Wednesday, May 31, 2006

And So It Goes

Staff development really isn't the same when you can't hear the presenters. Ears are still blocked, but I think that's okay. I think that my hearing will come back after the infection has been cleared up. My ears are itchy so I take that as a good sign.

Other than that I haven't been up to much. I've watched TV with the sound up. I've slept on the couch the last 2 nights with the TV on so I don't sleep through the alarm that I might not be able to hear.

As for writing, I printed a copy of my RS for a friend at work. I've been playing aorund with FP trying to reorganize it so I'm ready to tackle it and finish it. I've also printed out worksheets on characters (from Emily McKay and Robyn DeHart) so I can brainstorm the story I plotted at the doctor's office.

I agreed last week to go on a trip to the south of Texas with a friend and her kids. We're supposed to leave tomorrow, but now I'm not sure I should go. I feel fine other than not being able to hear completely, but I'm worried that I'll be a burden or that I won't get my hearing back in due time and I'll have to go back to the doctor's. What do you think?

Oh, I also have no phone service at home on one of our phone lines. Of course it has to be the one I use to connect to the internet. It's the only thing I use the phone for. (Yeah, I'm typing this from work just a few minutes from when our staff development starts.) Supposedly the phone company is sending someone out to the house today and I don't have to be there. Keep your fingers crossed. I'll post again tonight if they get it fixed!

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Summer vacation is here! I'm free! No more student dirty looks...until August. We've got staff development next week for 2 days, but I can handle hanging out with my co-workers. The kids had an end of the year dance last night, but I didn't go.

Why, you ask?

I had the pleasure of sitting on the couch with cotton balls in my ears and a heating pad while I listened to all the strange noises coasting through my head. And my diagnosis was confirmed when I went to the doctor's today. Ear infections IN BOTH EARS! Everything is muffled. I have to turn up the sound on the TV and radio. If someone talks to me I have to actually be looking at them to know. Not too much pain, but we couldn't tell if I perforated my eardrum again. (Happened all the time when I was growing up.)

BUT!!!! The really cool thing about my 2 hours in the waiting room? I plotted a new book! I've promised myself that I won't work on it until FP is finished, though.

Speaking of FP, I haven't done a single thing on it in a couple of weeks. And right now I don't want to. I know once I get started I'll be totally into it and I'll wonder what kept me away. Maybe I'll get back to it later on this weekend. For now, I'm going back to the couch with my cotton balls, a cup of tea and some shortbread.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Only FIVE Days Until I'm Free!

I'm just about finished my last grading for the year. Tomorrow I'll input the grades into our handy-dandy computer program for report cards. It's almost over! I'm now starting to feel it. Summer vacation is coming. Barrelling toward me. And I'm standing in the middle of the road with my arms wide open!

Well, I read about 260 pages of a book yesterday and only stopped because I couldn't keep my eyes open. So, when I got up this morning, I had breakfast, made my cup of tea and finished the 80 pages or so of Kresley Cole's If You Dare. It's been a long time since I've indulged in reading like that and it was wonderful! Soon I'll be able to do that more. You know, once the school year is over!

But more importantly, it inspired me to get back to Fractured Paradise, my WIP. I haven't touched it for a couple of weeks now. I was okay with that because I wanted to focus on closing out the school year. Now that I only have 5 days left and my academics are pretty much taken care of, I can jump back into my WIP. And onto the next book.

Some events happened over the last few days in my life that have forced me to look closely at what I'm doing and who I am. Nothing bad, just reminders of where I wanted to be and how far I've strayed from that. The book after FP, one in which I have many thoughts and scenes already planned, will deal with some of those personal events and help steer me back on the path I need to be traveling.

But for now, I should finish that last batch of grades. Have a great rest of the weekend wherever you are!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Big Brother's Birthday!

Happy 41st birthday to my big brother! He's in RI probably going to his son's baseball game tonight and then who knows? Maybe I'll go home and have a beer or two in his honor. And of course, I'll try to give him a call. But as for the present? That'll be late. Again. But hey, he started it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Feelin' Pretty Good

So, our field trip to Houston didn't kill me, although it came close. But what did I come home to?

A friend of mine, a published writer with four books to her credit, sent me an e-mail asking if I'd be willing to read through her latest proposal and synopses. Um, yeah! I didn't even have to think twice. Okay, I admit that I did stop to think, "Gee, what would she want with my opinion?" But I got over that fast and told her I'd love to read through her stuff since her normal readers were indisposed. I don't think she knows how HUGE this is to me. No, my opinion won't make or break her deal with her publisher, but the fact that she asked me and the fact that she worried about overstepping the bounds of our friendship just warmed my heart.

