Tag Archives: SEP

Dear Summer 2013 #MyWANA

Ross Castle, Killarney IrelandI loved you. You were a life-changing summer.

I started in Ireland, the most beautiful place on earth, ended at the computer writing and designing book covers and formatting books so everyone has access to the Mary Beth Lee and Liz Lee books, not just kindle owners.

I survived the summer cold from hell, discovered Zeal, spent July in yearbook camps, said goodbye to a fellow J-adviser who’s retiring after 31 years in the district.

I found a new favorite author: Sarah MacLean <3, finished Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series and reread the SEP books I love so much.

I re-embraced Pilates since it helps with the pain caused by the purse and fall-inflicted shoulder injury AND I learned the chiropractor hurts like heck, but makes the pain better eventually.

I wrote and wrote and wrote some more and edited and edited and edited some more and had a blast with Mom and Dad and learned to play dominoes with an ancient set of the game that had been in the bottom of our game closet in the old house.

I rediscovered the anxiety of an empty nest and the joy, too. And learned that blue sticky tack is from hell.

I lost big at poker, but decided the stop at Fischer’s in Muenster was worth it.

I fell more in love with the dog and she fell more in love with me. There’s a chance this is a codependent relationship. We’ll see when school starts Monday.

I slept in late and stayed up late working on books and maintained the weight loss from last year and stuck with the low carb lifestyle.

I had a blast writing the third Sharlene Gallagher book and rewriting To Trust a Prince. I coveted Karen Kelley’s new RV and decided one day DH and I would have one, too.

Thanks to DD’s insistence I finally saw Pitch Perfect and learned to my surprise that no, it’s NOT a baseball movie. I saw I Love You Man and laughed and laughed and laughed some more. And I started Scandal. Wow. Just wow. Shonda Rhimes is a genius.

You were a great summer. I’ll miss you. But it’s time to restart the day job. I love it, even though it’s frustrating some times…especially these days when the powers that be, people who aren’t in classrooms or campus admin jobs, keep asking for more and more and more to the point that effectiveness suffers system wide, but as a former principal told me once: you do what you can do. That’s my non-summer goal for the day job this year. Do what I can do. And try to continue last year’s “keep in positive” goal by focusing on the good part of the job: the students.

Goodbye summer. I’ll miss you. xoxo


Work to do

I’ll be working on my family saga today. I LOVE this story. It’s so powerful. The emotional tension between all the characters keeps me nearly in tears and the precious kids give it a levity at moments you least expect it.
In the past one of my rejections said it’s like I write two books at once. Dark and then light and funny. I hope the fun moments coming from secondary characters works better. One of the things I love about the fun moments is that they make me laugh, but then when I look deeper they’re actually pretty sad too.
These people definitely need God’s help.
I’ve got to go back to the synopsis and make sure it’s concrete enough.
I’m a journalist, so I don’t know WHY I have such a hard time with concrete vs. abstract. When I wrote my synopsis yesterday for the partial I sent out, I approached it completely as a news story and then revised to take out redundancies. That seemed to work better. I guess we’ll see.

I’m reading Jane Graves’ Light My Fire during workouts. It’s AMAZING! I thought I was going to hate the hero, but 100 pages in and Jane’s already got me falling in love. I don’t know why I was worried. Her Alex DeMarko dethroned Bobby Tom Denton as my all time favorite hero, and I hated Alex in I Got You Babe. But his book, Wild at Heart, motivated all his jerky behavior.
I saw Jane speaking at Dreamin’ in Dallas just before her first big book came out. (I’m not sure if her first category was out yet or not, but I love it too!) One of my CPs ended up with it at Nationals in New Orleans and kept us up all night reading excerpts out loud. We laughed and laughed and by the end of the conference we’d all bought the book. Her writing reminds me a lot of SEP but the stories are more real. I love SEP, but those books are pure fantasies. When I read Jane’s books I usually feel like DANG this could really happen!!!! But the way she delivers a story is very similar to SEP. Fastpaced, full-fledged characters with amazing coflicts and deep backstories that give them a little edge or a lot of edge, depending on what’s needed. She writes big books and category and both are incredible, thus she’s been nominated several times for RITAs even though her books have only been out four or five years. Every time I hear her speak I learn something new. Definitely what I need to be reading during workouts. 🙂

Redemptive, uplifting, the power of forgiveness

I just finished The Lovely Bones. I wanted to love the book. I really did. Millions of people have raved about it. The story was masterfully crafted.
But when the cover quotes say a story is redemptive, uplifting and something that shows the amazing power of forgiveness, and those quotes are from top reviewers working for the top papers in the nation, you figure they know what the heck they’re talking about.
The story was interesting–captivating even. But it wasn’t redemptive…or uplifting…and as far as the power of forgiveness goes, I never really saw it. It was a glimpse at what might have been forgiveness, but felt more like a sort of resolution, an acceptance and attempt to make things okay even though they never would be.
I can’t blame the author. She didn’t write the cover quotes.
It’s definitely time for a romance. I dug Heaven, Texas out to read again for the millionth time. Now that’s a story of forgiveness. And it’s uplifting. Especially the ice cream scene. 🙂