Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Progress...

I'm finished celebrating my birthday, another year gone by. My students gave me a shirt that says "I Run with Vampires." Of course, I got my laptop, a necklace from a great friend, with an inscription that says, "Dear Friends are Always Close to Your Heart" and a gift card to my favorite restaurant. I spent the weekend catching up with old friends over dinner. Then came home to find that my cat had her kittens behind the computer desk! She and her four children are now living in a box in our living room. Ironic that she had four, the same number of children I have. One kitten for each kid! My nine year old says that, since they each have a new kitten, the cat and dog can be Mom and Dad's. Yipee! Our three year old, picked out a kitten, deciding by color that it was a goil (that's how she says girl). She has named the kitten Cindy. Not sure why, since I don't recall anyone she knows with that name. My 12 year old thinks it is someone from her former life. She's the one on the vampire, paranormal kick right now. Her kitten's name is Twilight. She is black, with just a little white - darkness, with just a little light - hence the name, Twilight. That's how she's rationalizing it, anyway.....

To get back on topic...... I have done a lot of revising and rewording, on my manuscript. My son says that they have to do revising and editing in third grade. It is good for him to know that I have to do that too. My daughter's 7th grade English teacher has asked me to come to talk to their class about writing my book. They seem to be excited, already asking me questions. I told them they had to wait until the day before the TAKS Writing Test, when I come to the class. Chelsea says I can read them the first page, and go over the process, but she doesn't want me to read them any more than that. Nothing like embarrassing your kid!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Start

Well, it is almost my birthday. It's a new year of my life, so I'm going to treat it like a new start. I do that ever so often, decide to just start anew. I'm hoping this new year bring some positive things into my life. Getting my book published would be awesome! I have a lot to do before that happens though.

My family includes four children and a wonderful husband, who just happens to be my best friend. I hope that good things come for them too. As a birthday gift, my husband got me a new laptop and printer. I am so excited. This one is so much better than the little out-dated number I've been using. I just have to transfer everything over and get going with my revisions. I've got so many ideas and changes in my head and need to get them on paper, well on screen anyway.

Hopefully I'll get a lot of work done over the upcoming long weekend. Tomorrow is Friday the 13th and we're out Monday for President's Day. I've never strived to be or believe like everyone else, so I'm going to take tomorrow's date as a lucky omen and strive to break in my new computer. I'll work that in between peewee basketball games and dinner plans at Olive Garden with my parents and my sister, Patty's, family. Mom's and Patty's birthdays are this month too, so we're celebrating together. Good times..... good times!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Research

I'm reading an array of books to my students right now. I consider that research because I can focus on the "author's voice" as I read through the stories for the third or fourth time. I can use my students as guinea pigs to see what types of books grab them and pull them in. Of course, after the Twilight pandemonium, my students (and 12 year old daughter) are vampire crazy. Stephenie Meyer is still at the top of the list of things they want to read. Ellen Schreiber's Vampire Kisses and Heather Brewer's Chronicles of Vladimir Tod are recently added favorites too. My students are also into the Forensic Mystery Series by Alane Ferguson, and Rick Riordan continues to catch their interest with Percy Jackson and The Olympians and Maze of Bones.

Anyway, I'm learning a lot through this "research" and I am doing a rewrite on my manuscript as we speak. At first I just sat down and wrote the story I wanted to tell. Now I am going back and trying to make it more than just a story. I want my characters to be people the readers will care about. I hope I can learn from the awesome YA authors my students enjoy reading. As I continue to develop into the author I know I can be, I will use the insight I gain hanging out with pre-teens and teenagers all day!

One thing I have noticed as I revisit my characters is that my students, past and present, have found their ways into my stories. The names are different, of course, but the quirks and personalities are there. Hmmm.... I wonder if, after they read my story, they could find themselves in the actions and behaviors of the characters. That could be interesting!