Goals for the Last Week of School!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

How can this be? This year FLEW! This is the first year in---ever that I haven't been counting down to summer. I love my class. I'll miss them.

1) Finish rough draft of paranormal
2) Revise 35 pages of Texas
3) Work on promo plan
4) Declutter house for maid service ;)
5) Survive the last 4 days with the kids/finish paperwork/pack room
6) Big grocery trip for graduation barbecue and family (At least I get a day and a half off before they descend—another teacher gets her family coming in on Wednesday.)
7) Get something for Healing Brother's bday--not sure when we'll celebrate.

Photobucket

Happy Birthday, Trish!!!!!!

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

Once again I failed to send Trish a birthday card, so here's her card. It's more fun anyway, and we can all enjoy ;)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I hope your day's great, Trish!!!!

Four Years Old, and Connections

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Trippin'. I knew my blog anniversary was coming up. Had NO idea it was FOUR YEARS OLD!!!! Wow. So glad I got it a new outfit for its bday!

So, the reason for my R yesterday was that my editor couldn't connect with my heroine, in particular. Interesting, because I was having the same thoughts about the hero in my paranormal. I think there are a couple of reasons for this.

I don't think I built enough of a backstory for him. I pretty much just lifted his mannerisms and such from Jensen's portrayal of Dean (which I've done before--Adrian's mannerisms are Gerard Butler's, Gabe's are Clooney's), but I haven't gone deeply into his character. In fact, I have very few scenes in his POV.

He doesn't have enough of the qualities I admire. Yes, he's handsome and brave, but he's also impulsive and a con man.

I have too much plot for a 30,000 word story. Everything is compressed. I'm at 20,000 words and they just had their first kiss, and they haven't figured out why all this stuff is happening.

So my goal is to get the story written as I see it, look at the word count, see what I can take out. Then I need to build in more characterization and romance. This is not a good sign. Working from plot to romance is not a good fit for me. Gulp.

Today is field day in the morning, then in the PM, I'm showing a movie. I have a TON of paperwork. A TON.

Photobucket

A Bit Bruised

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

My Samhain editor told me she wouldn't get to STTA, the book that I love, my small town story, until my edits for Surface were done. Well, she got to it. And she passed.


:::whimper:::

She didn't connect with the characters. So now I'm feeling a little off-kilter about my books. Hot Shot, Surface and Smoke were all written years ago, and had all been through a number of revisions before they were even submitted. So I'm feeling like I can't judge my own writing, which makes me wary to write today, which bums me out because I thought today would be a good writing day.

I know I'll be over this soon. I just haven't been hit this hard by an R in a while.

Photobucket

I Need New Music

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Forgot how much paperwork is at the end of the year. I have to fill out 6 pages per child this week, not including grades (which are mostly done, to be fair.) Gah.

I met my writing goals, which is good since I spent the evening looking for blogskins.

I have Benjamin Button and New in Town coming from Netflix. Boy, how different, right?

And I need new music. I haven't bought any music since the Veronica Mars soundtrack I bought last summer. I'm listening to a 10 year old Nine Inch Nails album because the song from the Terminator trailer is stuck in my head. I don't even know what I'm in the mood for. Something sexy, I think, intense. What are you listening to?

Photobucket

Project Update

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I finished edits on Surface, I'm 1/3 of the way through the paranormal and feeling a little more in control. Here's what I've got going on:

In revisions:
Texas book
Vampire hunter

Partly written
Short story for TWRP
Paranormal novella for Samhain

Plotted
Short story
Road Trip story
Bodyguard story

Idea Stage
President story (RS)
New Mexico vet story (contemp)
Hostage negotiator story (RS)
Cruise ship story (RS)

Submitted
STTA
DLB
BD

What are you working on?

Have fun today. I'm off to work. I think we're the only school district in session today! 9 more days....

Photobucket

Goals for the Last Week of May

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

HOW can it be the end of May already???? You'd think I'd be happier with only 9 days of school left, but instead I'm stunned that the year is almost over.

I finished my revisions on Surface, sent them back before my nap, and got another set (much much shorter) before the news. Finished those and sent them back just before my battery died. I also cleaned my bedroom and did a ton of laundry and watched the first disc of 30 Rock. I hope the rest of the week is as productive!

1) 2000 words a day on paranormal. I should be 2/3 done by this time next week.
2) Revise 5 pages a day on Texas (which WILL be done someday)
3) Survive field day/other end of year activities, as well as class time with no text books
4) Other end-of-year duties
5) Declutter house like a crazy lady, rearrange so it’s more company friendly.
6) Blog at SPN Sisters and Samhellion.

Photobucket

Who Knew..

