Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Very Own Book Trailer...look what I made!

THE ULTRA-OFFICIAL DEBUT OF MY

BOOK TRAILER FOR

THE END OF NORMAL

A Middle Grade Suspense Novel

video

Okay, here's the origin. I was visiting Lady Glamis' blog and she debuted her very own book trailer (check it out). I thought it was cool and all so I decided to spend my Thursday making my own. I used Windows Movie Maker and got free stock images from http://www.sxc.hu/ and used the Radiohead song Subterranean Homesick Alien as my background music.

To those who've actually read my book, well, I hope you see where I was going with my artistic vision. To those of you who haven't read my book, well, I hope you see where I was going with my artistic vision.

To any agents (yeah right, like a real agent will ever see this), I hope your fingers cramp from your lighting-fast-email-typing requesting my manuscript.

To any people who would really like to read my book, well, spread the word people. Shout it from your blogs, your facebooks, your tweets, your car windows, your shower, your mouth, to everyone who has ears. Shout it out loud. Maybe, maybe if enough people start making a fuss over this unpublished, unrepresented book it will start a nice buzz. I'd love it if it got all big like a swarm of ticked-off bees, because bees get noticed.

And that's all I want. I want someone, anyone in the publishing industry to notice this book.

Start shouting.

p.s. you have my permission to link to this book trailer, post it, etc... I'm all about the 'shouting'

The Coolest Thing

I am cooking up the freakin' coolest thing.

I'm not saying anything until it's done.

I am 99.9% close to unveiling the wicked coolness right here on this very blog.

One final detail is giving me trouble.

I suspect I'll have it outta the gate by the end of tonight...

Hold onto your hats dear readers, hold onto 'em tight.

A hurricane of coolness is about to blow in.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Time

I went out to dinner recently with one girlfriend that I've known since 3rd grade (what up Carol?)

This past week I went out to dinner with three of my college girlfriends (Jen and Janice and Susan, who happens to be my cousin and past-dorm-roommate - lemme hear it for San-Der-Son, Woot! Woot!).

All of this socializing and espresso martini drinking got me thinking about time and how it flies by faster than a baseball whacked by Ryan Howard on a good day. I calculated how long I've known Carol and my brain came up with 32 years. Loooooong. I've known the WCU girls for 22 years. Loooooong.

Nothing beats a friend that knew you when you were a kid or teenager. Why? Because a childhood friend knew you when you didn't know anything about anything and still liked you. Heck, childhood friends help mold you into the adult you are today. Think about it. They were there during humongous 'first' moments like: first missed homework, first major embarrassment, first crush, first kiss, first love, first neighborhood hi-jinx. The stuff that makes us who we are. You can't beat that.

I found my 8th grade diary recently and brought it in to read some hilarious entries to my 6th grade students. It was a big hit. Here is a perfect example of firsts and how childhood friends see you through the silliness of growing up, and still like you...


December 21, 1980
Dear Diary,
Oh boy! Our "group" went out Christmas caroling tonight and then came back to my house for hot chocolate. We were frozen stiff. We sort of had a party and didn't it was great. David was here this time and it was number 3 kiss. I loved it even though he kissed me right in front of everybody else. I died! I made a General Hospital collage on cardboard it is nice. I danced slow with David once. I loved it! He is so cute. My mom even thinks so. My new song is Let me Be Your Agent. It is so good. My new word is "also". My mom danced for all of my friends. She is so good! She teaches me how to dance. I decided I want to be a dance teacher, a model and an opera star. I like opera a lot even though my friends think I'm really weird. I don't care! I just can't wait till Christmas I really hope I get the Idolmaker album and Empire Strikes Back dolls. Well.
Love,
Kath
(I intentionally called myself Kath. On purpose.)


You see? And Carol still calls me her friend.

Don't even get me started on the debauchery that ensued in my college days. Sweet mercy.

Well, I have another theory. My theory is, kids are not as judgemental, so a whole bunch of stuff flies with that would've totally been caught up in the adult filter of judgement. When I grew up, kids had a very, very, very wide open filter. With us, pre-worldy-kids, like in the 70's, stuff like boogie pickers and greasy hair were the only two things that ever got caught in my filter of judgement. If you weren't a boogie picker and your hair was clean, then you were a potential friend to me.


This is me (on the left) and Carol at our Soph Hop in 1983. She was a non-boogie-picker and had clean hair. She still holds true to those two wonderful qualities. Hence, our continuing, 32 year friendship. Simplicity is simply wonderful sometimes.


My college girls were there for much more adult-type fun (fun is a rather light word for the times we shared). It feels so good to be around friends you can completely be yourself with - no filter - no hangups - no judgement - nothing but laughter and memories.

No matter how much time passes. It doesn't change the friendship. 32 years. 22 years. Yep, still holding onto those deep friendships. Time-shmime.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Big News...for me anyway

After much, much thinking, pondering, wondering, more thinking, t-charts, pro/con discussions, and more back n'forth, I have decided to leave teaching.

