Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Reading in the schools makes me worry

Every wednesday I go to my youngests child's class, and have the kids read words to me. There are 23 kids in his class, and I would say 3/4 of them get most if not all of the words right. Thankfully my boys is among them.

But I am worried about the other 1/4 of the class. The kids who can only read one or two words out of 14. I have been doing this with them every week for the entire school year, and it is the same kids who are struggling. Not only that, but as the words get harder, they are falling further and further behind. I can't see that anything is being done about it.

Thanks to the no child left behind, they will be passes up to the next grade, and become the next teachers problem. I want to do something, but I don't know what, and besides it doesn't feel like it my place.

It makes me so sad. I get so much joy from reading, but even if they do eventually learn, they probably will hate it. The entire situation is a shame.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Synopsis can be boring.

I read a tweet today that synopsis can and should be dry. I almost jumped for joy, hoping this person truly knows what they are talking about. Cuz the problem is, I have been stuck on my synopsis for my book for about 3 months.

I mean putting my entire novel into as little words as possible while still covering the story is daunting. I took a class that suggests you write it before you begin writing the book, so I did. I read it recently and let me just say, it was terrible. Not just a little either.

Luckily, I recently went to a writing conference where someone made a small comment about them. (Note-to-self: someday do a class on how to write synopsis because there isn't enough info. about them.) The comment was how your synopsis should have your main character's arc. It was like light went on inside my head, and I was like duh! Why didn't I think of that?

Since then it has been so much easier. But I still am reading it and thinking, this is not as good as my book. How will I get an agent with this? Now I am hoping that the agents realize this is a quick draft of my book, just to let them know: yes she can write a story. I want to see more.

Now I have to get my nerve up and start sending it out. Ugh!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I love TV!

I don't know why people get this condescending tone when they say, "I never watch TV" like it is something to brag about. I always want to tell them how sorry I feel for them, and how they are missing out on some killer story lines. I just wish I had even more time to watch TV.

I love the way I get caught up in a story and I start to care about these people as if they are actually a part of my life, and in a way they are. I see them every week and I watch as this awful stuff happens in their lives and how they overcome it, or don't. I love the character development and how it can go on for years.

I really feel like some of the best writers work for TV. One of my favorites is Mark Schwahn who created and wrote episodes of One Tree Hill. His words have really moved me.

So I will continue to watch more TV and love it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Stay at Home Mom's Dilema

When I was in first grade my mom went back to work full time. I ended up going to neighbor's houses and it was awful. Always being the guest, never feeling like I belonged anywhere. So I vowed I would never do that to my kids.

This year my youngest started first grade and it put a spin on my life. All the sudden I felt like I couldn't justify being home when they were gone most of the time. I started looking for a job with hours when they were in school. I couldn't find a fit and I was still left with the dilema of what to do when they go off track.

Of course I want to be a full time author and do most of my work from home, with the exception of travel to promote my book, but until that time comes I find myself wondering what should I do? Is it okay to be home when your kids aren't?

Today my oldest was home sick for with a fever and I was glad I didn't have a job and I didn't have to worry about arranging not to be there or someone else to take care of my sick kido. I also volunteer in my kids classes once a week and help with every party and every field trip. I love it, but I can't rid myself of the guilt. Particularly when my husband gets up at 4 am to go to his first of two jobs.

I don't know, maybe when they are older the answer will be more clear. For know I will just try to enjoy my time and tell the guilt to take a hike!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I read way too much

I never thought I would say that. I mean, can reading ever hurt you? I don't' think it hurts me per say, but I think there are better things I could be doing with my time. The main one - writing.

Of course reading helps me to learn to write better and whenever I read I am studying how the author is using techniques to make the story flow. I am not saying I should stop doing it altogether. In fact if I had to give up reading to write, I would quit writing. I love books more than anything, well maybe not french fries, but still. It is just that I spend at least two hours a day reading, and there are many days I don't write at all. I think it is just about balance and there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

My new goal: write for at least 2 hours a day. I know even with that I will have time to escape my life into the fantasy world of a novel.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Tale of Two Authors

I spent the weekend at LIFE THE UNIVERSDE AND EVERYTHING at the Utah Valley University. It is one of my favorite writing conferences, not only because it is cheap, but also useful. And there a lot of Utah authors who attend.

So I had two very different experiences with a couple of them. The first is a woman I will refrain from naming because I am not going to portray her in the best light. I had met her a few times before, but I didn't expect her to remember. I was standing in the hall talking to someone I had just met, when she started lurking. (You know horning in on our conversation.) I didn't really think, but just greated her, doing what I thought was the polite thing, and inviting her in. I will just say she wasn't very gracious.

Later I saw her on a panel and she said some flippant and frankly rude things. The entire experience left a "bad taste in my mouth" and to be honest I don't know if I will buy any more of her books.

After that I stood in a long line to have Brandon Mull, one of my idols, sign my book. I was taken aback at the way he took time to talk to every single person in the line. He asked me what I was doing with my life, wanted to know about my kids, and laughed when I told him how much I liked a part of his book.

Lesson learned - be nice to everyone. When I am a published author I hope I can be as gracious as he was.