Writer’s Block

Blocked, stopped, worked to death…

the words won’t flow, those muscles don’t flex.

This story won’t write alone,

but I’m all undone.

This poetry is all that can be..

and it isn’t all that at all!

 

“Mr. Walker, what is this?”

Uhoh, Mrs. Temple did not look amused at his little diddy. “It looks like a piece of paper boss. Are you trying to pull one over on me?” Mark smirked, hoping his cuteness would soothe her some. It didn’t.

“Mister Walker I hired you because you promised that you could deliver for me, articles AND creative writing bits.”

“Yes ma’am, I can. I did hand in a piece already today.”

“This drivel? It doesn’t even work within itself. I would not publish this in the children’s work section!” Mrs. Temple’s right temple began to noticeably throb beneath her almost colorless hair. “I have read your work and you, little sass bucket, are a genius with words WHEN YOU PUT YOUR WORK IN TO IT! Now go do the time!”

“Yes Ma’am,” Mark hung his head and shuffled back to his desk, hiding the smirk that played across his lips. His new short story wasn’t playing nice and Mrs. Temple didn’t hand out extensions for writer’s block. He was really starting to understand how to deal with the old bat..OLD BAT! That was it…his fingers began to move across the keypad, he had it! No more writer’s block for him! WOOHoooooh never mind, that was only good for three sentences. Why did he ever promise her that he could do it?

Mark dropped his head in his hands and moaned, once old Temple finally figured out what a fraud he was, she would call his Grandma and gossip about it. Once Grandma learned how useless her little angel face was, he would lose out on everything. She would be so disappointed and there went the advanced degree program and the beach vacation.,..THAT’S IT! EVERYTHING IS TAKEN AWAY, YES!!

Fingers flying, head spinning, Mark dove into this new twist to his story. Twenty minutes later his proud chest began to deflate…he had gotten the main character right up to the final, pivotal moment in the story and that was it. No more to be said, no ending…say hello to writer’s block Marky boy.

 Back and forth he went, all day, sitting at his desk berating himself between moments of genius. But finally, FINALLY, with the clock tick-tocking accusatorily behind him, Mark printed up the final piece. Proudly he stepped into Mrs. Temples office to turn in his writer’s block masterpiece.

“Hello Angel Face! We were just talking about you.”

“GRANDMA??”

 

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Aside

 

 

 

Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore[ from J.K. Rowling’s immensely popular and amazing hit, Harry Potter, is one of my favorite characters from all of literature…and he’s pretty smart too! I often quote Dumbledore to myself, or to friends and family, and today I am quoting him to you. Here for your enjoyment are my top 3 favorite Dumbledore quotes (decoratively pulled from my Pinterest account). This was a difficult choice, as he has so many wonderful quotes, so if you have other Dumbledore sayings you prefer I would love to hear them!

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" -Albus Dumbledore There have been times in my life when I struggled to pull myself out of my head. The worlds and stories there are gripping and, to me at least, at times just as real as the ‘real’ world around me. I suppose that is why this Dumbledore quote has always resonated with me. Do you have that problem?

 

Harry Potter Dumbledore quote Art Pint Wall Art by geeksleeksheek As an author, a teacher, a mother, and a big mouth sass machine this quote both lifts me up and knocks me down every time I read it. He’s right of course (well, I suppose Ms. Rowling is right, as she wrote Albus Dumbledore’s lines for him) but sometimes we all forget the truth in this. Do you know the feeling?

 

Albums dumbledore quoteFinally, this quote has helped me deal with sadness, depression, and frustrations…whether my own or those belonging to my friends and family…by reminding me that life goes on, happiness is a daily choice, and it is up to us to be open to the light. We have to choose to flip the ‘switch’. I would love to have this around a light switch someday…perhaps in my writer’s loft when we get the lights set up. Where would you put it?

 

 

Parrots and Popcorn – A book Review

Parrots and Popcorn

By: Brenda Kearns

Illustrated By: Christine Tripp

Publish Date: April 1, 2013

 

Full Disclosure: I received this text in exchange for an honest review.

 

Brenda Kearns has delivered another cute children’s book, focusing on a little girl who wishes for big birthday magic.

Summary:

The night before her birthday Kara, worried about her brother’s fake magic show the next day, sets out to steal his hat and prove that Trevor is performing the tricks WRONG. What happens next is the answer to all of her birthday wishes; but sometimes you learn that maybe you don’t really want exactly what you wished for.

