Monday, February 28, 2011

Is censorship ever a good thing?

Last night, there was briefly a cryptic message from one of my friends on Facebook. It read, "Don't say anything else about the firing about the Providence Teachers. Our posts are being monitored." As unjust as I think that the decision is, considering that I am one of those Providence teachers, I never have posted anything about it on Facebook. I know that this friend was not directly talking to me, I take offense. I take offense that we have to live in a culture of fear where we are unable to voice our concerns of the travesty that is happening before us. We have to be afraid of speaking our minds because "someone" is watching. Will something that I or anyone posts on Facebook be the deciding factor, if you are able to get your job back? Will all of the years of dedication to urban education be wiped clean? Will all the times that you fed students your own lunch for breakfast because they missed the school breakfast because their parents were sleeping off whatever, mean nothing? How about the parents who don't show you any respect calling you, "that little white teacher" instead of learning your name? Or a school district who thinks that you are "wasting" your talents by being "just" a teacher? I say, just a teacher! What is more important than that? If you can read this or anything for that matter, most of you can thank a teacher.

But are we thanked? No, we are vilified as people who work so little and get paid so much. We are the people who have the summers off. Some think with pay which not the truth. Some of us schedule to have money put aside so that we can get "paid" during the summer. We have the easy jobs. My challenge is that if it is so easy, why didn't you do it? What stopped you?

So let's stop being bitter and show some respect. Not because I am a teacher but because I am a human being.

And karma is a bitch!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Tarzan will be leaving the building

When is it an appropriate time to inquire information about your ms from an editor? Is there a time? I am torn about this, it's been twenty-three days, since I received a "I'll be in touch." I know that I am fixating on this but I really need some good news right now. Of course, you are saying to yourself, "What makes you think you are going to receive good news?" I don't. I just need some feedback. It is a very lonely road that a writer travels.

Today is a big day. The husband is going to cut his hair.  In most households, this is not an occasion but in my house it is one that I am going to shout from the rooftops! It has officially been five years since he cut it last. Every time I would approach the subject, he would say to me, "But you love long hair on guys." To some extent he is totally right. I love Viggo with his long hair as Aragon. I love Adrian Paul with his long hair in Highlander. My first character in my manuscript Fated Mates has long hair. Here is the thing, these are all fictional characters. There are not many men who can pull this off in real life. Right now, my husband has hair that rivals the long hair of one of EC's Cavemen. I do not want him to get a military cut, dear God no! Just something like Johnny Depp's hair in The Tourist (not that I've seen the movie, don't like Angelina Jolie) but he looked hot in the adds. The hair will be long enough to satisfy my long hair fetish but short enough so he doesn't look like he should be swinging from a vine.

Good weekend to all of you,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How much do you do?

The question for today is how much research do you do before you write a story? Are you the type of writer that surrounds yourself with pictures of places to help you with your visualization within your work? Are you the type that writes first and researches certain aspects of your plot and setting as you go along? What is your writing research process?

I am the type that researches a little in the beginning. If you don't know anything about your topic, it is almost impossible to write about it. Then, as I get into the story, I will research as I go along to make certain scenes more authentic. The first part and probably the toughest part of the process (at least for me) is the initial writing of the story. I have to have it all mapped out in my head before I put anything down on paper. Yes, I am one of those people who has to write things down on paper before I put them in the computer. I am getting better with this, I don't write down my blog before I type. Once, I have it all mapped out, then I get started. I really enjoy the "dreaming" part of writing.

I have inspired my husband to try his hand at writing. Talk about having a different type of writing process, he writes in stream of consciousness. It is a spy novel told in the first person. Yesterday, he wrote twenty pages. I wrote four. The sad thing is that I am extremely happy with the four that I wrote.

