Monday, November 15, 2010

An update, baseball, and a WOW . . .

Jeez! I turn around for what seems like a moment, and suddenly nearly two months have gone by with no posts! However I have good reasons . . .

Well, semi-good reasons . . .

To start with, I haven't been able to get much writing done lately. Work, my family, and other obligations have been taking away what little writing time I have. Then there's the fact that I got yet another rejection of a short story I had submitted about a month ago. What made this one so hard was not only the particular story that got rejected, but that I had received some confirmation of the manuscript's receipt and I mistook it as a possible acceptance. I obviously WON'T be making that mistake again. Then I had my picture book critiqued, and I was disappointed in that . . .

Basically, I was not feeling very optimistic about my writing life.

This is where baseball comes in . . .

Baseball is one of my passions. I became a baseball fan when I was about 12 and my Dad took me to Dodgers Stadium for the first time. Then I saw an exhibition game there during the 1984 Olympics. When I started dating my husband when I was 16, I became a SF Giants fan. And have been ever since.

Now if you've spent any time following baseball lately, you'd know the Giants won the World Series this year (on my birthday - November 1st - to boot!), so this past month I have been glued to the TV or the radio listening to all the playoff games (not that I wouldn't have even if the Giants hadn't been there, but obviously I was a little more interested than in past years). So there you go.

Now, time for WOW . . .

I know I'm shifting days, but I wanted to use this last week and couldn't get myself together enough to get it done. So the WOW for the week is . . .

SOURCE : The point or place of which something originates.

Now when I looked up the definition, there were some six different ones, but this one applies best to this post.

All my stories have a source. They come from people and experiences I've had either as a kid, or as a grown-up. But recently I sent the first 250 words of one of my novels to a YA pitch contest and the source of the book came from a familiar place . . . baseball.

When I started seriously writing, I wrote down a half-page story of what it was like to be at the NLCS in 1989 when the Giants beat the Cubs for the pennant and chance to go to the World Series. I wrote down the sights, sounds, and my feelings about what it was like to be in Candlestick Park on October 9th, 1989. Even though we lost the series, that was one of the most memorable games I've ever experienced.

Then in 2002 the Giants went to the World Series. I saw game 5, but we lost the series . . . again.

But during that time, the little bud of an idea started. A year later I told my niece the story of a girl, Cat, who had a passion for baseball but because of a series of conincedences and situations, was dangling between playing baseball and softball. The first thing she told be when I finished the story was , "When is it getting published?" My response was, "I have to write it first Katie."

And so I did.

It took me nearly a year and a half to write the first draft. Then I talked to a writing coach about my concerns about the character development of Cat, and she gave me 3 pieces of advice. The biggest one was for my to write it in Cat's voice.

And so I did.

When I finally finished the "second" first draft, I thought about that short story I ahd written all those years ago and realized, I had written about Cat before . . . in my recollections of that baseball game.

I am grateful for (and to) all the sources of my stories. But I hope this year Cat finally catches someone's eye and will some day get into the hands of some girl or boy who has the same passion as I do.

Until next time . . . have a good week.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Another weekend WOW . . .

Hi all!!

Well it's been another crazy week, so yet again I'm posting my WOW on the weekend. I actually was going to post it on my usual Friday, but when I got out to write about it . . . I realized I hadn't written down the word and then promptly forgot it. UGH!

Anyway, after a quick drive past my school, I refreshed my memory. So without further ado the WOW for this week is . . .


Coincidence: n - 1. The state or fact of occupying the same relative position or area in space. 2. A sequence of events that although accidental, seems to have been planned or arranged.

Interesting how one word can have two TOTALLY different meanings. But the definition I'm writing about is the one that's probably most well known - "The sequence of events that although accidental, seems to have been planned or arranged."

I am a very intuitive person. I'm sure I've written this before, but I honestly believe that all things, situations and people who come into your life (good or bad) are for a reason. Usually it's to teach you something. But there are many people who believe coincidences rule the universe . . . everything that happens in this world is a accident.

In fact the people at "The Free Dictionary" where I got this definition, even state: ". . . that although accidental, seems to be have been planned or arranged."

So which do you believe? Do you believe that there is no such thing as coincidences . . . or is the opposite true?

Just something to think about on this summer/fall Sunday afternoon. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Quote of the week:

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized for it anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't" - Eleanor Roosevelt.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A late and double WOW!

I've been a little neglectful in my blogging duties these past 2 weeks. It's not necessarily from lack of wanting, it's been lack of time. I could go into it on here, but I'm not going to because . . . I'm just not.

Our school FINALLY started re-posting our WOW's on the marquee. I REALLY wanted to post the one from last week because it was just so perfect, but unfortunately I couldn't so instead I have a double WOW to share.

My first one is . . . (drum roll)


Now when I looked this word up, I was a little intimidated because there were some 14 different definitions! Yes, you heard me right . . . 14!! Given the way my past two weeks have been playing out, I could probably have used any number of them. But after long and deliberate consideration I decided to go with . . .

Character: n - Moral or ethical strength.

I could probably fill up this entire blog with my explanation as to why I picked this specific one, but let's just say I've had enough trying experiences and changes these past two weeks to make me think a lot about my own character and how it allows me to do what I do everyday. Both with my job, as well as with my family.

And I'd like to think it's what's helping me survive right now . . .

Okay, now for WOW #2 . . . it is . . .


I know, I know . . . how did I go from CHARACTER to EVIDENCE? I had to ask myself that same question. Thankfully, evidence doesn't have nearly as many definitions (only 3) but the one I picked was . . .

Evidence: n - A thing or things that are helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment.

These past two weeks I have been given plenty of evidence to help support my feeling regarding my character. Whether I wanted that evidence or not.

So there you go, a double WOW for the weekend. Can't wait to see what's up on the marquee next week.

Have a great weekend!! :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Why I feel like Ellen Tebbits . . .

I am a HUGE fan of Beverly Clearly. Apart from not reading Dear Mr. Henshaw, I've read nearly every book of hers out there (including her "teen" books - Fifteen, Sister of the Bride, etc.)

Some of my most vivid childhood memories involve her books . . . Like when I lost my 9th birthday party (don't ask why) but I still got a couple of presents and one of them was Ramona and her Mother. And then there was the time I cured myself of reading in the bathtub when I accidentally dropped my beloved copy of Ramona the Pest and made it 3 times its normal size.

