Sunday, November 29, 2009

Things I Like

Fellow blogger & writer, Kelly Polark, put a list of things she likes and suggested her followers do the same. Anyone who knows me knows how malleable I am so - here's my list (one thing for each year) - in no particular order! Like Kelly, it goes without saying that family and friends are at the top of the list.

1. Good puns
2. Sitting on the patio, listening to the pond & smelling burning leaves
3. Writing in rhyme
4. It's A Wonderful Life
5. Irish and English Accents
7. Gardening
8. Kung Pao tofu & spinach at Big Bowl
9. Fortune cookies
10. Playing games
11. Winning Games
12. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (with white chocolate since I quit brown chocolate)
13. My mother's Neapolitan Casserole
14. Sentimental songs
15. Whistling
16. Singing (I'm sure I like it more than those listening to me)
17. The Dick Van Dyke Show
18. Ron Howard as a kid
19. Drinking beer by a campfire - then going to sleep in a BED
20. Olive oil & Parmesan cheese with good, crusty bread
21. Having a great memory for faces and names
22. A hot shower on a cold day - until I have to get out
23. The first Day in Spring that I don't need a coat
24. Movies that make me laugh and/or cry
25. Thanksgiving day
26. Cooking for company
27. Jigsaw puzzles
28. Traveling
29. New York City
30. My DVR
31. Crocheting
32. My students
33. Cheesecake
34. Not having to get up in the morning
35. Birds, especially Hawks
36. Bejeweled - unfortunately
37. Lox & bagel
38. Jitterbugging
39. My hair when it's wet
40. Word and number puzzles
41. Going to plays
42. Photographs
43. Popcorn with real butter
44. Spicy food
45. My I-phone
46. My laptop
47. My friend Jean's toffee
48. Playing jacks
49. Floating on a noodle in Table Rock Lake, drinking beer and singing with my friends
50. Sean Connery and Gregory Peck's voices
51. Laughing until I cry
52. Making people laugh until they cry

Monday, November 23, 2009

Find Class Pics

I started a new blog call Find Class Pics because I'm missing most of my class pictures from grade school and would love to replace them. I know there must be thousands of other people who would love to find their missing pics too!

I'm not sure how well it will work but, if problems arise, hopefully I can fix them to keep the site going strong.

So, if you have class pictures you're willing to share or are looking for missing class pics, go to my site and maybe we can make some sad alumni happy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

PiBoIdMo - Picture Book Idea Month

I just found a great challenge - Picture Book Idea Month PiBoIdMo on Tara Lazar's blog Writing For Kids (While raising them) Tara's idea is an offshoot of another writing challenge - National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo - a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in one month and it's offshoot, National Picture Book Writing Month - NaPBWriMo - a challenge to generate 30 picture books in 30 days.

Tara's idea is to write 30 picture book ideas to get the creative juices flowing and to hopefully lead to some completed picture book manuscripts. Since it's already the 18th, I'm trying to do all 18 days in one day! I don't think it's too late to start so, if you haven't already, you can start now too!

So how is this going to work? Here's how Tara explains it on her blog:

Stop here once a day in November for a new inspirational little tale. We’ll have guest bloggers and giveaways. And at the end of the month, if you’ve collected 30 ideas, you’ll get a PiBoIdMo badge for your blog (based on the logo above by Ryan Hipp) and a special super-secret prize. (You’ve guessed it, “super-secret” is code for “I don’t know what it is yet.”)

So what are you waiting for? Get thinking!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday, I attended an IEP meeting in my new role as Lead Teacher for our Hearing Itinerant program. As we were completing the paperwork, people asked questions about what forms to use and what to write. There was one form I'd never used before and they all looked to me, wanting to know what to do. Since I've only been lead teacher for two months, I was able to say - "I don't know, I've never done this form before." without fear of consequences. I figure I've got until after winter break to use the "I'm new at this" excuse.

But then it hit me - so I said it out loud - god forbid I don't blurt out every thought in my head - "They appointed me the lead but I'm just an itinerant teacher - I have no special skills or knowledge to be the Lead!" Which is completely true! Luckily, it was a great group at the meeting and we got the paperwork done and everyone left happy.

I was just thinking about this again and it reminded me of when I won the Cheerios contest and got the book contract. After the news got out, I started being asked for my opinion on all aspects of the writing/publishing process from both writer friends and writer strangers. I was even asked to speak at our local SCBWI group about my experiences with the contest, publishing...

At the meeting, after explaining that I'd only had 1 1/2 beers with dinner (I didn't want to start rumors about being a drunk) I told the group - some of whom were waiting to hear from a knowledgeable, about-to-be-published author - I said, "I'm just a writer like all of you and six months ago I was a writer who'd never gotten a positive response in all the years I'd been submitting my work!"

So, what's my point? My point is, I'm amazed how giving someone a new title - "Lead Teacher" "Contest Winner" "Published Author" - it instantly changes the way people perceive you and the expectations they have of you. It's crazy, isn't it? Has this happened to anyone else?

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Got My F&Gs!

I got my F&Gs (say it slowly) for 1 ZANY ZOO in the mail yesterday! What are F&Gs? They're the actual printing of the book but they're not bound, just Folded and Gathered (thus - F&Gs). But it has the cover and endpapers and the pages printed back to back so it looks just like the real thing!

I think I'm going to tell my students about it next week and read it to them. I hadn't told them anything about it because, without the actual book to look at, it would be hard for them to get really get it. Hopefully, they'll love the book or I'll be crushed!