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 . . .