Review:

The illustrations are fun, quirky, and cute…just the right touch to keep children interested at any age.

While the story is very cute and well suited to the young audience that it is meant for, there are a few things that I feel could boost the experience for readers, and especially readers on an electronic application.

First of all, I believe that the transition from believing her brother is doing the act incorrectly to her actually having the hat could have been helped by a little bit of an addition…perhaps a sentence or two that explains to the reader what Kara is doing (in this case, nabbing the ‘magic’ hat from her brother while everyone is asleep). 

Secondly, I would have liked to know what happens in the morning. I know that this is a children’s book and meant for very young readers, but at least a picture at the end with Kara’s Mom surprised to find her with the puppy.

Finally, the e-reader version has a bit of a formatting issue wherein the pages aren’t quite set together as I would like to see. Although this is a children’s picture book type of set up, it is my opinion the electronic version should be able to be seen almost as well as the actual hardback.

On the whole, I give this book 3.5 out of 5 dragons!

 

 

What Are YOU Reading Wednesday

Good Afternoon All! Here we are again, another Wednesday of reading randomness…this week I am still reading my Harcourt Oklahoma Social Studies books, though I am finally working on the lesson plans (Woohoo!) and working through the possibilities for writing class.

The more exciting part of my Reading Wednesday is that I am, FINALLY, going back to Dragons in the Deep and getting the chance to reread what I wrote in my last sitting, which my notes tell me was May 31st. I have been itching to get back in and start writing on the story again, my dragons don’t like to stay quiet for long and I hate to muzzle them! The best part about it is that I normally get confused or have to edit things to fit back in, but this time I surprised myself with how smoothly the draft flowed AND with my smartly sassy wordage…not bad for a handwritten first draft that I haven’t picked up in a month.

Of course, that will probably never happen again…maybe I should go back to reading my abandoned copy of The House of Hades by Rick Riordan. Since this is a post about reading, perhaps I should have mentioned that first?

What are you reading this week? Are you working more on writing right now, instead of diving in to a text?

Or is everyone at the lake and I’m the only loser working on words today? 😀

 

Tattler Tuesday

I am going to go ahead right now and just tattle-tell on myself. I know that today is supposed to be a book review day, and I know that I have 3 (or more) books on my computer and two hardcopies on my table just waiting on me to finish up and give them the review they deserve. However, I haven’t read any of them yet.

I could do a review on my calendar notebook (a 3-ring binder with gallon size storage bags that I edged in duct tape and hole punched so that each month’s numbers and decorations could be stored in an organized manner!), or perhaps my daughter’s My Little Pony books (here’s a hint: Rainbow Dash is FAST and Twilight makes friends). OR…I could just boast a little bit about how awesome my classroom is beginning to look as it comes together. It rocks.

My mother drew trees on the far wall for me and I spent many hours writing down quotes and parts of speech on to different sizes and shapes of paper leaves. The central tree will be home to leaves that my students sign on the first day of school…at the end of the year I intend to have them place the leaf as the front to their portfolio binders so they can have a lasting memento of 5th grade writing!

I cannot even begin to explain what a journey it has been to even get to a classroom, let alone the emotions of seeing it come together. So instead, I’ll just drop a couple of pictures on you and be on my merry way!

I spent over two weeks working on this beauty and creating the binder for it! I’m so proud of this calendar!

Ok, the branches are a little wonky and I probably need to add at least two more…but I love it

Ms. Tyree’s Blooming Authors will post up their leaves here, thus digging in their roots for a great year of writing!

I just love this view! 😉

Thanks for checking it out! I love getting to share this experience with my audience! Now go and find something to read…we have a “What are YOU Reading’ segment tomorrow 😉

 

 

 

 

Character Love

I know that I am a mere character in someone’s book. I have suspected for some time now that I might be; all the signs point in that direction. No memories of my early life until, SUDDENLY, it appears…a perfect flashback. Mainly, though, I seem to cease for long periods of time. I just hang there, suspended in the middle of whatever activity was going on at the time. I once lay in the grass and looked at stars for 86 hours. How in the world do you explain that? No bathroom breaks, no conversations, no changing of the light and fading of the stars, and no movement of the earth on its axis: just me, laying in the itchy cold germ infested grass for 3 ½ days. That’s just not natural.