I do have my favorites: Ramona the Pest, Socks, Fifteen, Emily's Runaway Imagination, Mitch and Amy, and my all time favorite . . . Ellen Tebbits.

Last week, during quiet reading time at school, I pulled out a copy of Ellen Tebbits from our class library and suddenly I was 9 years old again. And I realized that of all the Beverly Cleary books I have read, Ellen Tebbits is the only one I could probably recite, part and parcel, the entire story from beginning to end.

And that made me wonder . . . why is that?

After mulling this question over and over in my brain this past weekend, I figured out it probably has to do with how much I identify with Ellen. Then as much as now.

Ellen tries her best to be perfect . . . to do her best at everything. Obey her mother, desperately wants her teacher's approval and is devastated when things don't work out the way she plans.

For better or for worse, that was me as a kid. And to a certain extent, that's me now. The great thing about Ellen is that she does learn from her mistakes.

And just like Ellen, I like to think that I do too. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

And now . . . WOW!

I'm getting into a routine that I don't like . . . only having one blog post a week.

I do enjoy putting out my WOW Fridays, but I admit I REALLY would like to spend more time posting on here. Which is a good opening to my WOW this week, which is . . .


1. Absent; lacking.
2. Not measuring up to standards or expectations.

My reasoning for pick this particular word is two-fold. First, as a vent to the fact that I am very frustrated with myself for my lack of writing time . . . both on here and also on my stories. The other reason is because the word wanting is a good word to describe a character I've been trying to work on for the past several months.

I seem to go in this cyclical pattern where I work on a character I'm dedicated to, and working on getting to know, but then I have another character enter into my consciousness and they don't want to go away . . . regardless of how inconvenient their timing is!

For the past month or two, I've been avoiding working on this character, but she won't leave me alone! I even have her playlist on my iPod, and I've been listening to it over and over and over again. Much to the chagrin of my children (although not to much . . . they like the music).

However the thing about this character is that her life is very wanting . . . which makes her a very compelling girl. And I can't get her out of my mind.

So tonight, after avoiding her for too long, I finally sat down and worked on the list of this girl's character traits.

And reminding myself that I have a finish up with a different character before I can work on this one. Hopefully that will be just the push I need to get through my wanting writing life.

We'll see. Have a great Labor Day weekend! :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another WOW Saturday! Am I starting a new trend?

Okay, so it's another Saturday and I'm now getting around to my WOW . . . egads! Things have been quite crazy with my day job, so needless to say my 3 posts-a-week isn't quite happening right now. I'm still hoping once things calm down in the next week or two, I'll be back to normal.

Having said that, I need to get down to business . . .

The WOW for this week is:


Iridescent: 1. Producing a display of lustrous, rainbow-like colors.
2. Brilliant, lustrous or colorful in effect or appearance.

Iridescent is one of those special, unique words you don't see everyday. The kind you bring out during a special occasion . . . like when you bring out the fine china for an anniversary, or Thanksgiving.

In all the years I've been reading, it's one of the few words I rarely hear. However some 4 or 5 years ago, I was reading a Middle Grade novel that I had heard some good things about, and decided to give it a whirl. In the book, FLIPPED, by Wendelin Van Draanen, one of the main characters (Bryce) has a conversation with his grandpa regarding the other main character (Juli). The grandpa uses the word iridescent to describe Juli . . . saying how people like that are so incredibly colorful in their personality and beauty that nothing compares to knowing them.

The reason why I'm mentioning all this is because FLIPPED came out in the movie theaters earlier this month. Here's the trailer . . .

Sorry for the extended video border . . . having a hard time getting it to fit in my box.

I love this book so much . . . I hope everyone gets a chance to see just how iridescent all these characters are.

Have a great weekend! :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

WOW . . . a day late . . .

I can't believe it's been so long since I've done a WOW. Now I'm in a position to do it, and it's not even Friday!

Oh well . . .

Anyway, our school has begun, but the WOW has not. That means I'm still left to my own devices to get it done and I think I've got a very good one this week.

So without further ado, this week's WOW is . . .


Now there are many, MANY different definitions of perspective, but in the interest of time and space I'm going to cut out any that involve the use of perspective in art. That leaves me with two options:

1. A way of regarding situations, facts, etc.; and judging their relative importance.

2. The proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it; objectivity.

The idea for this word came to me during our opening meeting for the classified members of our school district (ie: teachers, aides, etc.). Our principal was talking about using perspective to see the good out of the difficult times our district has gone through this past year. The district had to make some hard decisions and we lost a number of wonderful people because of it (including my young son's kindergarten teacher who I love tremendously). He went on to speak candidly to us about his personal experiences growing up . . . using them as examples of how his life could have been so very different if he had looked at it in another perspective. Choosing a positive way instead of the alternative.

His words were encouraging and inspiring, and I'm so grateful he confided in us.

That got me to think about my own perspective about my life. It reminds me that ALL of us have the power to dictate which way our life goes. Making simple decisions such as whether or not you're going to be positive or negative about a situation that gets thrown in your lap . . . or even the tone of voice you use with your friends, your family, and your children.

I am in my writing life for the long haul . . . regardless of how frustrating or annoying it is because my writing time has been cut to nearly zero in the past couple of weeks . . . and will continue to be so at least for the time being. But I know things will calm down and eventually things will happen the way they are suppose to.

As long as I keep my perspective.

If I'm talking in circles, please forgive me . . . it's been a very long week.

Have a happy weekend. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Finally . . . an update!

Hi all!!

I can't believe the last time I posted I was in LA and getting prepared for the start of the LA SCBWI conference . . . and now here I am, nearly 3 weeks later, and SO much has happened since then.

To start, the conference was exhausting, exhilarating, and brought things that were incredibly comforting and amazingly unexpected. And in the end I received a rejection, an acceptance, and had a potentially life-altering meeting.

1. The rejection - Unfortunately the agent I had Cat with decided not to represent me. When I received this, I had very mixed feelings. Although I was disappointed the agent didn't accept or understand my style, ultimately I believe this happened for a reason (more explanation at point #3).

2. The acceptance - Ironically, on the heels of my rejection, I received word from a magazine I had submitted to in April, and the news was good! My short story, Watercolor Walls, will be published in the October issue of Sparkle magazine!! YAY!!