Thinking back to last week, I totally made the best decision to cancel my conference trip this week. I could not imagine what would have happened if I was away and my husband opened the letter from the school department yesterday. I know that these are precautions and I most likely won't lose my job but a termination notice, REALLY!  Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I think that there is more to story than we know right now and it will continue to unfold in the upcoming weeks. But I am going to put it aside and enjoy the last few days of my vacation while I work on my writing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Calm didn't last long

Can you believe that I just found out via e-mail on vacation that every single teacher in my district is going to get a pink slip today? I have a feeling that not only does this have to do with the budget but they want all of us to reapply for our jobs. This is the way to get rid of the ineffective teachers in the district. I am not opposed to this but why subject the rest of us with this terror that could last for four more months? Do I think that I will lose my job? No. But it doesn't make for a restful night.

So the elation that was in the house all day yesterday, was popped like a balloon. I could almost hear the wheels in my husband's head squeaking around and around. He, of course, is thinking about the home equity loan that we just took out on the house. Bad, bad, bad.

We did have plans for the day and the rest of the week but I am thinking that he is not going to want to go anywhere until he gets over this blow.

Editors, could you please start giving some indications on my manuscript?  I might be looking for another job come June.

Peace Out,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New computer

Hi all,
I am blogging from my brand new computer. I am so happy to have a laptop back. Working on the dinosaur in the home office just wasn't doing it for me. I know that I should go in there to work. It would be much quieter but I enjoy working with the laptop on the couch. I am enjoying it now that I have gotten over the sticker price. Did I need it? Yes. So I just have to get over it. My husband asked me if it was going to get my creative juices flowing. Let's hope so! I have been writing a new wip that is set in Ireland. I have it almost all mapped out in my head and the beginning is written. Part of my process is to think about a story for a few days before I start the actual writing. I think that I am at the point with this one to put down a large chunk of it tomorrow. We will see.

The husband and I are planning to go to a planetarium show tomorrow. We both really love space, so I am looking forward it. I also have to put my car in the shop that I am not looking forward to. I am hoping that it is not something huge, especially after buying this laptop. This car has to last me at least one more year until I am finished paying off the husband's truck. I do not want to have two car payments on my hands right now.

I hope that you all had a terrific Tuesday.

Peace Out,

Monday, February 21, 2011

24 hours left

This is the amount of time, besides waiting for the stores to open for me to get my new computer. I apologize to people who have been worried about me being missing. Nothing tragic except my beloved laptop has passed away. Please take a moment of silence. It lived a nice long life and even though I have joked on this blog about it having one foot in the afterlife, I am sad. What I especially sad about is that there are two documents on there that I want to retrieve. The first is one of my wips called Saddle Up. I started it and then it just wasn't flowing, so I stopped writing it. But that does not mean that  I want to abandon all 5K of what has already been written. I might get the itch to finish it one day. The other is the book Adrift from my friend Amber Skyze. I barely had started reading it when the laptop gasped its last breathe. I am a little upset about this but I am sure that I will figure something out. Maybe I can re-download it from Loose Id?

Things have been quiet in the house since all of the blow ups last week. Isn't amazing how money, or even anticipated money can settle everything down. I have decided not to go to Georgia this week for the conference even though I was looking forward to some alone time. I have to make a decision that benefited my home life and I don't regret it. I just don't think that it was the right time for me to be away for four nights.

So this will be one of the last posts on a dinosaur of a computer that was purchased in 2002. At this point, I am just happy that it is operational and pray that it lasts this way until tomorrow.

Still haven't heard anything about the manuscript from that one editor or any other publishing houses that I sent it to. This type of waiting is crazy. I don't know how all of you survive it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The craziness is over!

I can breathe a small sigh of relief today. The craziness of the home equity loan is over. We signed the papers yesterday. So there is a huge weight off of our shoulders concerning how to pay for the husbands teeth. It was touch and go there for a while. Before any major decisions, the husband misbehaves. I say this and it looks like I am talking about a child but in some ways, he acts like one. He is the only child of older parent. They never thought that they would have any children, so he was considered a miracle. (Sometimes, I consider him my curse.) He was given everything he ever wanted and never had to work for anything. Well, unfortunately, being a grown up normally doesn't work that way. So he is ill equipped when things don't go right.