One day, though, it ended. I was buffed and polished and given my own version of happily ever after…or as happily ever after as the best friend gets (seriously, she got the man of her dreams, a huge wedding, and a new castle-like home, I couldn’t even get a bridesmaid to look at me, the emotionally damaged best man). So I went on, living in the pool house, working a wonderful job, and they all lived… Until it started over. Dozens of ‘me’ are jotting around being read by random people. Sometimes a few pages and then shelved and started over days later by someone else, sometimes more, sometimes much less.

I learned to survive with my own company, sometimes even being so lucky as to be suspended in time while with my friends so that we could at least converse and make faces at each other. But then, she arrived. The woman who would change my life and allow me to soar…the woman who bought my book.

She is beautiful, with long dark hair that softly tickles my story as she reads and glintingly golden eyes that shine with her emotions each and every time she pores over the tale. The first time she read the book, my woman (who I would later learn is named Alicia) immediately called her own best friend to share her find. “You have to read this Sar,” she gushed, “I think I’m in love with Carl, the best friend. I wish I could find a funny man like that!” I smiled, sitting in my end position of pool side bliss, and thought “I love you too my dark haired beauty.”

The second time she read the book she called her book club president to beg for a discussion on my story, the next month there were 8 women and 3 men who clutched their own shiny new copies of the book, 11 people sighing over the story and touting the characters; Alicia the most vocal.

The last time she read my book, she had just broken up with a horrendously boring and sarcastic man. Alicia poured over the book, slowly reading any scene that I was in and crying in all the levels of sound possible. I wanted to reach out and wipe her tears, I was desperate to tuck her hair behind her ears, I stretched and pushed….I would be this close and then a page turn would happen. So I wished, and hoped, and tried, and prayed. Late that night, as she was finally snoring peacefully, I realized that the book had been left open beside her. I wasn’t in that part of the story, having gone away for the chapter, but I just KNEW that if I could there; well, I could get to her.

I was right. It took most of the night and all of my concentration, but I finally felt a pop in the thin veil that keeps our worlds apart. It was like moving through Jello, but I made it just in time for Alicia to punch me out.

When I came to, Alicia had me hog tied and covered by a police man…but she was more concerned that half of her book seemed to have been blanked out. That was all this morning, and I am now sitting in a tiny cell, in a tiny jail, waiting for my love. We’ll see how long it takes her to believe me. All because I fell in love with the woman who read my story, instead of my best friend’s.

 

Leonard the Lemur

This is the first little bit of a young readers book that I’ve been working on. I had actually finished the book and compiled a few of the sources for the back pages (I want this to be an educational source on animals for early/emergent reader classrooms) and then my computer lost all but the first little bit. I have recently begun to work on it again and wanted to share what I have so far. Please let me know what you think!

 

Leonard: the Lemur who Loves Lighthouses

Leonard was a lemur.  A ring-tailed lemur to be exact, with a black and white face, a gray body, and a black and white ringed tail that let him swing from the branches of the tree that held his favorite tire swing.

 

Leonard lived in a cozy tree house at the zoo and loved to swing through the branches making faces at all the kids who came to visit him.  But Leonard didn’t just want to stay there, playing all day.  His most secret hope was to go to the ocean and see a real lighthouse.

 

You see, when Leonard was a little lemur he lived with a woman who would read to him every night before bedtime.  They would read books of fairy tales, books about other kinds of animals, and even that other monkey who lived in a city apartment far away from Leonard’s own Oklahoma home, but the books that Leonard liked best of all were the ones that told him about the ocean.  They would read about dolphins, pirates, manatees, even alligators, sharks, and octopi, but Leonard especially loved tales of lighthouses and their keepers.

After a few years, when Leonard had grown up a little bit, the woman who read him books told Leonard some very sad news, she was moving and could no longer keep the little monkey.  Leonard was moved to a wildlife refuge zoo near their hometown, where he had a treehouse filled with sea shells and pictures of lighthouses.

 

Tyree Tomes Friday

I want to take this opportunity to remind you that our Spiritual book department (headed by Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree) is giving away e-reader copies regularly. In fact, the true purpose of his books being on Kindle is to give them away and so far Dr. Tyree has managed to pass out 850 digital copies of these books for this fiscal year. Our goal is 2,000 copies this year, so here’s where you come in! You can visit Dr. Tyree’s available book selection at amazon.com/author/wilsontyree and keep up with his free give aways by ‘liking’ our Tyree Tomes page on Facebook. One more thing, if you are a reader in Italy please download something of his! He keeps moaning and groaning that he hasn’t broken in to the market their yet. Thank you!

