The Advice I Tell My Friends That I Need to Tell Myself

Having a community of writer friends is a beautiful, beautiful thing. These are people who understand what you’re going through when you feel like you’re keyboard smashing your feelings or staring at a blinking curser for an hour with the looming cloud of doubt above your head. These are people that share your dreams and goals and aspirations.

Writer friends literally keep me afloat.

Writing is troubling. The whole process is emotionally draining and frustrating. It keeps me up all night and plagues me throughout my days. It’s an endless cycle of trying, failing, and self loathing. Of course there is the beauty, too. That one perfect sentence, paragraph, page. The character that literally seeps from your very being. Those are all the beauties in this. But there is so much hardship.

So writers stick together, or at least usually. I’ve heard being a writer is like being an island but for me that’s not the case.

When my writer friends are going through a tough time, I give them advice, and when I am going through those patches, they shoot them back at me. But here’s my favorite tidbits I’ve said to others, that really, I need to be telling myself in times of trouble. Continue reading

15 Questions for Book Lovers [from Samantha]

Samantha over at Hello, abibliophobia posted 15 Questions for Book Lovers and I thought I’d answer these questions for fun right here. Go to her page and answer in the comments or post on your own blog. Happy reading!

  1. What is the first book you read by your self? || This is an excellent question that I do not have the answer to. I just remember reading a lot of Judy Blume to my dad who often fell asleep. Poor guy.
  2. Did your parents read to you before bed? If so, what did they read you? || As far as I know, yes. But I have no recollection or “favorite” childhood books to be honest. My memory of my childhood is so nonexistent, it saddens me really.
  3. Name a movie that is better then the book. Doesn’t happen often. || Whoa. I actually don’t know if I know one that exists. I will say I enjoyed the movie version of The Spectacular Now but when I tried to read the book I wanted to throw it out a window. I never did get past the first few pages. So, that I suppose.
  4. What was the worst movie adaptation of a book? || You know I am not a picky person so I think I’m not a good one to ask about this. I suppose I will say Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because I personally think it is the worst Harry Potter movie but the book was so fun and amazing.
  5. Outdoor or indoor reading? || I will do either! I love reading poolside in the summer.
  6. Book you’re most embarrassed to have never read? || So many. I haven’t read a lot of classics. I’m sad I have never read any Steinbeck but I am going to I promise. Just like every classic ever, really.
  7. What is the most embarrassing book you have ever read? || Oh no, I am never embarrassed about what I read.
  8. What was the worst book you ever read or stopped reading? || I already mentioned The Spectacular Now above but I hardly count that as a really big try, but i did give up on Uglies at about 100 pages in.
  9. Would you rather read digital or paper books? || Paper always, but I do a fair amount of digital reading. I can’t pass up those deals! Especially on brand new books.
  10. What character in a book would you like to sucker punch in the face? || Oh my gosh, great question. Remember when Adam was literally the worst to Juliette for awhile there (Shatter Me series)? i never wanted to punch someone so hard.
  11. What character in a book would you like to be best friends with? || Definitely Cath from Fangirl. Rory and co. from the Shades of London series.
  12. How many physical books do you own? || Oh God, I’m not counting but two bookcases full and then some.
  13. What book do you want to make sure you read to your children? || Oh! I kind of love all the Tacky the Penguin books because it shows the importance of being yourself. Also always with Where the Wild Things Are and Harold and the Purple Crayon. Most importantly, I’ll read whatever interests them so they can foster a love of stories and books early.
  14. What book describes you best? || Haha, probably Fangirl. I don’t think Cath and I are super similar but we share some traits.
  15. What are you reading right now? || Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Five Things Teachers Want Parents to Keep in Mind

As May dwindles away and June raises it’s ugly, 90+ degree weather head, the school year comes to a close.

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The end of a school year means something different to different people. For students, it’s the promise of days spent at the swimming pool and countless hours in front of the television. For parents, it’s the scramble to find something for their children to do during those three months. For teachers, it is a time for goodbyes (and also those swimming pools and TV watching, okay, we are only human).

With the school year ending, it can be a bit jarring and scary for parents, depending on their child’s transition into the next grade. Junior high is when hormones will run ramped and high school is where it “all matters” for college.

I am a transitional kindergarten teacher and at the end of May, my students will be kindergarteners. For children and parents this is a pretty scary and important time. Getting into the kindergartens families wanted was hard enough but now it’s time to actually let them go and start their elementary school lives and drift into (hopefully) life-long learners.

I am not a parent, I can’t understand what a parent is going through first hand when faced with these difficulties or transitions. However, there are some things that we, teachers, want you to keep in mind when going through their educational path. (Please note I am only one early education teacher, not the voice for every teacher.)

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New Places and Spaces

After many years of moving around and roommates filtering in and out of our house, the husband and I have finally moved to a decent sized one bedroom apartment by ourselves. This is very exciting because we now have ownership of the entire space and we live alone. Oh, glorious solitude.

We aren’t decorators or anything fancy, but we are both writers and in turn, we both love to read. So I thought I would just throw up some pictures of our writing space and our bookshelves.

writing areaThis is our writing area. If Mike and I ever wanted to write at the same time, there is a desk in our bedroom but it’s not as organized or apt for writing but it can be done. This desk is by a window (a must for me, at our old place I wrote at the kitchen table because of its proximity to a window) and has no clutter or anything to busy or distracting. There’s our ‘stereo’ for music and some keepsakes and photographs on the wall. Our boards for planning are there, too. My second book is planned on the whiteboard even though I think I’m actually going to give it a full overhaul. Outlining, ugh.

ImageOur bookshelves! This is very exciting. We obviously, as you can see, kept a lot of our textbooks. Mike is a screenwriter so he has a lot of his film textbooks and I have some education and writing ones, too. We also have inherited a lot of books from my grandparents over the years and that painting was done by my talented mother-in-law.

Our bookshelves are a bit overflowing so I put all of my YA books on the top.

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There’s no real order to this except that I am keeping series together if applicable. The far left stack is my to read pile. It has grown since I took this picture.

There you have it! The writing space has already proven to be wonderful while I’m editing and hopefully it will continue to be an inspiring place. And hopefully the bookshelves will stay happily overflowing but wont burst any time soon.

Where do you keep your books once your shelves are full? Let me know!

My Love Letter to Leslie Knope

I love Leslie Knope.

I could sing her praises from the rooftops, the mountain tops, across desert lands, or on top of a slide in a local park. I love her, plain as day, simple as rice. She is an inspiration, a beam of sunshine that radiates from my television screen and fills my life with more hope than any Obama campaign could. But most of all, Leslie Knope is important. Continue reading