3. The life-altering meeting - On the first day of the conference, I found out my critique of Sophia was with another well-respected agent who I had heard wonderful things about. Our meeting was on Friday, and what an exciting meeting it was. Not just because she raved about Sophia and "got" her . . . but because for the first time, I met someone (whether agent, editor, etc.) who I felt truly comfortable with. She was enthusiastic, helpful and very classy. After I informed her about the other agent who had Cat, she wished me luck and told me she would love for me to submit Sophia to her. So . . . I emailed the other agent, received my rejection, and subsequently (with fingers crossed) submitted Sophia to the agent from the conference . . .

Did you catch all that? lol!

Couple that with the fact my day job started on Monday (in addition to all 3 of my kids starting school), which helped make the past 3 weeks just disappear completely.

However, now that life seems to calming down (or at least starting into a routine), I will be back on my schedule of updating 2 to 3 times a week - complete with my Friday WOW's. Thankfully!!

Hope all you have a great new school year, and I'll see you Friday!! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My top 10 picture books

A few weeks ago, my writing group was in our usual deep discussions about our manuscripts when some how (I don't quite remember) we got on the subject of the book Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown.

Crystal, whose blog is here, had mentioned how she was not a fan of Where the Wild Things Are and had written about it as such, much to the ire of several people. That opened up a conversation about our favorite picture books.

I have to admit I hadn't thought much about what constituted a favorite picture book. There are certainly many, MANY things that could cause one to qualify a picture book to be in their "Top 10" (with longevity not necessarily being the most important one) but I guess it all depends on what your point of reference is.

So here are my top 10 picture books (and my reasons why):

10. Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh - This one makes my list because the first time I saw it in the bookstore, the colorful cover somehow made me open it. And what I found inside made me laugh out loud. I bought it right then and there and saved it for my own kids.

9. In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak - This is a book from my childhood. I have to admit when I found it years later with the intention of reading it to my own kids, I found the story (and pictures) to be a bit bizarre. But my kids, especially my youngest, loved it just as much as I did.

8. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz - This is another from my childhood, and it still makes me smile whenever I read it. It always reminds me that no matter how bad things get, there's always tomorrow.

7. Pinkerton, Behave! by Steven Kellogg - My love for this book is two-fold. I grew up loving Steven Kellogg's books, and when I when through school to get my teaching credential, this was one of the first books I read to my 1st graders. They loved it so much, they asked me if there were more . . . and sure enough I found Steven's other Pinkerton books: A Rose for Pinkerton and Prehistoric Pinkerton. Although the original is still my favorite!

6. Oh, Were They Ever Happy! by Peter Spier - This is another book from my childhood that I brought with me to 1st grade. There's something about the bright watercolor paintings Peter Spier uses and the mere idea of a family of children painting a house for their parents and being so proud of the outcome!

5. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney - Words cannot describe how much I love this book. One of the few picture books that can make me cry . . .

4. Rolie Polie Olie by William Joyce - My oldest son originally received this as a Christmas present but it went from child to child to child. It's catchy rhyme and rhythm makes it an easy-to-memorize book. But my appreciation for it didn't come until I ended up in the ER with my then 3-year-old youngest son. The doctor was getting ready to stitch up a huge gash in his head when he told me, "Tell him a story". My mind went blank until I said, "Way up high in the rolie polie sky . . ." and my son answered, "is a little round planet of a really swell guy."

3. The Grumpy Ladybug / The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - I will never be able to think of these two books without thinking about my daughter and myself. The Grouchy Ladybug for her and The Hungry Caterpillar for me. I also have a HUGE appreciation for these books as I truly believe they helped to open up my daughter's artistic eyes. I will always love Eric Carle for that.

2. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell - I have two favorite memories of this book. The first was when I received my first copy of Clifford from a book order when I was in 1st grade. The other was when I found a copy of Clifford in the 1st grade classroom I was teaching in and realized I wanted to write for children . . . it was all because of Clifford.

1. Goodnight Moon / Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd and Felicia Bond - I will forever love these books for giving me hours and hours of bonding time with all three of my children.

Now, I realize that many of you out there have your own favorites, so obviously this list is VERY subjective. However, I do have a few additional books that I need to give an honorable mention to, and would recommend to ANYONE:

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble and Steven Kellogg
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Pete's a Pizza by William Steig
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Emily by Michael Bedard and Barbara Cooney
and ANY Max and Ruby books by Rosemary Wells (especially Bunny Mail and Max's Dragon Shirt)

So what are your favorites?

Friday, July 23, 2010

An early edition of WOW . . .

Good morning!! Being on this time difference has led to some strange things. One of those being an early edition of this week's WOW.

It's a fun one . . . but kind of random . . . and very long!


The definition of pickle includes:

1. An edible product, such as a cucumber, that is preserved and flavored.
2. A solution of brine or vinegar for preserving and flavoring food.
3. A chemical solution, like an acid, used to remove scale and oxides from metal before plating or finishing.
4. A disagreeable or troublesome situation, a plight.
5. A rundown in baseball.


So which one am I using for this post?

Should I make you guess??

Nah . . .

Okay, even though in most cases the first one would apply (especially since my kids LOVE pickles - and I didn't realize definitions #1 and #2 could be interchangeable). And since it is baseball season I could use definition #5. And I had NO idea #3 existed!

That leaves me with definition #4.

Yes, even though I am on vacation, I'm in a bit of a pickle right now.

I've been drifting around a bit in the writing department this past week. Feeling kind of lost . . . not sure which direction to go.

I had one of my magazine articles rejected a few days ago. And even though I was bummed when I got it, I also was able to figure out that my other short story must be under consideration since I haven't heard back from the magazine and it's been over 2 months since the deadline passed.

That got me thinking about my magazine stories again . . .

I go through phases where I want to focus on my short stories and non-fiction articles. I come up with ideas, collect information, write it down, and then either write the story . . . or forget about it.

Yesterday I pulled up one of the websites for a magazine I'm going to be published in, and found their open themes list had been updated. That got me thinking. Again.

So now I'm in a big pickle . . . do I continue to work on my novel, revise my picture book, or try to FINALLY write down my stories/articles?

A pretty pickle indeed.

Guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend . . . have a good one! :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Let the countdown begin . . .

I am pretty big on countdowns. I like the build-up that comes with them . . . doesn't matter what it's for, birthdays, New Year's, vacations. But my biggest countdown always comes this time of the year when I'm waiting for one MAJOR event:

The national SCBWI conference in Los Angeles.

I am now down to single digits in the countdown department for the conference and I've got all the symptoms . . . excitement, fear, wonder, but mostly awe. Awe in the sheer number of things I'll be doing, and who I'll be seeing.