Give me a moment while I catch my breath here. You see, teaching runs through my veins. I live it. I breathe it. I think about it, a lot. I dream about it. I love it. Love it I tell you. I spend hours and hours planning, researching, making sure every single lesson matters and builds on the previous lesson. I know why I teach every single thing I teach - every lesson gets me to an end...something important...gets my kids to think and reach and stretch out of their comfort zone. My favorite part of teaching is watching my kids grow as thinkers and writers and readers and human beings all because of what goes on my classroom. It has got to be up there with every other rush and high on the planet. I swear it.

So why am I leaving it? Good question. Back to the thinking, discussions, etc...

Two years ago I met an educational coach. She came into my classroom and evaluated me. The results were for me to see - no one else saw. Then, she came back again and again and coached me into deepening my teaching; she coached me to push my thinking way beyond where it had ever been pushed before...which in turn pushed my students' thinking. It revolutionized my teaching practices.

Like blew them wide open.

I started questioning her on the job of being an educational coach. I badgered her, and she kindly answered every single one of my questions. My ambitions simmered on a low heat, the aroma filling my head with a sweet, sweet scent. Could I be an educational coach? Could I? Could I train teachers to think about HOW they teach? Could I push teachers thinking? Could I?

Turns out I could. I accepted a position as a National Literacy and Instructional Coach with this company and my pot of excitement has splattered all over the kitchen!!! I gave my official resignation (with a broken heart) last week and broke the news to my current 6th graders on Friday (the looks on their precious faces will never be forgotten...heartbreaking).

One of my little girls had given me a hand made journal on Friday and she wrote on the first page:

Thank you for an AWESOME year. You have changed my life like CRAZY. You are the BEST teacher ever. Thanks again. You mean everything to me.

She was one of the little girls whose face will haunt me.

It was so hard to tell them. So hard. One of my boys said, "Awwww, now we can't come back and see you next year as 7th graders." I told them I was giving them my email so they could keep in touch with me for forever, if they wanted to. They all said it wasn't the same. I agree.

However, in spite of the emotional roller coaster, one cool part about taking this new job is, my dear and true friend and 6th grade teaching colleague also took a job with this same company, so I won't be treading into this uncharted water alone. I'll have a familiar and dear-hearted friend to take the first dip with. She is a BRILLIANT teacher and incredible thinker.

I can't believe I did it. I can't believe I'm doing it. I can't wait to get into the whole new thing of it all. I love change. I embrace change and hug it and even pat its back affectionately. I can NOT WAIT for this new chapter of my life to start.

It certainly is helping to shine the light onto something exciting as I wait, oh-so-patiently, for my writing career to explode. That whole deal is a mind blower. I'm not sure how much more I can do. I've queried. I've had a phone conversation with a HUGE agent, only to be pushed into some bizarre holding pattern for an entire year - no contact - no responses - no nothing. Did I mention she is a HUGE agent?

I've queried a whole, whole, whole lot more. I've polished. I've polished my query to a, 'oooh-I-need-my-sunglasses-it's-so-shiny-status'.

I've polished my novel into magnificence *she says with as much humility as possible* (EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY READER LOVES this book, I swear to heaven above, and I wouldn't swear to heaven unless it was true, because I am a God fearing woman. But, I'm serious about this.) I just can't seem to get a stinkin' agent to love it. I've submitted partials...fulls, more partials, more fulls. I've conferenced. I've attended National writing conferences, regional writing conferences, local writing conferences. I've feedbacked. I've re-written. I've written.

The whole deal kinda blows. And I mean that with as much blowi'ness as possible. It is so frustrating, so sucky, so frustratingly sucky.

I'm not giving up. No way. Never.

But, the new job thingie is certainly helping to stop the Friday night boo-hooie sessions from sucking the fun out of every free minute I have. I'll be real honest, it is so hard to read of fellow writers' successes and agent-landings and NYT Bestseller listings, and book tours, and book signings, and school visits, and movie deals, and...ahhhhhh...you see? Boo hoo for me.

New job = new focus for me. New. New. New. I like new.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

THE CONTEST WINNER

Okay, I have to fess up. I don't like judging stuff. Comments. Entries. Most of all, people. It's simply too much power, and I don't like it. That being said, I started the contest so I had to finish it.

My official entrants are, in order of entry:
(Be sure to check out their blogs, I did & they are all unique)
Big Plain V
Weronika
Sara J. Henry
sraasch
Lisa and Laura

Let's review the most important rule of the contest. The witty post.
Witty defined:
wit⋅ty /ˈwɪti/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [wit-ee] Show IPA
–adjective, -ti⋅er, -ti⋅est.
1. possessing wit in speech or writing; amusingly clever in perception and expression: a witty writer.

Now, let me say again, how much I loathe judging. But we need a winner, right?

So, without further ado. The most witty post, in my humble opinion, was from Mr. Big Plain V. His post made me laugh, twice. Congrats BPV!!!!!!! I'll email you with the details later today.

BUT! WAIT! Since I hate judging so much I got my lovely sister to agree to runners-up prizes. *cheer*
She would like to send the four other contestants 5 personalized note cards. I'll go through each of your blogs and email you the details. See, no losers here. Nope.

Thank you to everyone who entered, entertained the thought of entering, read any of my old posts, came back a second time, visited Uniquely Noted.com, etc...

First contest, out.