Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Because It Made Me Laugh...

My favorite high school buddy sent this to me.

Swine Flu Gets Out of Hand...

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Favorite Time of Year

There's something about the arrival of fall weather that refreshes and revitalizes me. The to-do list suddenly doesn't seem daunting. My windows get washed along with walls and baseboards. I clear out the garden for spring and plant trees in the yard. My kitchen smells of stews and pies and hearty soups. The garage gets a make-over as I hope that I can fit my van inside before the first frost. My two mile walks in the park turn into five. I especially love walking the trails through the woods. The air is chilly and damp from the earlier rains and sharp with the musty smell of wet leaves. It's my favorite time of year.

Fall has come a little earlier this year than usual, and I hope that means that it'll stick around longer too. I'm never ready for the Cincinnati winters. Icy and bitter cold one day, wet and miserable the next, and gray, gray, gray everyday.

So I'll enjoy this beautiful weather while I can, and I'll pray it lasts a long time. Love it!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Whole Novel Workshop for Teens

"Mrs. Mac! Mrs. Mac!"

I was standing in line at the local Dairy Queen when I heard my name. I turned around just in time to receive big hugs from two former students, brother and sister - one now in Jr. High (sister) and the brother who is in High School - where DOES the time go?
Both are talented writers, but Brother has made it known several times over the years that he is interested in writing as a possible career. He has written and illustrated several graphic novels, he seeks out writing education beyond his HS classes, and his current love is psychological thrillers. His question to me: Will you do a writing workshop at the HS?

It's not often that I get a young adult who asks for such a big commitment because of their intense desire to learn, so I told him I needed to think about it. He'd be the first to know if I did.

I wasn't sure I wanted to tackle this. The program I teach in my school district has changed this year. I'm writing extensions and enrichment activities for my 5th and 6th grade math classes as well as for four other teacher's reading and science classes. My plate is fairly full, but I kept finding myself collecting information - websites and such, that would be great to share with the kids. I decided to go ahead and do it.

I'm excited! I've gotten permission to hold the workshop. The English department at the HS is on board and distributing flyers to students. I'm just waiting on a room assignment.

So now, my blogging writer buddies... Here's the gist of the workshop. It will meet 2 times monthly throughout the rest of the school year.

Whole Novel Workshop

Have you ever thought about writing a novel? The Whole Novel Workshop will show you how to harness your ideas into a workable plot, develop your characters, and put those ideas onto the page.

• Open to participants with a strong desire to learn about the process of planning and writing a novel. Participants will:
o write a premise and logline
o develop characters through interview techniques and questionnaires
o develop a plot and complete a novel outline (not what you think!)
o share their work with the group
o learn and develop constructive critique skills and etiquette
o develop and apply self-editing skills
o learn how to format a manuscript for submission
o work towards completion of a 200 page novel (give or take a few pages)

o learn about agent/editor submission process
o How do I write a query?
o Invitation to a meeting of a Cincinnati chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators (free)
o Field Trip to a children’s writer’s critique group (SCBWI) (free)
o Come away with a wealth of practical writing resources!

• Consistent Attendance
• Continued monthly progress on novel
• Traveldrive and a 1 inch binder (for resources)
• Good attitude and a sense of humor!!

I would truly appreciate any suggestions or ideas you may have. Something on this list you think I should add? Resources that I should share with the group? Please share!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Garage clean. Hazardous chemicals to recycling center. Grocery shopping done. Five loads of laundry washed, folded, put away. Back deck flower pots put away for next spring. Scrubbed kitchen cabinets and walls. Stove exhaust fan degreased. Cooked ribs, scalloped potatoes, grilled corn and baked rolls. Cleaned up kitchen again. Front yard weeded and trimmed. Watched Pirates of the Caribbean with daughter. Blogged. Bed.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This is Truly AMAZING!!!

This video features Cecilia Siqueira and Fernando Lima (Duo Siqueira Lima) performing TICO TICO NO FUBA (Zequinha de Abreu) during the Brazilian Music Institute in Gainesville, FL. The performance took place at Santa Fe Community College, May 8 - 2009.

I've never seen anything like this before! Sure would make practicing a lot of fun...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Drat That Cat!

I was supposed to be able to sleep in today. You know, no alarm clock, sweet dreams and all that. But promptly at 7 A.M. my dear fat cat, Buttercup, decided she had waited long enough for breakfast. She cried outside my door for five minutes before I finally let her in and hopped back into bed. Then she cried at the foot of the bed. I pulled the covers over my ears, but she refused to be ignored. She promptly knocked over my glass of water next to the bed and then thumped me on the head. Hard.

I can recognize a losing battle, so I dragged myself out of bed once again to make the long (yawn) trek to the basement to feed the starving, fat cat. When I reached the bottom of the stairs I was greeted by a pile of dirty socks not so neatly stacked in front of the laundry room door and the very large lid of the litter box upside down in the middle of the room. Both are probably compliments of this cat, Angel- who, by the way, does not live up to her name.

When Angel was younger I would come home from work each day to a pile of dirty socks stacked right in front of the entryway door. It must be too much of an effort in her middle age to drag them up two half-flights of stairs. The laundry room door will have to do. As for the litter box lid, Angel delights in scaring the fur off Buttercup - especially when she's in the litter box. More than once I've seen her whack the living daylights out of Buttercup's tail as it sticks out of the box. Buttercup probably jumped high enough to knock the lid off. I have no idea how it got in the middle of the room. Must have been some party.

Back to Buttercup. I decided that since I'm up it would be a good time to get some writing done. House is quiet. Kids are still in bed. Perfect. Except the fat cat decides she still needs attention. Meow. In my lap. Meow. Down to the floor. Meow. In my lap. Meow... you get the picture. It's very hard to concentrate on a new story line with 15 1/2 pounds of feline in your face. Thankfully, all that exercise has now worn her out. She is napping at my feet, and she'll probably stay in that spot for the rest of the day.

Time to get back to the manuscript...

Monday, September 7, 2009


Coming soon, to a blog near you... a new post!

Sorry! I'm buried in school work. I'll get back on the blog bandwagon as soon as I can. Have a good week!