Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The new website is up!

The new website is up and "running". Don't anyone get excited, it is a very simple site as of right now. Things need to be added and changed.  For some reason, it comes up as I don't understand why. I am going to have to call godaddy over the weekend to get it fixed. Check it out to see the wonderful banner that Linda Kage created for me. She has really been in an inspiration to me during this process.

Peace Out,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Productive weekend

I had a very writerly productive weekend this weekend. On Saturday, I worked all day on construction of my website. When I say all day, I mean all day. It was a long process. I had a lot of help from the very talented Linda Kage. So I thank her from the bottom of my heart. Not being an IT person, I have to admit it was hard. There were many times during the day that I wanted to quit or call Linda and give her anything just to take over the task from me. Unfortunately, that is not my personality. I am the type of person that will work on a task no matter what until it's done. Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes it isn't. The site isn't up yet. It could take 24-48 hours to be active on the web. It is not perfect by all means and will probably be a constant work in progress. Someone, and I won't say who, might regret giving me their phone number!

On another note, I sat down and wrote for a long time yesterday and it felt wonderful. There seems to be a backlog of characters building up in my head trying to get out. They really want their stories told, so I need to finish my current WIP before starting on something new.

Still no word from the publisher though, sigh...

Peace Out,

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Release Day

I would like to wish a happy release day to two people who inspire me as a writer. So HAPPY RELEASE DAY to Amber Skyze and Miranda Stowe. If you don't know these wonderful writers, check them out. I know what I will be doing later after work! Thank you both for enriching my weekend!

I also want to give a shout out the grand webmaster Linda Kage who is not only a wonderful writer but knows a lot about creating web pages. Thank you so much Linda. Be on the lookout. My web page should be up and running soon.  Hopefully now I will start to hear from publishers, so I can fill my "book" page on the site. Kind of like, "if you build it, they will come"!

Peace Out,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where is Spring?

I woke up this morning and it was snowing outside. I know that I live in New England but where is spring? I am totally ready for some warm weather. I want to put my body into shorts and feel the sun on my Casper-like skin. I want to open my windows and see my white curtains fluttering in the warm spring breezes. I even want the constant sneezing that I go through every spring. Spring, I am ready. Where are you?

Speaking of warm weather, most of my family is going on a trip to Disney World in May. Disney and my sister are tempting me with 40% off deals. My husband and I missed the birthday celebration last year because of medical reasons. There is no reason why we shouldn't go this year. Of course, technically, I am still terminated. So there is the uncertainty of next year at this moment. I could also use new appliances in the kitchen. I think that if I had a dishwasher, I would be a much happier woman. It would also be lovely not to have to defrost my freezer with a hair dryer every couple of weeks. I bet I also would be a more efficient cook if all of the burners on my stove actually worked. The rational part of me knows the answer to this question but... It still doesn't stop me from checking out the Disney site every few days. It really wouldn't be in my head if I didn't have a credit with Delta. I cancelled my business trip in February but they are making me pay for the plane ticket, which was a surprise.

So what do you think? What should I do?

Peace Out,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

To website or not to website

My question today is how useful would a website be to an aspiring writing. Just like anything that I do, I have been doing research. I have read on many publishers' blog that they google writers who have submitted manuscripts to get a broader range of their writing talents. One of the things that they look for is blogs. I have that one covered but another thing is websites. So do you get a site before you are published or after? Is getting it before incredibly presumptuous that people would be interested in following it? As an unpublished and increasingly frustrated author, what would I put on it?

Then comes the big question, how the "beep" to do construct a website? I am not the most computer illiterate around but I can't even imagine how to go about it so that it looks professional. Also I would assume that it costs money. Nothing in this world is free. So putting up money before getting published seems like throwing money out the window. But then a little part of me says that if I do have a site, it will be ready when I do get published to help with promoting my story. I am really torn on this an any advice would be greatly appreciated.

