Thankful Thursday

This should be Writing Wednesday but I forgot my computer yesterday so here we are, yet another week with a wonky schedule and no discernible organization. *Sigh* welcome to my life.

So here we are, a chilly Thursday in November wherein I should be writing feverishly. Instead, I am kind of sort of writing during the ten minute journaling sprints my students do in each class each day (5 days of 4 5-10 minute journaling times a day..but my students are not independent enough to allow me to just WRITE). My two stories are coming together nicely, which is pretty awesome since there are details in the second that I haven’t found out yet because of the first. *Another Sigh*

And reading, did I mention reading yet? No, well here it is. Our school principal has challenged the elementary as a whole to read a combined 45,000,000 pages. If we reach that goal by December 18th, she will kiss a pig. We are all excited about this prospect! To further their chances of seeing this happen, we are about to start reading in class again. I am planning on reading aloud Tim Tingle’s “How I Became a Ghost.” If you haven’t read any of his stuff…DO IT! He is an amazing author and wonderful man…did I mention that its National Native American Month and he writes about Choctaw Folk Tales? Yeah Buddy!

That’s my little slice of the pie for the moment…tell me about yours! I look forward to hearing about NaNo word counts, plot bunnies, new reading experiences, and the random ice cream headaches.

Have A Blessed and WARM day!

A History Lesson

“After my family left Faronia,” Professor Al began, “And before our banishment had ended, there was a group of brave and powerful creatures who sought to find where we had gone. In order to do so, the created the Dria Ot Wisdome A’ Scrib. When translated directly from the ancient language, this means Grove of Wisdom and Scribes…or the circle of trees built by the powerful and educated seekers.”

“And what did this grove do?” A sarcastic student quipped, “transport them to you in the supposed human world you speak of so often?”

“No,” Aliphonsore huffed at the young student who’s recent growth spurt had left him much larger than the fairy dragon instructor. “I never saw them. But neither did anyone else. They went in to their special grove and did not come back out.”

“Did they die?” A fairy girl in the front row leaned forward excitedly, her eyes glowing at the thought of intrigue. “Or did they go somewhere no one else knows about?”

“Well let’s put it this way,” A deep and laughing voice intoned from the doorway, “Their bodies were not in the grove afterwards. So who knows what happened to them!?”

“Headmaster!” Aliphonsore flew over to bow and wink at his former king and now school headmaster, Ferdinand.

“Hello Professor,” Ferdinand inclined his head and surveyed the classroom full of suddenly attentive young learners. “I trust everything is going well today?”

“Yes sir!” Al’s voice squeaked.

“Great, I have some visitors for you then!” Ferdinand turned and motioned through the stone doorway of the classroom, “Ladies, come on in! I think you’ll find today’s lesson an interesting one.”

And there they were, walking in the Faronia Inclusive School’s classroom number 7, the humans in whom his students had almost completely refused to believe in.

“Where should we sit, Professor?” Jason asked with a wink as he took in the old-fashioned stone room and large tables, “We brought paper and pens so we can take notes like good students.”

“I think you already know the answers to this one!” Al laughed, the twinkle returning to his eyes as he gazed happily at his friends. “Just pick a spot anywhere!”

“Now then class, as you’ve probably already guessed by their lack of wings, these are my human family members. Introductions can come later though because as you all know, this is a history of Faronia’s Secret War class and we are learning today about what?”

“The Grove of Wives!” A zealous student called, trying to look cool in front of the foreign crowd.

“Close!” Al pointed a supportive paw at the student in question before motioning for more answers, “Who has the full name for me? Come on!”

“The Grove of Wisdom and Scribes, or Dria Ot Wisdome A’ Scrib.” Jane finally answered when it became painfully apparent that no one else would. “Where 5 wise men disappeared forever, and where Lavinia the ageless still stands guard over magical trees and the knowledge of the worlds.”

