Spotlight On…

Spotlight On Art

Today’s spotlight on art is going to focus on something I consider to be a special sort of art all its own; editing.

As an author I consider writing to be my special gift, my art, and I feel confident in saying that I am pretty good at it. I work, write, rework, write, read, edit, rewrite, edit, etc. before sending it to readers, editors, and their ilk to make sure that my work is ready for its audience. Even then I may go back and edit two or twelve more times. As a self-publishing Indie Author I have to wear all of those hats and dance around with them balanced like the Mad Hatter. I don’t get paid to do it, I don’t get paid to write most of the time. I just don’t like feeling as though I’ve let down my readership with sloppy writing.

As a reader, I feel disappointed and gypped when I read a book that is poorly edited. The writing can be amazing, the story line phenomenal, and the characters my absolute favorites but if the editing is terrible I feel sad. Add to that poor word choices and time line mess ups and whatever else can go wrong, and the editors’ jobs are obviously more important than many people stop and realize.

I believe that a huge part of the stigma against purchasing and reading self-published books is because so many of them have terrible editing. When a book is obviously a first or second draft that has not been edited for content or grammar it is an insult to the reader. They are then often so disappointed and soured by the experience that they don’t buy from that author or even in that genre or type (self-published etc) again.

So learn a new art, share it with your friends…edit your work. This is an art form most of us can at least dabble in!

Until next time, may you have a blessed, energized, and inspired week.

 

Worth It:

Above All Else, Remember This:
That the dreams you dream in your most secret times and the deepest locked away pieces of your inner self are WORTH IT! They are worth fighting for. They are worth working hard for. They are worth your time, your attention, and your acknowledgement.
What’s more is that YOU are worth it. Your happiness is worth it. Your time is worth it. Your dreams, hopes, and aspirations are all worth it.
If only you will believe in yourself even half as much as I believe in you and you will be seizing the day, taking the world, moving all the mountains, and looking forward to new dreams by month’s end. You are more than able to do anything you wish to do. Whatever you please is within your grasp if you only look at things the right way and realize that you can close your fingers and hold on to it. And I…Well I am proud to say that I know you, because I am more than proud of you.
So go, darling, Realize your Dreams. Reach Your Goals and climb up to the stars…I’ll be right here holding the ladder, supporting whatever you do, and basking in the glow of the night sky.
Always.

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* 

“What is th…” Nickel leaned toward the screen for a better look but anything she was saying got swallowed as the ‘sea serpent’ caught sight of the little dragon’s 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

Political Views…Or Control Issues?

I took advantage of a provided work day today and organized a few areas of my classroom that have sorely needed it. The entire day was spent relatively alone, with music or internet episodes filling the silence while I cleaned, rearranged, and organized. Overall, I loved having the day to get caught up and ready for the final 8 weeks of school! However, the reason we had it has really upset several of my co-workers across all 6 schools in our ISD.

You see, there was a gathering of teachers and educational administration at the state capitol today, protesting and making their voices heard about a few different propositions concerning our profession. Anyone who went came to work at 8:30, had breakfast and lunch provided, and if they had to stop somewhere for supper that would be taken care of too. Those of us who stayed home were made to arrive at the normal 7:45 time, sign in, and could not leave except for lunch time (although my school did give us an hour for lunch). On top of that, anyone who WENT to the capitol will be allowed to wear jeans anytime for the rest of the school year, the rest of us will have to continue to wear professional attire. I don’t really care for jeans and kind of have my own dress code, that usually matches up pretty well with the casual professional dress code our school has (I’m jut quirky…not ill-dressed) so that part doesn’t bother me…but the implications do.

The ‘if you aren’t with us and on our agenda totally you get punished’ vibe that this demonstration sent out has people up in arms about the way it was all handled. So here is my question to you…is this a group of people showing passion for their beliefs and political views, or is this a set of people with control issues looking to force ‘their’ employees into falling in step behind them?

Either way, I got my work done and don’t mind the dress code staying the same. Honestly, I’m not even sure what side of the issue we were supposed to be on…

Projects

I don’t know why we do this to ourselves. Pile up projects, due dates, and D.I.Y.s until we just turn in confused circles, trying to decide which way to go first or, possibly worse, which paint color matches the worksheet our boss assigned today that’s due yesterday. Maybe some of us, myself included, thrive on such craziness. Perhaps the organized and zen approach to life would make us insane, crazy with boredom and aching for stress within a week (probably sooner). I wouldn’t know, I’ve never gotten to point where I could find out! As soon as one thing is finished, three more jump up to take its place, waving like an elementary student who thinks they know the answer.

