Monday, November 29, 2010

NaNoWriMo Success

I have completed my 50,000 words for they year and I am a NaNoWriMo WINNER!!!!  My high school students are completely confused about what being a winner means.  They keep asking, "what do you win?"  I tell them a certificate and the knowledge that I've won.  They look at me like I am confused.  The best prize I've won was Elliot making the family give me a round of applause.  

Here is a some info about my YA novel that I posted on my NaNoWriMo writing page (it looks like you can scroll down to get the whole thing):

Synopsis: Changing Shape
Addy returns to her hometown where she learns that she has inherited not just a family farm but also some unique abilities. Addy learns that the woods not the frightening place that she thought and that things are not always as they seem. Addy's biggest challenges come when she has to figure out the high school social scene.
Excerpt: Changing Shape
The liquid seemed like water at first, cool to my parched tongue. I took a big gulp and swallowed longing for the water like a man in the desert. It was only after my third gulp that I noticed the aftertaste. There was just the slightest medicinal aftertaste that I hadn’t noticed when I was dying of thirst.
My first thought was that I had been given that date rape drug: how gullible, how stupid, how teenage girl. And yet, I wasn’t feeling lethargic or out of it. If anything, I was feeling tingly and alive. I could feel every spark of the fire. I could feel the muscle, bone, and blood in Nate’s arm around me. I could feel each member of the circle linkedto the next like a necklace of pearls; I could feel both the necklace and each individual pearl as something organic, living, and breathing. I was beginning to feel drunk on life. Nate looked at me with those endless brown eyes and I laughed.
“Did you drug me?” I asked afraid of what he was going to say. I didn’t feel drugged but I didn’t feel normal either.
“Let’s just say we un-drugged you.”
“What does that mean?”
“Just watch,” he said and pointed to the fire.
At first, I thought the fire seemed to be dancing with reddish light. Then, I realized that it wasn’t the fire dancing but someone dancing in the fire. A person, a real live human person, was inside the fire. The knowledge hit me like a ton of bricks.
“Nate, get the fire department, ambulance, someone now, please. That person is being burned alive. I can’t….” I tried to move closer to the fire but it was too hot.
Nate laughed at me and I looked at him in horror. How could he be so cruel? Someone was being burned alive and we were sitting here watching. What kind of sick people were they?
I glanced back and I notice that the figure was not writhing in pain as I first thought but doing a sort of dance that involved a lightening fast transformation that seemed to allow the person in the fire to remain unburned. The figure, a boy named Jason that I had vaguely known from elementary school emerged from the fire laughing, ran up the rise, and threw himself in the pool. The pool sizzled for a second as if a boiling object had been placed in it, like Jason for instance, and then settled. Jason came out of the pool buck naked to a thundering applause of every one present. He raised his hands in a victory pose and someone handed him a towel (for which I was thankful).
While Jason was drying off, all heads swiveled to see another figure, a girl this time, in the fire. Her dance was infinitely more graceful than Jason’s and I could almost catch a number of faces that she transformed into. It looked like she transformed into a mother, brother, grandmother, and then repeated the process until she turned into what looked like herself and again ran out of the fire and into the pool to emerge to a thundering applause.
The process continued with three more kids doing the exact same thing. No one looked to have been harmed in the process. The energy around the circle continued as each person put their own spin on the fire walking.

I am done NaNoWriMo for the year and I did it!  Yea haw!  Now I'm on to Christmas crafting. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

scratch that, Christamas 2010

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme
TodaysMama (link to: GameStop (link to: giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.
1. What is your holiday wish for your family?  
That we all enjoy each other (and that the kids don't fight with each other) and that we can share the holilday with my brother and his girlfriend who weren't here last year because they were in Hungary.  Basically that we can have a fun time reconnecting.
2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?
Actually, one of our more cool traditions comes on Christams Eve when we eat Maine lobster (my parents live in Maine).  Then on Christmas morning, I make sticky buns.  We first open stockings and then eat breaksfast.  One person serves as "Santa" and we each get one present at a time.  We "ooh" and "ahh" each present and it takes about two hours to open presents.  I LOVE that we really appreciate each one and how they have thought about the person getting the gift even the funny, gag ones.
3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?
Actually, I would ask for a Canon Rebel that I have been eyeing for years.  I have a point and shoot and I sold my film camera because film is so expensive.  I would love to be able to take picutes like I did in college.  
4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
I make about 75% of the gifts the I give.  It can be intense but I love making things by hand. I think a lot about the people I am making the gift for.   I also cook a lot too.  I decorate with what I find.  And I TRY, TRY, TRY not to go to the mall because that is a money sucker.
5. What games did you play with your family growing up?
My mother still loves word games like Scrabble. We played board games and occassionally played card games with friends.   My brother and I played Mario Brothers but I was horrible at it. My brother and I were AMAZING at hide and seek.
6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
We still leave Santa cookies and milk on Christmas Eve.  We make the cookies together so that Santa will have something special for all his work. 
7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?
I'm not sure we would go because we are homebodies during this time of year.  Although, I am dying to go to Quebec for the New Years (although I hear it is horribly cold).  I just can't picture taking a 6 and 3 year old away for the holiday. 
8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?
a. Wii yoga
b. Wii bowling
c. Something for the kids- there is so much that I can't decide.  Something for a 6 year old. 