“And you guys thought I was making it all up to keep you bored in class,” Al wiggled his eyelids and wrinkled his snout at the students. “Lavinia, the beautiful and gentle Guardian of the Grove is a wise and ageless dragon, kept alive by magic bestowed upon her by the wise men and the grove itself so that she can protect the secrets and keep seekers safe from harm.”

“How do you know this?” A small voice piped up from the back, “You’re just a teacher.”

“Just a…” Al took a deep breath, “I am a teacher now so that what we learned on many an adventure can be passed along to you lot, and those who come after. And I’ll have you know that we’ll be having tea with Lavinia this coming Tuesday evening. Just a teacher…” Aliphonsore continued to mutter and growl, the smoke of his frustration becoming evident through his nostrils and even his ears.

“I believe we should all learn two valuable lessons from today,” Anna jumped up and faced the diverse crowd, knowing that no matter where they are from middle school students are all incredibly similar. “Number One is that Professor Al is teaching you valuable lessons on history and life. Number Two is that no one is ‘just a teacher! We all have other pieces to our lives that allow us to do our jobs well. Now please gather your things and quietly file out of the room. I am sure that we can safely say Class Dismissed for today!”

Thirsty Thursday

In honor of Halloween (my favorite holiday falling during my favorite time of year!) my student writing prompts all week have been pointed a little toward good spook…ok, a funny one!

Monday the prompt was about respect so we’ll skip that one. but Tuesday, ah Tuesday, the kids had to describe a monster…A NASTY HIDEOUS BEAST…who turns out to be nice. Like Frankenstein’s Monster with a gimp and drooling acid who is also the best math tutor in the country and helps kids pass tests for nothing more than a smile and pass from the angry mob chasing him out of town.

Wednesday we discussed why in the world a mob of cats would be stealing all of the candy from the houses already prepared for Halloween night (Cat Burglars…get it?? Only 1 of my 80 kids did.)

Today our Prompt is to write a recipe for the family Halloween party punch. SO far I’ve seen old socks, eyeballs, toe nails, and sherbet put in those recipes. I’m really looking forward to that drink!

Since we’re preparing for NaNoWriMo my students are also learning to count their output and worry more about the LENGTH of their writing; something I’ve been trying to get them to watch out for since the beginning of school. The best part about it is that they have seen and heard how excited I am about writing…and about NaNo…that they have all designed and put away their inner editors and are asking to start early. The bad news is that they’ll really be tired of it by week 2, especially since Ms. Tyree is going for NaNo gold again this year on top of pushing and helping them to reach their personal goals.

What are you doing this week? Are you prepping for NaNo like we are? Did you read something really great that you want to share? Did you read my books ;)? I can’t wait to hear from you all!

Short Story Sunday…NaNoPrep Style

Sometimes I really wonder if I’m doing the right thing with my life. I could just crawl back into my comfort zone cave, pull on my ratty pajamas, and binge watch cancelled television shows.

 

The thing is, though, that I’m comfortable here too…or I am beginning to be. My own little world in a room with bright posters and mutli-colored pens just beckoning inspiration and the smell of used notebook paper. Sure my writing suffers right now but I am training the next generation of great authors…Well, I’m trying to anyway. I just wish this new manuscript could move along a little more swiftly. I’ve been working on it for over a year now. It is definitely time to get these things flowing and have a storyline!

 

Ms. Charles sighed and put down her glittery ink pen. “I should be writing my novel, not this drivel!”

November is fast approaching,” the niggling voice in her brain taunted, the reminder only serving to worsen her headache. That inner editer, whom she had imagined into being a darkly beautiful and slightly foreign grammar vampire, always became a bit more snippy in the last few weeks before his month long yearly vacation.

“Outline,” Celina Charles murmured to herself, trying to ignore the deep voice, “What should I be outlining today?”

“Lost it, Didn’t you?”

That voice again!!! If only his reservation was for today, instead of next week! His belittling chatter was ruining her concentration! How could she have writer’s block BEFORE even starting National Novel Writer’s Month?

“You know…”

 

“Oh go jump off of a cliff!” Celina spat angrily at the empty classroom as the inner editor cackled in her weary mind.

“Umm, Ms. Charles?” A hesitant voice wafted through the doorway, “Lunch is over…Can we come in now???”a

Updates and Giveaways

I haven’t done a Tyree Tomes update in a long while, but a few things happened/are happening that I wanted to pass along to you before I get to posting the short stories for this week AND last week (how I typed it but never posted it I do not know!).

1) this past week Dr. Tyree’s book giveaway totals surpassed last year’s 12 month total of 1268 books given away. As of last Wednesday (with a month remaining in the fiscal year) his total was up to 1389! This is very exciting for us because it is not only a part of his personal ministry….it is also something that can aid in literacy, an issue our entire family can get behind!

2) following that doozy of an announcement, all 4 of my 5th grade classes reached the required level of “Class Cup” points to receive their first reward so Dr. Tyree came and spent the day giving short pep talks over “practice makes better makes perfect” and entertaining my kids with percussion instruments!

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The kids LOVED it, my principal LOVED it, and I got to give my students something fun. I call that a win/win/win situation!

3) Finally, in honor of the Fall season here in the States (even if tomorrow’s high here is 91 degrees) I am offering all of my published books for FREE on the kindle /e-reader app from tomorrow (October 6th) thru Wednesday (October 8th).
find them here

I hope you all have had a truly amazing weekend!

A Glimpse for Tuesday

I know that today is Tuesday and, therefore, a day generally left unused because I don’t have much to review (Or, if I’m being truthful, I’m just too lazy to write up the reviews). Well, I wrote up a quick review of Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Treehouse series last night, so I don’t even that to post up today…but I wanted to take moment to remind you that I’m here, I didn’t leave you, and I really am trying to get this all together so I can get back to the important parts of my day…writing and teaching writing!! 

To that end…I thought I would share with you just a little snippet from Dragons in the Deep. Here it is, in all of its first drafty glory…the first ever type up of Chapter 36 (isn) (Remember, the first 3 books in the series are waiting for you to read {and hopefully review!} at amazon.com/author/elizabethtyree)

“Eureka!” Joseph screeched, distracting Jason from his missing french fries by waving a computer print out and bouncing excitedly in his seat.

“Joseph!” Al started to shout at his friend, remembering at the las minute to add *awk* as an awkward afterthought. 

“Oh, hello Al,” Jo waved absentmindedly and offered up his plate, “Fry?”

“Your parrot eats french fries?” Garron leaned over the table, incredibly interested in such an oddity. 

“Yeah, yeah, he’s super special alright.” Jason snorted, blocking the well disguised dragon from stealing more of his food and glaring jealously at the Irishman leaning over Anna’s seat.

“I have a name you kn…AWK!” Al choked as Anna snatched him by the wings and pulled his feathered body forcibly to her lap. “*AWK* French Fry *AWK*”

“That’s all very interesting, I’m sure,” Z interjected, “But I think I’d rather discuss the parrot’s diet some other time since your artsy friend here seems as though he’s going to have a fit of some sort.”

“Oh Joseph!” Anna exclaimed, trying not to giggle at the almost catatonic look on her friend’s face. “Were we ignoring you again boss?”s

Free Form Fun

Dragons and pumpkins make me happy. The woosh clank bang of swift fingers and sticky keys excites me. the freedom of words and the permanence of paper put together in an indelible way, like the unseen fingerprints on my heart suddenly becoming a tattoo. Some days I can’t possibly stand another second of the ripping, searing pain from the tat gun, most days I couldn’t survive without it right there, my personal colorful needle to the skin of my universe.

