Category Archives: TCC

Revelation and Inspiration

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I’m still pretty tired. It’s amazing how being back at school is taking it out of me. I haven’t been sleeping very soundly the last couple of days either and that probably has a bunch to do with it too. It’s crazy how easily I can slip back into my old ways of staying up way to late. I had a major power struggle with a student today, which was a bit exhausting as well. It wasn’t a power struggle, per se, because I was very consistent and would not budge with it. I am very stubborn and it actually served me well today. I was calm and firm. It was hard to hold my ground, but he was looking for an inch of wiggle room and I never would have got that authority back. I love him. He is bright and I enjoy working with him every day but he challenges me almost everyday as well. I think the is on the Autism spectrum and he is being observed this month. I am grateful for him because he makes me a better teacher. We are learning from each other.

On a nicer note, two of my 5th grade students finished my book over the Winter Break. One of them saw me in the hallway today before our group and stopped to give me a hug and tell me she had completed it over break. She struggles with reading, but she works hard to improve. She was so happy to talk to me about the book and she asked me when she could read another one of my books because it was so interesting. I said, “Well, I’m still writing it…”

She said, “You better get busy! I want to read it soon!”

That is inspiration and a lot of pressure 🙂

I told her how proud I was of her for finishing it and doing such an amazing job. It was the biggest book she has ever read and she read it in less than two weeks. It was above her reading level and she really pushed herself. She had a huge grin on her face and I knew she felt my pride and excitement for her awesome accomplishment.

I haven’t been writing. I think about it all the time, but I haven’t even tried to write anything other than journaling or Morning Pages in months. Having the students enjoy my book so much and be excited to read what’s next has been a revelation and inspiration to get off my duff and just try to get some words down. I have had little spurts of inspiration with these WIP’s, but mainly a lot of one step forward two steps back.

I resolved to write more again anyway, so time is of the essence!

What inspires you to keep writing and persevering when writing gets tough?

I know I will see that student’s grin in my head from now on when I sit down to write.

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Auld Lang Syne

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

2011 is on its way out and 2012 is knocking at the door, ready to come in and play.

I have been awfully neglectful to this blog these last couple of months. I have been busy with work and not writing. That is going to change in 2012.

I’ve learned this last December that my writing is important in ways I didn’t realize. That realization was a wonderful gift.

I got behind on getting The Christmas Child  printed this year. It was more work than I expected getting the book ready for reprint and even though I made contacts with some stores, I couldn’t afford to get the new copies printed fast enough for the book to be featured before Christmas. 2012 will be more about advancing the book. I will be working on marketing from January to July so that I will be prepared in August to really steam ahead.

I was disappointed with the lack of forward motion this year, but it was a reflection of the time I put into it last year. I teach a group of fifth graders literacy everyday. One of them found my book on the classroom bookshelf and asked if she could show it to the rest of the group. They were excited and wanted to read it. It is above their reading level, but we all agreed to work hard on vocabulary and I brought them copies the week before we went on Winter Break.  The excitement and rate at which they devoured the book amazed me. They were begging to read more and everyday they would come back having read 15-20 pages at home.

They are asking when they can read the next book and I don’t have anything to offer them yet. Their enthusiasm is good motivation to get back to work!

I still devour books like that. When a great story grabs at you and takes you out of your everyday life, it is a gift. I’m excited that my book is offering that to these six students.

I also received a text from a friend right before Christmas that her brother-in-law was reading my book to his kids for the third time this year. I couldn’t help but be honored by this. This book is special to me in ways that I can’t even express, but to realize that it is special to other people, to strangers is a revelation that I never really expected. You hope that it will matter to someone, but it is such a wonderful surprise when it does.

As 2011 comes to close, I want to thank it for all the wonderful opportunities it brought into my life. I’m excited to see what 2012 has in store for me and my writing.

I make resolutions each year, but I’m never too good at keeping them. I did the best job to date this last year. In terms of writing resolutions, I want to write daily. I am going to start small with a time frame not a word count because that seems to be easier for me to tackle. I think I will start with 10-15 minutes and try to increase it a bit every month.

What about you. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing or art in 2012?

I’m a big fan of Julia Cameron and her Artist Way books. I realized a week ago that I have never finished The Vein of Gold. I remember starting it in my early twenties, but not getting very far. I think a journey into my creative heart is exactly what I need in 2012. I am looking forward to co-creating a life of creativity this coming year.

Happy New Year’s Eve! See you next year.

Sunday Morning

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Good morning.

I am enjoying the extra hour of sleep and a nice cup of french press vanilla hazelnut coffee in my favorite Kermit mug this morning as I write.  I haven’t been great about posting on a schedule since I moved, but I am starting to feel more settled and I think all of that will fall back into place again.

