Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Thankful Post

This will be brief.

I am really thankful for encouragement, kind words, pushes, good thoughts, nice comments, and people still believing in me and my dream. If you've ever provided any of those things, well, then, I'm thankful for you. Cool huh?

Thank you for helping me keep keepin' on. I will achieve in 2010. I will.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Great E-book

I finished reading Elana Johnson's From the Query to the Call. An e-book that is beyond helpful if you are crafting your query letter or if your letter is in need of a serious revision (like I was).

She breaks down the query letter into critical parts, shows you real life query examples and explains the how and why of querying.

Great book. Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One Old Soul

If you didn't read yesterday's post, I think you may need to or this will mean nothing.

Got a partial request today for the first 50 pages of EVERYTHING'S NOT LOST and I had to get myself to Staples. Gathered the kids and my flashdrive and took care of business. Ended up going to dinner with my boys. Amidst the warm bread and butter I ran my cross-roads-scenario by them for their opinions.

Lil' son says, "Mom, you can NOT quit writing! You love to write. Just make time, you can do that."


Big son says, "Mom, I saw this on a t-shirt recently and I think it fits here, You never know how far you have to go when you're chasing a dream. Think about it, Mom. If you stop writing, your dream will never come true."

I'm pretty sure my salad dressing dribbled down my chin. This kid is only twelve, but he's one old soul.

I ain't quitting. Won't do it. No matter if new business takes off or not. Writing make me happy and I like happy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If You Were Wondering...

I've sort of fallen off the face of the earth lately from this blog and all subsequent reading of my blog-friends' blogs. Sorry 'bout that. I'm sort of at a weird cross roads in my life. I'm in a strange, confused place. And I am not a confused person. I usually know what I want to do and then I do everything in my power to not only do it, but do it to the best of my ability. But I'm a wee bit lost at the moment.

See, I started up that new job. The one where I'm an instructional coach for teachers, coaching them on how to be highly effective in their instructional practice. It's intellectually stimulating and professionally exciting on many, many levels. The teachers at the middle school where I'm currently coaching are beyond receptive to what I've been saying. I really like the job. That's not what I'm confused about.

Well, let me keep going with the story. This new job has spurred my former teaching colleague and instructional coaching colleague, Margie (I've included her in a few of my posts) and I to start writing an educational book. We meet on Sundays and write. It is pretty cool. We also started planning out professional development presentations that we could do for schools...that coincides with this educational book we're currently writing. That spurred me to start a new blog and new Twitter account and new Ning account...sort of a new business.

I read this book called Now is the Time to Crush It! Cash in on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk. The dude's a social networking wizard and has mastered how to spread the word on just about anything. Hence my new blogs and new Twitter account.

I'm finally getting to my inner battle. All of this "new business" stuff is steering me away from my writing and this blog and querying. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing or not. I seriously feel verklempt every time I sit down at my laptop. For the first time since I wrote my virgin novel two summer ago I feel lost. Off point. Lost the path. I continue to read of other writers landing agents. I continue to read of other writers selling their first novels. I continue to wonder (and I do mean think very deeply about) if it will ever happen to me.
*I'm not looking for any sympathy here, I swear. I'm just saying how I feel lately.

So, I stopped querying. I stopped NaNo'ing. I stopped torturing myself with other writer's good news. I stopped blogging (this blog). I stopped reading others' blogs & commenting. I stopped anything writer'y. I just stopped it all.

And it felt awful. It felt wrong. It still feels wrong and awful.

See? I don't know what to do. I can't do it all. I can't work full time, write an educational book, start a new business, continue writing my YA novel, query, revise, blog, read others' blogs, etc... My head is going to explode, and see, I need my head to do stuff.

I thought this post would clear my head. Not so much. I need an espresso martini and a hot bath.

Oh, and if you're interested, or happen to know ANYONE connected with education in any way. I'd be all sorts of grateful if you passed along my new blog:

or my new Twitter feed:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

NaNo Write-Off

I had a slow start to my very first NaNo, so I decided to challenge fellow blogger, Mercedes, to a friendly NaNo Write-Off this weekend.

The Challenge was simple. Whoever wrote the most words by 10:00 p.m. EST on Sunday would be declared the winner. Loser will have to post of the winner's wonderful'ness either in written or song form.

At the start I was at 996 words. Now, at challenge end, I'm at 4,587 words.

We'll see who will be singing...

p.s. I'm liking this new book - it's another realistic YA. I really like the MC and her best friend.

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's My Birthday and I'll Write if I Want To

So me and the super funny Carrie Harris share a birthday... Sunday. This year I decided to simplify and ask for nothing except time to write. That and handmade cards from my two boys and husband telling me why they love me so much. I ask for little.

My husband is granting my birthday wish and giving me all of Sunday to write. My NaNo number will finally squeak up and out from the abyss.

Birthday wishes are a funny thing. Not snort chocolate milk out of your nose funny, but funny nonetheless. Why funny, you ask? Well, you see, I can't recall a single birthday wish that's ever come true for me. Wait, are they violins I hear?

Behold the ghosts of Kate's past birthday wishes...

Concerning my very first boyfriend in 8th grade: "I wish he would just kiss me like three seconds longer. Just three."

Concerning my abhorrent loathing of exercise: "I wish, I wish, I wish I would wake up and have a burning desire to exercise."

Concerning query hell: "I wish an agent would call, breathless and teary-eyed, because they love my book."

Now, I'm not complaining here, I promise. What kind of birthday post would that be? Whiny, that's what kind.

Alright, back to my pile unfulfilled birthday wishes. I'm thinking I'm due for one of my flippin' wishes to pan out. I'm picturing the Birthday-Wish-Fairy all bogged down with my wishes, pissed off that she's gotta schlep them around in her wish bag, cursing me and my unrelenting wishes and wishing I would just STOP WISHING ALREADY.

Ahhh, she thinks she so intimidating with her sparkly wings and pointy ears. But she forgets, you can't keep a good Scorpio down. Oh no. We're the perpetual dreamers in the zodiac. Unlike blind wishing, you know like wishing you'd hit the lottery, my wish of publication is one I've spent countless (let me repeat that...countless) hours/days researching, revising, scouring, blogging, querying, blah-blah-blah'ing about -- like so many of you out there! So when that wish comes true it's going to feel more satisfying than chocolate on a bad day.

Anyone want to share something you fought for and achieved?

P.S. Last February I thought deeply about getting older. Yeah right.
P.S.S. Lisa & Laura are holding a contest and the prize is a Kindle. Sweet. Check it out.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNo Day 1.5

I'm at 559 words, but I've got some reeeeeaaallllly good excuses. I swear. Yesterday, the first day of NaNo I met a whole group of teachers that I used to teach with for breakfast. We laughed and laughed and relished all being together. And that took me all the way till 1:45. Then my oldest son decided to whittle, that's right I said whittle, and the knife decided to slice his finger wide open. Husband rushed him to hospital and after 4.5 hours he ended up with five stitches.

So I've socialized and dramatized my way through the day so far. No writing yet.

At 2:30 I had to go to my cousins Cash for Gold party. I didn't have any gold to bring, but I had a piece of warm chocolate chip banana bread that was the bomb. Made it home in just enough time to relieve husband so he could go to the World Series game and watch our beloved Phillies lose.

No writing yet.

Kids fed and bandages changed. Ahhh. It was 7:00 p.m. I have...an hour before the game starts.

That's where the 559 words came from. That measly little hour. I better get my act together.