In fact, I am currently smack dab in the middle of at least 5 different projects:

Dragons in the Deep: Book 4 in the Stone Dragon Saga. A centuries old pirate ship is discovered and could hold the key to finding Aliphonsore’s parents. In fact, it could hold the key to ending the Fairy Queen’s insidious plans. With new friends, both human and otherwise, the return of Passiona and her pet sorcerer on the loose, and ancient obscure texts you never know what could be waiting around the corner!

Fifth Grade Dragons: A spin off of the main Stone Dragon Saga. This book finds Aliphonsore and King Ferdinand as professors at an academy in Realta, having made their way back home after the final battle with Passiona. Anna, who is now a writing teacher for a local fifth grade, is asked to help Aliphonsore and Ferdinand teach some students the basics of ‘human’ story telling/writing…to (hopefully) hilarious results.

Highland Park Presents: A short story compilation written by my fifth graders. They each worked hard on providing a short story that shows their abilities, their interests, and their weird senses of humor. Tyree Tomes is transcribing and editing the stories, turning them into one impressive book with a forward written by none other than the proud teacher…ME!

Plants and Ecology: A unit in science that teach students about things the food chain, energy consumption/output, and the ways communities are coming together and using Science to help save their local environments.

Organizing My Rooms: I have 4 rooms that ‘belong’ to me in this house. My bedroom, my sitting room, my closet, and the writer’s loft. We (meaning Dad) are building shelves for the back of my bedroom and will be getting those put in (hopefully!) soon. After that it is my sincere belief that I might be able to get my rooms organized and things up off of my floors! I KNOW that it HAS to be possible! I JUST KNOW IT!

Crocheting/DIY: I almost forgot…I promised a crocheted ear flappy hat to a friend a few months ago…he reminded me about that the other day so maybe I should hop on that! And don’t get me started on the DIY play house and cutesy painting I was hoping to get done this week cus…that ain’t gonna happen!

YOWZA! Putting them all in a row like that is a bit shocking to the system. Quick…somebody line out their to-do list for me! What are you getting done right now? Are you one of ‘us’, with the mile long constant list or are you one of those people who have it all lined out and finish one project before starting another one? If you’re the second type…HOW DOES THAT WORK???

I can’t wait to hear from you! Good luck with all your projects!

What are YOU reading??

I am sitting at home today, my child sick with a fever, an upper respiratory infection and a stomach virus. I wish I could that I am reading the books I’ve been trying to read for the past week or two…instead I am working on trying to get the Science text lined out for lesson plans in between wiping short stuff’s leaky nose.

That is also what I’ve been able to write so far today, but the day is young so I’m hoping for a few minutes in the world of the Stone Dragons (Maybe in my writer’s loft?? I haven’t been up there in a month!) The good news is that I did write the week’s short story this weekend…I just didn’t get it typed up and published for you, so that should happen sometime today too. *phew* I have more to do than if I had gone to school!

What about you? Are you reading anything this week or is life seeming to overcome all of the reading and writing time you so desperately crave? Can’t wait to hear from you all!

Have a blessed Wednesday!

Reading Late

I can’t believe that we’ve already reached Wednesday this week…or that I almost let it fly past me! With all of my meetings this week, I’m mostly reading instructions and packets of school things. What is everyone else up to this week?? I hope it is of a biblio-lific persuasion! (It’s a real word if I say it is!)

See you soon, I hope!

My Job – REVEALED

I wasn’t here earlier in the day to post my normal ‘free flow’ writing post for Thursday, and this isn’t it (don’t get excited).

Ok, maybe get a little excited because I only popped on here to joyously shout to the world…or all 195 people who admit to reading my blog anyway…that I am no longer a trade piece between principals! That’s right dearies, I have officially been assigned! I went today to see my principal (a very nice and laid back man who is apparently the epitome of absent minded – I like him), and he showed me my classroom. OH, Ah, my classroom…When I was hired on I began to imagine my room, probably a tiny little thing with windows so we could pretend to have breathing room as my students slaved away at…whatever I was going to be teaching. But no, it was not to be! My room is FABULOUS and large and I have carte blanche to decorate as I will…including painting murals on the walls and ceiling tiles, painting the windows, and bringing in my own desk if I want to. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

 

As I was basking in the reveal of my very own room and all the delightful plans I have for it, Principal B gave me even BETTER news (how can you top a huge classroom?? Drum Roll Please…) He gave me my subject assignment. Since we’re going to subject specific classes, my fifth grade teaching experience will be chiseled down to two areas, Social Studies and (dududuDUUUHHH) WRITING! Whaaat?!?!?!!!! I did manage to refrain from doing the happy dance in front of anyone, other than my poor toddler. She’s seen it before and now that I’m working I can probably afford the therapy she’ll need.