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Who knew going to a movie and sitting in the audience at the talent show would be so exhausting. Yet, it was. Today will be a normal day, thank goodness. The more normal days, the better the behavior.

I may find out my fate for next year today. Either the new teacher or I will be moved out of 4th grade, probably to 1st. :::shudder::: My scores were better, but I may pray to go to first grade, seeing the behavior problems coming up to 4th grade.

I've done galleys on my short story, am halfway through my read-through of Surface before I send it back, and am 1/4 of the way through my paranormal. One of my students asked why I'm always wanting to write something else when I'm writing. Isn't that a good question?

Photobucket

A Very Special Launch Day

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

My friend Charity's very first book is officially out today! It's a YA co-written with Darcy Vance, and these ladies worked very hard for this! My copy's on its way from Amazon. Where's yours?

Photobucket

We got our test results yesterday. The good news: every kid in my class passed at least one of the three tests, and I had 7 kids with "commended performance" on at least one, meaning they missed 2 or less questions. We also brought our grade level average up 18 points in math, and 4 in reading. The bad: 4 failed 2 tests. Of those, I already planned to retain 2 in 4th grade, and had assigned two to summer school. Six failed reading (2 were a surprise, the others were expected). 4 failed math, and 2 failed writing. We should be a recognized campus again this year, and we made gains, which is good. I'm just glad it's done.

Now to keep the kids busy for 13 more days!

Photobucket

Movies

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

This weekend we watched THE WRESTLER.

Photobucket

It was certainly not the feel-good movie of the year, but it was excellent, and had a good message. Interestingly, the dh and I took different messages from it.

Mickey Roarke plays an aging wrestler, one who had a video game character modeled on him, as well as an action figure. He’s no longer at the top of his game, but every weekend wrestles at local events. He barely has money, works part time at a grocery store, and lives in a trailer park. He’s estranged from his daughter, and has a relationship with an aging stripper, played by Marisa Tomei. (I say aging, though she’s just a bit older than me, because it was an issue in the story.) She’s the only “friend” he has, other than the other wrestlers, who mostly just look up to him. Mickey Roarke has to make a few choices, and he makes good ones, and bad ones.

The lesson the dh took was that Mickey Roarke was living on past glories. He hadn’t accepted that his life had changed and moved on.

The lesson I took was that he isolated himself from others, including his family, in the pursuit of his dream, and when he needed others, no one was there for him. I need to be careful of the same, since my tendency is to be a hermit anyway.

The second movie we saw was STAR TREK.

Photobucket

I could have done without Spock and Kirk as kids, but once the crew were adults, the movie kicked into high gear. Pure delight. I only watched the show peripherally growing up, but my step-dad was a big fan, so I was aware of the characters, and how well Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban, in particular, absorbed their roles. Loved Scotty, too. The dh was more fans of the spin-off shows, so didn’t enjoy the movie as much, but I liked it a lot more than Wolverine, which makes me sad.

Have you seen either? What did you think?

I’ve cut 6000 words from the 7000 I’d done on the paranormal. I’m also rereading 30 pages a night on Surface before I type in the notes and send it back to my editor.

14 more days of school. Today is Awards Day and Thursday is a field trip and the talent show. How many movies can I show before the kids get restless??

Photobucket

Goals for the Week of Field Trip

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

The kids are getting eager for summer. It’s hard to keep them focused. Centers aren’t even doing it!

1) Field trip, which is scheduled on the same day as the talent show, which means it will be short. Poor kids. At least my class got to go on a good trip. We’re just taking the kids to see Disney’s Earth
2) Go see Star Trek
3) Work on Surface revisions (doing a read-through before I send it back, am finding stuff to change on every page, almost)
4) Work on Texas revisions
5) Work on paranormal
6) SARA?
7) Work in yard
8) Get dh and ds to work in garage and the room next to it before the company comes.

Photobucket

Editing

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

My Samhain editor is tough. The thing is, she's also good. I keep wanting to find fault with her comments, but you know, I never can. She has a great memory and a good eye for detail. She would NEVER let me get away with the stuff I'm reading right now (not the one pictured in the sidebar, btw. Haven't gotten around to changing it.)

In one paragraph, seven lines and seven sentences, there were the following cliches:

stopped her in her tracks
lose her cool
bigger fish to fry
duty called

In another, three sentences started with "It was."

I could never get away with that.

That said, I need to get back to work on Surface, give it another careful read (maybe even out loud) so I don't have to go through another round :)

Photobucket

TV Spoilers in the Time of Internet and Tivo

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

I dare you to look at that picture and not laugh.

