Friday, April 19, 2013

Weekly Recap #12

This week has been fast and slow at the same time. Crazy as it sounds, I've got another BBQ Cook-off this weekend, and the child is leaving Monday. At school, we're getting ready for the last two days of state testing on the grade level I teach.

Life has definitely reared its head.

As for writing, I've managed to jot down ideas as I scurried from one thing to the next and a paragraph here and there in the evenings.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll post pictures and let you know how the cook-off went. Fingers crossed. I'm trying a new dessert recipe on the pit. Sounds good in theory, but this will be the first time I try it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Readers Have Rights Too!!!

The other day, I found the Reader's Bill of Rights by Daniel Pennac. I thought this was a great idea, so here they are along with my thoughts/comments.

The Right to Not Read
If I don't want to read something, I don't have to read it. Now I know some of you who are still in school are high-fiving each other. Sorry, I'm not talking about school assignments, which novels assigned by your teachers fall under. I talking about the books you check out or buy. Sometimes you start reading the book and realize it's not for you, even though all your friends have recommended it.

The Right to Skip Pages
Sometimes when I'm reading, I skip pages. I can hear the moans and groans, but sometimes the author has redundant information, or sections that don't pertain to me. Obviously, I'm talking more about the tech and professional books I read, but sometimes it pertains to the stuff I read for fun.

The Right to Not Finish
I have stopped reading books and even series for various reasons. Why continue reading if you're not getting any pleasure out of it?

The Right to Re-read
I re-read books all the time, either for fun or in connection with my day job. I enjoy these authors and their writing styles. Sometimes I just want to get lost in a story that I know I'll like.

The Right to Read Anything
 If I like it, I should be able to read it. Yes, I write Young Adult books, and I read a lot of YA books, but that's not all that I read. I love paranormal fantasy, whether it's YA or adult romance. I enjoy horror and science fiction too. I'm not stuck just reading YA because I write it.

The Right to Escapism
I like to get lost in the story I'm reading and that's okay. I get to get away from reality for a few hours, and I get to use my imaginations. Definitely not a bad thing. Books give us a chance to get away from what's going on in our lives, which in some cases may not be very pleasant.

The Right to Read Anywhere
I have the right to read anywhere I want to whether it be on the trip to visit relatives (as long as I'm not driving), at supper (I'm very guilty of this especially with my Kindle), while watching television (again guilty of this), on the get the idea.

The Right to Browse
 I love to browse through books! I'm guilty of reading summaries and the first chapter excerpts.

The Right to Read Out Loud
I don't read out loud, unless I'm reading to my students, but sometimes you need to read the passage out loud.

The Right to Not Defend Your Tastes
Not everyone is going to like what you read, as you are not going to like everything that others read.

Monday, April 15, 2013

BBQ Cook-off

This past weekend went by so fast! It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. We were entered in all the categories, but only placed in one. We took first place with our brisket.
L to R: Hubby, Friend, Me

This coming Friday and Saturday, we're entered in another BBQ Cook-off. We were asked to cook this one for a local company. Pretty cool!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Weekly Recap #11

I haven't gotten a lot of writing done this week, but I knew this week and next would probably be that way. I did, in joking with one of my classes, come up with another middle grade book idea. I'm am playing with the plot (I can work and stop and come back to it without losing any of the idea as sometimes happens when I have to stop in the middle of writing a scene). The best way to describe the idea right now is science fiction horror meets The Breakfast Club. The base idea is down. I'm playing with characters and character names.

Right now, we getting ready for the BBQ Cook-off this weekend, and the child's party this evening. The child, as I call him, is actually a grown man ( I have to keep reminding myself). He'll be 22 in a couple of months. The party tonight is to celebrate one of those milestones in your life. Next week he leaves for basic training. Yelp, the child is enlisted in the army. I'm proud of him and what he's accomplished to get to this point in his life, but, as a mom, I'm said because my baby is leaving and I'm worried about what he will have to face as a soldier. I've tried not to do any crying, but a I write this, the reality is hitting me and the tears are coming.

