucks. But it’ll be okay AS LONG AS YOU MAKE SUPPER.
Poor, poor man.
He’s just earned himself a month of bologna.
Worst part: He has no idea why I’m upset.
If I needed proof, I’ve got it now. Men ARE from Mars.
I think I’ll pick up a bologna cookbook while I’m here. Maybe I can find a recipe with spinach. He hates spinach. 🙂

Writing Day

The stage was set.
Today, finally, a love scene.
I actually thought I was going to write it yesterday, but then I sat down with my characters and a few pages in realized they weren’t ready. So I upped the tension, drove them crazy, drove me crazy and left it for today.
My last book didn’t have a love scene, so it had been a while since I’d written one.
I made sure everything was perfect.
Cinnamon scent, check.
Music for ambience, check. Ozzy’s Killer of Giant’s, REO Speedwagon’s Keep on Lovin’ You and Evanescence’s Going Under.
Headphones and iTunes blasting I sat at the computer and started writing.
Five minutes later dh taps me on the shoulder. Asks if I’ll hang out with him in the living room since I’m off. Ugh.
iTunes off. Headphones on the chest at the end of my bed. I trudge into the living room for quality hubby time. Just me and him and SportsCenter or The Weather Channel.
Definitely inspiration for the scene just waiting to be written.
Finally I help him see it’s not going to rain and lawns need mowing so off to work he goes. Quality hubby time in and I’m back to the love scene.
Riley and Callah are plenty happy, let me tell you. I left them in quite the precarious position.
iTunes on. Headphones in. Music blaring and five minutes later, I’m paged by dd. Seems she needs leg warmers and it’s deadline week so this is the only day we can get them.
I lift the left earphone off, tell her give me two hours and we’re on the hunt. She agrees.
Five minutes later she needs breakfast. Five minutes later she wants to talk about Weight Watchers. Five minutes later I realize it’s been way too long since I’ve written at home while everyone’s there. They’ve completely forgotten to LEAVE ME ALONE when the headphones are on!
Finally I shut the door, settle in for the scene of a lifetime.
Riley and Callah are happy for now. I’m fixing to change that. 🙂
It is deadline week this week. Actually double deadline. I’ve settled back into my school year writing routine and I feel so much better.
I realized this week that in nine years I’ve never written in September and yet I write at least two books a year. That realization helped me tons.

Lots of Children Left Behind

A child of the 80s, my dyslexic husband didn’t have that great of a time in school. Teachers spent his elementary years telling his mother how smart but lazy he was. She insisted he couldn’t read. They said of course he could. Finally after fourth grade she took him to Dallas for tests. Within minutes everyone knew. He couldn’t read, and it wasn’t his fault. At that time dyslexia was something new and unknown. He stayed in Dallas for school, learned to read and repeated fourth grade.
Problem solved. Or so you’d have thought.
In high school, he loved business classes, but his counselors told him he needed to focus on a trade. College wasn’t a valid option for a kid with dyslexia.
One teacher, Mrs. Reser, told him he could do whatever he wanted, but at that time in his life, he listened to the counselors and became an auto mechanic. He didn’t really like it, though. And in the back of his mind he remembered that teacher. Mrs. Reser. Telling him he could do anything he wanted.
Within a few years he was in college. In four years he finished his degree in marketing. The dyslexia was still there, but he dealt with it using the skills he’d learned so long ago at the school in Dallas.
In fifth grade my daughter’s reading teacher asked me if I’d considered modifications for her. Seemed she just wasn’t performing up to the level expected. The teacher felt modifications were in order.
I was stunned and outraged.
My daughter was hyper-active, but she’d scored in the 99th percentile on every reading test since she’d started testing in second grade. She’d certainly pulled the wool over her teacher’s eyes, but the teacher should’ve done a little research. Needless to say modifications weren’t discussed again. And amazingly, when the teacher’s expectations changed, my daughter’s grades did too.
I see this same thing play out so many times in schools and often the kids have no advocate, no one to stand up and say you can do it! I like being that teacher, but sometimes it’s hard. A few years ago I had a student in my introductory journalism class. She drove me crazy. She insisted she wanted to be a journalist, but she could barely write a coherent sentence. She’d been tested for special ed, but her scores were too bad to make it in the program.
Every day the girl came into my room, prepared to write. And every day she’d stay after. And every day I’d groan to myself at the wasted time I was spending on this girl who certainly had the desire but was never going to make it.
One of the best moments in my teaching career was the day she turned in a perfect lead. 5Ws, 1H. One sentence. 30 words.
We both jumped up and down. It might’ve taken two six weeks, but she’d done it.
By the end of the semester, she was turning in perfect summary news stories in inverted pyramid format. The simplicity of the form had freed her from her problems with grammar. The stories took lots of revision, but they were done and they were decent.
The girl transferred out of my school the next semester. I don’t know where she is today.
But she taught me an incredible lesson.
Want to,desire, perseverance…they’re every bit as important as ability and intelligence, probably even more so.

