Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. I hope you all enjoy the day with your families!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Date and Some Ear Candy

My mom and her husband took the boys to the movies and had a sleepover last night so Todd and I had a night out. Alleluia. My mom rocks.

We went to dinner...alone...and talked. Wow was it wow-tastical. We clinked our martini glasses and had a bonafide date, old school style, like when we were just two younger married people, sans kids.

After dinner we went to this new place in West Chester called The Note. It's a live music venue. The band was really talented but not my cup of tea. They played Phish and The Dead - I've never liked those bands - not cool enough or funky enough for me. I'm not dissing them, just not for me.

On the way home we rocked the following songs. Loud. Just like I like it. My skin was jumping with the bass.

Below are the few nuggets of complete ear joy:

Universal Mind Control By: Common
* the link will take you to the video. You're welcome. Bold, I know, getting the thanks before you even listen, but the song is that good.

The Master Has Come Back By: Damian Marley
* it is a You Tube video for Adidas but it has 25 seconds of the song. I tried to find a better link but gave up. You'll still hear the funk in those 25 seconds, trust me.

Welcome to Jamrock By: Damian Marley
* the link will take you to the video, the very cool video.

Have a happy Sunday morn.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bring on the Cheese. Go On, Bring It.

I think I'd like to officially make Friday's my THINGS I LOVE post. Exciting. Right now, I'd like to wax poetic about cranking a good song while driving in my of my most favorite things to do. It ranks fairly high for me as a thing I love.

I'm one of those annoying drivers that likes to crank it up to ear bleed level...but I don't dance. Too self conscious. Now don't get me wrong. I can dance. Like really, really dance. I swear it when I tell you that my college girlfriends and I used to dance at The Rat - the best bar on West Chester University's campus - we seriously drew a crowd. I'm not braggin. Well, actually I guess I am but holy smokes did we have fun.

Check 'em out...this was taken a few months ago at one of our Girl's Weekends. Not bad for a bunch of 40 year olds, huh?

Those were the days. Those were the days.

I know you are simply dying to know what music I blast in my '04 Chrysler Pacifica (it is NOT a mini-van, at least I don't think so).

I have a confession to make here. I love cheesy pop music. It all started with WHAM back in senior year of high school - 1985.

I couldn't get enough of the neon coiffed duo and was madly in love with Andrew - the non George Michael dude. I'm certain I owned cut off gloves and neon green clothing of some sort and I knew that WHAM dance by heart. Don't even try to act like you don't know what I'm talking about. You know.

I would whip that move out at the Jamison Skate Rink during the Saturday night dances there, with half of my head shaved off and plastic dinosaur earrings. What can I say - I wanted attention. I was a good kid though - the worst I did was sneak out of the house with my dad's brown, cotton, paisley robe in my purse because he forbade me from wearing it to the dance as a jacket...and I wore it anyway. Oooooh did I get in trouble for that one. He was waiting for me when I got home from the dance - AT THE FRONT DOOR. I almost peed my pants walking up my front walkway.

Back to my affinity for cheesy pop music. I'm talkin' boy bands, The Britney herself, heck I've even listened to Aaron Carter - WITH my then 5 year old. Hand to heart.

I've been known to rock N'Sync, hard. Back Street Boys. New Kids on the Block (both old and new), Britney Spears, pre hooker/psycho head-shaving days - yet I'm diggin on Womanizer, a lot. Christina Aguilara - even when she was the nasty XTina.

LOVE, love, love Justin Timberlake. But to me, he is far beyond cheesy pop music. The guy is seriously talented. I was 'hips against the stage' front row at the 9:30 Club in DC a few years ago with my girlfriend Maria (she is one of those college girlfriends that helped draw a crowd - the girl can dance! *she is 2nd from the right in the photo above) Anyway, back to the best night of my life - well I guess the second or third or fourth night. The night I got engaged, the night I got married and the birth of each of my boys should probably take precedence to J.T. - reluctantly.

Hips to stage. J.T.'s feet were about 2 inches from my hands. We make eye contact. He smiles down at me. I smile up at him while a girl of 18 or 19 wails into my ear, "YOU ARE SO LUCKYYYYYYYYY! AHHHHH!" I politely mouth what any 36 year old mother of two would mouth, "I Love You." He smiles again.

And then, I do the most daring thing I've ever done in my whole entire life - even more daring than sporting my dad's robe at that dance. I take my two, 36 year old hands and rub his calves. Like 4 times. Two times up. Two times down. I get another smile too.

Yes, my husband knows the whole story. Yes, he thinks I'm crazy. Yes, I re-visit that moment with my friend Maria and we smile and shake our heads at how much stinkin' fun that was. Yes, it helped cement my deep and true and absolute love of pop music.

Long live the cheese.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

First, Second, Third

First, I can not wait until the SCBWI Winter Conference. It can't get here soon enough.

Second, I'm at a query stand still. A frozen no man's land of nothing. No rejections, no requests, a whole lotta nothin'.

Thirdly, If you've read my blog since the beginning you know I'm a 6th grade Language Arts teacher. We recently had the Scholastic Book Fair in our LMC and I have the wonderful pleasure of taking all three of my blocks up there to shop and buy new books.

I wanted to share that I found what I think may be

The book is called Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer I have no idea if the book is good or not, but based on the awesomely
cool cover I talked four boys into buying it that day, and they're all reading it right now. Whoever finishes it first is going to lend it to me and I'll let you know if the story is as cool as the cover.