On a good note, the college that I teach at is on Spring Break this week. So I don't have a long day today. After staying up late (for me) to watch Dancing with the Stars, I am tired! Go Ralph! He was such a teenage crush. I fell in love with him in The Outsiders, along with about half of the rest of the cast!

Wish me luck, the husband goes to see the tool at 9:45. I am expecting an annoyed phone call by 10:30.

Peace out,

Monday, March 21, 2011

Don't like snarkiness

On a whole, I don't like snarkiness. I don't like it especially when it comes from doctors. The doctor my husband sees for his panic disorder is the king of snarkiness. I personally think that he can't keep office staff because he is a great big tool! Every time my husband goes there, he leaves more agitated than he arrived. Normally, I would blame my husband. He can be very difficult to take at times but I have seen this first hand. Years ago, when my husband's best friend died to cancer, he increased his appointments to get through the stress. The doctor invited me to sit in on the session. I agreed because I wanted to be supportive. The doctor then  turned around and billed my insurance for "family therapy".  Don't get me wrong, I am a firm supporter of family therapy. We were just not in it!

Another reason why I feel that this doctor is a big tool and my husband should seek another is that because he can't keep office staff, he makes his patients contact him via e-mail to make an appointment. Last week, I contacted as the husband requesting an appointment because of a medication refill. I received no response. So thinking that I got the e-mail wrong, I sent another follow up. Still no response, so on Friday, I sent a last ditch e-mail still hoping to get him in for his medication refill. Here is where the snarkiness came out. I received a very curt e-mail saying that he was away for the week which he had already told me in response to the other e-mail. There was no need for my repeated e-mails. I could have responded in a variety of ways. Anyone who knows me and has e-mailed me before knows that I respond to e-mail right away. Unless I am working where I can't get my home e-mail but once I am at home, I respond immediately. If he had sent a response, I would have seen it. I went with the nice angel on the shoulder, instead of the little devil whispering me to send a snarky e-mail back. What really bothers me about the whole situation is that this is how the man treats his patients. He doesn't know that he is dealing with me. Isn't he in the business of helping people? He doesn't seem like he helps to me. All weekend, I was annoyed with his treatment. So I can just imagine how he treats his patients face to face.

In my eyes, it's time to get another doctor!

Peace Out,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oh no you did not!

A few years ago, my husband was taking a Filipino martial art called Kali. They practiced in the backyard. Or I should say that my husband was beaten with wooden sticks twice a week in the backyard. So now every time we have aches and pains, we ask each other, if we were beaten with some sticks.  Last night, my whole body hurt. I still think it is a combination between an extremely old mattress and new pillows. My neck pain is still not totally gone. I was trying to be funny so I asked the husband if he beat me with some sticks during the night. He told me no, it was only old age. OLD AGE? Did he really just say that? What worries me more, does he really mean it? Oh no you DID NOT!!! I am stating for the record that I am not old. I don't feel old. I don't even think that my age categorizing me as middle age! WTF. Talk about taking the jam out of my donut! He knows that the "old" thing pushes my buttons. Not a great way to start off the day! I might need an actual donut on the way to work!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is it bad?

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Is it bad that I don't have any green clothes? I know at school today that everyone will be decked out in green. Green clothes, green headbands, green shoes, and... You get the point. I have one green scarf but it won't match the lavender sweater that I am going to wear today. I don't know why I feel bad about this today. I am not Irish. Although I suppose that "everyone" is Irish on St. Patrick's Day. There will be a line at the Irish pub in town that will extend around the block to get in. It has been at least twenty years since we have tried to brave that crowd. I am not into waiting for a public bathroom!

On a writing note, I did send a friendly inquiry letter to the editor that wanted revisions. The only thing is the person responding was not her. It was the original editor that gave the original feedback but rejected the manuscript. So I am a little worried. I did take most of her feedback to heart but not all. So again, even though it is a much better story with the 1st and 2nd rounds of revisions that I made, I am still worried. There was one piece of feedback that I didn't use. She had commented that "dream sex" was outdated. I really liked that scene, so I didn't change it. The new editor from the same company didn't seem to mind that scene but now that it is in the hands of the other, I'm afraid that it is going to hurt my chances on the story getting published.

Oh well...


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The one good thing about stress...

The one good thing about being stressed over my day job situation is that is cured me of my e-mail obsession. Before, the first thing that I would do when I got home was to check my e-mail for any word from editors. Last night, a few hours past before I realized that I hadn't checked it to see if I have received any word yet. Of course, there was nothing. The thing is that now I am not expecting any word. Tomorrow, I will be at the eight week mark for my original submission to some publishers and six weeks past my revised submission to another. With how long it takes for them to get back to you, is it realistic for them to ask that you not simultaneously submit your manuscript to other companies? This is one reason that I can appreciate the automatic rejection letter. One company read my partial and decided within hours that it wasn't for them. While stinging, they didn't linger over it making me wonder about what if...

On another note, my school is not a school that is closing in my district. Unfortunately, the first school that hired me is one of them. It is a school that has become surrounded by the hospital. My prediction is that the city will be able to sell the property for a pretty penny and that was the criteria for this school closing. It upsets me that all of the decisions are based on money. Public education is not about dollars and cents. It is about kids, education, and the teachers. Yes, I said it. Teachers are an important factor is this equation. Except we are not thought of as such, we are vilified in the press. When a teacher from a closing of a school talked about how it actually had an opera program to enrich the education, people commented in the newspaper making fun of this teacher. When in the same article, they disclosed what town the teacher lived in and the university that she originally went to, commenters talked about "her slumming in urban education". I read an article in the New York Times last night about how teacher pay is no longer attracting the "top" woman in a graduating college class. They are now going on and becoming doctors and lawyers. There was at one point in the seventies when teachers made only two thousand less than new lawyers.

What are you willing to do to attract the "cream of the crop"? What is your child's education worth?

Peace out,

Friday, March 11, 2011

Favorite childhood book

Yesterday I was reminded why I love teaching. It has to do with books. Shocking! I let a teacher borrow a book that I thought her son would like. He doesn't enjoy reading and I found that when kids don't like to read one of the problems is that they haven't found the correct book yet that sparks their interest. The teacher came up to me and told me that he couldn't put it down. This made me feel really good. So of course in typical fashion, I can home and scoured my bookshelves for other books that he would like to read.

What was your favorite book from childhood? My is A Wrinkle in Time. My teacher read it to us in sixth grade. From then on, I was totally hooked on science fiction. I actually bought it in sixth grade and still have to original copy!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It all caught up with me

Yesterday, all of the things that have been happening lately caught up with me.  First off, it has been crazy at work. Because of the mass terminations, everyone is on edge. I seems that it has become my principal's job to run everyone ragged. Yesterday, she had me and my math colleague go on learning walks. These are a good thing, except if they take your whole day and don't have time to do your own work. When she finally, gave us some time to eat, she cut it short by wanting to do more learning walks. So I had 7 minutes to eat my lunch and she came looking for us because we were not done fast enough. Needless to say that most of my lunch went into the trash.

Last night was my late night because I teach a college course. There first major assignment was due. As you can expect, there was a rash of stomach flu, broken printers, and all around "could I have until next week to finish it". They were also very chatty last night and it annoyed me when I am trying to give a lecture and talking and texting are going on. Do they realize that this counts against their grade? Do they care?

My mother was also released from the hospital yesterday. So after class I went over to briefly see her. I also met my brother's new girlfriend whom he is extremely serious about! I tried to get out of their as quickly as possible because I was starting not to feel well. I basically still hadn't eaten anything since 6am. I wasn't about to cook, so I went to the local sandwich shop to pick up something for me and the husband because you know he was probably nibbling at the furniture by now. This is where things started to get a little scary. While waiting for the sandwiches, I was getting very light-headed. This normally doesn't happen to me unless I am on a particular type of medication but my head was swimming. I am going to attribute it to the lack of food. But once I ate it didn't totally go away.  Then something happened that really scared me. I feel asleep in the bathtub! For close to an hour! I have to say that that was a crashing moment.

