Tag Archives: #mywana

The World Turns…

When I started this blog, I didn’t have Facebook or twitter or Pinterest. My daughter was in junior high. I’d lost a lot of weight on WW (and then gained and lost and gained and lost…). It was super bowl time and I talked about strawberries a lot. I wrote a lot. I read a lot. I posted crazy photos. I dreamed about traveling. I was a cat mom and never thought about owning a dog. I ate carbs all the time (thus the weight gain and loss, gain and loss). My grandparents were alive and I went to stay with them every once in a while, usually with my daughter. My grandma sang all the time. She and her best friend my Aunt Helen let me take their photo at family reunion, I belonged to a yahoo group called catarom and spent a god-awful amount of time reading emails. I hadn’t ever heard of education reform or the WFISD Leadership Cohort.

It’s crazy how much has changed.

Those changes are why I love this blog. It’s so amazing to walk back through life and see how I’ve grown. It’s also awesome to connect with readers and writers and just say hey.

Today I wrote 7k words. I still write a lot.

I’m up to chapter 7 in a Karen Templeton book. I still read a lot.

I deleted twenty emails and kept about 50 I need to read. I might get to 10 of them. I rarely read email now.

I checked in on facebook and twitter for what was supposed to be a second but that turned into an hour. Facebook and twitter consume time if I let them.

I was grumpy about some things and then a friend posted asking for prayers for a family member and it was like God smacked me with some perspective. I still learn a lot.

Happy reading and writing.

Hopefully I finish a book draft tomorrow before lesson plans.

 

Mid-book Freak Out #writerzen

Mid-book freak out time.

That moment I sit staring at the computer screen thinking any of the following in any order or maybe even all at once:

Sucks.

This is awful.

Sucks…sucks…sucks

What was I thinking when I sat down to write tonight?

Wait…what is this character’s name…oh dear GOD I’ve called her the wrong name the last twenty pages…

Conflict?! Who needs conflict.

blah-blah-blah-blah

Hey, this sentence starts with a capital and there’s a period at the end. That’s good for something, right?

Oh wait…nvr mind.

Dear God, is that even in English?!

ThisIsARomanceButThere’sNoRomance. How did I forget the romance?!?!?!?!?!?

Kill someone. That always makes things interesting.

You could just write down the Big Fat Man story. Everyone loves that. Drank a barrel of water, ate a barrel of mush, gobble, gobble, gobble…

Hmmmm. I have a new Karen Templeton to read. Maybe I should take a reading break and study the craft.

It’s Friday. I need a drink.

Or 10.

Sucks, sucks. sucks.

Coffee, coffee, coffee.

Genius.

Just joking.

I’m blogging first instead of writing first. That’s almost as bad as stopping to wash dishes but not as bad as stopping to sweep the floors.

Twitter. Twitter has the answers. Twitter is like writer zen. Writer zen…what is this I speak of? #twitterzen It could trend.

The end. I could just slap the end on it now and call it done.

Even though it’s not done.

But that’s the whole point of crappy first draft, right?

Sucks, sucks, sucks.

Not getting better if I don’t go write.

Ok.

The kill someone idea sounds good. Who cares that it’s not suspense…at all…not even a little.

Wait. The Stars are on. Their magic number is 2. What am I doing writing?

Choices. Decisions. So many directions to go.

Wah. Wah. Wah. All the way home.

See you on the flip side.

#writerzen Yeah, that’s awesome. And an oxymoron.

Dang it.

 

 

School’s Still Out for Summer #MyWANA #Teacher

1 of four bags of supplies I bought for the classroom this year.

1 of four bags of supplies I bought for the classroom this year.

Right now I dread next Monday. I love my job, but there’s so much freedom during the summer. I love staying up late to work and sleeping in and wearing flipflops and yoga pants and putting my hair up in a ponytail and not wearing makeup and reading tons of romance novels and listening to my grooveshark playlist for hours and deciding last minute to take an overnight trip to the casino and summer. Yeah. All of it.

By next Sunday I’ll be ready…sort of. By the next Sunday I’ll definitely be ready.

I took the first step today: School supply shopping for the classroom.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to embrace the last few days of this break.

Dead Girl Walking

What I’ve Been Doing

August 2013

August 2013

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The last week has been one HUGE writing push. I’ve finished the copy edits for Sharlene Gallagher, Book 2: An Angel Earns Her Wings, and I’ve finished a round of edits on one of my romances. I’ve started the repackaging process on my print books, and I’ve made some business decisions.

I never really looked at my writing as a business, and that was a huge mistake.

Thank goodness for industry professionals like Kristen Lamb whose WANA blog helped me see the light. No more writing under three names. My YA and Inspirationals will now be published under the name Mary Beth Lee. The romances will continue under Liz Lee. I can handle publicity for two, but three…no way.

I’m working on a business plan now thanks to The Indie Voice book, The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing. If you are self-published and looking at your writing as simply craft OR you’re interested in self-publishing, get this book first. The Indie Voice authors walk you through their plan step-by-step, and the information is invaluable.

I’m working on increasing my word count thanks to the inspiration of critique partner Karen Kelley and The Artist’s Way challenger/former student/current colleague Scotty Coppage.

It’s been an interesting 18 months. Our empty house filled up, we built a house, we got a dog (and I love her so much) and our full house emptied. In the midst of that, I wrote, but I wrote into the mists with no real plan. That’s changed now. More on that later. I’ve got work to do, so I’m signing off!