Words are an addiction, like ink, and like the fresh tattoo the stories I write are never far from my surface. Aliphonsore is always in the back of my mind, reminding me that his story is not finished and, like an addict, I respond by going back. But one more word is the best addiction to have. It costs nothing for me to write this little free prose page…unlike the tat of Al curled up in the trailing vines of a pumpkin that I wanted to get. That beauty would cost me more than I’m worth just now

Favorite Animals and other Nonsense

When asked (about once a year or so) I have a ready list of my favorite animals. But when that list starts out with Dragons well…people look at me a little differently. Probably because anyone asking that question doesn’t know me well yet. And, let’s be honest here, it isn’t like I said unicorn! However, the list is as follows (DRAGONS!) All types of owls, manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, and jelly fish.

While we’re at it: my favorite number is 13, my favorite short story is Sleepy Hollow, my favorite colors are orange, coral, and teal, my favorite Disney Fairy is Vidia, I prefer Stark, Banner, and Loki to the other Avengers, and the only music I just can’t stand to listen to much of is hard core rap.

Oh! One more thing, my e-books will be free IN ORDER for the next 3 Mondays and Tuesdays. That means that Dragon On My Neck will be available for free download until midnight tomorrow (Tuesday 8/12/14).

Supernatural Salsa

This is the second in a series of short stories centering on a minor character from The Stone Dragon Saga book 4 (coming soon…)
Last week we saw the dramatic introduction of our new friend, Sergio. Now, let us tune back in to Supernatural Salsa for his interview.

Introduction to the Other Side: Part 2

“Welcome to Supernatural Salsa, Sergio!

“Thank you for having me Ms. Sakowich.”

“Susan please!” She tittered at the deep voice of the well groomed legend.

“Susan it is,” he inclined his large head, “I appreciate your willingness to accommodate my need for privacy today.”

“You are very welcome Mr. De la Kraken. May ask though, why is it that you have come forward now after thousands of years of your people being relegated to the pages of legend? I think we’re all dying to know!” She motioned to the studio audience, who’s dumbfounded expressions immediately transformed to smiles, nods, and cheers.

“Well Susan,” Sergio put on his best news caster voice and leaned a little closer to stare penetratingly into the camera, his big golden irises captivating audiences across the viewing area. “The fate of the world may depend on this interview.”

A collective gasp rose across the world as Supernatural Salsa’s audience sat glued to their computers, phones, and television sets awaiting more from this amazing creature.

“The fate of the entire world?” Susan herself was leaning closer to the large screen, almost levitating from her red arm chair and barely able to contain herself. A mythological creature outing himself on national television would boost the ratings for a few weeks, but this….the kraken was practically signing her new, extended contracts!

“Yes Susan, I’m afraid so,” Sergio was saying, “Maybe even the fate of several worlds. I wish I could say that something is coming to destroy us, because then it would be easier to guard ourselves against the threat. But I’m afraid it has already been here, hiding among the elite and the workers alike for thousands of years, amassing power and followers.”

“Oh,” Susan tuned back in long enough to know that a political rant was about to take off. “And we would love to hear all about it, After This Word From Our Sponsors!…CUT IT EARL!”

Door to the Wonders of Writing…

I wish that I had a beautiful picture of my classroom door to share with you today. I don’t. The door itself is a large, brown, wooden block on hinges and I cannot decide what to do with it.

Should I use my mother’s extensive art knowledge and my almost impossible to live up to creativity to creat a Hobbit hole effect with some pithy sign on the Hobbit door? (Ms. Tyree’s class…where imagination creates!).

Perhaps I should take the pen poster and make a door covering out of it. Have you seen that poster? Several types of writing utensils lined up with the words ‘Tools of Mass Creation’ below them. Absolutely awesome.

Or maybe a big tree with a wise welcoming owl..Wally theWriter whoooo welcomes you to class. A big notebook page with a yay for writing note on it. A turtle, just because I like turtles, or a Dragon because…well duh! Yay dragons.

As you can see,the list is potentially endless and driving me mad. Any thoughts?