July, 2011

Eureka!

My daughter and I had the pleasure of traveling down to Arkansas to stay at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. The hotel has been around since 1886 and is full of history and ghosts-if you believe everything they tell you on the Haunted Hotel Tour!

We totally enjoyed the shopping downtown and the strawberry soup at the Crescents 4th floor bistro is fabulous. We plunked a quarter into the Orchestrion in the hotel lobby and I was transported back to my childhood-when every Shakey’s Pizza had one in the corner.

After dinner, we walked the hotel grounds snapping pictures and visited St. Elizabeths Chapel. We spent some time reading in rocking chairs on the balcony. And then we went ghost hunting. Would we see Michael or Theodora? Perhaps the Lady in the Mist who reportedly throws herself off the balconey over and over? Or get poked in the belly by the little girl who fell to her death on the staircase? Alas, we didn’t see any orbs floating down the hallways. But we heard some great stories, and it was great fun scouting a location I hope will show up briefly in my next novel.

Back on the home front, my publisher, Brighter Books, is getting ready to release their third title. The cover art is amazing and I can’t wait to se what they come up with for mine. Editing is slow work-but I’m hoping to finish before I head back to school next week.

One more week of morning rides, soaking up the sun poolside, and reading books for hours-you gotta love summer :)

Putting On My Author Hat

It’s been a short frantic summer. In June,after finishing school in Springfield , I packed up my room and lugged everything to Galena, where I spent the next several weeks unpacking it. Between gardening, horseback riding,visits to the gym and cleaning out the bedroom closet, I’ve been scouring text  books  looking for engaging writing and reading lessons for 7th-9th graders. And any free time I had left was spent frantically reading all the new YA literature I purchased for my classroom library.

But something has happened to remind me that not only am I teacher of writing- I am a creator of writing. Angela, my Brighter Books editor/publisher, has sent me  a draft of Momma Don’t Own a Machine Gun with suggested revisions. Now late at night after my husband has gone to bed, instead of pouring over someone else’s words- I’m scrutinizing my own. It’s a daunting task and I can empathise with my students who HATE revising. Because it’s hard. And I want instant feedback. If I change this word, delete this  phrase, move this paragraph- is that better?

As I struggled with this task- a second reminder arrived in the mail. The 2011 edition of Well Versed, a collection of literary works published by the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers’ Guild, contains a poem , “Wrinkles”, I wrote about my grandmother’s struggle with Alzheimers.One glorious page out of the 182 in the book belongs to me- well one and a third if you count my bio!

Holding Well Versed gives me a taste of the sweetness I will experience some time in 2012  when all of the 200 plus pages of a book are covered in my words. A book with MY name on the cover that I can proudly put on the shelf in my classroom library.

So my future students will have to forgive me if I don’t get to all those YA books I bought. My husband will have to forgive me if my list of summer chores does not get completed. I may miss a few spin classes and there may be weeds in my garden. Because I am an author and it’s time to start acting like one!

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