WHEN my book gets published, I hope to have a cover as cool as Ms. Brewer's.

Like that? When my book gets published.

I like to think positively. I'm a glass half full kind of gal. The eternal wide-eyed optimist. The dreamer.

Friday, November 14, 2008

An Idea I Had

I figure there is only so much I can whine about my writing career or lack thereof before I lose what little group of fellow bloggies I have. I had an interesting idea. I thought I could use my Love and Hate lists as writing fodder. I'd be welcoming you into the deep recesses of my'd be peeling back the layers of me. Why am I suddenly getting visions of Dr. Evil's hairless cat? What is the matter with me?

Today's topic, ENTITLEMENT. It is listed under my Things I Hate column. Lemme tell you why.

Entitlement, or in layman's terms, pompus ass'ness, has the evil tendency to make other people feel less than, or embarrassed, or put on the defensive, or not-worthy. All bad in my eyes. Here's what I want to know. What makes one person better than another? What makes one person feel they are entitled to rip another person down? What makes one person feel so bloated with themselves that they think they have the right to be awful to another person?

Race? Gender? Societal Status?
Age? Intelligence? Breeding Rights?
What You Own? What You Drive? What You Eat?
What You Drink? What You Wear? What You Talk On?
What You Sleep On? What You Read? Who You Know?

I mean honestly, aren't we all people? Aren't we supposed to treat all people we come in contact with with dignity and respect? Shouldn't we forever try to lift up those around us? Wouldn't it be cool to shine light on other people's successes instead of finding fault with stuff?

Totally Random Side Note:
Give The Underdog by Spoon a listen. Toe tappin' goodness. Perfect for a Friday night of fun and frolic.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Little MORE Excitement

Got a request for a FULL MANUSCRIPT today from Peter Steinberg at the Steinberg Agency!

That makes me happy. Like perma-smile happy. We'll see. It only takes one agent to like it, at least that's what I keep repeating to myself.

I am so blessed to have people in my personal life that I love and respect rooting for me. Even my bloggie friends are wishing me good stuff - heck, and I don't even truly 'know' you guys - how cool is that? I take every comment and every encouraging push forward and I store it in my Down and Out Box.

Then, when I really need it, I go back and re-read, re-visit, re-member the goodies and they help to sprinkle out the raging fire of doubt within. Ohhh can it blaze.

One query at a time.

*Totally Random Side Note: since I'm talking happy, I defy you to not shake yo'boo-tay to Estelle's song, Wait a Minute. Go on, click on her name and give that song a listen. Go on, shoo. Just be sure you are in a private place - it would be sort of embarassing if your boss or co-worker saw you shakin' it like you mean it. You can thank me later. Go. I want a full report on your experience.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Little Excitement

OH WOW. Look what I just signed up for. I am so excited. I'll get to meet with editors from very prominent publishing houses in small groups of 20. We'll critique 500 word chunks of my novel in three different sessions. How cool is that?

I'll also be able to hear, what I'm sure will be, inspiring presentations.
I need me some inspiration and direction right about now.

Look out NYC, I'm comin'...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Big Fat No

So, it's a big fat no from the agent who requested a partial. She wished me luck in my search for an agent.

Sent out a few more email queries.

I inch forward one email at a email at a time.

Still no final word from original dream agent. I'm leaning towards a no with each passing day.

One email at a email at a time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Proud to be an American

I believe politics are deeply personal and I am most definitely not one to preach or berate. With that said, I still feel compelled to write out a few of my feelings. My blog is titled, 'Some Things I Think' - right?

Those close to me know that I have been a staunch Obama supporter long before he decided to run for president. His thinking excites me. His views and beliefs align with my own.

As I watched them announce that Barack Obama was our 44th president of the United States of America my face crumpled into my hands and I cried.

Then, my fists pounded in the air, and shouts of joy erupted from my mouth.


I watched McCain's poignant speech and felt he spoke from the heart - he made me proud. Then came President Elect Obama's speech and my tears came on strong. Here's why...

As a nation we broke racial walls down - ignorance and stupidity imploded with three little words, 'Yes We Can'

As a nation we're alive to see a black man voted in as our president when a mere 40 years ago we had separate water fountains, schools and restaurants - hatred and evil thrived - opportunities simply didn't exist for black Americans.

How far we've come.

What a day. What a country.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Asking For Acceptance

"I'm just a girl...standing in front of a boy...asking him to love her," Anna said.

That's one of my favorite movie lines from Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.

At this very moment in my life I'd like to change the line to:

"I'm just a writer...sending out a query letter...asking for you to love my book," Kate said.

Oh just cut the crap. The agent querying process rots. I've already lost all hope and I've only just begun (I feel another overlydramatosis attack coming on). My stats are frighteningly dismal. 15 to 1 rejections to requests. Crap average, huh? I still have another 15 unanswered email queries out there dangling out there in the wicked abyss.

Dream Agent (not sure what to call her anymore - she's slipped down from 'dream' status) still has my full manuscript and has given me no definitive answer. And an agent from Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency has a partial. No word on that either.

By the way, I LOVE so much. It helps me keep track of who I queried, when I queried them and what their answer was. Cool stuff, and I like cool stuff.

I just want it all to happen so very badly. I do.

Tom Petty says,
Well I wont back down, no I wont back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I wont back down

And I don't even like Tom Petty.