It's a bit like knowing you've won the lottery, but you're not sure what your prize is.

I had the opportunity to submit Sophia to be critiqued at the conference this year. I know I've mentioned this, but last year I had another novel critiqued by an editor and the editor requested the entire manuscript. Unfortunately that didn't work out, but the thing is, you never know what might happen . . .

And that in itself is a wonderful thing. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's WOW time!!

I have to admit this week's WOW isn't very imaginative, but it's appropriate nonetheless. The word is . . . drum roll please . . .


HA! Didn't see that one coming, did you?

Vacation: A period of time devoted to pleasure, rest or relaxation. Especially one with pay granted to an employee.

As you can tell, based on my last post, I am on vacation right now. But a vacation can mean different things to different people. Especially if you take the entire definition to heart.

For example, a couple weeks ago my family left to go out of town for a few days. Now for some people since they are still at home, it wouldn't be called a vacation (I mean it would for the family but not for the one left behind). However, since my duties as a mom were pared down significantly, one could have called it a vacation for me as well . . . especially in the rest department.

Unfortunately, the only part that doesn't apply to me is the "Especially one with pay granted to an employee". Because I write for myself and because I haven't been at my day job at the elementary school long enough, my being paid for being on this vacation just isn't happening.

Although, I am sitting here writing, after just finished reading a book, and my family is down in a steamy pool area while I'm in a nice air-conditioned room.

I think the trade-off suits me just fine.

Have a great weekend! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Time for summertime reading!

Every summer I try to accomplish one goal . . . to read one book a week.

Some summers I have better luck than others. Last summer was great! But that was because I had 3 trips in the first 5 weeks after school, and I am a trip reader.

What is a trip reader, you might ask?

When I go on a trip, whether it be on a plane, train or automobile, I am a captive audience to whatever book I may have in my hot little hands at that time. Three years ago I got through about a third of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows thanks to a 3 hour car drive from South Bend, Indiana to Chicago . . . and then while waiting 7 hours for our delayed flight to San Francisco!

Unfortunately, the first part of this summer has been spent spending too much time indoors . . . and not spending that indoor time wisely.

However, in 2 days I will be leaving to go on vacation. And that opens up brand-new trip reading time!

So am I excited about going on vacation? You betcha! I've got a stack of books just waiting to be read.

I just hope I can get through them all!!

I'll keep you posted. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

An all brand new WOW!

Things have been pretty quiet this week . . . at least they have been here. Wish I could say it's for some amazing reason, but unfortunately laziness is my only excuse.

However, I am back on target with my WOWs and this week is a particularly interesting one . . .


Okay, so when I looked baffled up, it comes under the root word of baffle. There are two different definitions depending on the figure of speech you are using:

Baffle:(n) - 1. To frustrate or check (a person) as by confusing or perplexing.
2. To impede the force movement of.
OR (v) - 1. A usually static device that regulates the flow of a fluid or light.
2. A partition that prevents interference between sound waves in a speaker.

The definition I was thinking of when I came up with this word was the noun (since that's that one that uses the ending of ed).

There are times when I am baffled at the amount of time it takes for things to happen in the publishing world. I know it's a necessity to have patience in this business . . . I went into this with a complete understanding of it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't get frustrating.

So, regardless of how baffled I am, I will keep plugging away . . .

What choice do I have?

Happy Weekend!! :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Saturday edition of WOW . . .

Yes, I realize it's Saturday, and yes I know I haven't posted my WOW yet, but I've always liked the saying, "Better late than never." Soooooo . . . .

Welcome to the Saturday edition of WOW! The WOW for this week is . . .


The definition is,
Luminous: 1. Emitting light, especially self-generated light.
2. Full of light, illuminated.
3. Easily comprehended or clear, Enlightened and intelligent; inspiring.

As I'm sure many of you know, we just went through a full moon cycle this past week. Since I usually work at night, I get the opportunity to see the moon most of those evenings. And this week did not disappoint! The first night I saw it out I couldn't help but marvel at it's amazing beauty and brightness and the WOW popped into my head.

And with that, I hope you all have a luminous 4th of July!! :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Deadlines . . . what good are they?

Tomorrow is July 1st, and I haven't decided if that's a good thing or not . . . because it is a deadline I set for myself and I haven't figured out if I'm going to make it yet.

I usually work well with deadlines . . . I always have. I'm a fairly organized person who needs the structure of knowing what I need to get done and when it needs to be done by.

I'll admit I've never had to deal with a formal deadline set by an editor. I have, however, followed deadlines set by magazines, ie: sending a story with a specific theme and/or metaphor, in to a magazine by a certain date to make sure it makes it for an upcoming issue's deadline.

Anyway, I often make deadlines for myself so I can keep myself on task.

Tomorrow, July 1st, is the date I was supposed to have Sophia ready to send to the editor at Viking. Unfortunately as I have been going over her, there are too many questions marks brought up by myself, and my fabulous writing group, that make me wonder if she's ready to make that jump.


So we'll see what happens. I still have until tomorrow night to make my decision.

And figure out when my next deadline will be.

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's WOW Friday!!

It's that time of the week again . . . WOW Friday!

And that word is:


Now everyone knows what a kaleidoscope is, I hope. I spent many an hour playing with one of those long plastic tubes creating all sorts of magical color combinations.

But not everyone knows there are two other definitions . . .

- A constantly changing set of colors.
- A series of changing phases or events.

Although the definition of the series of changing phases or events feels very applicable to my life right now, the constantly changing set of colors is more of what I'm thinking of.

Today's word was inspired by an amazing sunset I saw the other night. It was about 9 pm, and the clouds in the west had formed a cover making the most incredible sky. The top layer was a whitish-gray color, then a medium gray took over . . . but the combination of the two with the setting sun created some four or five different hues of pink. And although the word gorgeous aptly describes how it looked, as I took a detour driving home - staying west the entire way until the last of the pink had disappeared, another word popped into my head . . .


sigh . . . I wish I could see more of them . . .

Enjoy your weekend! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

An ode to my dad . . .

I know Father's Day was Sunday, and I meant to post this yesterday, but life got in the way . . .

I have always been envious of writers who when asked, "When did you want to be a writer?" they answer with something to the effect of, "I've always wanted to write." or "I've been writing since I was a kid."

I never thought about being a writer when I was a kid . . . in fact, I hated to write. In 3rd grade I wrote an 'All about Me' book and my three least favorite subjects were, math, spelling, and creative writing. Not necessarily in that order, but you get the idea.

Lately, my frustration would mount when I compare myself to other authors thinking, "Maybe this isn't in my blood . . . I don't have the same passion because I didn't intuitively know from a young age that this was what I was meant to do."

But all that HOGWASH (ha ha) went out the window when I thought about another writer who has worked just as hard, if not more so, to get to where he is.

My dad.

My dad is good at math and science. My dad wanted to go into aeronautics when he was a kid. And then something changed all that, my grandpa took him to see his first race at Elkhart Lake when he was 14.

Suddenly the light bulb went on and he decided he wanted to spend his life writing about and taking pictures of cars.

Why am I mentioning this? Because it was not an easy road for him.

Like I mentioned, my dad excelled in math and science. English and writing were NOT his strongest subjects. In fact the principal at his school pulled him into his office to lecture him about his chosen career path telling him, "We need more scientists, John. Your country needs you."

But that didn't matter. He knew what he was meant to do.

It took me a few years, and three kids, to get to the point where I knew, without a doubt, that writing for kids was my "thing".

So who is always one of my biggest cheerleaders? You guessed it! My dad has read every novel I have written and several of my short stories. He has no problem wearing his editing hat and giving things to me straight. Regardless of how he thinks I might take it.

And I will always be grateful!

Here's to my dad . . . "Never say die!"

Thanks, your ever-loving daughter, Lisa :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

WOW Friday . . . finally!!

Okay, okay, so now that I can't depend on the school marque for my WOW inspiration, I need to come up with my own. And for some reason I came up with the word . . .


Interesting one, isn't it?

Hogwash:(n) - Worthless, false or ridiculous speech or writing; nonsense.
OR Garbage fed to hogs (I didn't know that one!)

I came across this word as I was reading some celebrity blog about someone, I can't even remember who . . . oh well . . .

Anyway, the word HOGWASH popped out at me. I've always liked this word. It's fun and unexpected in an exclamatory kind of way. When I was a junior in HS I was in English honors and there was a guy in my class who had to critique a piece of my writing during the first week of school. Unfortunately I had misunderstood what the teacher had asked us to analyze. So I was COMPLETELY off the mark.

Without holding anything back, my classmate called my writing hogwash. And his comments questioned as to why I was in that class.

However, the guy ticked me off so much with his commentary, that I busted my butt and earned the admiration and respect of my teacher.

It's amazing what a little hogwash can do . . .

Have a happy weekend!! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sometimes you need to just . . . breathe.

Breathing . . .

Breathing is a good thing, and not just for the obvious reasons. Breathing clears the mind. And for some people, it clears the soul.

I am an anxious person thanks to genetics and certain childhood experiences. When I get to a point where I feel my anxiety creeping up on me, the first thing I do is try to breathe.

Unfortunately, that usually causes me to hyperventilate and then I get that needle-and-pins feeling in my hands and feet . . .

So why am I talking about this, and what does it have to do with my writing?

Well, it has to do with my LEAST favorite part of writing . . . revising.

There's something about finishing the rough draft of a novel (or any other piece I'm working on) that puts me on another plane. Almost a giddiness. Then reality sets in and I realize, once again, that the easy part has been completed, and the real work needs to be done.

I mentioned in my last post I had figured out the tie my two main characters in the current book I'm working on share. I've spent what little writing time I've had today (apart from writing this post) focusing on that.

But I'm fighting off that "feel like I'm over my head" feeling I get when I do.

The Quote of the Week I posted on my FB page is, "If at first you don't succeed, try . . . try again." I wrote that because I've been going through some stacks of papers today and found my REJECTIONS folder. It used to be that my "old" pile - the rejections I received very early in my writing career - was bigger than my "current" pile - the ones I've received since 2004.

Seeing the "current" pile kinda hit me like a ton of bricks and that quote immediately popped into my mind.

However, I'm hoping my revising work on Sophia, Alison, and their problems will help me forget about mine.

Revising, rambling and breathing . . .

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

So much for being bored . . .

Figures that right after I wrote my last post, all heck broke loose in my life and I had NO time to breathe much less write so . . .

Hello again!

I have always subscribed to the belief that everything happens for a reason. That means EVERYTHING, good and bad. Over the past couple of weeks I've been dealing with a whole lot of good and bad stuff, and even though I haven't been doing the physical act of typing on my laptop, it's amazing how stuff still affects what I write.

I've had a number of people in the past ask me why I write for teenagers. The truth is, I don't write for teenagers, I write about the teenage experience. Now given that I'm turning 40 this year, you'd think that was a pretty difficult task . . . I mean, you know, the brain's getting older . . . and I've had 3 kids (that right there has killed off God knows how many brain cells). But it's the feelings, the friendships, and yes, the drama.

Despite what a lot of kids think, drama happens just as much with adults as it does with kids. But we either hide it better or it's about 'adult' stuff.

Now my question of the hour is, how does drama help me?

Well usually it doesn't, at least not me personally. I am my father's daughter in that I avoid conflict like the plague. And because I'm a people pleaser, I feel bad when it does happen (think Betty White in the Golden Girls when her character, Rose, finds out a co-worker doesn't like her and she spends the entire episode trying to get him to change his mind).

This past week I've been dealing with some 'adult' drama. I won't go into it here, because I learn my lessons well. However as I was trying to NOT think about it today, a brilliant idea hit me.

My wonderful and supportive writing group has been helping me with my current novel that I'm getting ready to send off to an editor, but one of their sticking points was that my main character and her best friend seem to have this non-existent friendship. It's there, but there's no basis for it. With Cat, it all had to do with her bonding with Heather over the loss of their mothers. But Sophia's relationship with Alison just doesn't have that.

Until now.

I've figured out what these girls have bonded over. Drama. What kind of drama? I'm not sure yet . . . I still have to figure that out. But now I'm pointed in the write direction (ha ha).

So as you can see, everything does happen for a reason.

Even the yucky stuff. :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

I'M BORED with nothing to do!!

Actually that's not true. There's a lot of things I could be doing right now, but I'm choosing not to do them . . .

Like going through my professional journal to see where I am.

And working on writing - ANY writing.

I went out this morning to do some work on Sophia, but for some reason was having a hard time concentrating. It may have something to do with my mom coming up tomorrow for the week, or that as of the end of this week I will officially have a high-schooler AND a Jr. high-schooler.

Or maybe it has to do with the GORGEOUS weather we are finally having . . .