So, I watched the season finales of 2 of my favorite shows (NCIS and The Unit) and thought about reading through my friend's stuff tomorrow night for sure. I have nothing but another meeting about retaining a student, but that should be over by 4:30, 5:00. I'll still have time to go grocery shopping, come home and read all the stuff my friend sent.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Deep Thoughts

Or not. I just realized I haven't blogged since Sunday last so here I am. (No, procrastination has NOTHING to do with this entry! I swear!)

Here's a recap of my week:
Monday-got an e-mail rejection from the editor who requested 2 chapters. But it was a great rejection. She basically said I was a competent author but the market is tight and she didn't fall in love with the plot like she'd hoped. Then she gave me the link for AAR after reminding me that other agents will feel differently. I showed up for my last adult ESL class for the semester, shared my Hawaii pics with my 2 students, chatted with them and then left an hour early.

Tuesday-my monthly Austin RWA meeting. Got some neat gifts for participating in the 100 days/ 100 words challenge. A gift certificate to Barnes & Noble which I plan to spend on Allison Brennan's first book, Kathleen Givens' next book and Samantha Saxon's 2nd book. Also got a little journal and a travel drive for the computer. It looks neat, but I'm not really sure what to do with it! Still no sign of Brenda Bradshaw at our meetings, but I assured the rest of the group that she really does exist.

Wednesday-Can't remember. Oh yeah. I started grading really crappy research papers. 7 done. Only 40 more to go!

Thursday- Staff appreciation dinner where I had 4 margaritas, told the boss how much progress I've seen since our school started 5 years ago, and chatted with a friend I hardly get to see anymore.

Friday- Got sick. I was trying really hard not to think about being hungover because it was only 4 drinks and I usually don't have a problem with 4 drinks. Got sick again 4 times in the space of 2 hours later that night (which happened to me when I first moved to Austin) and confirmed that I hadn't been hungover.

Saturday- Still felt rotten, but managed to make it to my niece's dance recital. very cute. (She's only 4 1/2) When I got home I thought about grading as I watched the TV shows I'd taped earlier in the week.

Sunday- Here I am. My mom's on a death-defying white water rafting trip with my stepdad, one of my nephews and his friend. In New Hampshire. Happy Mother's Day!
I'm still thinking about grading...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Well, What Do You Know?

Just got a phone call. Seems I did final in the Happily Ever After Contest! Yay! The coordinator said that she even read through my entry and was impressed! How awesome is this? And especially with it being a last chapter contest!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

News of an Agent Kind

Within the last four days I've received one agent rejection and 2 requests for partials! I'm thrilled! Of course, this means I have to go back and reread my romantic suspense and tweak it so that they will request the entire manuscript.

I was hoping to report that I'd finaled in the Happily Ever After contest, but it doesn't look like that's happening. I'm sad because this was a last chapter contest and I thought for sure my last chapter would at least final. After all, I love it and so does my CP. But, my CP Jenna did final in the historical category of the HEA so I still have something to be happy about!

Bottom line: This business is soooooo subjective and I MUST ALWAYS remember that!

Happy writing and happy weekend!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Another Friday

Hi ho, hi ho! Another Friday is upon us and I've got THREE weeks left until summer break officially begins. No, I'm not too excited. Work's been crazy and I suspect it will continue to be crazy for the rest of the time. But that's okay because then I can relax and enjoy!

Parts of Texas had some severe weather last night. Hail, power going out, trees coming down. My lights flickered a couple of times, but that was it. My car sits outside the front door unprotected by a carport or garage, but it didn't get hail damage. I had to move a few branches out of the road when I was leaving for work, but no big deal. The big deal came when I got to work. Several trees had split and fallen on different parts of the school grounds. Also, we have portables for 6 of our classrooms and none of us had power. So, my Language Arts classes were conducted in one of the Kindergarten rooms today. A fun time was had by all. The power came on later this afternoon only to go out again a couple hours later. Then, when I came home, a different section of my complex road was actually closed (complete with yellow Do Not Enter tape) due to some big trees being knocked down. Luckily everyone I know was safe. That's all that matters.

I'm happy to report my CP and friend Jenna Stuart finaled in 2 contests this week! I've told you this before and I'll mention it again. Remember this name: JENNA STUART. You'll be seeing her historicals on the shelves before you know it!