Sunday, November 17, 2013

Total Randomness

As I sit here in front of my computer, I must ask myself what on earth I am doing. I have a pile of essays to grade, progress reports to finish and a quarter marathon in five hours. I really didn’t have time for the Facebook nonsense I indulged in earlier, so I most definitely, don’t have time for a new blog post, yet what am I doing??? Writing a new blog post. To go with the randomness of the day, I decided to share 10 random thoughts. Read on, then go and have some randomness of your own!


10 Things about Me…

1.      I have no regrets…not one. I have made a plethora of poor choices and dumbass decisions throughout my life, but they have all been quite fun or come with valuable lessons that have shaped me as a person. I wouldn’t change a single one!

2.      I have tinnitus and can hear my heartbeat in my left ear. It’s from loud music when I was younger. I drowned out the rhythmic hum by chewing gum, listening to loud music or getting lost in a book.

3.      If I had it all to do over again, I would be an archeologist. Ancient civilizations and cultures fascinate me.

4.      I talk to myself as my characters rattle about in my head. I justify what may be insanity, as a writer’s overly creative and chaotic mind.

5.      I have an incessant innate need for things to make sense and when they don’t, I am VERY stressed out.

6.      Every night I sleep with a 90 pound Labrador snuggled up next to me and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

7.      I quit smoking 973 days ago. I didn’t want to be a smoker anymore, so I stopped. Yes, it really is mind over matter and just that easy…if you want it bad enough.

8.      I’ve had the same best friend for 24 years and I love her more and more the longer we are friends.

9.      I overthink things to the nth degree.ALL.THE.TIME.

10.  Up until age 25, I thought I would become a rich and powerful attorney (then I failed the LSAT miserably).  I decided to become a teacher and have a positive impact on our future. I am neither rich nor powerful, but I change kids’ lives every day and I’m good with that.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

LATE Latest Reads: October 2013


Yes, this is October’s ‘Latest Reads’. I need to just accept ‘Latest Reads’ as a double meaning title and get over it. I thoroughly enjoy writing this blog and it is great writing practice, but I seem to be late more often than I’m on time these days.  And of course, my excuse never changes: I’m busy. But it’s so true…I always forget how hectic this time of year is as a teacher, so many holidays, special trainings, meetings, tasks, etc. Then of course, November is National Writing Month, so I have been inspired to set a goal that I would finish ONE (just one) Work In Progress AND get out my first attempt at self-publication (considering how busy this month is and how quickly it will fly by, I have set a rather lofty goal for myself).
Thankfully, I am closer than ever before to my first self-publication. For over a year, I have been working on a dual story publication with fellow author and friend, Jennifer Paquette. Of course, she is so insanely talented that her story is ready and fantastic. However, for my part of the collaboration, I’m still up in the air with the title. What started as a ‘good witch gone bad’ story has become a story about a magical pair of shoes with the land of Oz undertones.
In the beginning, I tried to develop a plot first and THEN develop the characters. Um, yeah…that so does NOT work for me! I am a character driven writer. Period. End of story.  My characters need to be fully formed with names, physical characteristics and personalities first. Then their tales play out like scenes in my head and I write what I see and hear (yes, I totally talk to myself when my characters are having conversations amongst themselves in my head). ANYWAY, many months later after multiple character/setting/storyline overhauls, I FINALLY like these characters and this story! Once it has a title and a few more tweaks, I should be able to check off self-publishing portion of my November goal. As for the other part, I’m still trying to decide which WIP to finish I intend to finish…
BACK TO THE TASK AT HAND...the October Latest Reads features two very cool characters: Aurora Teagarden and Mel Chaser. Read on to find out more about these two heroines!

JHappy ReadingJ


Last Scene Alive by Charlaine Harris: In this installment of the Aurora Teagarden series, Aurora has lost her husband as is trying to find a sense of peace. It’s much harder than she imagined when an ex boyfriend and a film crew show up in her town, filming the movie, which was based on the gruesome serial killings in her hometown many years ago. When her ex left shortly after the murders, things between the two were very unsettled. Once he left he wrote the ‘Real Murders’ book, which chronicled the murders. Now he’s back with his Hollywood girlfriend in tow, who just happens to be playing Aurora’s character in the movie. The very movie, Aurora wants nothing to do with and neither does her step-son, who coincidentally hates her and has a part in the movie. As with all of Mrs. Harris’ books, there is much more to this story, not to mention her well thought-out subplots!

Final thought: I enjoyed this one as much as the others and look forward to the next one!

The Reaper Within by Stephanie Jackson: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I really liked this story and the main character, Mel Chaser. She is a modern day ghost hunter (so to speak). Technically, she is a Reaper, and she must find lost souls to cross them over into the Light (or wherever they are going). I enjoyed the plot of the story, and most of the story was told through dialogue. Ms. Jackson intertwined two separate story lines together.  Not only was I surprised by the ending and the nice twists, I also found them quite entertaining. 

Final Thought: Personally, I would prefer a few more descriptions woven into the story, but that isn’t stopping me from reading the second one!

The Reaper Within by Stephanie Jackson: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This a continuation of The Reaper Within and this story picks up immediately after the first one. Again, we follow Reaper, Mel Chaser in her quest to cross-over souls. In this story, we meet ‘the Light’. Mel teams up with an angel to rid the world of seven dark souls that have come to bring about the reign of evil. We spend more time with Mel’s business partner, Betty, and her husband, Jack. We even meet a few Archangels! Again, Ms. Jackson wove an interesting tale, including more descriptions within the text. I enjoyed this book as much as the first. All in all, a great read.  

Final Thought: I hope there are more Reaper books coming!



Allegiant by Veronica Roth

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (I really am close to finishing this one!)

The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchet