Thursday, August 31, 2006

Only 8 days left!

Only 8 days left to help me in my quest to raise money for the Lifelong AIDS Alliance.

Please help me help this wonderful cause by sponsoring me in the 20th Anniversary AIDS Walk! Clicking on the link to the right will take you to a page where you can search by walker, and make your donation online. You are also able to send in checks, for those who prefer to not pay by credit card.

For those who have already donated, thank you!

I would also like to thank all of you in advance for your support.

The addictive properties of PowerPoint...

Or what they don't tell you in school.
No one ever told me how addictive Power Point presentations can be. It is apparently a well guarded secret known only to a select few individuals. But now I know, and I'm sharing it with the world!
I've spent the last couple of days either in meetings or setting my room up. The latter requires me to scrounge around the building looking for various forgotten or abandonned items that I might be able to use in my own classroom. I'm sort of like the junk dealer with his shopping cart full of discarded paper towel rolls. I wander from building to building in search of those precious few items I may be able to get my hands on. It's strangely and uniquely satisfying to see my room taking shape around me.
And when I'm not preparing my classroom or in meetings, I'm going over curriculum, so that I'll be prepared to teach on Tuesday. Which is exactly how I discovered the joys of Power Point. You see, in my classroom we have SmartBoards. They are kind of a combination of white board screen w/ projector and computer touch pad. Basically you can project images/documents/items from your computer up on to the screen. Then the screen becomes much like a touch pad at the registers at Target. You can scroll down, write, highlight items, etc. just with the touch of a finger...or electronic pen. It's really very cool.
So in an effort to move beyond the stone age (and my comfort level with overhead projectors), I decided to create a Power Point presentation for Math. This way the instruction for the activity would be up on the board for all students to read, while I went over them. And I wouldn't have to write them out as I talk! Bonus.

At least, that's how it started. Then I thought, well...wouldn't it be nice if I created a presentation to welcome them to class and to present the day's agenda? Then I got even crazier and contemplated putting the agenda up on the SB every day! When will the madness end!

In the meantime, it's late. I'm tired, and I have to get up again tomorrow to spend more time on my room and various other endeavors.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Snoopy Dance time!

I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath for the I'll delay no longer. This morning, while visitin Portland with my mother, I accepted a position teaching 5th grade. No, I'm not moving to Portland. That's just where I happened to be when I checked my home messages.
So, join me in my celebration...quickly followed by nervous breakdown as I realize how much I have to do in the next 6 days...eek!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Check the traffic reports...

I biked with Mom again this a.m. We had a lovely time, except we probably should have checked traffic reports before meeting. Somehow both of us failed to realize that we would be biking THRU the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. Ha!
These women are amazing. For those who don't know, the participants walk a total of 60 miles over the three days. They don't even get a comfy bed to sleep in each night! All the money they raise goes to support Breast Cancer research and the walk. On day three, everyone we passed was still going strong, despite injuries and inevitable fatigue. We saw women wearing fairy wings, pink cowboy hats and other regalia (not always at the same time, mind you.) Probably the best were the women wearing the t-shirts that read "Save the Tatas". *snort* Love that one!

Of course, to bring this all back around to the point, I felt like a princess riding by on my bicycle with my pink helmet (totally not planned). Everyone we passed announced us to the walkers in front of them with a fabulous, "Bikes! Bikes coming through! On your left!" It was like being announced at a regency ball. I guess technically they just didn't want their friends to get run over by us, but it definitely made it easier for us to pass through.

So congratulations to everyone to walked this weekend. You done good!

How long does it take to print a page at Kinkos?

Apparently a very long time...if you're me. First I had a paranoid moment and had to log into one of their computers to confirm I had my header set up properly. I'd created a separate file for the partial submission I want to send, but couldn't remember if I'd put a header in or not.
Then I explained what I wanted to the guy at the counter. He must have been new, because he looked at me as if I'd grown a second head. Not very comforting when my publishing career is essentially going to rest in his hands until I leave the building.
So I instead waited to for the guy I'd spoken to on the telephone when I called to make sure they could do what I wanted. Not complicated, really. All they had to do was open up two files on my memory stick, print them, then copy them. Not difficult. Not scary.
Once I had the right guy, everything moved smoothly. I now have 5 copies each of my shiny synopsis and partial. Go me!
And it only took 45 minutes.