But everything finally got sorted out. It looks like that on Tuesday, I will be getting my new computer. I am kind of excited but I wanted to get a new bed first. Hopefully with the new computer my writing muse will come back to me. I think she is seeking warmer weather somewhere. Or maybe, now that I am not so stressed, I will "want" to write.

Peace out,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What do you do?

What do you do when you are feeling defeated? When it seems that the weight of the world is wearing you down? Do you allow yourself to sink into the mire of self doubt and loathing? Or are you the type of person to push it aside with the anthem of "FORWARD"?

There are times in every one's life that there is struggle. We wouldn't be alive if we didn't have to struggle for something. But when is the struggle just too much to go through. When is too much, just too much? Should everything be a struggle? Sometimes the fight is no longer in the fighter.

Am I deluding myself about being a writer? I havent' written in a long time. What is holding me back? I don't enjoy my job anymore. It might be connected to my ego. I went from a place where my opinion was sought out to a place where they feel that I am not needed. At my last position, my "name" meant something. It means nothing anymore. I have gone from the front line to the "B" team. What has changed? In my eyes nothing but again maybe I'm deluding myself. Is this trip that I am going on next week going to help me or perpetuated my constant stress? Then there are even bigger fights in my personal life that I don't know if I have the will to fight anymore. Are some things not meant to be?


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quick blog today

Today is my long day. I teach at a college on Tuesday nights. So, I am sitting here in the class, listening to two twenty year olds talking about their Valentine's Day with each other. Youth is totally wasted on the young. I have been fielding phone calls and e-mails all day concerning our Home Equity Loan.  They have hit a few snags, so there are more knots in my stomach. It seems that the original mortgage company is not getting back to the new bank. Also, I have trying to get private insurance. My home insurance lapsed and was picked up from the mortgage company. Apparently, the new bank can't be put on the insurance. So I am scrambling today. I wanted all of this to be finished before I left for Georgia on Tuesday but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. I also thought that when we closed that we would be getting the money right away. No that's is not the case, we are going to have to wait for three days!  I really want to go outside and do some primal screaming.

Still haven't heard from the editor yet. We are now on thirteen days and counting.

Peace Out,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Where did it start?

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope that all of your day is filled with love. I was thinking over the weekend, when did my love affair with love start? It was probably always in me. But one of the major contributors to this are Harlequin romance novels. When I was young, my mother was addicted to them. (She still is at 75.) Every month a box would come in the mail with 8 more romances for her to read. She was always reading them. She didn't read anything else. In the early 80's, a teenage romance series came out. It was called Sweet Dreams. I read these books as soon as they came on the shelf at the bookstore. Every week, I would beg someone to drive me to the mall to buy a new one with my allowance. My friends would buy different books and then we would swap. I eventually graduated to reading my mother's Harlequins when I got older.

So looking back, I have been reading romance almost all of my life. When I found erotica, I felt like I was home. Naturally, writing it developed out of my love for the entire genre.

Peace Out,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do you believe in destiny?

I am a sucker for romantic movies. So, of course with Valentine's Day coming up on Monday, there is no lack of them on tv. As I was flipping through the channels, one caught my eye that has a special place in my heart. It is not a "great" movie. It was panned by the critics but it is one that I happen to love. Not only for the story but for particular scenes within the movie. The movie is called The Lake House and it is all about destiny. It's all about two people separated by time who are supposed to end up together. Despite this monumental obstacle, it is the will of destiny that they are to be together.

Why it is so special to me is that I reference it in my manuscript. The theme of it is that my characters are destined to be together. They have obstacles but despite them, they are brought together forever.

So to all of those people out there, destiny has a plan. We just have to see where the journey and destiny lead us.

Peace Out,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Eight days and still counting...

Note: This is the second time that I am writing or rewriting this blog. The first time, I hit a key and it was totally deleted. This ticks me off because I hate doing stupid things.

It has been eight days since and editor asked me to revise my manuscript and resubmit it. The wait is making me crazy. So in my head, I am thinking that it could be a good thing or a bad thing.

