Tag Archives: TCC

Breathe and Re-boot

Standard

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~!

Advertisements

The Best Christmas Presents Ever

Standard

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

Standard

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!

Attitude of Gratitude

Standard

We’re coming into Thanksgiving week and I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m grateful for this year. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s almost the end of November. This year has flown by…

I’m am extremely grateful for my friends and family. For technology like Sykpe, that allows me to hear the voices of the people I love who live so far away.

I’m grateful for being able to teach every day and feel like I’m one step closer to my true purpose here on earth.

And last, but not least, I am grateful for all the wonderful writing accomplishments this year. There have been so many first’s and I can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store for me and my art.

Tomorrow I have my first school visit as an author. I’m a little nervous, but I know that I will feel it and have a wonderful time tomorrow morning!

Definition of Success

Standard

What is the definition of success for a writer? I’ve thought about this a lot over the years.  Is it a combination of books sold, starred reviews and millions in the bank? Is it getting an agent and a publishing contract?

As I wrote TCC, I daydreamed about success all the time. What my first launch would look and feel like. How it would feel to sell the movie rights. As I received rejections and passes on the manuscript, I would dream and think of success even more. Maybe to compensate for the blow to my ego and the rip in my heart.

I have felt many successful moments on my publishing journey with TCC and each success felt awesome, but nothing as wonderful as this –

An eight year-old boy can’t put my book down. He hasn’t played video games in days, he takes my book to the table with him and reads it before school. I can hardly believe it, even as I write this sentence.

This is my new definition of success. I can’t put into words how incredible it felt to hear this news. I hope that TCC goes on to connect with more readers, but anything else will be icing on the cake.

TCC – One Week Later

Standard

It’s one week since the book launch and I’ve had lots of time to think about it because I’ve been crazy sick with asthma all week. No fun! But I digress..

THE LAUNCH!!!

It was so wonderful. I had an amazing day and a great turn-out. I read the first chapter and we all ate delicious cake. I signed books and felt like it was officially official!

Here are some pics that my spectacular designer, Sharon took:

TCC Launch

TCC Launch

TCC Launch - cake!

TCC Launch - cake!

TCC reading

TCC reading

TCC Signing with my fancy silver pen!

TCC Signing with my fancy silver pen!

Now, the next big chunk of work begins as I try to get this little Christmas story out into the world! I have lots of independent book stores to approach and it will be available as an e-book this coming week.

My mom read the book all week and it was surreal and awesome to see her hold it at night as she sat on the couch. She had read the story before, but not since all the revisions this last year. It was nice to have her enjoy it so much.

TCC Excerpt – Chapter One

Standard

Here is a small excerpt of Chapter One – Enjoy!

Chapter One

I could only eat nineteen peas for dinner – nothing else. The nineteenth pea almost came back up. Christmas was only one week away and I was sure things couldn’t get any worse. Today I had flunked my spelling test, found out that Alex Lemmon liked Judy Young, I discovered two new freckles, got my school pictures back (yuck) and I stopped believing in Santa Claus. Green pea puke at the dinner table would have pushed me right over the edge.
“How’d you do on your test today?” my older brother asked as he got a second helping of beef stew.
Thanks a lot Ben! I wished Ben would zip it. Why did he always have to stick his nose in my business anyway? We both have our grandfather’s famous hazel eyes, but our resemblance ends there. I had hoped I wouldn’t have to tell anyone about the test. Mom might have forgotten if Ben had kept his big mouth shut.
“Not so good.” I mumbled.
“Oh, Rebecca.” Mom said, “What’re we going to do about your grades?”
I guess I was wrong before because things could get worse. Mom only called me Rebecca when I really screwed up.
“I’ll try harder next time.” I said.
She didn’t look like she believed me, but I couldn’t tell her the real reason I flunked.
After dinner, Mom, Dad, and Ben left the table. It was my night to clean up. I looked at the stack of dirty dishes in the sink and groaned. I was going to have plenty of time to think about my miserable day.
There was a good reason why I flunked my spelling test and the reason was Michael O’Donnell, the meanest boy in fifth grade. Michael O’Donnell was not a boy you want in your grade, let alone in your class. I think even the teachers were afraid of him. In second grade, he pushed me into the mud in front of the whole school on Field Day. My heart was too bad to do much running, but I was allowed to be in the long jump. He ruined the only event I could even participate in. He swore to the principal it was an accident, but he flashed me a sly grin as I got back on my feet.
Today, right before our spelling test, I was minding my own business and reviewing my letter to Santa Claus. Michael saw me and grabbed the letter out of my hands. I knew better than to tell on him; I just wanted him to leave me alone.
“What’s this, Shepherd?”
“Nothing.”
“Santa Claus. You’re kidding me. You still believe in Santa? Hey everybody, listen up.”
I tried to get the letter back, but Michael pushed me down into my chair. Mrs. Herron had to leave the classroom to get Mandy Ray to the nurse before the test because Mandy had stapled her thumb and was about to faint. As soon as they were out the door, Michael walked to the front of the room with my letter.
“Dear Santa…” he said in a baby-like voice.
He read the whole thing in front of the class. All I could do was sit and watch. When he was finished reading, he cackled like a hyena and pointed at me. I thought I’d die when the rest of the class laughed too! I tried so hard not to cry.
“Here’s your letter, Baby Becca,” he said as he crumpled up my letter and threw it at my face.
The letter hit me right between the eyes and everyone laughed harder. I bolted for the door the second the bell rang. I left my supplies all over my desk; I even forgot my coat. I didn’t care. I wanted to be as far away from everyone’s laughter as possible.
Before dinner, I sat in my room and pretended to study, but Santa Claus was heavy on my mind. Could push-me-in-the-mud Michael O’Donnell be telling the truth? I don’t even know how many times the school has held him back, but maybe he knew something I didn’t because he was older. I realized that I probably was the only ten-year-old who still believed in Santa, but I really wanted him to be real.

*Copyright © 2009 by Mary Elizabeth Robinson
All rights reserved.
This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise – without prior written permission of the publisher.