Friday, February 21, 2014


The lovely Michelle over at Writer in Transit is hosting this very cool blog hop. In Michelle's words...

What is ubuntu? "In Africa, there is a concept known as UBUNTU – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others." – Nelson Mandela.
So in the spirit of ubuntu, I invite you to join me in celebrating my 3rd blogoversary!
Date – 18th to 21st February. I've allowed 4 days to make it easier for you guys, since some people only post once a week… save the date that coincides with your blogging schedule!

I'm lucky to be a teacher. I'm so often surrounded by joy and hope and the future. Kids are powerful and creative. At our school we obviously focus on the academics but we also focus on helping our students become kind and caring citizens. This has created some of the most amazing acts I've been lucky to witness over the last few years.
  • One student wrote out Anti-Bullying trading cards (complete with a logo and tips) and stood in the main hallway handing them out to everyone who passed by. When she ran out, she made more - eventually hand making over 300 cards!
  • Another student had noticed some sad peers so she created a Smile Box which she left outside the office. She left a card on the top asking people to "Take a Smile and Pass it On". Inside the box were small pieces of paper with hand drawn smiley faces. The box was soon empty except for a few Thank You notes left inside.
  • Over 2/3 of our students use our breakfast program which runs on volunteers. Parents, grandparents and students give generously of their time each and every day to prepare the food and clean up afterward.
  • During our Random Acts of Kindness week I caught dozens of kids giggling as they scooted away after performing a RAoK so they wouldn't get 'caught' and the act would remain anonymous.
  • Our older students do so much in the school to help out the community. Teens often have a bad rep but from where I'm sitting, they're super role models and citizens!
  • Two students worked together to create a craft they could sell to raise money for a student with cancer and raised almost $500...
My students are always my inspiration for trying to be a better person each and every day!They are awesome!!

Thanks Michelle for celebrating your blogiversary in such a thoughtful fashion! Be sure to click on her link for access to other entries in the fest!

What RAoK have you witnessed lately?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Slow Mo

I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about the Joy of Slow.

My journey so far in this publishing venture might seem incredibly slow to some people out there. I first considered trying to become published 5 or 6 years ago. Since then I've written a variety of novels (9?? 10??) in a variety of genres (4?). I've sent out a grand total of about 20 queries divided between 2 books. I've got 5 complete drafts I hope to send out into the world one day. None of them are ready. All of them have been through at least 2 rewrites. All of them need at least one more. I'm about to start a 5th rewrite for one story. And I'm looking forward to it.

I don't have a published book. I don't have plans to do that within the next few months. Maybe not within the year.

Yet I'm happy with my progress.

Am I nuts? Maybe, but that's okay with me too.

I've learned a LOT over the last 5 years. I wasn't ready to publish 5 years ago. I'm not now. I want to be SURE when I put my stories out there. I want them to be ready and I figure I'll be able to tell when they are. My gut will finally stop pestering me with the Maybes and the What Ifs that lead me to yet another round of revisions.

How about you? Are you in the slow lane with me? Are you okay with it?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Favourite Couples

Valentine's Day is almost upon us. Cue the cardboard hearts and fancy chocolates!

Love and romance are part of human culture and obviously show up in many of our books. There have been countless couples throughout history who have captured the hearts of readers. Even young readers.

Some of the earliest couples I remember reading about are:
  • Anne Shirley & Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables
  • Nancy Drew & Ned Nickerson (had to look up his last name!)
  • Amy March & Laurie (never did like that match up though)

There weren't really any YA books around when I was a kid and I moved pretty much from those books to Agatha Christie - not a lot of romance for poor ol' Hercule!

Current MG and YA books are full of couples and love triangles (but that's another post) and some of them are very memorable. One of my recent faves is in Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson. While it's totally an adventure book the realistic relationship that grows between the characters is fabulous. Shannon Messenger, Medeia Sharif, Elana Johnson, and Shelli Johannes are other authors who create strong relationships between their YA characters. Wish those authors had been around when I was a kid!

Who are your favourite couples from the books you read as a child or teen?

Sunday, February 2, 2014


While I'm no Speed Demon Typist, I type fairly quickly. Probably 60 to 80 words a minute when I'm on a roll. When I'm drafting I look at the screen and of course see all my typos. My fingers automatically hit backspace and fix the typos before I type on. I've tried to force myself to leave them and fix them later, but I can't do it. They fester and I end up wasting more time looking for them because not all of them are identified by Scrivener.

  • one that I make Every. Single. Time is "int he" instead of "in the". It would make my life a lot easier if int wasn't a word!
  • I also have to backspace and fix the "dl" instead of "ld" on "could/couldn't" and "would/wouldn't" pretty much every time
  • teh instead of the (According to this list the is the #1 misspelled word using a QWERTY keyboard)
  • when I type "and" the "d" is often attached to the next word instead of itself
  • I also switch up there, three, theer with alarming regularity.
I bet Scrivener can auto-fix some of these for me - I just have to figure out how! :)

How about you? What typos drive you mad? Do you stop & fix too?