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Dec 19, 2012

First Tear

I'm not sure why I haven't cried until now.

I heard about the Connecticut shooting last Friday, just like everyone else.

I paused for a brief moment, thought about my children, then resumed my normal life.

Monday followed, and I dropped my children off at their school, where I almost hyperventilated in the car line and tears welled in my eyes out of fear- for my children.

But I hadn't cried for the Sandy Hook Children.

Not until today.

I must've cried balled my eyes out for at least ten minutes after I read an article that said Lanza had planned the attack. He "jungle taped" cartridges onto his semi-automatic rifle. He drove to the school, after smashing his hard drive and killing his mother... I'm not sure why this tiny bit of information broke the dam of tears that had threatened to fall previously.

Maybe some part of me held out hope that Lanza was just a nut job and this was a crime of passion. But, "it was planned" repeated in my head. The monster planned this horrific attack.

What could make someone do something like this?

I read article after article, trying to find any nugget, any fragment of truth to this monster, then I came across it: "Lanza would spend hours in his room playing video games."

Don't jump on me, I'm not making a link to video games and murderers. I dare you to imagine how this situation would've been different had all that time he spent playing video games (alone in his room) was spent with his family. His mother. His father.

Parenting- it's not a bad word.

Am I a perfect parent? Um... NO. But do I try? Yes. Do my children play video games? Yes, but I play with them (btw, I suck and I have terrible hand/eye coordination). Do I let my kiddos watch TV? Yes, and I sit alongside them and watch it with them. I interact with them. I ask them questions about the characters.

Do I have all the time in the world? Heck no. But for my kids, I make time.

I live in a very affluent neighborhood. It is very similar to Sandy Hook, CT. I see kids by themselves all the time. Children whose parents are working 40+ hours to afford the overpriced house they bought and the lifestyle they want to keep up. But what are they trading in exchange for all of the stuff? What are their children missing?

How many other children are going to go into their parents' arsenal to try and find the love and attention they've been lacking?

Could this tragedy have been prevented? I dare say, yes.

And I dare you, as parents, to trade in your stuff for time with your children. Do you need that iPad or does your son or daughter need a hug and something simple like you asking them about their day?












May 14, 2012

Random Act of Kindness BLITZ!


A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special, don't they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.




Kindness ROCKS!


To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ.  And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I'm participating too!

Tristina Wright, because she is an amazing cheerleader for a little rag-tag group of ladies called the WrAHMs (Write at Home Moms) I am offering 2 query critiques from queries left in the comments section of this post (leave your email address as well)

I really appreciate Tristina. If you have a minute, please stop in and tell her how awesome she is!**

Do you know someone special that you'd like to randomly acknowledge?
Don't be shy--come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. :)

Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.

Have you ever participated in or been the recipient of a Random Act Of Kindness?  Let me know in the comments!

May 3, 2012

"The Writer's Voice"

Yay! I've made it into "The Writer's Voice" contest held over at Mother.Write.Repeat (love her blog, btw).

So, for the contest, here is the plot summary for my current manuscript and the first 250 words:


Plot Summary
Twelve-year-old Anna Fraser once heard that necessity is the mother of invention, but for her, it was all accidental.  
After suckering Chris, her genius younger brother, into doing their school project over Christmas break, Anna has the best vacation ever— a cheerleading team party, a family trip to Disney, and not a single care in the world… Until their project is missing the night before school starts. 
In their panic, they create a tasty invention that will revolutionize kids’ lives all across the world— a spray that makes any food (cafeteria food, vegetables, etc.) taste like cupcakes. Soon, Yuck Away Cupcake Spray becomes the hottest-selling product in America and Anna and Chris are running a company.  
As CEO, Anna quickly discovers that business is not all about having her teammates work for her, or bossing around her brother, or even doing interviews with the local news stations. Nope. It’s working long hours in the office, doing homework past midnight, and maybe even disappointing her cheerleading team by missing the biggest competition of the year.  
Toss in a bet with some bullies, a scheming Chief Operating Officer, and a threat to their family’s financial future, and you have KIDS, INC., a middle grade novel complete at 35,000.

First 250
Anna Fraser tapped her foot against the metal leg of her desk to the song in her head:
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.
Four more classes, then I'm jolly
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.
Christmas break is almost here
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.
No more homework for the rest of the year
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.
She added the dull drumming of her pencil as it beat on the thick social studies book that sat open to page 241: Economics. Twenty more minutes. She glanced up at her social studies teacher, Mr. Bower, aka. Mr Shower, and beat a little louder on the book to the rhythm of his lecture. 
“Economics,” he was saying, or rather spraying. 
Tap tap-tap tap
“Is the study of buying and selling goods and services.” 
Tap tap tap-tap tap tap-tap tap tap-tap tap-tap-tap 
Anna couldn’t believe he was actually trying to make them learn on the last day of school before Christmas break. Her other teachers let them watch movies, read books, and even have a holiday party. She’d scored four candy canes already. And there, Mr. Shower stood at the front of the class reading from his notes, his beady eyes not lifting from the yellow memo pad clenched between his chunks of fingers. He continued earnestly, wiping the corner of his mouth every now and then. 

If you've had an opportunity to enter, May the Odds Ever be in Your Favor! 

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