Monday, August 21, 2006

You know you have good friends when...

These are some signs you have good friends...
  • All you have to do is say you're having a bad day, and they're on their way over to cheer you up.
  • They'll sit with you for 2 hours while you mope and cry, in hopes that they'll be able to make you laugh.
  • They bring you chocolate and potato chips.
  • They tell you, "You are fabulous!"
  • They remind you of how wonderful you are, and how much you deserve in life.
  • They are quick with a joke, or a funny story.
  • They switch around other plans, so you can go walking.
  • They call you from Singapore, just to check in with you...
These are only some of the signs...feel free to add your signs to my list.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It's not too late...

It's not too late to help me in my quest to raise money for the Lifelong AIDS Alliance.

Please help me help this wonderful cause by sponsoring me in the 20th Anniversary AIDS Walk! Clicking on the link to the right will take you to a page where you can search by walker, and make your donation online. You are also able to send in checks, for those who prefer to not pay by credit card.

I would like to thank all of you in advance for your support.

Things I don't get...

There are a lot of things I simply don't understand. Here are just a few of them.
  • racism, classism...all the other -isms
  • unexplained hatred
  • how cell phone companies get away with all their various "extra charges"
  • awkward phone calls...c'mon, I'm not THAT scary to speak with
  • that funny feeling in the pit of my stomach when I know I have to do something I don't want to do
  • why Tivo is so expensive...for that matter, why cable is so expensive
  • how it is that family can take up so very much time
So how about you? What don't you understand?


Congratulations to Lil Sis, who graduated this morning. I'm so very proud of her.
I'm also proud of the rest of my family. We all went out to lunch afterward, and no one ran screaming/crying from the table. Considering the occupants included my dad, my mom, my stepdad, my grandparents and my aunt & her husband, I was fully expecting some kind of incident or other. I'm happy to report, however, I was very wrong. Everyone seemed to have a good time, and I didn't have to play the peacemaker.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Just a warning...

My family has descended en masse this week for Lil' Sis's graduation. Yay Lil' Sis!! So very proud of you.
In the meantime, this means I likely will not have a chance to post anything truly blog worthy until Sunday...possibly not even until Monday. Bear with me please.

Silly Spam...

Dear Spam sender,
I do not think you have done your research well enough. You keep sending me "Important Messages" from my bank regarding my account. Only I don't have an account at that bank, and I know I don't have an account at that bank. How stupid do you think I am that I wouldn't know where my money is? I'm not sure what virus you hope to give me, or if you're simply planning to steal my identity, but I don't plan to make it that easy for you. Silly spammers, email is for the big girls.
Smarter than you think

Monday, August 14, 2006

Because I'm the curious sort...

So I've recently heard from visitors new to the site, and it got me thinking. I know there are many people out there reading this blog, who I don't know. Or who I've only met through cyber-space. Or maybe I met you at conference. But I'm curious, and because I'm curious I'm challenging you. Who's reading this blog? Where did you come from? How did you find me? C'mon people...share!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Oh My Goth!

Gena Showalter's foray into the young adult market is a fabulous move. Oh My Goth provides a peek into the mind of Jade Leigh, non-conformist and Goth. Jade finds herself in trouble one more time, but this time around her principal is not letting her off simply by sending her to detention. No, Jade is do the lesson of a lifetime.

Gena opens up her readers to the world of high school, but this is not your cookie cutter, Sweet Valley High wanna-be book. Oh My Goth opens us up to the possibility of what happens when everything you know is turned upside down, and you are forced to walk a mile in someone elses shoes.