Fill out this form on your blog for a chance to win...  (I don't win anything but it's always worth a try.)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tooth Fairy Pillow

So, I decided that the window of time to make the tooth pillow was limited since Elliot's tooth is getting awfully wiggly.  It took only about an hour or so to create. (It would have taken me less time if I hadn't had to tear out some stitches.)  Here he is:

Pretty darn cute, aye?  I thought the mustache was a nice touch myself.  We had some eyes left over from Jan's foray into arigumi (knitted or crocheted figures).  El it still interested in making the pillow into a police officer tooth but I just couldn't get myself to put on the belt and hat.  Maybe I'll break down and do it.  We'll see.  The mouth serves as the pocket for the tooth.  The pattern suggests that you glue the mouth part but I was worried that I would lose the tooth inside the pillow so I ended up stitching it.  I also like that you can hang the pillow from the door handle because El is a little afraid of monsters in the dark and that includes Santa Clause.  I imagine that the tooth fairy might also be a little bit scary for El.  To quote one of my favorite pun like poems, "Bravery runs in my family."  Get it?  Get it?  Bravery RUNS....

The link to the pattern is below if you are interested in making it.  It was super easy.  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

this weekend- writing and future project

 This weekend I wrote about 6,000 words on my NaNoWriMo novel.  That's A LOT for one weekend.  On the 50,000 word goal, I have written 21,200ish (I'm forgetting the final number).  So, this is about half.  My novel is slogging along and I'm having that middle of the novel panic where you feel that everything you write is absolute crap and that you might as well just throw it in the trash.  It happens the same way every year (and this is my third year) and somehow I just have to keep writing and it gets done.  Yes, it will most likely need some HUGE revising but you can't revise what you can't see.  You gotta start with something.

On another note, Elliot is just about ready to lose his two front teeth.  I really, really, really wanted to make him a little pillow for the tooth fairy like this  tooth fairy pillow from the blog mmmcrafts.  This person does AMAZING things and has great tutorials so check 'em out.  I am going to attempt this this week if I find time.  I've told El that he needs to keep that tooth in for a little while longer.  Wish me luck on the time table.  Actually if you click the links for the one with the skirt, it is too cute and I'm sure I'll try to make one with the skirt for Phoebe.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Believe it or not...

Rosy Crafting while I watch
I am actually too tired to craft.  I did one layout but I'm dead tired...  I'm even too tired to write. I never thought I would say those two things but this is beyond caffiene.  This is the grammie jammies tired.  And so I'll watch my friend Rosy finish her layout and then go to bed.  (BTW, it's only 10:50.  Sad, so sad.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Still Writing...

Yup, up to 12,000 words and my story is taking me places I didn't think it would to a funeral.  Who knew?

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Why have I not been posting lately?  Why, you ask.  It's not just that life has gotten extra crazy lately because it has.  I've had a tons and tons of school work lately, plus Elliot joined a soccer team, Jan and I have taken up yoga..again, and the school quarter is ending which means everything needs to be done NOW, and not tomorrow or the next day.  However, what is taking up a lot of time is writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  Whenever I am not doing all the other things that I have to do as a teacher, working mother, and community member, I am staring at the computer screen and trying to come up with something fairly interesting to write.  In fact, I was supposed to write 1,667 words a day but I'm terribly behind.

This year I am extending my novel from last year.  So, each year you are instructed to write 50,000 words which is approximately 160 double spaced pages over the course of a month.  This year, I am adding to the 50,000 words I wrote last year and finishing the novel I started.  I sometimes have trouble finishing projects (which you would know if you have read this blog for any length of time or if you know me).  I have about 5,000 right now.  For some reason, I am finding this much harder than starting fresh.  It's not that I am worrying a lot about the continunity- I can always fix that later, but I have to work within this structure I already set up.  It's feeling a big clunky.  I've ended up doing a lot of staring at the computer screen waiting for the next set of words to arrive.

Well, wish me luck.  I'm only a week in and have 90% of the project left to go.  There may be some late writing nights coming up.

Friday, November 5, 2010

This Moment

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I should be...

I should be:
* grading English 10 essays that are WAY over due for being graded
* upping my word count for NaNoWriMo since it started yesterday
* cleaning up the house because my mother-in-law is coming over to babysit the kids so that Jan and I can go to Yoga
* perparing myself for my second week of Yoga

But I'm not doing any of those things.  Instead, I'm going to share with you some of the pictures of our Halloween.
We had a Russina spy, Anakin Skywalker, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Wendy (me), and a rubic cube.  We were going for a Peter Pan thing but not everyone got on board. 
Both Phoebe and Elliot refused to touch pumpkin guts so they were the little dictators designers who gave Auntie Sue and I direction while we did the actual carving.  
Trick or Treating

It was so cold that Tinkerbell got a little cold and refused to leave the stroller.  We wrapped her up and like any good queen she yelled "Trick or Treat" from the stroller.   You'd be amazed at how many people actually fell for this technique and put candy in the bag that Auntie Sue was holding for her.  Oh man, what a princess!