The End

I put in my resignation Monday morning. Not because I wanted to leave, but it happened anyway. I commute over 2 hours a day (round trip) at this point and my daughter deserves more play time with less car sitting time. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway, but it’s little comfort when I look at my other kids. The 76 I’ll be shepherding off to the Middle School in 12 days…and the 200 who keep telling me that it’s 3 months or 3 years until they’ll be publishing a book in my class. Do you know how difficult it is to look at those sweet faces and tell them that I won’t be there for them?

I know that the good Lord is preparing me for something amazing and that this step needed to be taken…but HE never promised that it wouldn’t hurt or that I wouldn’t feel guilty for it.

Oh well, you better get your fill of my classroom related posts over the next couple of weeks because May 20th officially completes my first year of experience being the teacher on record…and I officially become unemployed on the 21st! Don’t worry, I’ll try to squeeze in one or two more classroom centric posts for you, I know how much you depend on reading them ūüėČ

May your week’s end be as great as a weekend!

Top 5 Things…

You them all over the place, lists of the Top 5 Reasons/Things/ETC. Here is my contribution to the madness…

The Top 5 Things that I love the MOST in my life!

1) My God.

                   Without sounding too preachy here, there were a lot of times in my past that I felt alone, unwanted, useless, etc. My God helped me deal, carried me through, and brought me to where I am now.

2) My Daughter.

I will admit that I started out on this path scared senseless and it hasn’t gotten much better. I mean, raising a child ‘on my own’ (without a partner anyway) was a daunting, frightening, and sad thought. Now, I adore my Monkey and couldn’t imagine a life without her, or sometimes even with a partner. Someday I hope to find the man God wants us to have. Until then, she’s my one and only and I couldn’t be more blessed!

3) My Family

I cannot begin to describe the amazing family that I’ve been given. My parents go above and beyond what even some of my friends’ parents would do. They are the embodiment of good role models and Christian teachers and having them here in our lives is amazing. My grandparents, both sets, are interesting and love my daughter to pieces and all of the aunts and uncles are completely amazing to us. We are surrounded by love, laughter, and light.

4) Writing

For as long as I can remember, I have been telling stories. Characters, lines, themes, and settings swirl through my brain like food in a processor. Their voices and images interrupt everything I do and I am (usually) happy to oblige their insistence. Happily, I seem to have been blessed with a bit of talent to go with the drive.

5) My Friends

To be honest with you, I almost put nature(i.e. the BEACH) in this spot. I have very few friends at this point in my life and the ones I do still have are more family than anything else. However, I am blessed with some amazing people in my life. People that have been with my since early childhood, elementary school, high school, college, and now work friends. Though there are only three or less from each category that I speak to anymore, I know that I am loved, accepted, and put up with no matter what! That is at least as good as the ocean…Ok, it may be even better.

What are your top 5 things? Is there another list you would like me to make? I can’t wait to hear from you!

Things I love...A blank page, Nature, and the time to fill the two with my inner ramblings!

Things I love…A blank page, Nature, and the time to fill the two with my inner ramblings!

Reminder

This is a big flaw of mine, this ‘remembering’ thing. If I remember and you remind, I then get mad that you dared to think I wouldn’t remember in the first place. If i forget and you then remind me, I become incensed at the fact that I forgot and needed to be reminded at all. So now that I have admitted this to, my dear readers, here is a tiny obnoxious reminder from me to you:

Highland Park Presents, my fifth graders’ short story compilation book is FREE for kindle download until midnight tomorrow (4-24-15). We even have one 5 star review!

They are hovering somewhere between 30-40 downloads and I would LOVE to see them get closer to 100 before the week is over and done with.

Two of my books, Dragon on My Neck (Book 1 of the Stone Dragon Saga) and Summer Sundays, are also available free through midnight tomorrow.