I was so bored, I went to the grocery store (which I don't like to do) just to get myself physically out of the house.

Yep . . . that's pretty darn bored.

All I know is, I wish our brains had a switch so we can turn it on or off whenever we want to - and I'm not talking about sleep, and I'm not talking about the ability (that both my husband and kids have) to tune people out when they're not interested in listening.

This switch gives you the ability to do whatever you want to do wherever you want to do it when your brain goes into boredom mode. So for example, right now I would switch my brain to standing in line at the Dari-Maid in Land O'Lakes, Wisconsin.

Or maybe just hanging out at the beach . . . any beach, I don't care which one.

So maybe it's a good thing we still have this last week of school. Because if we were done, I'd probably be in a coma.

Oh, and yes, I didn't do a WOW last Friday because the school didn't post one. And I probably won't have one this week either. Guess I'll have to pull out the dictionary and do a little research.

At least that will keep me from being bored! ;)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's that time of year . . .

May is NOT my favorite month.

It has nothing to do with the yucky weather we've been having this year, or the fact that my throat feels like sandpaper whenever I swallow thanks to the worst allergies I've EVER experienced!

It has everything to do with the lack of writing time I get in during this time of the year.

Late March is when it starts, continuing through April with all the activity going on with baseball and softball and Spring Break. Then May shows up with all the inevitable projects that are done to finish up the school year.

And if you are dealing with a graduation year . . . forget about it!

That's where I am right now.

I was actually quite impressed I got as much done as I had in March and April (of course I wasn't in the throws of writing a first draft), but May has been kind of a bust. Especially the past couple of weeks.

Now I do have reasons for that . . . reasons that I don't necessarily have to go into here . . . but it doesn't make the frustration level any lower.

So if my blog seems a little out of it right now, now you know why.

Hopefully in two weeks I'll be back to my normal self.

At least as normal as can be expected . . . lol! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's still Friday on the West Coast, SSSOOOO - WOW!!

Oh man, it's been a long week!

But, regardless of that fact, and that I have been in bed most of today with a terrible cold instead of where I want to be (in Wisconsin) I do have this week's WOW.

And that word is . . . .


I had to laugh when I saw this word on the marque. Because 95% of the words posted up to this point, have been happy, positive words. This was one I wasn't expecting - but applicable nonetheless.

The definition of cringe is: To shrink back, as if in fear; cower.

When I woke up at 4am this morning, I expected to get ready for my flight, finish my packing and head out to the Airporter.

However all that changed when I saw myself in the mirror and CRINGED at the sight of it. I felt horrible and looked the part. I cringed even more when I realized I was not going to make it, to the Airporter . . . to the flight . . . and worst of all to Chicago to meet my Dad so we could drive to Wisconsin together.

Thankfully all is well with my Dad and my family, AND I have a year to make a trip to Wisconsin at some other point in time. When I'm NOT feeling like garbage.

Oh and there is an upside, I read one of the books I was planning on taking with me - Tangled by Carolyn Mackler. It was an AMAZING, fabulous book!!!

So it's been a cringe-worthy day, but there's always next week . . . and a new word.

Happy weekend!! :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I swear I'm not being forgetful . . .

It's been a crazy week.

I've been getting ready for a trip I'm taking on Friday. It's not a trip I'm happy about taking, but I am happy for who I'm going to be seeing . . . my family.

Unfortunately my uncle passed last December, and the memorial service is this weekend. Now I love that I'm going to Wisconsin, but I'm a nervous traveler. So of course I'm trying to squeeze in anything and everything I can possibly get done before I leave.

So this is all I'm getting down tonight . . .

And if I'm a little late on Friday, you'll know the reason.

Good night. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

This week's WOW!!

It's been an interesting week.

And what makes it even more interesting is this week's WOW . . . Gratitude.

The definition of Gratitude is: The state of being grateful; thankfulness.

With everything that has happened to me this week, writing-wise, you would think my gratitude would be on the low end of the spectrum. But honestly quite the opposite is true.

I have gratitude for my health, and for the health of those around me.
I have gratitude for my family and friends who have helped me through difficult times.
I have gratitude for all the kids (and adults) who have been cheering me on these past months with Cat and my other writing endeavors.
I have gratitude for that handful of people who have been willing to put themselves out there to help me make my writing better.
I have gratitude for my husband and three kids for their support and love.

Most of all, I am just grateful . . . period!

This is the best way I can close a most difficult week.

Let the happy weekend begin!!! :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What to do when you have too much to do?

I've got too much to do.

Actually, I'm not upset about that . . . I could be sitting around wishing I could get things done, bemoaning the fact I have a to-do list a mile long and I don't know where to start.

That's funny, I just described my life 75% of the time . . .

I'm a list person. I like to make and keep lists of things I have do to, regardless of whether or not I get them accomplished. Do I feel bad when I don't get everything checked off my list? Sometimes. But the simple act of making the list clears things in my mind, puts them in order of importance so I know what things are the most critical to get done.

Like picking my kids up from school.

I make a separate list for my writing duties. In fact this is (was) my list for today:

1. Check w/my friend Josh about Twitter.
2. Email Esther
3. Check w/Britney re: Sophia
4. Send Piggy to Beach Lane Books
5. Write new status report
6. Make edits on Sophia, prepare for Viking and LA
7. Email Lin
8. Blog

As you can see, I'm accomplishing one of my tasks right now! :)

I still have a ways to go before I finish everything on this list tonight, so on that note . . .

Say good night Gracie . . .

Good night Gracie! ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

When life gives you lemons . . .

It's been a long day . . .

I use that phrase a lot, probably more than I should. But today I have a good excuse (and not just because my 8 year old was in a "it's all about me!" mood today).

This afternoon when I got home from a wonderful day at work I was hit with the unexpected - a rejection email.

The editor who requested my YA novel last August decided that although she liked and appreciated the subject matter of my manuscript, she was concerned about the character development of my main character.

What am I supposed to say to that??

I have to admit I wallowed in self-pity for about two hours, splurging on a Venti Mocha (even though I had already had one earlier in the day), but then I got talk to my wonderful Hubby and really think about what had happened . . .

- Think about the reactions of my 1st readers when they first read Cat's story.
- Remember all the hoots and hollers I got when Mrs. Larson announced to the class that I was reading Cat to them.
- Relish in the fact that just 2 weeks ago I got a rejection from another editor who not only affirmed my writing ability, but asked to see more!!