 

And now, I’m off to troll Pinterest for more classroom ideas. WootWoot!

 

Have a Blessed Weeks end everyone!

The Next Generation

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My Monkey setting up for another day of arduous creating. Apparently this story was about Tinkerbell and the dog who sniffed flowers with butter.

My almost 2 year old daughter loves to draw and scribble in her Tinkerbell notebook. If you ask her about it she will go on and on about her work, usually yelling Bell Bell or talking about George and Minions in the few words you can understand. And at some point she will say ‘Like Momma’.

Like Momma, she carries a notebook just about everywhere she goes.(In fact, since her Happy Meals started handing out notebooks she may have MORE than I do). Like Momma, she sometimes only needs to scribble for a moment and sometimes she’s bent over the book for hours. Like Momma, she babbles somewhat incoherently at people if they interrupt her flow or she seems ‘stuck’ in her story.

A BIG part of me is proud that my daughter looks up to me, even though I’m sure that its mostly because she sees me all day everyday. I am proud of her creativity and interest in reading and writing. She isn’t quite 2 (we’re 3 months out from her birthday) but she is already fairly advanced (the hazards of her parent and grandparents all being teachers I suppose). I hope and pray that she keeps this curiosity and zeal as she grows up. That she retains the ‘weird’ and ‘quirk’ that makes up her joy right now and doesn’t let anyone tell her otherwise.

But do I want her to be a writer?

That is a tough question. I love writing. I adore putting my colored inks on blank paper and making the designs that pull a story from the air and my brain (same thing, right) and coalescing it in a form many will read. Most of the time I even enjoy the late night inability to sleep because I’m writing, or the jerking from a dead sleep at 3am because my subconscious finally figured out a piece of the story. I also make no money, have a tendency to block out people for days or weeks at a time while I write, get super mean if I can’t just sit and write when the mood hits me (not as much any more…toddlers tend to line out your schedule for you), and am usually tired from working on pieces when I should be asleep.

It has been said that writing is a lonely profession, except for the characters you make for yourself. Do I want my daughter to be lonely and listening to voices in her own head? Do I want her to wake up from a writing stupor and realize that she may have gotten fifteen thousand words written in a day and half, but she hasn’t eaten and hasn’t seen her friends in days? In the mind of a mother, do the pros outweigh the cons? I honestly don’t know at the moment.

The pros are worth more than any amount of cons in my life. If I don’t write I become irrational, erratic, and difficult to live with. Depression, anxiety, dark moods…they set in pretty quickly if I don’t have projects to think on and scribble out. My books and notebooks are some of my greatest joys, right up there with my kid and my flute. The lack of feedback and reviews on both my blog and my Amazon pages frustrates me to no end, but I wouldn’t stop writing for anything; I couldn’t. Do I want that kind of drive for my daughter….YES, YES I DO.

Do I want her to wind up a writer…probably not. But I suppose that’s going to be up to her to decide. Isn’t it?

 

 

Sniff, Snort, Selfie

She sniffed, snorted really; a reflex one tends to gain when you have colds and allergies at least one week per month—and that’s at the very least. This time, though, her cough and reflexive snort did something to her that she had never before experienced…they caused excruciating pain.

For some reason when she snorted the area between her temples reacted as though they wired together and being pulled on, or perhaps as an empty juice box with someone still sucking on the straw. She doubled over in pain, crying out helplessly to the deserted picnic tables around her. She wondered if this was what it felt like to have an aneurism. If maybe this were how she would die; a random head squeeze side effect from typical allergy stuffiness. Then, absurdly, she began to wonder if maybe her head now looked like an image from a fun house mirror, like she was now of one kind with weird kid on Goonies.

But death passed her by, her head resumed its usual shape, and the girl straightened, breathlessly asking the first passerby she saw, “How’s my hair?” Receiving a befuddled smile and thumbs up in return, she quickly snapped a selfie to commemorate the event. Captioned with ‘weird allergy side effects today totally made my head look funny, lol haha’ the picture soon plastered itself across four social networking sites and untold numbers of newsfeeds, eliciting responses of ‘u look gr8’, ‘b-u-tiful’, and ‘<3’ from her buddies long before she made it out of work for the day.