Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What? An award? Me?

I have a confession.  Long ago in a galaxy far far away someone gave me a blogger award and I lost track of it.  My organizational skills are shady at best.  I apologize for not being able to thank you in person for that first award.  I was thrilled.  I skipped and sang a song.

The amazing Lisa Gail Green has given me a second chance despite my previous dimwitted slight, by honoring my blog with the Stylish Blogger Award.  Run, don't walk to check out her blog Paranormal Point of View.

Seven things about myself:
1. My greatest fear is that I will be eaten by a shark or a bear.
2. I was the assistant art director on IT'S GARRY SHANDLING'S SHOW, for three seasons.
3. My collection of STAR WARS memorabilia is the envy of every ten-year-old boy on the planet.
4. I changed my daughter's middle name from Colleen to Christine in labor.
5. I enter a Zen state when I go to a bookstore or an office supply store.  Pretty, pretty post-its.
6. I was Louisa in a national tour of SOUND OF MUSIC my freshman year of high school.  Yes, I wore the sailor suit.
7. Twitter overwhelms me, but I will persevere and figure it all out.

Here's a shout out to a few of the blogs I love and am honored to pass this award along to.  Check them out and enjoy.

Jess Falling Leaflets
Monica Love YA
Michelle L. Brown Brownie Points
Julie Musil Writing and Blogging Between Carpools
Dana Elmendorf A Squirrel Among Lions
Jessica Love Jessica Love Writes

I could go on, and on, and on, and on...  
Thanks to all you dedicated bloggers who teach me something new with every post and fill me with inspiration.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

View From the 5th Grade Trenches - March 2011 - For Japan

Art is the heart beat for expressing emotion, be it through canvas, camera lens, music, or words.  As my class watched the cataclysm unfolding in Japan, they felt a need to send love to our brothers and sisters suffering across the sea.  Haiku, a poetic gift from that exquisite country, was the way they expressed their thoughts.

We are in much fear                                                    
God will find a way to help                                         
There are no tears left                                                

Just hope, don’t be sad                                            
No more tears, help will be there                              
Hope is there for you

Days and days go by
Hope and sadness fill our hearts
Devastating news
Ashley S. & Kathleen

Sadness of Japan
Family's hearts are broken
Something good will come of this
Gage & Pratik

This link will take you to a list of official Red Cross donation sites supporting the relief efforts in Japan.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Back in high school English we all learned about universal conflicts:

Man vs. Man
Man vs. Nature
Man vs. Himself
Man vs. Machine

It’s a blast to write YA because in the teen universe EVERYTHING is a conflict, spanning the spectrum from global to minutia.

Teen vs. Parents
Teen vs. Siblings
Teen vs. Friend today gone tomorrow
Teen vs. Teachers and School
Teen vs. Weather that makes your hair frizz
Teen vs. Their own reflection in the mirror
Teen vs. Trendy Outfits
Teen vs. The DMV
Teen vs. The Fast Food Job
Teen vs. Lack of Money
Teen vs. Social Status
Teen vs. Hair Product
Teen vs. Acne
Teen vs. Acceptance
Teen vs. Cell Phone Service
Teen vs. Who has a car?
Teen vs. the Internet
Teen vs. Curfew
Teen vs. Everyone is stupid except for me

Spy vs. Spy – Sorry, couldn’t resist giving a shout out to my old MAD MAGAZINE reading days.

I’ve only scratched the surface.   Dig out your own teen conflicts and share.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Show Me the Love

When I hop in my time machine and journey back to my YA years for material to pop into my writing, there is one word that flashes in neon above my head.


Ah, the many faces of love in those chaotic days of high school never disappoint in making our stories ring with truth.

FIRST LOVE: Sweet, delicate, and completely uninformed.
UNATTAINABLE LOVE: Aiming higher than your social sphere.
POWER PLAY LOVE: Dating the right person for social advancement.
TRUE LOVE: Shut up Mom, it is possible to find your soul mate in high school.
CONVENIENT LOVE:  Sticking together for social events especially in senior year.
FORBIDDEN LOVE: Your best friend’s boyfriend.
ON AGAIN – OFF AGAIN LOVE:  You’re my boyfriend THIS week. 
SEXUAL-TENSION LOVE:  Combusting hormones blot out all logical brain function.
OMG LOVE: When you give a so-called “friend” a second look and voila…

Which face of love fits your favorite characters?   What new faces would you add to the list?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


It’s conference week in the 5th grade trenches.  Today I asked my students to list three things in the following categories to share with their parents during our meeting.

I shine at…
I need to improve in…

As my student’s were listing their positive attributes with no qualms about bragging, I realized that as writers we tend to dwell on the areas in our work that need improvement rather than celebrate our strengths.

So for today, let’s share the shine.  I’ll go first.

I shine at dialogue.  (That BA in acting finally paid off.)
I shine at settings.  (That MFA in design finally paid off.)
I shine at humor. (My irreverence and smart-alecky mouth finally paid off.)

Now blind me with your shine.