On one hand, the editor liked it enough to give me some feedback of what she wanted to see changed in the manuscript. She also asked that if I did make those revision, to resubmit it. So she liked it. She liked it enough to make some very specific feedback of what she thought worked and didn't work. The revisions were minor, so I did them immediately and resubmitted. Also, if she didn't like the revisions, I would think that the rejection would come quickly.

On the other hand, what is taking so flippin' long? I am being sarcastic. Logically, I understand that this business is full of waiting, rejections, with a little bit of hope sprinkled in. If the editor liked the revisions, why is it taking so long? This whole process has made me a obsessive compulsive e-mail checker! What is worse, is that I can't check my e-mail from work. (I know what you are thinking, I should be working at work and not checking e-mail. But really, if you are waiting to hear from a publisher, can you think of anything else?) So everyday, I have to wait close to nine hours before I check it again. Crazy!

Enough whining for now!

Peace out,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Getting bold in my old age

Yesterday, I did something that twenty years ago would have never happened. I got into a heated disagreement with a college professor who was doing a workshop at my school. She was contracted to work with the teachers on writing before I was transferred to the school. I can't blame the principal who was trying to solve low writing scores in her school. She didn't know that I was the one to write the whole second grade writing curriculum. It does irk me to no end to hear this professor talk about things that I was doing in my own classroom and doing as a specialist for over ten years now. I will admit, it's a little bit of an ego thing. I'm not too proud.

So yesterday, she holds up a piece of student writing and explains that we are going to look at the writing for what the student can do in craft, conventions, and make next steps for instruction. It is a very sound teaching strategy. I am going to let it slide that it goes against the writing curriculum of the district. I was a rebel once in the classroom. I am not the literacy police. Whatever! So she says that first thing that she is going to write is the fact that the student picks his topics independently. Whoa! Do not pass go! Stop all talking! There is no way from looking at a piece of writing to tell if a student picked this topic without any help. Now if you were talking about the student's process throughout the writing workshop and observed this happening, then you can write that down but that was not the object of the exercise. So I challenged her and boy did she not like being challenge! She started arguing with me about it. Saying that if we looked back into his other pieces...wait! Wasn't the exercise objective to look at a piece of writing and observe what a student does in that piece. Maybe I was was just tired, maybe I just spent an insulting hour with her talking to kindergarten teachers about the wonders of read alouds. (REALLY! If they don't know this, I want their certificates now!) I just couldn't take it anymore. She kept arguing with me. Eventually I just basically told her that I wasn't going to argue this point anymore. She didn't like that either. Just because I am not loud and always talking about what I know, does not mean that I know nothing. Just because it doesn't look like I have been teaching for twenty years, does not mean that I know nothing. Just because you have a PHD after your name doesn't necessarily mean that you know more than I do!

Enough now. I have to get ready for work and see if my principal is going to reprimand me for embarrassing the college professor.

Peace Out,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Only Wednesday?

I'm very tired today. Last night was  my late night at the college and my long ride home. It was so windy outside. I was terrified. My SUV was being blown all over the highway. I actually turned off the radio to help me concentrate. This should explain how truly terrified that I was. I am that person driving next to you on the highway singing at the top of her lungs! What also ticked me off royally was there was a guy driving so close to me that I couldn't see his headlights in my rear view mirror. What could possibly make a person do such a thing? One tap of the breaks and he would have been in my back seat. Hmm... maybe I could have gotten a new car out if?

I am working late again today, which really stinks. The two wips that are not being worked on are calling to me. I am just so tired when I get home. I do my best work on vacations or the weekend. I am going to have to clean extra hard because our house is getting appraised. I am finally breaking down and getting a home equity loan to pay for my husband's dental work and consolidate a few bills. Secretly, I am also hoping to use some of the money to buy a new computer. Mine is a practical dinosaur.

Hope all of you who are dealing with the winter weather keep warm.

Peace Out,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Do they?

My question for today is does your husband or significant other read your books/manuscripts? I ask because my husband has been asking me to read my manuscript lately. I am proud of what I wrote but I am a little torn about him reading it. I write erotica. It is not every one's cup of tea. We all have our niches. I like to read erotica and write it. Do I write it under my own name? No. Even this blog is written under my pen name. Marie Rose is part of my name and Dufour is a family name on my mother's side. The fact is writing erotica and even steamier romances come with a stigma. Other author's have written about people asking them if they write porn? Porn is degrading to women. Erotica is anything but! One of the reasons that I write under a pen name is my day job. I really don't think that it would appreciate my style of writing. Another is my mother. If she saw some of the words that I actually wrote down, never mind strung together, she might need resuscitation. I remember when my sister was in labor, she told my mother that it hurt so f*cking bad. Do you know what my mother did? She told my sister that she didn't raise her to talk like that and hung up on her!The word that she finds so objectionable happens to be one of my favorites. I use it as a verb, as an adjective, and any way that I can possibly use it. So erotica would probably get me disowned!

So back to the subject at hand, why am I so hesitant to let my husband read my writing?

Peace Out,

Monday, February 7, 2011

Why do weekends pass so quickly?

Why do weekends pass by so quickly? Don't they seem to fly by as opposed to Thursday and Friday? It's the same amount of time, forty-eight hours. I just don't understand it. I think it is actually a weird time anomaly. Yet here I sit on a Monday morning blogging before I have to get ready for work.

The only part of the Superbowl that I saw last night was the half time show. I usually love the Black Eye Peas but even with all of the techno and lights, I feel that their performance was a bit lackluster. I did see a commercial that made me laugh my ass off. It was the commercial where a child was dressed up like Darth Vader and was trying to use the force on different things. When the dad at the end remotely started the car and the kid looked startled was priceless.

I am trying to watch Glee right now. I sincerely hope that something bad happens to these horrible football players. Can I say enough is enough with the bullying? Most schools have no bullying policies, shouldn't they show these blockheads the ramifications of their actions. Maybe showing how students experience bullying is not enough. They need to show the bully's that it is not excepted.

Enough from me right now. Have to eat and get ready for work.

Peace Out,

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I had to get up because I was having nightmare after nightmare this morning. Let me preface this by explaining that we sleep with the tv on as background noise most of the time. So whatever channel it was on played The Wolfman and Friday the 13th back to back. My first nightmare was during The Wolfman, I woke up and then went back to sleep. It was 3:00 am, so I really didn't feel like getting up at the time. The last nightmare was during Friday the 13th, I couldn't go back to sleep after that one. I am not usually a person who has nightmare, so I am a little perplexed. These are not the first nightmares lately. I had a terrible one last week. So what is causing these dreams? Could it only be what is happening on the tv? Are they slipping into my dreams when I am in a very light sleep? I am always under stress, so is this how it is playing out?

On a better note, I went to local chapter of Romance Writers meeting yesterday. The speaker was an accountant talking giving us tips as writers for tax returns. Did you know that as a writer, you should have a separate bank account where all of your money from writing should go? It protects all of your other money, if you get audited. Otherwise, all of your money is included. IF I ever get a contract and make any money, this is something that I am going to consider doing. He gave a lot of great advice. I was really glad that I went. I am not going to be involved with any Superbowl activities, so I am going to start writing a new story that I outlined on Friday night. The outline flowed so easily, I hope that the writing goes that way also.

Still no word on the manuscript yet. I am starting to cross everything that can be crossed, not only my fingers.

Peace Out,

Friday, February 4, 2011

The little things...

Yesterday, I read two things that made my very happy. They were little things but I have learned to embrace those little things. They help you along in the "in-between" times. The first thing that made me smile is that there is nine days before pitchers and catchers are required to report to spring training. My boys of summer, the Red Sox, will be back on tv soon. I love baseball! If I wasn't such a ticket snob, I would probably make my way to Boston every weekend and try and make the game. It is one of my flaws, I need good seats whenever I am going to an event. If I don't have them, I would rather watch it on tv. This signifies that better weather WILL actually be coming. I didn't feel this way yesterday morning when I couldn't get my car out of the driveway because of all the ice. Ol' Bessie just didn't want to move, I had to take the husband's truck to work. This really isn't a hardship, he has the better vehicle with heated seats! Back to baseball, I love it! Everything about it! I just can't wait to see TC and the NESN gang with their coverage. I am so excited.