::::::MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD FOR LOST, HEROES, GREY'S ANATOMY:::::::

A few years ago, I spoiled an episode of Angel for a friend who lived in Las Vegas. As soon as the episode ended, I ran to the computer and wrote something like, "Poor Wesley!" Well, Las Vegas is an hour behind and she hadn't seen the episode yet. BOY, was she mad, and I completely understand. I've been very careful ever since.

However, I've been learning a painful lesson about spoilers the past couple of weeks. If you don't watch shows live, DON'T go on Twitter or Facebook. I was spoiled on Heroes when Nathan died and on the LOST episode when Daniel died while I was innocently cruising through Twitter updates. I didn't see LOST Wednesday night, and Trish kindly reminded me NOT to go on Twitter, where people were discussing it. I've also seen the results from American Idol spoiled for those who watch it. Eek! Last night I was watching Grey's, delayed, because I watched SPN at 9, and recorded the second hour of Grey's (but knew I couldn't go to school today without seeing the end.) A friend commented on my Facebook (while I still had half an hour in the show) about the ending. It turned out to be minor, but the rest of the show, I was like, "Dang!"

::::::NO MORE SPOILERS:::::

So my lesson SHOULD be to stay off the internet until the Tivo is clean, huh? Not much more to see, though, just 24, NCIS and The Mentalist, I think.

Trish is having a launch party for her new book at Romance Bandits. You can win a copy of her book (which is MUCH better than the title would have you believe!!)

5 minutes before Grey's, I got galleys on the short story. :::thud::: I need a nap when I get home!

Don't know why I'm using Jensen today. No WAY am I going to get to that story today.

Photobucket

Season Finale Night!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I'm up early early early to meet my goal because TONIGHT IS SEASON FINALE NIGHT!

Now, I haven't seen LOST because the gf was here and dh and ds didn't start watching until 9:30, which is already past my bedtime :) And tonight I might not see SPN because Grey's finale is 2 hours. UNLESS I take a nap when I get home, which I may do if I meet my goal before school. See?

Are you excited about any season finales? Did you see FRINGE? I watched that one last night and--whoa. Was stunned. Also, NCIS looks like the finale will be good, if this last episode was a hint. Of course, loved CASTLE.

Okay, off to revise!

Photobucket

Awards and Positive Thoughts

funny pictures of cats with
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

This is JUST how I feel.

The boy's award ceremony was last night. With a class as big as his, they have to do the awards separately or it will be interminable. He'll be graduating Cum Laude, which, considering he rarely did homework, is pretty good. I told the dh, just imagine if we'd pushed him. He got awards in newspaper and video tech, and is a National Commended Scholar.

What I noticed partway through the ceremony (we left during the Ms) was that the dh made a point of clapping for the kids who got the award that all the kids got, Texas Scholar Candidate. That's what they get for completing the recommended courses, and all the kids graduating have done that, obviously. But back to the dh. I realized that while I knew how hard it was for the kids to get through school from a teacher's perspective, he knew from a student's perspective. It made me even more determined to notice every kid. Sounds easy when you have 21 kids, but it's not always.

Today one of my VERY noticeable kids will be absent. His dad, who isn't even 30, I don't think, is going in for brain surgery. He has a tumor the size of a golf ball. I'm worried about this kid, who worships his daddy. So if you have a moment, send a prayer Carlos's way.

I have to be fingerprinted today. Yes, less than a month before I complete my 20th year, they decide all the teachers need to be printed. We've had THREE meetings about it. Fer realz. And you know what they wanted? Our WEIGHT. One teacher said, "They don't have a scale, I'm lying!" Love that. Because I'm NOT putting my weight on any documentation!

I'm blogging at
Supernatural Sisters today.

Photobucket

Release Day, and Gigi

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I BELIEVE someone has a book coming out today!

Photobucket

Let me know if you see it anywhere!

I'm blogging at
Wet Noodle Posse about my grandmother, whose birthday is today.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Today’s my mom’s birthday. I had to steal a pic from her school website because my computer doesn’t have many pictures and won’t let me access the ones on the desktop.

Photobucket

For my mom, family is the most important thing. My earliest memories were of her playing Disney records in the den while we danced around, her singing all the time, her making lunch while I played on the swings after kindergarten.

I remember her making me new clothes for the first day of school. I remember in particular two prairie skirts—remember those? I very rarely wore jeans in those days.

I remember season premier week and Friday nights were always made special. We’d have popcorn or cookies or apples as we settled to watch TV.

I remember her taking me to the school library one day a week during the summer to get books, often the same ones I’d read the week before J Also, she’d take us to the local public library, though she doesn’t particularly like to read herself.

Birthdays were always made special, I got a new dress, and had a party, usually out at my grandparents’ place in the country.

When I was nine, she and my dad divorced, but my mom was determined that family would still be her priority as she pushed her way through college in two and a half years to get a teaching degree.

As I got older, we’d sew together or do crafts together, loving that we had that in common. Now it’s more gardening stuff.

She doesn’t always get me, but she always supports me and I always feel like she’s proud of me.

Photobucket

Happy birthday, Mom!

Goals for the week of Mother's Day

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

1) get through 1st Mother’s Day without dh’s mom. Wouldn’t be so bad if he’d talk to me, I think.
2) My mom’s bday
3) My son’s award ceremony
4) Finish edits on Surface
5) Send out announcements and party invites for graduation
6) Fingerprinting at school
7) Blog at The Romance Studio, Supernatural Sisters and Wet Noodle Posse
8) 3500 words on paranormal
9) revising Texas book—30 pages
10) Wolverine
11) Star Trek
12) Season finale fever!
13) Begin decluttering house
14) One big house project (I’m hoping for a new door.)
15) Order a birthday gift
16) Exercise

I knew it’d be a doozy.

Photobucket

How Do They Do It?

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I'm trying to figure out how published authors ever write anything new. I got not one but TWO sets of revisions on Thursday. I finished one set last night (fairly minor, heavier at the end, natch), and am a quarter of the way through the others. Again, I suspect they'll be heavier at the end.

So my paranormal novella is on hold, and I still need to finish revising the Texas book. I'm stuck on a problem with the heroine's motivation. If I was more excited about the paranormal, I could move quicker on it, but I'm more excited about the opportunity than the plot, you know? And knowing I'll have to revisit it again and again in revisions....

It's just a rough time of year. The boy graduates a month from today. I scheduled maid service for the week before, the last week of school. It will be nice to come home the last day to a clean house! Also, season finales start this week....Thursday everything I watch ends. I think the last new shows for me are on the 19th. Wow. My Tivo will go into withdrawal :)

You guys have seen this, right?



Photobucket

To Reiterate....Summer Too Soon

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

For one thing, it was 92 degrees yesterday! Miserable hot.

Also, saw my class for next year. All on the wall (in timeout) at recess. Oh, joy. Yeah, I'm not counting down my days with my sweet babies.

We get a treat at school today for Teacher Appreciation. After lunch, someone will come watch our class and we'll get to go to a movie on campus, complete with popcorn! It's a teacher movie, Freedom Writers, but still, a nice treat.

I had the house to myself last night. The boy had a gig and the dh had band practice. I got to stay home with the laundry, and got a LITTLE writing done. Am WAY behind my goals. Wonder if they'd mind if I took a notebook to that movie today?

Photobucket

Summer's Coming Too Early

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

No, my school isn't being closed for Swine Flu. Apparently the chances of that are over, according to the CDC. My luck, I would have been the one sick anyhow.

I'm frustrated about not being able to go see the summer movies this early. Our usual MO is breakfast and then a matinee, but it didn't work out last week for Wolverine and won't work out this weekend, either. The dh and I decided we'd go one night this week, but he's been working late because it's television sweeps (AGAIN. Yeesh.) I know there are a lot of blockbusters this summer, but I miss when they'd start coming out on Memorial Day weekend instead.

I cut my hair. Do Not have a good picture. We'll see if I can emulate the style this morning. All the damaged hair is gone, and what's left is really soft and fine. That has never been an issue for me. It's also like Teflon, in that it didn't hold any of the product I put in it last night :(

I'm frustrated at school. We had a field trip planned for Tuesday. I usually don't like them, as you know, but I was ready to get out of school after testing last week. When I got to school Monday (I was out Friday), I learned the trip had been cancelled. Why?

Another test, a district test this time. They couldn't put it off a day or let us take it early. Nooooo. They cancelled the trip.

Now we're scrambling to reschedule, but we'd planned this back in March, and it's hard to get buses this month, AND it's hard to match them up with available activities. Plus, one of our teachers is gone to Japan for 9 days and we don't want to take her kids with the sub. Then we get to the end-of-year activities, like the talent show and field day that conflict. Sigh. I feel bad for the kids. At least my kids got to go on a good field trip. Now we're looking at going to see Disney's Earth and then coming back to school for the talent show. That stinks.

I need to get writing. I didn't write at ALL yesterday.

So, what's new with you?


Photobucket

Goodreads

M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

Good Reads

Widget_logo

Followers

About Me

My Photo
MJFredrick
I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
View my complete profile

Archive

Beneath the Surface

Breaking Daylight

Breaking Daylight Review

Where There's Smoke

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Where There's Smoke Review

Photobucket

Bull by the Horns

Photobucket

Hot Shot Reviews

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Hot Shot

Photobucket

Carina Press

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Join My Newsletter

    Where Visitors Live

    MJ Fredrick Fan Page's Fan Box