Stubborn Science

In the introduction to Headstrong: 52 Women who Changed Science, and the World Rachel Swaby suggests that you read a story a week. After all, there ARE enough of them to last a year that way. But I got this book in exchange for an honest review and I thought I could handle it. Strong Women, Strong Minds, Strong Stories

With two weeks of testing bearing down on my class, the coming distraction was welcomed and ushered in. A two hour daily round trip commute (I’m not usually driving!) seemed like the perfect time to dive in…I really should have taken Swaby’s suggestion.

Soon I was devouring each 2-4 page mini-biography, or profile (as she calls them), whenever, and wherever, I could find a minute or two. Bathroom breaks used as an excuse for a paragraph or two, reading a page during Curious George time with my toddler, or even reading a bio to my Science class…you name it.

Rachel Swaby did a phenomenal job with not just telling us what these pioneering women of science DID, but also giving a sense of who they were. These profiles lead a reader to feel as though they understand more about these women and about science itself. I am newly impressed by those women I had already learned about and, as a science lover and teacher, I am appalled about the holes in my education concerning the 40 or so I had not learned of previously.

To be honest with you, when I began reading this book I was only expecting to leaner a few interesting facts. At the most I thought that there might be something cool to share with my students, maybe a bio that applied to our lessons and could be integrated. What I found was a wealth of well written and interesting knowledge that both enlightened and excited. I can use these mini-bios in class…any class really. The inspiring stories of these 52 stubborn scientists can be passed through me on to the students in my care, and anyone else I come across. Their legacies will live on in these amazing profiles.

The back copy struck me as enticing, but slightly stagnate in the second half, while the front cover leans toward the plain. After reading the stories it contains, the cover art didn’t matter and, in fact, made more sense. However, I am giving the cover 3 1/2 dragons.

The interior, on the other hand, earned itself a solid 5 starry eyed, science loving dragons.

This was the first non-fiction book that has so clutched my attention and imagination since my college days and, for a bibliophile like myself, I can’t think of any higher praise than that.

*I was given this book for free in return for an honest review*

Leonard the Lemur

A few years ago I wrote an early elementary book about a little lemur. The lemur’s name was Leonard and he LOVED lighthouses. Now Leonard was raised by a sweet lady who read to him and taught him about all sorts of things, and when he was old enough to move to the zoo she still came to visit him often. I have always loved this book and intended to edit, illustrate, and include lemur and lighthouse facts. However, by the time I finished Stone Dragon 1 and 2 and thought to take a break for Leonard, the old computer had lost most of his story again.

I felt dejected and upset at myself, so I went back to my dragons and tried to remember what I had lost with the lemur. Fast forward 2 years. I am sitting at my desk observing while a classroom full of 22 students takes state tests. Suddenly, a little lemur begins to dance across my mind again. Not to give me the story I had already written, but to show me how it began. So I wrote a new book. A picture book prequel. Leonard the Lemur Who Loves Lighthouses. 

A few days later came the realization that I would have had to re-write the 1st (now 2nd) book anyway, even if it hadn’t been lost, because it is actually TWO books! So Now my illustrator (Mom) is really going to have a load of work to so this summer because there are 3 early literacy (hopefully leveled) readers to get done. Leonard the Lemur Who Loves Lighthouses, Leonard the Lemur Takes a Trip, and Leonard the Lemur Finds His Home.

Each one will come complete with a small section of facts about lemurs, lighthouses, and other animals/areas he encounters during his adventures.

I am SO EXCITED to get this project back up and running again.

I always look forward to hearing what you think. Leave a note and let me know!

May your inspiration lift you up from the mundane and let you dance in the clouds today!

FREE KINDLE BOOK!

Highland Park Presents is FREE from RIGHT NOW until Midnight Friday night.

This book is a compilation of short stories written by my Fifth Graders in Oklahoma and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to show them that their book is traveling across the world.

I cannot promise perfect literature, but I can promise interesting and surprising stories that were created by hard working and talented 10-13 yr olds.

Give it a look and make a Fifth Grader’s day!

Momentum

The past couple of days have been filled with writing, Pinterest wins (can you say, creamy mac n cheese anyone!?), and even someone re-pinning my pin of my students’ book!