This Kermit mug was a Christmas gift last year from my cousin and I love it more than anything. As most of my close friends who read this blog know, I am a Muppet fanatic. I have loved ALL things Muppet since I was an infant. My first Christmas ornaments were Muppet themed. Once, when I was a toddler the Muppet Show was preempted by a football game and I was so inconsolable, my dad called the network to see what could be done to right it.

If I had three wishes and could acquire any Muppet paraphernalia in the world…I would want Kermit’s coffee cup from the Muppet Show set and the beaded microphone headband that Jim wore when he was performing. I know, I will probably never have an opportunity to have either of these priceless items, so this Kermit cup is a nice substitute.

Jim Henson is more than my hero, he is my inspiration and my touchstone of what a creative and imaginative person can accomplish. I still remember where I was when I found out that he had passed away. It was three days before my thirteenth birthday and I was sitting in the car, waiting for my mom at the bank. She came back to the car to find me inconsolable again. I cried all the way home and couldn’t even tell her until we were back inside. I always thought that I would meet him and maybe work with him some day. I was devastated.

This year I am grateful for many things: my new job, a great apartment, the opportunity to teach awesome kids everyday, my health, my family and friends…I could go on. However, I am also very grateful for a new Muppet movie. I am starting to seriously geek out about it. Part of me thinks that I might be getting too excited, therefore lessening my chances of loving it because my expectations will be too high. But, I think that I love the Muppets with such intensity that I will more than likely love it anyway.

Also, Jason Segel wrote it and as I have come to discover this weekend – he may be a bigger Muppet fan than I am. Hard to imagine I know. He has such respect and admiration for the Muppets and Jim, I am pretty confident that he will do it justice. On another note, my mom is convinced that he is my soul mate because of our Muppet love connection. If you’re out there Jason, maybe you would enjoy a trip to Colorado soon…

I also have been busy trying to get geared up for another holiday season of selling my book, The Christmas Child. I have been working through some changes and edits from last year. This time last year I had a computer crash  and had to reformat the whole manuscript and barely got it printed before Christmas. This year, I couldn’t find anything but the PDF file and ended up reformatting once again. But a couple of days ago, I did find the elusive file from last year so…long story short – a lot of extra work for nothing.

I have a tendency to do that. Make a mountain out of a molehill, as they say. In my impatience, I sometimes jump prematurely and end up in the weeds. Oh well. At least I can send the file to the printer tomorrow. Now I have to focus on some promotion and try to get some more people to the book.

Every year I have sold more than the year before, so I can’t complain about that either but I would love to have some killer sales this year.

I am working on a book trailer and some fun videos that I will post links to soon.

Enjoy the extra time today to do something you love. I think I’ll enjoy a classic Muppet Movie and get some words on the page.

Dog Days of Summer

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I finished my super difficult special education law class on Monday and I’m glad to be half-way done with my other summer school class. The second class is an integrated Science/Social studies class. I am really enjoying parts of the class. However, we meet from 9 – 4:30 twice a week and the quick turn around of a whole semester in a month makes it a little intense. Summer school will be over in two weeks, then I’ll a week at most to rest before my internship starts again.

I’ve been connecting to The Lost on a new level lately, especially in the past week. I’ve written a different amount everyday, but I’ve written something every day. That hasn’t happened in a while.  After three days my protagonist came out to play. I was worried that she was gone because her voice had been hard to grasp for months and months. Ken, had a very distinctive view of the world and I thought I had lost her. I hadn’t met her at the page for months. I hadn’t held up my end of the bargain. I had abandoned her, like so many others. Yet…she came back to me and I won’t let her go again until her story is told.

Even though it’s only been a couple of days, I feel much more grounded. Julia Cameron said that she could do everything else in her life better, if she had put in her daily dose. I finally understand what she means.

I’ve also been getting my ducks in line for the 2nd season of TCC. The clouds are clearing that have obscured my view recently… big things have suddenly opened up  and I’m excited to get my hands dirty in the trenches again.

I went to the midnight showing of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice with my dad yesterday and I’m definitely turning into a pumpkin…time for bed boys and girls. Sweet dreams.

Breathe and Re-boot

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The beginning of 2010 has been one of the craziest that I can remember. Between graduate school and an internship, moving, coaching and attempting to work as a substitute teacher as often as I can – I’m exhausted.

I love the school that I’m interning at. Ironically, Goldrick is the elementary school I would have attended if we had stayed downtown. I’m in a wonderful third grade class. I’m learning so much from the teacher and the students, but it’s been hard to juggle everything and keep sane.

