Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Having Trouble

I remember how fired up I was about writing when January started. Then school started back and my time dwindled down to nothing...again.
It drains the force that drives me to write and then I feel like everything that appears on the computer screen is crap. Just feels like it's all crap.

So....what to do....delete it and start over ....again. It's not the first time and it won't be the last.

I've been SO distracted for the last few weeks. I've been having to teach writing to a 5th grade group of students, which I've NEVER done. With little or no direction, I had to just wing it and get ideas from people that have done it. Thank the Lord for Debra and Maribeth, two of my old teacher buddies.

So now that's over and I can go back to my regular third graders I was working with before. Tomorrow will be the day the 5th graders take their writing prompt. The way the new state teacher evaluations are run, a percentage of our evaluation comes from how well these kids do on their writing prompt. Can I just say that the pressure is on like never before? I had three weeks to help these kids raise their score. Will they remember anything we talked about??? It's completely out of my control now, but it still is disheartening to think, if  a kid has a bad morning or doesn't get to eat breakfast, that they may rush through it or hardly write anything at all because they don't like the prompt.

5th grade boys can be like that...."I had to write about being a raindrop--that's so stupid"...true quote.

I can't do anything else about it now...I just hope I helped a few of them. I'm hoping now that all the writing group stuff is over, maybe my brain will be a little less distracted and my mood will improve too.

Seems like lately I've been battling the yuckiness of depression. Too many clouds and not enough sun, I think has been the culprit.
We'll see how February goes....stay tuned.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Congrats to my friends!

I've talked about these 'writer people' I hang out with on Twitter before on this blog. They are a creative, talented, fun group of writers and I'm so glad to know all of them. I have some congratulations to hand out and a plug for both of their blogs because they are both awesome people and I think you should know them.

The first is Anita Grace Howard. She mainly writes YA and adult fantasy with a romantic slant. That sounds really good because they're her words, not mine...;) I think she's had an agent the whole time I've known her and has been working on her book "Splintered" for awhile. She disappeared off of Twitter for a few months to work on edits to give to her agent and then ....BAM! It happened. She got the 'CALL' a few months ago and 'Splintered' will be on the shelves in Fall of 2012!  She will soon be able to say she has a book on the shelves in bookstores. How cool is that??? Her blog is 'A Still and Quiet Madness' and she Tweets @aghowardwrites. Follow her...she's lovely and wonderful. :)

My other congrats goes to another Twitter writer buddy of mine: Robert K. Lewis. He tweets @robertklewis and writes crime fiction and noir. He got 'The Call', as he wrote on his blog, 'Needle City' today! Coolest thing ever! I think if I keep hanging around all these published authors, it's bound to happen to me sooner or later, right??? He said he's been working for 8+ years on getting published, so to finally hear that it's actually happened is still surreal for him. I think I'd be walking around in shock for a while too, if it were me.
I'm so proud of both of my friends and I hope when their books come out, you will buy one or both. Since they're my friends, I'm promising to both of them I'll buy a hardback copy of their books because I love them both as people, but also because I know their stories will be good. Their work will be great because they constantly strive for perfection in their writing.
All their hard work has finally started to pay off and it is SO exciting to me to see my friends succeed!
I'll keep you posted on the dates of when their books come out so you can order them too. :)

Cheers to Anita and Robert! *holds up wine glass full of Beringer to toast with* Well...from this picture, looks like I already drank it..lol
**Clink**  :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CAPE--Challenged Athletes Playing Equally

My youngest daughter has autism, just in case you're reading this and didn't already know that. Luckily, in our very own town, we have an organization called C.A.P.E. that we are proudly a part of.

CAPE stands for Challenged Athletes Playing Equally. This organization is non-profit and is the brain-child of Rick Ryan. He was an accountant that coached baseball for 20 years in our county. Over his years of coaching, he noticed special needs kids, usually a brother or sister of one of his players, that would stand at the chain link fence and watch. They never got the chance to play and he thought that was a terrible waste. After years of that fact bothering him, he decided he wanted to do something about it and CAPE was born.

Through CAPE, my daughter has found friends she can play sports with in an understanding and modified environment. They play basketball, soccer, baseball, bowling, and hockey and just LOVE it. It has brought her more confidence and gives her some much needed exercise once a week.  
Here is my daughter playing basketball a two seasons ago. She's learned to dribble, pass and shoot. She makes baskets a lot of the time too. :)

They have a short documentary on their website www.capetn.org. I'm excited about it because my daughter and I were interviewed along with some of our great CAPE friends.

The only downside is listening to me talk...I hate that...;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Focus!

So here we are...2012.
All the 'end of the world movies' have been playing a lot lately. The end of the world was supposed to be in 1999, if anybody remembers that New Year's Eve...it was a big one. We all thought the world would crash and blow up when the calendar flipped over to 2000.

And look at us...we survived.

I'm not saying it's not coming...we'll blow up eventually....or freeze or something. Probably warm up too much the way Global warming is, but for today, since that's all we have anyway, I'm going to work on my book(s)

I have a serious writer friend @JWDreamkeeper critiquing my manuscript, so my focus has sharpened. When I say 'serious' writer friend, I mean, she actually knows what she's doing and is giving me some freakishly awesome advice. Her eyes can pick out mistakes a mile away, and believe me-there are plenty. So I have a fire lit under me again. Editing is SOOOOOO hard. I get bored looking at the same chapters over and over, but it has to be done.
Right now, she's actually getting my first draft of everything, because I had to start over... again. But lucky for me writing is a skill and the more I do it the better I'll get.

So this post is to tell everybody I'm fired up again about writing. I never completely lost my writing spark, but I felt like I was treading water instead of moving forward. I feel like I'm moving again and it feels FANTASTIC!

So I wanted to give a shoutout to @JWDreamkeeper for offering to help me. She's doing this out of the goodness of her heart, which I SO appreciate. She has NO idea how much she's helped me so far. So, this is her plug.

You need to click on her Twitter name and check out her blog. I've linked her blog on here twice, just in case you missed it the first time.
If you're on Twitter and you like writers or just really great people, you need to follow her. She is awesome...:)

Happy 2012!