It all kind of put things in perspective . . .

So yes, today I got a lemon. A huge, ugly, piece of citrus!

But the upside is, I LOVE lemonade!! :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday . . . WOW!!

It's fun how every time I think I'm caught up with my school's WOW, they pull a fast one on me!!

They switched the word before I got a chance to use it! UGH! :P

Well, regardless, the WOW for this week is . . .


Yet again the wise word wizards at my school are using another appropriate word for me since I've been graced by the good week fairy this week!

Opportunity - A favorable juncture of circumstances, A good chance for advancement or progress.

I like that!

For many different reasons I'm a person who believes people and situations happen to you for a reason . . . nothing is accidental or coincidental. However, when something does happen(good or bad) you have the ability to turn it into an opportunity.

I admit I'm not always the most positive person in the world. I have a tendency to work in extremes, one day I'm up and the next day I'm down. But, I always try to look for an opportunity out of any situation . . . especially if I'm helping others.

How's that for a happy, positive post to end the week??


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What does have a pencil have to do with a doll?

I know this is a funny way to start a post . . .

Have you ever noticed how powerful a scent or sound or anything else sensory can be in setting off a memory?

I have this happen all the time. Whenever I smell wildfire smoke it reminds me of the terrible fires that would happen in the San Bernadino Mtn. when I was a kid. And the smell of a house fire takes me to when I was about 2 or 3 years old standing in front a relatives house after they had lost half their garage in a fire.

Well today I had a completely different scent set me off.

Our school is selling smencils this week. If you don't know about those, they are pencils made out of recycled materials and given a strong scent of some kind. Today I caught a whiff of the "very berry" one and was immediately taken back to when I was about 8 or 9 years old and I did something not so nice.

At that time I wanted nothing more than a Blueberry Muffin doll. I can't tell you how many times I would go to the toy store and drool over that little blue-haired doll. Well since my birthday was about 2 months off, I decided I couldn't wait that long. So one day while I was at my best friend's house I did a little snooping (sorry, I'm a Scorpio) and found where she hide her money. Over the next several days I took small amounts here and there until I had enough.

Even though my mom questioned me about where I got the money, I got the doll.

Unfortunately the ease of squirreling away my friend's money led me to try stealing from other places.

To make a long story short, I got caught.

My mom tried to get me to confess about where I got the money for my doll, but I wouldn't do it . . . eventually she figured it out and I lost big time . . . my birthday party for that year, my doll, and I had to tell my friend what I'd done.

Thankfully my friend was FAR more forgiving than my mom and I got to keep my best friend.

However when I see or think of a Blueberry Muffin doll, or the book Ramona and her Mother (the only present I got that year for my birthday) I remember what happened to get me there.

The good news is, I never stole again.

WHEW! And to think that whole long story came out of a smencil . . .

Scary, huh? :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

What to do, what to do . . . .

Last Friday I got some good and bad news. All my patience had finally paid off, and I received an answer about my picture book.

It was dark when I picked up my mail that night, but when I saw the manila envelope, I knew it wasn't going to be good news. Little did I know I would be half-right.

What I found was a very sweet and appreciative rejection letter. That I expected. What I didn't expect was the hand written note on the bottom of the letter telling me that even though my picture book wasn't right for her, she noted that I was a talented writer and asked that I send her another manuscript, if I had one.


After I came down that little high, reality hit me . . . what am I going to send?

I have two YA novels completed, one is with another editor, and the other is sitting on my hard drive waiting for the finishing touches. Unfortunately I had planned to send the one on the hard drive to LA for the SCBWI conference.

So as you see, my title applies . . .

What to do, what to do??

Between my two finished novels, my picture book, and the other YA novel that I'm in the throws of working on right now, I have a lot of irons and just as many fires to put them in!

A happy but perplexing situation indeed.

So I'll be spending my next few days trying to figure this one out. I have until the beginning of June to have my manuscript in for the conference.

Let's hope I make the right choices . . .

Friday, April 30, 2010

Time for WOW - Friday!

It's that time of the week for WOW, the word of the week!

The word for the week is (drum roll please) . . . .


I love the word ridiculous because it's such a strange word. The spelling is strange, the pronunciation is strange, everything about the word is . . . strange.

Which is probably a good thing because the definition is:

Ridiculous - Deserving or inspiring ridicule; absurd,preposterous, or silly.

So basically I think the word ridiculous is . . . ridiculous!

Sorry, it's been a long and ridiculous week.

Okay, I'll stop now . . . have a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How Mrs. Larson's class taught me to love 6th grade . . .

I have a confession to make . . . I hated 6th grade!

Okay, maybe hate is a strong word. Strongly disliked is probably more like it.

It was a time of transitions and changes for me. Gone were the little kid stuff I enjoyed for so long - Barbie's, etc. and in came other things like boys and frenemies.

Yes, I had a frenemy . . . there I said it!

I had my first major knock-down fight with my best friend at the time (with a faint scar on my left arm to prove it), and my first boyfriend (for approximately 24 hours).

I was becoming more and more self-conscious about how I looked, thanks to a few kids in my class who had no problem expressing their opinion about me. So I spent a lot of time in the one place I felt safe . . . our school library working on my bookworm ways.

When my oldest son went through 6th grade, he didn't have the easiest of times either so I was able to sympathize and help him through it. But even though I really liked his 6th grade teacher (Mrs. Larson) and thought she did a great job with him, my deep-seeded feelings about 6th grade hadn't changed.

Until this year.

This is my second year working with a special-needs child at our school. A job that I have loved and enjoyed. But when we started the school year last August I had to wonder . . . was I going to feel the same about the grade that had caused me such problems?

I can tell you in all honesty . . . absolutely not!

This year has been an eye-opener, and not just because my own daughter is experiencing it herself. I have had the opportunity to spend time with some really great kids and a teacher (the same Mrs. Larson) who is nothing short of amazing in her dedication to the kids.

She gave me the opportunity to read to the kids a little bit from my Young Adult novel that I'm waiting to hear about from an editor. The wait has been long and frustrating at times, but the more I read to them, the more the kids would hoot and holler when Mrs. Larson told them I was going to read. It has been such a soul lifter, one that makes the long wait worth it.

And has convinced me that this is my calling.

But now that we're about 5 weeks away from finishing the year, I'm starting to wish the kids in our class didn't have to leave to move onto Junior High next year . . . and that I didn't have to move on with them.