Grilling for Dummies 101…I am a writer

grillIt’s been too hot to cook inside so I’ve been grilling instead. Until today dh has started the grill. Today he was working so I did the entire meal including starting the grill.
What not to do/to do when grilling pizzas:
Yes, you do get the oven as hot as you can when cooking pizzas. Do NOT get the grill as hot as you can when grilling pizzas. It will burn a hole in the top of your hubby’s prized grill. The one he searched high and low for. The Weber gold edition. The king of grills. The one he looked at twenty times over the course of a year before buying. The one he babies more than he babies anything else. The one you think he just might have a name for. The one he loves to grill ribs, burgers, steaks, chicken, and everything that was once alive on.
Do NOT try to grill super thin crust pizza directly on the grill.
Do NOT pour olive oil on the top of the crust to keep it from drying out. Do you know how high flames shoot when oil hits? Burnt crust is an understatement.
Do spend hours trying to figure out how you’re going to explain grill catastrophe to poor dh when he gets home dog tired after working an entire day in hundred degree heat index.
Do make sure you meet him at door with Crown and 7 on the rocks.
Do make sure you’ve sprayed enough air freshener to cover up the horrific scent of burned metal.
Forget it. Just spill the beans and try to make it up even though that’s not going to happen. 😦


I’m never grilling again.

AND I wrote 18 pages today. Okay, so technically it’s tomorrow, but that’s only because I couldn’t sleep because I wanted to finish this scene and that turned to another. WOW! I haven’t written 18 pages in a while. I am a writer! WOO HOO!

The Battle of Little Big Living Room

I sat in dh’s chair, the chair that’s a tad too big, but super comfy and next to the remote. Somewhere in the back of mind is the crazy idea I should be cleaning house. Don’t ask where the idea comes from as I have NO earthly idea. Instead I keep flipping channels. Soaps. QVC. Home & Garden. Ah… here we go. NYPD Blue. Back in the day when Jimmy Smitz and Kim Dalaney were smoking up the sceen.
One Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper and a scrumptious healthy soup lunch later I’m settling in for the love scene at the end of the show. Can we say chemistry?
Just as they’re getting to the good part a sparkle catches my eye.
I investigate.
A half full bag of Hershey’s Kisses, sitting beside my husband’s chair, waiting patiently to be eaten.
I ignore them and turn back to the TV. It’s a diaper commercial. 😦
The Kisses keep sparkling in their red and silver wrappers and I keep ignoring them at the same time I wonder what kind of super powers my darling dear possesses.
Another Diet Coke later and the love scene’s over. It’s on to Law and Order.
And I figure, what the heck. What’s one Kiss?
15 Kisses later the bag’s no longer half full. It’s pretty much empty. I know, I know. A half full bag of Kisses is not gone after 15. Who’s counting?
I’m blaming this on NYPD Blue. It was the love scene.