 

I should also mention here that I am still out there, plugging away at novel #4 and waiting on some new reviews to come in for the other 3 in that series. If you haven’t gotten the books or need to remind yourself of them, my author page is found at amazon.com/author/elizabethtyree and will link you to my four available books. I am, as I said, still awaiting the reviews or blog comments to hear what my new readers think of characters and plotlines, so I can’t tell you much about my popularity right now (hint hint *wink*). As with my father, information on my own giveaways and contests can also be found via Tyree Tomes.

Thank you for all of your support and the time it takes you to read our work. I hope that we continue to earn your readership and loyalty, and that many blessings follow you today.

Mermaids

I’m sitting here watching the Discovery Channel’s Mermaids: The Body Found and the follow up of New Evidence Found. Now, I want to lay my cards on the table right from the start of this one: I believe in Mermaids. I don’t know if they are still out there, hiding in the depths and migrating with whales like this show is asserting, but I believe that at some point in the history of this vast and ever-changing planet that God created for us there were mermaids. I will also defend to my death the belief that dragons and unicorns existed at some point in our history. Fairies, leprechauns, giants, even magic…I believe that something of those is true as well. Do you know why? Because there are accounts of these beings from across the world in times that were early enough to preclude vast amounts of exchange between peoples.

That being said, I am finding a lot of this ‘evidence’ to be highly suspect…and a lot of it makes total sense. Deep sea fishing mermaids (spear heads found in animals have been documented for hundreds of years. Perhaps they aren’t all human made??), a few videos that are fairly believable, etc. What does it for me is the singing, though; mermaids and whales with similar patterns but different pitches and vowel movement in the song. This seems legit.

Mermaids singing with, and migrating with, whales. Whales would provide protection from their Orca kin and other predators, for smaller creatures who theoretically have newly birthed/young offspring with them. If these aren’t mermaids (and I am not certain that these are true mermaids) then they are almost certainly a new (or newly discovered) species that has several traits which could be mistaken for ‘aquatic humanoids.’

I know that several of you will read this and think I’ve gone looney tunes. I am ok with that, I know I’m a little off the rocker (I believe most authors are, if you want the truth) but I am also a skeptic at heart so my take on the matter is that we shouldn’t force the issue, we shouldn’t search them, if they exist and want to contact us then let it happen. Right now it would seem as if mermaids either don’t exist in today’s reality, or are in deep hiding. But hear this, there are many areas of the deep sea that haven’t been fully explored yet and new species of creatures (both aquatic and otherwise) are being discovered each year. Two new species of whale have been discovered in the last decade or so, so it seems completely plausible that something like this could be hiding. Whether a true mermaid, a throwback to the ancient dinosaur type ages, or a new merger of manatee and seal (my idea..love manatees!), these creatures are causing a big uproar. We are fearfully and wonderfully made…and so is everyone and everything else! God does what He wants to do and I don’t get a real vote here.

For now I will leave my total belief to the stories and legends of the people before me, and the Disney version of The Little Mermaid (Hans Christian Anderson’s version is incredibly depressing). I will write of them when I begin to hear the voice of a mermaid character, and that is all I will admit to at the moment!!

How do you feel about these types of programs? Do you believe in Mermaids? BigFoot? The MothMan? I look forward to hearing your opinions! Have a blessed and mysterious day. 😀

What Are You Reading Wednesday

Happy Mid-week all! Each week I like to use this cross section of time to discuss our current reads. The only problem is that, this week at least, I am wading in to the text books and paperwork that I have to organize into lesson plans for next semester. Oklahoma History, Types and Forms of Writing, Interesting ways to make Book Reviews seem Fun, and all of those pesky skills the state decreed that my students have to know. I won’t bore you with the details…it’s a lot! Those of you who teach or have taught know what I’m talking about here…craziness.

I am getting a lot finished up and ready for the classroom, which you may have inferred from my extreme lack of time spent on here. I even had the time (or took the time) to paint an old dining chair yesterday; it has now become the Inspiration Station! I plan on a few more chairs with various painted pithiness (such as a ‘chill chair’ painted to look like stacks of ice where kids go to sit if they are mad or frustrated so that they can cool off).

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The ‘before’ shot

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AFTER! (The top part that you can barely see says ‘Inspiration Station’)

 

 

 

 

So there’s my non-reading Wednesday. Hopefully the rest of you are caught up on your work reads and able to fully enjoy a recreational read, or two.

What are those recreational reads? Are they good so far? If you finished last week’s read, how do you feel about it now? Did the ending disappoint or justify?