The other thing that made me smile yesterday was that NBC announced when Friday Night Lights final session was going to premier in April. I will finally be able to see my Tim Riggins back on tv. (Yes Amber, I said mine! We can duel it out at sunrise in 20 paces.) The man could certain turn me into a cougar any day!

I guess the point of this blog is that it doesn't only have to be big things that make us happy. Those big things don't come along every day. We need to embrace and recognize the smaller things that make us happy every day.

Later, I will be off having my taxes done. During my wait, I will think about all the little things that make me happy to pass the time.

Peace Out,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Do I need the pressure?

I have been in quite the writing lull lately. In fact, I have been doing a lot more reading than writing. Even though my characters are screaming in my brain, I have given them the "mental /sh/..." and gone back to reading erotica from my favorite authors.

Yesterday when I received my revise and resubmit from an editor, the writing muse came back with a vengeance. I revised my manuscript by taking out the scene that she wanted removed and wrote an addition seven hundred words. Not that seven hundred is a lot but after the drought it felt like a lot to me. So do I need some type of pressure to get working? What does that say about me?

So now the waiting begins. My good friend, Amber Skyze, says that this is the hardest part. I agree. She even wrote about it in her blog today. I am actually shocked that a writer of her caliber has to wait to get responses back from editors. If you don't already, go visit her blog. She is a great writer. She took pity on a newbie like me and always answers my questions despite how stupid they really are. She doesn't know how much I appreciate it.

Peace Out,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Revise and Resubmit

Revise and resubmit. Is it still a rejection? Yes, but apparently the editor is still interested in the story. She told me if I was willing to make the revisions to resubmit the manuscript. So the question is, do I want to make the revisions? The revisions that I've been asked to make are not huge. In fact, she just wants me to delete a new scene that I wrote that has the hero and heroine interacting with her mother. I thought that it was a pretty funny scene. (What else am I really going to say! I wrote it so, of course, I find it funny!) She didn't say why she didn't like the scene. She just asked that I remove it. The editor also asked for me to put in something at the end that will show where the characters will live, here or on his planet. This revision makes sense. I was actually thinking this was missing the other day.

What I am thrilled with was the fact that nothing was said about proofreading. I went through that manuscript quite a few times. Let me tell you, the amount of errors that I caught were embarrassing. I "thought" that I had gone through it but the facts are the facts. E-M-B-A-R-R-A-S-S-I-N-G! So I felt quite a sense of accomplishment that nothing was said about it.

It's not like I am not going to have time to think about these revision. I am off again because of the snow. I really could get used to this working from home gig. I write a little, clean a little, write a little again. Work is sprinkled in between. Definitely could get used to this, which will make going into work tomorrow that much harder. I am only going in for tomorrow because Friday, I needed to take a personal day. I am having my taxes done in the morning. It should have only been a half day but my accountant is always late. Even though my appointment is for nine. I expect that he will be running over with the people before me. One Easter, yes I said Easter, I had to wait four hours. He was behind by that much. If he wasn't so good, I would have been looking for a new accountant a long time ago.

Peace out,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I am not a person to look a gift snow day in the mouth, but another snow day???? And tomorrow, there is another, much bigger storm coming through the state. I can understand to some extent. I work in an inner city school system where most of the students walk to school. There is no where for these poor kids to walk but in the street. The piles of snow are taller than I am by far in some areas, never mind a child going to elementary school and the buses are having one hell of time going through the streets. So I am wondering if I can count on a snow day again tomorrow. We haven't worked a full week since Christmas vacation. In all of my twelve years working for Providence, we have never had so many snow days but we also haven't had this quantity of snow in a very long time.

I actually got all of my work that I brought home done last night. So, I am going to think of this day (or two) as a writing gift from the universe. I WILL accomplish some writing today, besides this blog! I will let you know how I make out. Off now to go and get coffee before the roads get too slippery!

Peace Out,