With what's going on in the world right now, I pray for all the soldiers and their families.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Looking Back Blurb from How NOT to Train a Zombie!!!

Here's an excerpt from chapter 1 of my Middle Grade book, How NOT to Train a Zombie!!!

“That’s not only the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard, but it’ll get us in all sorts of trouble.” Chad’s nasally baritone voice blasted its way through the crowded hallway. Only the clanks of locker doors slamming shut were louder, but not by much.

Up and down the hallway, students turned and stared at Chad and Max. Some pointed and laughed, but most just ignored them as if they didn’t exist.

“Sheesh! Can you talk a little louder? I don’t think they heard you in the band hall.” Max’s face turned several shades redder than the lockers lining the wall. This wasn’t exactly the kind of attention he wanted, especially not after yesterday’s Career Fair. How his mom found out about it, was beyond him. He had thrown away the first flyer asking for volunteers to speak to his class about their careers over a month ago, and he made sure to throw away every flyer he had gotten since then.

But somehow she found out.

And yesterday, she showed up in a bright pink flower shirt and her overalls and talked to the class about the joys of being a gardener. Max wanted to die. Gardening wasn’t even her career. It was her hobby! And everyone knew it. And then his mom singled him out when she left. Shaking hands would have been okay, but is that what his mom did?

Oh no!

She hugged him in front of the whole class. Even having Eddy Pratt’s dad talk about being a zombie exterminator couldn’t erase the embarrassment and humiliation Max endured the rest of the day.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Weekly Recap #10

The past two weeks have been really, really busy!!!

Most of you know I teach at a junior high school. I'm also the yearbook adviser for my campus, meaning I'm the person in charge making sure the yearbook is produced--everything from pictures to creating the pages. The deadline to have it finished was looming, but with a lot of work, it got done and sent in to the company who will print it. At the same time I was dealing with the paperwork for the annual 8th grade trip to Schlitterbahn. And then there was the last minute prep for the state tests--lots of meetings and paperwork for the teachers. This week the 8th graders took their math and reading state tests, and I'm glad the two days are over. A lot of stress for everyone involved.

In the mix, was Easter (earlier this year then most years). Saturday, the Hubby decided to BBQ chicken because he wanted to try a couple of alterations to his original recipe. I didn't have to do a lot of cooking, just potato salad and deviled eggs which was fine with me. We had friends over and everyone had a really good time.

Oh, and what did Hubby learn about the chicken recipe alterations?  If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!! The original recipe does not need to be changed, but then I told him that before he started his experiment.

I'm trying to finish up the rough draft of a story I'm working on. Once I've finished it, I'll start writing WARRIOR OF ATLANTIS, book 3 in the Children of Atlantis series. It will be available at the end of summer.

I'm also looking at changing the covers for GUARDIAN OF ATLANTIS (book 1) and WRATH OF HADES (book 2) to make them more uniform looking since they are part of a series. I've been looking around at different artist who create book covers and stock photos. If you have any thoughts or ideas, let me know.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 6, NO REST FOR THE SPIRIT AND OTHER GHOSTLY TALES is going to be free for the day at Amazon. So if you like ghost stories, here's your chance to download the ebook for free.
NO REST FOR TH SPIRIT AND OTHER GHOSTLY TALES and GUARDIAN OF ATLANTIS are both part of Amazon Prime. That means Prime members can borrow either ebook for free.

May 6-17 HOW NOT TO TRAIN A ZOMBIE will be on a Blurb Blitz Tour along with a giveaway at the end of the tour. Toward the end of the month, I'll post a list of stops on the tour. Be sure to check it out.

Friday and Saturday, April12 and 13, the Hubby and I are competing in a BBQ Cook-off. This is the first one we've done in awhile, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. We'll be BBQing brisket, pork spare ribs, and chicken. We're also entered in the Jackpot beans and Chef's Choice desserts, both of which have cash prizes. A day or two after the tournament, I'll post some pictures and let you know how it went and if we placed.