I cannot recommend this book enough for both adults and teens. I finished the book in a day, quite the feet considering everything else has been taking me a week at least to get through. Go. Buy. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

AIDS Walk 2006

It's that time of year again. Every September I participate in the Lifelong AIDS Alliance walk in support of AIDS awareness and services. I walk to support the vital services of Lifelong AIDS Alliance. The staff and volunteers at Lifelong work everyday to care and fight for those living with HIV/AIDS in Seattle/King County. Lifelong provides a variety of care services, including case management, food, housing, and insurance to people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition, they fight the spread of HIV through education and advocate at the state and national levels.

Please help me help this wonderful cause by sponsoring me in the 20th Anniversary AIDS Walk and share this page with your friends! Clicking on the link will take you to a page where you can search by walker, and make your donation online. You are also able to send in checks, for those who prefer to not pay by credit card.

I would like to thank all of you in advance for your support.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My own Nationals Update...

So everyone else seems to be doing these greatly detailed updates of the National Conference and all they did there. Me? Yeah, I don't have that kind of time. Or energy. Or that great a memory. So mine is gonna be a whole lot shorter.
I'll start with some of the more interesting Points of Interest: Yes, I had my pitch appointment. Yes, I got a request from it. I also have an additional request from another agent, this one for a full manuscript.
The workshops. I attended some fabulous workshops, some not so fabulous. It all depended. As usual, there was a ton of stuff I wanted to go to, and not enough time to do it all in. Some of the highlights were Suz Brockmann's workshop on Ongoing Series. She is one of my favorite authors, certainly on my autobuy list. It was wonderful hearing how she decides which characters will go in each book, and why she chooses each couple of "highlight". They should have billed it as "In to the mind of a bestselling author".
The other workshop that made a lasting impression was one on creating the habit of writing every day. The speaker also acts as a motivational speaker for Franklin Covey, on using time effectively. If anything, I came out of this workshop more inspired to find time each day to write.
Networking was also a huge part of this conference for me. Actually, it's a huge part of every conference I attend. I love meeting other writers and talking to them about all the different aspects of writing. One of the writers I met was Sonia Singh, author of Goddess for Hire and Bollywood Confidential.

(Kelli Estes, Serena Robar, Shannon McKelden and Sonia Singh).

Then there was the issue of food. If only they could tell me ahead of time what the vegetarian option would be for each meal, I could make a fully educated decision. Instead, I check vegetarian in hopes of having a slightly healther option and I wind up with this:

Yes, dear readers, that was the entirety of my lunch. A giant slice of grilled squash, a couple of slices of zucchini, a slice of endive, a slice of tomato and that was it. Needless to say, I felt entirely justified in enjoying my dessert of cheesecake.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Ways in which to procrastinate...

I still don't think I've recovered from my trip to Atlanta. Since I returned, I know I haven't gotten enough sleep and I've been working like crazy. Which leads me to the ways in which I have figured out how to procrastinate from finishing revisions on my WiP.
  • Work...get a job. Jobs can effectively offer you excuses for why you can't write. Multiple jobs (like the 3 I have) are especially effective.
  • Books...all the books I brought back with me from Atlanta, both purchased and free. Some of these I'd been waiting months for. Now that I have them, I can't NOT read them.
  • Call a friend...kind of like the Phone a Friend option on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, calling a friend is an effective means of procrastination. Especially when said phone call is ABOUT procrastination. If you pick the friend well, not only will s/he understand your plight, but s/he will also help to steer the conversation away from writing on to more important men.
In the meantime, I have several submission packets I have to pull together in the next couple of weeks, and I intend to do so right away....
Just as soon as I fold that laundry.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Fan Girls Unite!

So one of the best parts about going to the National Conference is the opportunity to meet, schmooze and generally hobnob with some of my favorite authors. The energy it took to not turn into a total Fan Girl Geek and gush to all of them was immense, but I believe I survived admirably. Among the fabulous authors in attendance were:

Jill Shalvis, author of Aussie Rules and Get a Clue:

Jill Monroe (Blaze author):
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Hunters!!) and Diana Love Snell (Intimate Moments author):

Suzanne Brockmann, of the famed Troubleshooters Series:
MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Grant, Gena Showalter and PC Cast: authors of the anthology Mysteria: