Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Here Come The Sun

This weekend my main squeeze talked me into waking up early and going to watch the sunrise over Lake Erie.  The fact that I got up at 5:00 a.m. is a feat in and among itself, since I am not a morning person at all.

But it was worth it.  We had a great start to the day!  

Radley joined us for the trip...

And grudgingly posed for some pictures (believe me, the hoodie was needed, my bed head is not pretty!)...

And she patiently sat with us while we watched the sun come up...

What a great way to welcome the day!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Princess Cat Power!

Hey, hey...don't hate because I have an awesome princess kitty notebook that I'm writing my new MG novel in.  We can't all rock it as much as I do!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Great Gatsby Movie Trailer Is Here


I have been waiting for this trailer for months.  I have stalked IMDB every single day.

And man, oh man, was the wait worth it!

Tobey is perfect for Nick, and Leo is looking as delicious as ever.

I'm not too sure on the music, but I'm thinking it might just be for the trailer.

It's got all the flash, color, and over-the-top glam that is Baz Lurhmann.


Please excuse me while I go watch it again and silently wish that December 25 would come here fast!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


We left the windows open today because we thought it was going to be really hot out.  We didn't want Radley to be too warm while we were at work.

The temperature dropped and my house was freezing when I got home.

This is how I survive writing in a cold house because I refuse to turn the heat on at the end of May!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Author's Words

I found these here and here, and I really really liked them.  The last one is my favorite. 

I also love how they are set up on the actual authors.  It would make some cool framed office art.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DRIVEN Blog Tour

Lisa Nowak asked me to be part of her blog tour to celebrate the release of her new book DRIVEN.

I've talked about Lisa Nowak before on my blog and gushed about how great I think her books are.  She writes YA novels that center on auto racing, a subject many of my students are into. 

I'm happy to share Driven with you!

About the Book:

The last thing on 16-year-old Jess DeLand’s wish list is a boyfriend. She’d have to be crazy to think any guy would look twice at her. Besides, there are more important things to hope for, like a job working on cars and an end to her mom’s drinking. Foster care is a constant threat, and Jess is willing to sacrifice anything to stay out of the system. When luck hands her the chance to work on a race car, she finds herself rushing full throttle into a world of opportunities—including a boy who doesn’t mind the grease under her fingernails. The question is, can a girl who keeps herself locked up tighter than Richard Petty’s racing secrets open up enough to risk friendship and her first romance?

Sounds great, right? 

I read this book about two years ago.  It was the first of Lisa's books that I read, and I love that it's told from a girl's perspective.  And you don't have to be a lover of racing (or even know about it!) to like her books.  The focus is racing, but there is so much more to each of the stories that any YA fan would love them!

Check out each of her books here:




Monday, May 7, 2012

The Dreaded First Drafts

My school runs on a block schedule, so I have two different groups of kids each year (three 90 minutes blocks first semester, three 90 minute blocks second semester).  This January I had a student teacher, and he started the semester with my new students.  His time with us ended two weeks ago, and I took over the classroom.

I spent the first week looking at list stories with the kids and talking about how the authors construct these stories and work to express a specific tone.  When we were done reading the stories I chose (Girl- Kincaid, Hair- Cineros, Boys- Moody, The Things They Carried- O'Brien), the students wrote their own list stories.

Their first drafts aren't due until today, but a bunch of the kids dropped off copies to me last week.  After the eighth or ninth draft, I made a comment to the girl who was giving me her story about how surprised I was to be getting all these copies ahead of time.

The one girl told me it was because everyone was nervous to have a published author read their creative writing.

What?  What?  I was seriously stunned for a moment.

That comment totally blew me away for many reasons.  I couldn't believe they were looking at me in the same way I do when I think about published authors reading my work.  I love that they wanted to do so well for me, and it's always great to find an assignment that my kids are excited about and want to work hard on.

I didn't say any of these things to this girl, though, because there was something more important I wanted to tell her.

I'm not any different than she is.

I said that I may be publishing a book, but I had all the same feelings.  I told her about how terrified I am when I have to share my work for the first time, and how a first draft is a first draft, no matter who you are.

I think these are important words to remember myself.  I'm working through an early draft of my newest book, and it's hard going.  I want to stop, edit, and doubt myself with almost every word that I write down.  I'm doing the same things a lot of my students have been doing; getting nervous about sharing work.  I need to remind myself of my own advice and remember that this is a first draft and we all start from the same place.  A first draft is a first draft and you need to allow it to be that, because the truth is, you're your worst critique and you aren't going to move forward until you let go of all of your fears and just write.

What about you?  Do you get first draft anxiety?