Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Not So Scarce

I already got my computer back and it's AWESOME!!!!

Didn't final in that contest with my Scottish story either. Still waiting on my scores.

Work sux. Just sayin'.

Keep the people in the northeast in your thoughts and prayers. I hadn't realized how bad the flooding was until I saw it on the National news, Yahoo news and then I spoke to family in RI and MA today. This is the major highway through my home state and they've actually shut down a stretch of it until they can clear off the water. The pictures just break my heart.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I May Be Scarce...

Well, even more so because I need to take my computer in to get it updated. Everything I try to do says I need the latest version (especially my iPod, which I got back in November!! ACK! The iTunes cards are burning a hole in my pocket!!!) Anyway, I'll check in from work this week and then I'll let you know when I get it back.

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Stuff

Well, I entered the beginning of my new suspense and my new Scottish story in a contest last month and found out a bit ago that the suspense didn't final.


Okay, I'm seriously done complaining. Why? The comments from the judges were great- "wanted to keep reading", "REALLY had to look to find something to criticize", "good pace and budding romance" just to name a few. This also reinforces for me that I know how to hook a reader and I don't have to worry about my book openings. (LOL! Now if I could just figure out how to pull off the rest!)

AND.... My entry's score was: 9.22 (out of 10)
The finalists’ scores were: 9.81, 9.75, 9.75, 9.65

A girl has NO RIGHT to complain about that!

I'll share the Scottish story comments/scores when I get them.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

And The Nominees Are...

For Golden Heart:

In the Novel With Strong Romantic Elements category- Fortune's Fool by Jane Sevier(Jane's an Austin RWA member and a wonderful woman!)

For Rita:

In the Best First Book category AND Best Romantic Suspense category- Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton(Elisabeth and I have known each other online since before she sold)

In the Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Mystery category- The Christmas Present by Tracy Wolff(Tracy's another Austin RWA member and another great woman!)

In the Contemporary Single Title Romance category- Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis(I'm a HUGE Jill Shalvis fan)

In the Historical Romance category- Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas and Taming Her Irish Warrior by Michelle Willingham(Sherry is ANOTHER Austin RWA member and ANOTHER great woman! I've known Michelle online since before she got published)

And the two nominations I'm most excited about?
My CP Cat Schield finaled in the Golden Heart Contemporary Series Romance category with Fake Fiancee, Real Love! Cat and I will be roomies again and we're bound to have a blast!

Laura Griffin finaled in the RITA Best Romantic Suspense category with Whisper of Warning! I am a HUGE Laura fan but more than that Whisper of Warning is one of my all-time FAVORITE books!!

Congratulations to all the finalists, the ones here that I will be cheering for and the others I don't know.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On The Eve Of GH & Rita Calls

I entered the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers this year with 2 manuscripts. I don't expect to final. It's such a longshot. I hadn't really paid much attention to the date...until today. My stomach is in knots, I'm all excited and I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight. To all of you who entered either the GH or the Rita (for published authors), good luck and be sure to let me know if you final so I can cheer you on in Nashville this summer!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Checkin' In

Sorry to be so scarce these days. I promise to get some point. I'm trying really hard to get back into my exercising and every other free moment I swear is filled up with filling out job applications or working on Examiner articles. I had planned to read and relax a bit tonight, but I worked on 2 Ireland articles (1 is up now, 1 will go up tomorrow) and then I searched job websites and THEN applied for 4 more jobs. At the rate I'm going something HAS to break at some point.

I'm pretty much making "job-hunting" my 2nd job right now. I get down sometimes about not hearing anything from all these applications and my whole "technically out of work as of June" situation, but then I remind myself what my goal is: to be happier and to have time to devote to my writing so that I can be ready when an editor calls and says, "We want to buy your book!"