That said, I’m finally feeling a little more settled this week and will be working out a new schedule so that won’t have to neglect my other passions – writing and music. I can’t recall the last time I sat down to write and I’m definitely feeling it. It’s so important for my soul and peace of mind. Even if it’s only a sentence. I HAVE TO WRITE EVERYDAY!!! My poor abandoned guitar! I’m feeling that pull again and need to give it my attention. I also need to set a goal for performing. A deadline always helps to keep me in line.

I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster of sorts. A bi-polar trapeze act of great advancement in some life areas and extreme lows in others. I’m in it and I’m trying to stay present and positive. I think the daily writing will help. This is an opportunity to change this habit of setting myself on the back burner once and for all. I don’t want to struggle any longer. Establishing better boundaries and managing MY time needs to become a priority.

I’m up to the challenge and I will check back in again soon.

P.S. I’m still receiving amazing TCC feedback and I’m so grateful for all the comments!

Thank you again~!

The Best Christmas Presents Ever

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As I look at 2010 coming right at me, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for all the love that has come my way these last months from the amazing people who have read my book The Christmas Child.

Hearing stories of reluctant readers putting aside their video games to read or people who have found hope on the pages and now feel Christmas in their hearts. With each story, I am blown away and deeply humbled.

In all honesty, I had a hard time finding the Christmas spirit myself this year. I have been struggling financially and spiritually. I have been putting myself through the paces for things that are outside of my control. I have been more like The Ice than myself!

But hearing these stories and receiving hugs from readers have made all the difference. Even if I never sold another book, I would still feel like a successful author! I also understand more than ever the power of story. I am grateful for everything that has happened this year in relation to The Christmas Child.

I’ve heard it said that we write what we, ourselves, need to hear. That could not be more true with this book. The Christmas Child is ultimately about the power of belief, especially the belief in yourself. I struggle with this often and I have learned so much from Becca’s journey and transformation.

So as 2009 comes to an end, I would like to say thank you to the wonderful people who came to book signings and my launch at the Mercury Cafe. To the classes I visited, the kids and kid’s at heart who left their world behind to travel to the North Pole with me…you have made my heart light and joyous. I am so grateful and thank you doesn’t seem big enough to describe what I feel.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year for everyone. Cheers!

The Eve of Christmas Eve

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Oh blog, how I’ve missed you. I kept saying to myself, “I really should blog…” and somehow it just never happened. I have had so much that I wanted to post about too! But teaching, coaching and candy making has been taking up all my time. I am starting graduate school in January and my life is going to get even busier. I have to find time to write and blog on top of everything else and I’m a bit concerned. I am famous for taking care of others and running myself ragged, but I’m not so great at caring for myself. I’m going to work really hard to change that in 2010.

I smell resolution in the air! My resolution for 2010 can be expressed in one word – balance. I will be striving for balance in 2010. I have never been good at balance. I’m generally juggling way to many things and I usually wind up burning the candle at both ends. I’m crazy excited about getting my master’s degree and I’m loving the teaching,  but I have accomplished so much with my book in 2009 that I don’t want to lose any of my momentum in the coming year.

I also need more rest, more excercise and less processed food! So, yes kids, the word of the day is BALANCE!

Blogging will also be a part of my daily dose of writing. I need this as a daily check in. Even if no one is reading this, it is still important for me to write it and get it out into the world.

I’ll have some time off in the next week and I will post some pictures and talk about the book events in late November and December. I am so happy with all the wonderful things that TCC brought me this year. I’m also very grateful for all the obstacles I faced. They showed me how committed I was to making this work and taught me to be more flexible. I have a more realistic perspective for next year and I have eight to nine months to work at getting my baby farther out into the world.

A friend of mine is home for a visit after his first semester of college. He was congratulating me on the book and we were discussing some of the marketing strategies that I’m putting together for next year. He told me that The Sorcerer’s Stone took a year and a half to catch on. He also told me that when J.K. Rowling came to The Tattered Cover for a book signing, that no one came. It’s hard to imagine that, but humbling to remember that even J.K. Rowling had to start somewhere.

2010 will be a big year. I will be striving for balance in all of my endeavors, I will be starting a new career as a teacher, working hard to sell more books, writing daily and building my body of work and last but not least, I will be turning thirty.

I am looking forward to many things in the coming year. I’m also looking forward to some quiet moments in the coming days where I can take a deep breath and look back on the year. I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday, and can have some comfort from family or friends. I watched a special this evening on adoption and my heart rips for all those kids who don’t have someone to love them this Christmas. It kills me that they don’t have someone to love them any day of the year. If I could take them all home, I would in a second! In the meantime, I can send them all my love and hope that it finds them and brings them some warmth this Christmas.

Happy Holidays! Make sure to leave out carrots for the reindeer!