But I will always be grateful to Mrs. Larson and all the kids in her class for giving me a year to remember. And for making my own 6th grade year a far distant memory.

Thanks guys! Love, Mrs. Aikins :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

There's only so many hours in a day . . .

I did not get any writing done today. Does that bother me?? Heck ya!

There are few things in my life that give me complete and unmitigated joy:

1. Spending a relaxing day with my husband and three kids.
2. Sitting on a dock overlooking my favorite place in the world, Black Oak Lake.
3. Being so focused on a particular character that I NEED to work on his or her story.

Well, thankfully I got to spend Sunday doing the first one (although it's been a VERY long time since our last outing). I haven't been to Black Oak Lake in nearly 2 years, and it's been a couple of months since I've done #3.

It's been WAY too long since I've done #3!!

There's something about being so completely lost in someone else's world that feels, I don't know, comforting to me. It's not my life . . . and I can make it go any way I choose. It's the escape factor aspect of it. There's no husband, no kids, no pets, no attachments.

I've had a lot of personal stuff, and necessary editorial stuff, that has kept me from getting it out. I have a character right now, I have some seven chapters under my belt (not to mention a couple months of research invested in her), but yet everyday life seems to be getting in the way of my writing her story.

And I'm starting to miss her . . . desperately.

The good news is, things seem to be working themselves out and maybe, just maybe, I'll be back on track by the first of May. May Day . . . six months until my 40th birthday.

I think it's a sign . . . we'll see. :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

WOW - Friday!!

It's time for this week's WOW - word of the week. Yes, I am still following the words at our elementary school, and I kid you not, the next word is . . .

OBSTRUCT - definition: To block or fill with obstacles. To impede or interfere with.

Hmm . . . an interesting choice of word indeed.

I have numerous things that obstruct getting my writing work done. I don't have a formal office in my house, so there are LOTS of things to distract me . . . a sink full of dishes, vacuuming that needs to be done, my dog who barks at every blasted thing that moves in front of my door or window. So I do my work outside of my house to avoid these obstructions.

When I first started writing, there were other more subtle things that would obstruct me,

Like not taking an English class all through college . . .
And not doing my research on book publishers or magazines that caused me to get many, MANY rejection notices . . .
And not understanding the differences between writing a picture book and writing a short story.

However the great thing about time and hard work, you learn how to overcome being obstructed.

Whatever that may be . . .

So good luck on overcoming your obstruction and HAPPY FRIDAY! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's LA time!!

Well, almost . . . .

As you can see I'm back . . . again. But this time I'm making sure it STICKS!

Today was the start of registration for THE biggest conference of children authors and illustrators. Every summer, the first weekend of August to be exact, The Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has their national conference in Century City. Professionals from all over the world descend on Los Angeles to hopefully start or grow their writing careers.

And I will be there.

I'm actually feeling like quite the veteran at this. In 2004 I made the conscious decision to focus as much energy and time - that wasn't devoted to my three kids - to making my dream of becoming a Children book writer a reality.

That year I went to my first LA conference, and it was . . . overwhelming!

I have been to LA every year since then - except for 2008 when I was at my Grandpa's 90th birthday - and no two years have been the same . . . .

Like 2004 when I felt like a COMPLETE fish out of water, but I got to experience the wisdom of Richard Peck and how he painstakingly researches his amazing books.

And 2005 when I met a woman who educated me to the world of Autism spectrum disorders.

In 2006 I got to meet and had author Rosemary Wells sign a Max and Ruby book for my youngest child . . . she's STILL one of my favorite picture book authors!

2007 was a BLAST!! I met more people that year including a teacher from San Diego who got up and did the entire Rapper's Delight with the DJ during the Saturday night Gala.

But last year was the most memorable because one of my YA novels was critiqued, and the manuscript requested, by an editor . . . a major, MAJOR first for me.

So what will happen this year? That's a good question . . . and one I can't wait to find out the answer to. :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday - WOW (Word of the week)

One of the regular posts I envisioned for this blog was to do a day of WOW, aka - Word Of the Week. Now I'll admit this isn't a very original idea, but it came to me while I was going for walk one morning right after I started this endeavor.

As I was passing by the elementary school my two younger kids attend (and where I work), I saw the WOW glaring out at me from the school marque . . .


I kid you not, that was the word.

Now I've been trying to give more than just the writing aspect of my job as a writer some attention (and since this word was up while Winter Break was still going on), I thought this was very appropriate.

In addition, over the past three weeks, I've been researching information for my new YA novel. The subject matter involves brains, motor systems, and cancer. So needless to say it's all been very OVERWHELMING.

Over the past two weeks the other WOW's have been . . .


Yeah . . .

Okay so I'm figuring these words are going to be in my vocabulary A LOT in the coming weeks. Can't wait to go on my walk this weekend to see what next week's word will bring!

Maybe . . . PLOTTING?? :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Let's try this again . . .

Okay, so I've been having a little difficulty keeping up with this blog due to a combination of personal and professional situations (mostly personal) that have taken up a bit of my time.

The good news is . . . I'm back!

I'm hoping to start up a couple of regular entries as well as some updates of what I'm working on. And since I'm starting up a new novel, the timing couldn't be better.

So look for more regular updates . . .

Thanks! :)

Friday, January 1, 2010


It's a brand new year and resolutions abound . . . at least they are for me.

Some will last more than others, but this year I've decided it about time to take my 'never say die' resolve and apply it appropriately. One of those ways is with this blog.

So welcome to my blog! :)

To those of you who don't know me, I am a mother, wife, Full-Inclusion Aide (at the moment) and a writer. More specifically, a children's book author.

Or so that is my dream.

It's a dream I've spent the better part of 17 years working on (including an 8 year hiatus when I was having my kids). But come in EXACTLY one month, February 1st, it will be 6 years since I made the decision to make this my sole purpose in life.

I've accomplished a lot these past 6 years . . .

- Had my first short story published.
- Had a non-fiction piece accepted.
- I have written several short stories I am currently finding homes for.
- Completed 2 young adult novels, and I'm in the process of starting my 3rd.
- I have one of those novels at a major publishing house (which was requested by an editor) and I'm now awaiting to hear of it's fate.
- Completed a picture book that I'm waiting to hear about as well.

So as you can see, I'm riding the wave . . . sitting on it's crest, wondering if I'll ride it all the way to shore.

Or if I'm going to crash.

Regardless of what happens this year, I'm going to keep on with the writing and riding the wave. Hope you enjoy the ride as much I do.