This week I got CampNaNo tweets retweeted and responded to, I made my work count for the week (2 days early), Finished book 4 in the Stone Dragon Saga (Started Part2/Book6), worked on the companion Middle Grades Dragon novel, and I’m almost finished reading the most interesting non-fiction book I’ve seen in a long while (more on that later!).

So I thought I would try to keep this momentum going by reminding you that my books (and my father’s) are all available on Kindle and Amazon! Below you will find the last few sentences of Book 4: Dragons in the Deep ¬†(Part 1?) AND the links to my author page, my dad’s author page, and my students’ book (theirs is free all week, starting Monday!*)

Please consider giving me a shout and/or writing up a review on Amazon for anything you read! It really helps other readers AND authors when you take that extra minute or two and let us all know what you think! Thank you for everything you do everyday!

May your inspiration soar to new heights this week!

*Dragon in the Deep* 

‚ÄúWhat is th‚Ķ‚ÄĚ Nickel leaned toward the screen for a better look but anything she was saying got swallowed as the ‚Äėsea serpent‚Äô caught sight of the little dragon‚Äôs lifeless form and surged powerfully through the water, her keen of despair and quick displacement of water combining to create a very unsettling range of wail that seemed to inhabit every object, and person, in the area.

When silence finally came, it was deafening.

Author Page: amazon.com/author/elizabethtyree

Tyree Tomes: http://www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes

Highland Park Presents: http://www.amazon.com/Highland-Park-Presents-Fifth-Grade-ebook/dp/B00VUKNYBQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1429475187&sr=1-1&keywords=highland+park+presents+kindle

Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree: amazon.com/author/wilsontyree

How to Have a Good Hair Day

I keep seeing these pop up all over the place at seemingly random times. In the day and age of learning SEO etc in order to make your articles, blogs, or images pop up online more often, people seem to be having increasingly bad hair days. The thing I notice the most, however, is that every single one of these articles includes a number.

“How to have a good/great/awesome/amazing hair day in 5 easy steps” “7 steps” “3 quick steps”…etc.

Well here it is ladies and gentlemen, I am jumping on that band wagon. “How to have a good hair day in 1 super fantastic simple step”¬†

Don’t believe me? Check it out:

All you need to have a good hair day, is the belief that you are having a good hair day. I know, sounds way too simple right? Well there it is, that’s all you need. A little self confidence and a dose of belief.

Now some of you may be saying, “Beth you don’t understand, when I don’t spend an hour straightening my hair and putting product in it to stop moisture, frizz, color leak, and the apocalypse my hair springs up as big as Texas!”

Great! Put on a pair of jeans, learn a few chords, and get a back up band. Thats what us Texans call Country Music Award hair or News Anchor Hair…they’re kind of interchangeable in the South!

Maybe you’re thinking that “When MY hair goes bad, it tries to turn into an old school ‘fro and I can’t get the tangles out or make it sit down! How can I be confident in a good hair day with that?” Buy a jumpsuit. Seriously, a jumpsuit, a playsuit, one of those tank top dress mumu things. They’re all kind of coming back into fashion and when your hair goes retro, throw a little retro flair in your wardrobe as well! Everyone will think you meant to do and tell you awesome you look, or how courageous and amazing you are to be up with fashion. (Believe me! My 5th graders LOVE my new cat eye glasses and weird long poofy hair days)

Hair wants to stick out? Let it! Hair wants to be flat on one side and puffed up on the other? Throw a couple of cute clips on the flat side and rock it out! JUST BE CONFIDENT IN IT! If you act as though you think it looks good, you may have someone tell you otherwise, but people will respect your sass and believe in your vision.

However, please please PLEASE do not confide in your coworkers, boss, boyfriend, or that sassy waitress you kind of think about as a friend but would never invite to a sleepover. If you confide to them that you bought the jumpsuit to make the hair work, or that you don’t really like the country look, or whatever it is…then your confidence just looks like desperate attention seeking or, possibly worse, low self esteem.

So the ONE STEP to a good hair day? Just have the courage and self esteem to KNOW that you look good no matter what. And rock that retro country music award rap hair until you can get it to rock your preferred style.