Happy Anniversary!!!

Today is the two year anniversary of my first blog posted.

Wow…

Two years.

When I began this blog on the advice of a friend, I didn’t know where it would lead me. I hope it would form the basis of a much larger writing career. This blog has been my laboratory. I have grown as a writer, not just someone planning to write one day.

Last year, the friend who encouraged me to start this blog moved back to New York to pursue his dreams and make a better life for himself and those he loves.  It isn’t easy going in a new direction.  It isn’t easy leaving friends and what you know behind. Words cannot describe how much I love and admire him. He is still taking risks for his dreams and seeing him take those risks and struggle with them makes it easier for me to the same and at the same time appreciate the stories behind the authors and artists that I admire. The words of encouragement that he has for me are so very precious.  He doesn’t have to give them, but he does and I know that he encourages others out there who he believes in. It is an honor to have him in my life.

There are a lot of lessons that I have learned over the last two years and one of them is about my voice as a writer. As a teacher, I always want to educate people.  Writing for me is a different kind of outlet and I find that my teacher voice doesn’t work well in my writing. I don’t like it when I use it. When I take on the voice of my characters, I fall in love with the stories I am writing.

I can’t tell stories like some of the authors I love, but I can tell them.

Blood Child will be birthed this fall come hell or high water; like many first children she is overdue but coming when the time is right. Timing has been perhaps one of my biggest lessons this year.  You can’t wait until the timing is right to start a project and if you fret too much you will never get started; getting started is really the hardest part.  Then you need to finish what you start.

Thank you for being here with me. Thank you for reading my words and giving me feedback.

thank-you-rocks

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Notes from the Equinox

I didn’t make it to church, today. I needed time to clean, grade and write, but just because they are mundane things doesn’t mean they can’t have spiritual component.

The equinoxes are days of balance.  Times to get rid of what has been keeping balance from our lives. Lately, I have been on a teeter-totter: flying high up into the air and then slamming my tushie into ground.  My bruised butt and ego have taken a beaten these last few months.

Today, my home is clean or at least cleaner than it was this morning. It feels better so much better than it did before.  My general to-do list is much shorter than it was in the morning. My papers are graded and the week’s lesson plan is written and uploaded. I didn’t get much writing done, but I set my week up for success.

Not being a full time writer it can be easy to get discouraged. Easy to give up and throw in the towel before one has even started, but I prefer to use that towel to wipe the dirt off my butt and get back in the writing chair.

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My Own Syncopated Beat

My heart beats an uneven track

through life’s uppers and

its way way downers

balancing itself on a unicycle

juggling

life work life work

and a crazy little thing called love

It pounds out and demands

attention

Boom Boom … bang boom bang

That’s the way it goes

It doesn’t march to

a different beat

or demand justice

just recognition and

a little peace…..

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Labor Day

This Monday will mark the first Labor Day and accompanying weekend that I have had off in four years. Working all the time has gotten me no closer to my goals and only served to distract me from working towards my best future.  All work and no play has made for a very unproductive writer.

Today, I cleaned most of my house; the bedroom and the bathroom remain.  The laundry is done and the dishes are finishing themselves.  Thank goodness for modern technology.  There are times when I think that it hurts us more than it helps, but tonight I am grateful for the assistance.  It means that tomorrow, I will be able to enjoy some quality time in the sanctuary of my church and some one on one time with my latest book.  Reading time is important because it lets my brain escape the  chaos of my daily life.  The start of school has only brought that chaos to the surface. (No matter what they say no teacher is really ready for the start of school.)

We all need a break from out labors. We all need time to rest and recoup ourselves.

This Labor Day I am finally doing that for myself.

I hope you do as well.

Love,

Lu

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Broken Beaches

The beach was broken.

There wasn’t much of a shore to explore

At least at first…

Further on the path

Around the bend

And through a mangrove forest

There was some sand for my toes.

And waves to rinse away

All the residue that has been clinging

To every step I take, weighing down

Thought, action and tainting feelings

I stood and laughed

Free

Cleansed the unvoiced anger

letting me breathe

for a time

unburdened.

July 018

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First Day of School

Today is the first day of school for my students.  The schedules are messed up, the bulletin boards are unfinished and no one not even the teachers knows that is about to happen. Hope your Monday goes well.

Mine is going to be interesting to say the least.

What was your most interesting first day?

 

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Book Review: Nation by Terry Pratchett

nationNation by Sir Terry Pratchett 

Available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle formats

As some of you may have heard, Sir Terry Pratchett has had to cancel an appearance at a UK  convention due to the embuggerance  catching up to him.  In 2007, Sir Pratchett was  diagnosed with an early form of Alzheimer. He made the announcement to his fan community on December 11th of that year.  In 2008, the Nation was released.  Over the course of his career, Sir Pratchett has published over 50 books, including his fantasy Discworld series.

Six years later, a helpful volunteer for the local library dropped off the paperback version at my school to spark the student’s interest. It was the end of the year by the time that noticed it sitting on a shelf. The  Nation‘s colorful cover drew me to it and I asked the teacher who had been gifted with the book if I could borrow it.  After all my years as a geek and book lover, I am a bit shy to admit that this is the first book of Sir Pratchett’s that I have read.  It did not disappoint in anyway.

The Nation tells the story of two young people who find themselves struggling to survive after a tsunami hits the South Pacific stranding them on the same island.  The bigger problem is that while Mau called the island home before the wave is that Daphane is a trouserman, an alien in his world.  As you might have guessed, they quickly form a bond that helps them transcend cultural and language differences.  It is then that the real action begins.  Throughout the novel, they will fight to protect the island and the people slowly begin to gather afterwards.

It is the novel’s approach to culture and how it explains both Daphane’s and Mau’s world, that really caught me. I knew that I could use this novel to teach culture and its intricacies in my classroom.  The potential for a love story would engage my classroom’s readers as well as its character’s logical approach to their world. The concepts of what it is to be adult and what defines community after  a disaster. Others have pointed out that this is a character driven story tackles themes of death and faith as well.   All of this is present in the novel and while that may should heavy, Sir Pratchetts’s narrative flows in a way that the reader absorbs the gravity of the situations faced by the characters, but is never overwhelmed by it.  It is as the Washington Post Book World said “A terrific thought provoking book.”

While this novel isn’t set his Discworld universe, it clearly demonstrates his gift for storytelling and why readers have been flocking to his books for years.

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Book Review: My Psychic Eye Addiction

lethaloutlook

Lethal Outlook by Victoria Laurie

Available in paperback and Kindle Formats on Amazon.

I love brain candy, but before you begin to think that Lethal Outlook by Victoria Laurie is a piece of fluff, let me give you my definition of brain candy.   My kind of brain candy is rich like Godiva chocolate.  Intense and absolutely delicious, something that keeps me coming back. A book where I am going along for the adventure and I don’t want it to end.

A book that keeps me up late into the night.

Lethal Outlook was as predicted an absolutely fabulous piece of brain candy. I didn’t want to put it down last night.  My brain wanted to continue, but my eyes finally closed on about 4 am.

After her last adventure, Abby aka Edgar, is slowly recovering from her injuries, a fracture pelvis.  She is determined to walk down the aisle without her cane.  Between physical therapy, running her business, dodging phone calls from sister who is obsessed with planning Abby the perfect wedding and her contractor, Dave,  she is in over her head as the book begins then she gets the case of a missing woman handed to her by a mystery woman.   A woman who is clearly in danger if anyone knew that she had come to happy for help.

Kendra Moreno, a young mother, has gone missing and investigators have no leads and suspect  her husband, Tristan, of doing away for his wife.  Abby and her partner Candice know they have  a case when Abby sees a picture of the missing woman and knows the she is dead. The only problem is that they don’t have a client.  When meetings with both the parents of the missing woman and her husband go wrong it doesn’t look like will be getting paid for their investigation.   The two persist and the action of books picks up and takes you in.

One of the best things about a Victorie Laurie mystery is that she weaves it so well that you won’t guess who the killer is until the end of the book. Her heroine is realistic and the rest of the cast of characters are genuine and lovable.

Lethal Outlook is the 10th book in the series.  Book 11 – Deadly Forecast is already out and I am happy to say downloaded onto my kindle.  The only reason that I am tearing into today is that I have work to do and I know if I get started I won’t stop.

 

 

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The day I really met you

So many times before you danced in and out of my life

making me laugh and dream

a wacky creature from beyond the stars

But the day I felt in love with you

the day knew I would forever love you

was the day

you gave meaning to dreams

and ripped pages out of books

and made a desk set fly

the day you told me

the meaning to poetry

was inside beyond the words

the day you gave a character life

doing a job

that no one but you could do

the day you won my heart

was the day that you

made meaning from nothingness

And taught me

about the magic of hope and opportunity

and to rage

rage

against the dying of my own light

And the shadows they have not offended

but given life to inspiration

to a generation

That screams “O’Captain, My Captain”

with tear filled eyes

 

 

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Are you ready?

There is one question that continually draws my ire.  Are you ready? No, I am not.

I am not ready for school to begin in a week. I am not ready for tomorrow or the next day. They are coming anyway.

Time slips past me and deadlines always loom.

So I am not ready for today or tomorrow, but they are coming anyway.

Good news, bad news. It is coming and I will deal with it when it comes.

That may be too late, but some days that is the best that any of us can do.

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