One day at a time, one application at a time. I have faith that if I keep working at it, something AWESOME will come my way(both in day job and writing)! For now, I'm going to have a cup of tea and relax for a few minutes. You? You should definitely head over to my examiner page (link is on the right) and ready about the Ha'penny Bridge. Oh, and please leave a comment if you do so I know you've stopped by!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Voices

The voices. They've been whispering in my ear all day. I've tried to focus, tried to ignore them, but they will no longer leave me alone! So, I'm giving in....just for a while.

LATER: 2 hours, 4 pages and 2 new characters I can't wait to explore even more!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Break's Almost Over....Whaaaaaaa!

So I'm spending this day doing a bunch of errands, making phone calls and figuring out my finances (which is a HUGE feat in itself for this English teacher!). I've also been reading Brenda Jackson's book and I have to tell you I really like it. The hero is a jerk (seriously, I keep saying that out loud as I read!), but I have faith that Brenda Jackson will make the journey worth my while! I want to just sit on the couch and read for the rest of the day, but I MUST do something! Most importantly, I must go grocery shopping if I want to eat anytime soon.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day!!!!

I'm in between parties right now. Went to a local pub, Dog & Duck, known for its St. Patrick's Day party. Was wonderful while I was there. Now I'm taking a break, having a few cups of tea and water before I head to another local pub to meet up with some new friends to celebrate my Irish heritage. Hope you're all safe and happy this St. Patty's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Back From San Antonio

Food was good. Company was good. Drinks were good. Shopping was good. Ahhh. I'm so relaxed.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

San Antonio

I'm off to San Antonio with mom for 2 nights. It's sort of a "Girls' mini-vacation" and we try to do something like this every year. We'll eat, drink, shop and be merry! Catch you later!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Deets About The Job

Okay, here are the details from my resignation. I did offer to work part-time at my school doing the ESL Coordinator job, one of the 2 jobs I do right now, so the school stays in compliance with the state's guidelines. The boss actually asked, "Why not full time ESL?" I said I'd be interested in talking about that some more. He said he'd think about it and get back with me after break. He may offer full-time ESL and I may not take it, he may offer just part-time. He might come back with, "Thanks, but no thanks." I might just walk away altogether. No matter what happens now, I'm at peace with my decision to not be a "regular" teacher anymore.

It wasn't an easy decision. It wasn't an easy discussion. But things had to change. I spent every work day in December depressed and in tears because I was so unhappy. At that point, I started evaluating my life. There isn't one reason I gave notice. I don't agree with some of the practices going on in the school, I don't feel I have the support from my administration that is necessary for us to do a great job, I'm feeling burned out after 9 years in front of a class, I have NO time for writing and I have nowhere to move on the career ladder. In evaluating my life, I realized that working with and for English Language Learners is where I want my career to go. And of course, I want to continue pursuing publication. If I stay where I am, I can't fulfill either of those dreams. So in December I decided to look for another job. I put my writing on hold so that I can focus on finding a new job. I need something that satisfies my heart and my soul. And you know what? Finally saying the words to the boss have pulled a HUGE weight off my heart. It feels good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shocking Newsflash!

As of 8:00 this morning I took the plunge. I resigned my position as English Language Arts teacher for the 2010-2011 school year. Details coming to you soon....

Monday, March 08, 2010

Call Me A Slacker

Haven't blogged since last Tuesday.
Haven't written & published an Examiner article since last Tueaday.
Haven't finished my latest contest entry, which is due for me by Friday.
Haven't been to the gym today.
Haven't read any pages in Emily's book since Friday.

Finish the contest entry and e-mail tonight.
Grade all my papers in the next day or so.
Finish & publish my current Examiner article (on Guinness) tonight.
Draft the next article tonight.
Spend some quality time with "my future" planner this week.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

All Ireland, All the Time

To celebrate March and the coming of my 2nd favorite holiday (St. Patrick's Day), all my Examiner travel articles will be about Ireland! Blarney Castle, Connemara, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Guinness Factory and so much more! Plus, I'll be sharing some of the pictures. AND I'm thinking there will be a contest coming up shortly. (Details to follow.) I'll be posting 3 times a week so be sure to check them out here!