This weekend, I am hoping that I can have some time to do some intense relaxing. I might even have to book a message!

Peace Out,

Monday, March 7, 2011

Who knew?

Who knew that new pillows could throw my sleep so off? Over the weekend, we were supposed to get a new bed but instead, we got new pillows. Doesn't make sense but...The new pillows are too fluffy. I am usually a stomach sleeper and I can't sleep on my stomach! They also gave me a pain in the neck (and I'm not talking about the husband). So I barely slept and am now at work in pain.

I also woke up to a message on my cell phone that my brother had to rush my mother into the hospital last night. She got sick on her birthday and we all just assumed that she caught the flu from one of the grand kids. Well, she has a virus, pneumonia, and her sugar is all out of whack because she is not eating and drinking. So they admitted her last night.

Not a good start to the morning!

Peace Out,

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Birthday MOM!

She won't read this but today my mom is 75. I know that you must find it so hard to believe that someone so youthful as I has a mother that old but I do. ;) For all of her little quirks, I have to say that she is one of my heroes. She lost her husband her husband, my father when she was only 43 years old. He died of lung cancer and although he smoked, it was not the type of lung cancer that you get from smoking. My mother had at the time of my father's death four children all under the age of 10. Our ages ranged from 9-4, me being the oldest. I remember that first Christmas when she asked me if I wanted to write a letter and place it under the tree for my father, I don't know now what my response was but it mustn't have been good because she never asked again.

My mother was a stay at home mom and she continued to be a stay at home mom until my youngest brother went to high school. I never thought that we were poor but we must have been. We lived off of Social Security and my father's pension. We never went on fancy vacations but we never wanted for anything. Christmas was always a big affair where the presents that surrounded the tree came out half way across the living room.

Somehow, she paid for my sister and I to go to an all girl private high school. This high school today is now 11,000 a year, so back in the day, it still must have been extremely expensive for us to attend. She thought that it was important that we all have the best schooling possible. High school was a wonderful experience for me. Some people have fond memories of college but for me it was high school. College was always a means to an end. It was what I was supposed to do to get myself prepared for being a teacher.

She was able to send all four of us to college and get degrees. We received a lot of student loans but it is a testament to my mother that all of us went, finished, and got degrees.

My mother never went on a single date after my father died. She had no desire. It wasn't like that she didn't have any opportunities, she still is an extremely attractive woman. She had to raise her children and to her that was her full time job.

So today, I say Happy Birthday to a wonderful woman!

Peace Out,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Brush it off!

I have decided that the wallowing is finished in this house! There will be no more feeling sorry for ourselves and no more moping. There are things in life that are beyond our control. When I give workshops, we call them "the window" items. They are things that we can't change. There are just some things that have to be accepted and move on. The other type of problems that I talk about are the "mirror" problems. These are things that we can change and have direct control over them.

Teacher terminations
Waiting for publisher responses
Other people's thoughts and feelings

Daily work produced
How much I write per day
My own health (both physically and mentally)

So that's it for today. Got to get ready for work.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I am just sitting here waiting to start teaching my college course. I thought that I was going to be late but as it turned out, I was early. So I have a half hour to wait. It seems like all I am doing lately is waiting. I am still waiting to hear from any publisher. I am waiting to hear if I still have a job after June. I am also waiting for more things in my private life where the time seems to be ticking away. So that's a lot of waiting. He husband's stress level is on high alert! There is really nothing that I can do to alleviate it, so I feel really badly, which of course puts more stress on me. Trust me, I don't need anymore.

On a better note, I am writing again. The ideas are flowing, it's just the time to write is at a premium right now. But better that than no ideas at all.

Peace Out,