Trying Something New #edtech #MyWANA

21st-century-learning-wordleYou know that moment you hit play on the presentation you spent HOURS working on and the technology doesn’t work? I’m hoping I don’t see that today-Saturday in the newspaper classes I’m teaching. Fingers crossed.

I’m going paperless.

The classes include youtube clips and hyperlinks to stories and discussion points. I’m using Edmodo for assignments and twitter for questions. (THANK YOU MyWANAs and Kristen Lamb. I’m taking your twitter lessons and applying them to my day job, too!) In my mind this is the best thing ever. I mean I can stand up at the front of the class and say “Like Stephen King says, if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write,” OR I can click the play button and Stephen King can say it plus some. I know which of those I’d rather see. 🙂

I’ve used video clips in my classes at school for a full semester. My students told me they LOVED that part of the class. Hopefully the kids at camp will, too. And hopefully they’ll like that they can access the Keynote complete with clips and links via Edmodo. PLUS there’s no way I can cover everything in the few hours I see them, so I’ve included several other folders of information I use in the classroom.

I’ll let you know how it goes. #

Dead Girl Walking

Night Owl Retraining

Used with creative commons license. By Dave Stokes. http://www.flickr.com/photos/33909700@N02/3159761620/

It’s 1:24 a.m. and I don’t want to go to bed, but I start school in a week, so I better make myself remember NIGHTS are for sleeping. I’ve always been a night owl. I think it started when we got the Atari when I was a kid. I loved Pac Man. Mom loved Pac Man. We’d stay up all night gobbling up those little dots and trying to beat those pesky ghosts. That music is etched in my mind. My friends and I would have read-a-thons when we stayed at each other’s houses for sleepovers. Who could make themselves stay up all night to FINISH the book. Or we’d have write-a-thons. Who could write the most  chapters before crashing? When I first started writing commercial fiction, I could stay up until 2 a.m. working and function the next day no problem. That’s changed. So even though for some reason my creative brain works better after 10 p.m., it’s time to retrain. It’s going to be a great school year and great writing year. The school paper even made the local newspaper yesterday! ###

If you like my blog, I hope you’ll look at my books available in print everywhere and in eformat for kindle. I write YA as Elizabeth Lee (Honor and LiesDead Girl Walking: The Guardian Book 1) and christian fiction as Mary Beth Lee (Grace is Enough, Letting Go). Find out more on my Amazon author’s page.

Red Pen Intervention: Self-Pub Editing

You know those posts that go around showing how researchers can give you parts of words and your brain can figure out what’s there? For some reason I didn’t realize that translated to my writing.

My day job consists of constantly editing and proofing. For some reason I thought that meant I could self-proof with no worries. WRONG. Even reading out loud I’ve missed a ton of stuff. Lesson learned. I MUST have a proof reader for my self-pub work. Now I have to upload corrected novels to Amazon. Proof I need to SLOW DOWN! Another example of just because I can doesn’t mean I should–and that’s a real issue with self-publishing for me. It’s so easy to submit the work without taking the time to let the work rest then return to it to make it the best it can be. I’m learning, though.

On the bright side, I’ve got the cover for my July inspirational romance, Letting Go. 

 

Coming to Amazon July 2012. An inspirational romance by Mary Beth Lee. Letting Go: A story of forgiveness, second chances and finding love that lasts forever. Triple Eight Ranch Book 1.

I’ve started working on the next Sharlene Gallagher book (YA by Elizabeth Lee). That Sharlene is a real character.

Event + Response

While DGW percolates I’m working on a new book, and it’s like I wrote two different people for one character, and said character isn’t supposed to be split personality. Not a good thing.
Interesting moment last night working on it. I thought about scrapping the story and starting something completely new. I kept working and thinking this is too hard and logging on to twitter and facebook. I even did dishes instead of working on the story. I read HuffPo and Perez and tried channeling Karen Templeton and Sharon Sala. It didn’t work.
And then it hit me.
Those authors I love don’t just snap their fingers and end up with works of art. They work the story and the words and they write and write and write some more before they end up with the stories I love.
It’s funny I needed the reminder that revising isn’t always easy since I teach my kids to give themselves permission to write crap because you can’t fix a blank page. I build my entire curriculum around the word revise.
I told a friend Sunday that Event + Response = Outcome. That applies to everything in life…including this. I gave myself permission to write crap. The bones of the story are there, but right now, I’m facing some serious work to whip it into shape. Still, it’s better than a blank page.
Back to work.

Done. Whew!

I finished the second set of revisions and the full synopsis on my new book today, so it’s back to blogging as usual.
I’m going to let the manuscript sit and percolate before going back in for one more revision. If I get a request from the agent I’m targeting I’ll go back immediately. If I don’t hear from her, I’m going to let the book sit a month while I work on a different manuscript that’s about half done.

I don’t know what the weather’s like where you live, but this book revision ended with the winds roaring. My house smells like dirt, and the sky is a nasty shade of red brown that accompanies 50 mph wind gusts.
On the bright side, it’s not freezing.
On the not so bright side, I’m sick. I don’t know if it’s the dirt or if I’ve picked up a a bug. Hope it’s the dirt!

Quick Update

I’m not writing many blog posts because I’m working on DGW. When the first revisions are done, I’ll be back. I just wanted to post that my new website is live: http:/marybethlee.com AND to throw this out to the universe: I WAS INSANE TO WRITE A DUAL FIRST PERSON PRESENT TENSE book.
Be back in six chapters!