What a Monday

Hey y’all.  How was your weekend?

My weekend flew by while I was dealing with an ache in my body only women endure from puberty to menopause, and then I was dealing with my truck.  I’ve had ‘the beast’ for three years, but it’s time that I get rid of her due to cost of maintenance.  She’s an old girl, a 1996, but she’s worth her weight.  She’s perfect for farming.

Monday.

This week my daughter faces taking her final exams to mark the end of the first semester.  I’ve had her studying, reading and rereading, over and over, the study guide answer sheet her teachers supplied each student with to prepare for the tests.  Today she took her math test.  I can’t say that she did excellent, but she did take her time and tried to work out each problem.  Tomorrow, we test for English/Language Arts, Wednesday we test in Science, and Thursday we test in Social Studies.  Wednesday, after school, I have an online teleconference, to go over gathered informational research from throughout the first semester to decide the plan for next semester with a couple of higher-up members of the academic staff.  I don’t know how it’ll go as they’ve not gone well before, but things have changed.

I’m not rooting for recognition or fame, but I do want to share that it’s been a daily struggle to get my daughter this far.  I’ve mentioned before that my daughter was ‘next-to-failing’ in brick and mortar schooling; because I’ve been able to personally work with her, one-on-one, giving her my full-blown attention, she has gained so much more understanding and confidence in herself and her ability to grasp class instruction, but it’s not been easy.  Most mother/daughter relationships go one of two ways.  I’ve had to be what most parents have considered to be really strict, or too strict, but she’s a better person for it.  She’s a better person than some of the kids I’ve known.  I hate to say that, but I’ve known some kids… a story for another time.

So, I’m finishing up first semester with my daughter this week in addition to selling my truck.  I’m also baking cupcakes for my daughter’s gymnastics class, for her birthday since classes are out the week of Christmas, so we’re sharing this week.  After that, I’m cleaning for Christmas, wrapping a few gifts, baking an apple pie, and enjoying a nice long vacation from middle school academics and extracurricular activities.

I’m going to put more focus instead on writing, and submitting more work to here and there.  This place and that.  Chicken Soup for the Soul is my first and foremost target.  I’ve been studying, and by studying I mean I’ve been reading from my personal Chicken Soup for the Soul collection like I’m taking a class in college–Chicken Soup for the Soul 501–it’s a Master’s class.  Just kidding, but I am serious about how much I’m reading.  I started with Chicken Soup for the Girls Soul, then I read Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Amazing Mom and I just finished reading that yesterday afternoon.  Yesterday evening I started Chicken Soup for the Soul: Random Acts of Kindness.  Just wait until the new year!

In closing, thank y’all so much for reading and following my blog.  I love knowing I’m talking to someone.  Wink, wink!

To everyone reading, have a very Merry Christmas, a very Happy Hanukkah, or if you don’t celebrate either of those, comment yours so I can wish you one in return.

Happy Holidays!! 🙂

Positive in the Negative

It feels like it’s been a while since I last wrote.  Has it been that long?

McKraft’s Literary Magazine is still a working progress.  I was able to finally connect my cover art to the magazine content in order to send it digitally as a single link.  I’m pretty happy about that.  I also decided that due to printing cost being too pricey for my purse, I’m keeping it digital.  It’s cheaper, it’s smarter, and using color doesn’t cost.  I want to make the magazine available in print as well as digital, but that’s down the road a ways.

Last week I was dealing with my daughter’s school.  An RTI meeting.  Georgia Cyber Academy is an awesome school, and it’s really changed our lives for the better, but some of their staff are almost ‘pushy’.  I’ve dealt with a few staff members, who I swear, they spoke as if they were more concerned for my daughter receiving the proper education than I am.  I know they mean well, but I’m not some parent who sees education and schooling as a daytime sitter.  The teachers teach the courses, I sit in to refresh my knowledge of the course, and then I teach her the homework.

I’m working on rewriting what I thought were previously completed, well-written stories.  It turns out they weren’t.  They were nice attempts at first, maybe, possibly second drafts.  In rewriting them, I’ve realized something spectacular… I’M IMPROVING!  When you let go of the negative, and see the positive in every rough situation, things are bound to improve.  Whether things improve in your life, at work, in writing, where ever… it’s good.

Yesterday I took an even bigger step in my writing.  I started a gofundme page for the magazine.  Here is where you can donate and receive your own digital copy of McKraft’s.

gofundme.com/mckraftsliterarymagazine

I create the cover art for every issue.  The playful additives, like my #hashtagable calendar, word of the month (some words are made up), and a page of ‘fun facts’.  Every issue includes a recipe, a nonfiction short story, and a chapter of fiction.  This month we debuted my husband’s unsuccessful published book.  Read chapter one of Elemental Magic; Sorceress of Shadows by making a donation.  I send you the link.

I promise you, my magazine is at least fun to look through!

Moving Forward

I’ve spent the last few weeks cleaning and organizing my home office because, well, I needed to.  I needed to get myself completely on track which is why I wrote an itinerary.  Instead of working on a 4-burner stove, I’ve got 6-8 burners going, or it seems like that at times.  Keeping lists has improved my organization skills and switching to a 4-color Bic pen made a difference.  When I organize, I really organize!  Call me OCD.  I promise, it won’t hurt my feelings.  Plus, you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes to merely ‘dress the part’ for your business because it’s made a big difference for me.  When I’m writing, or creating the month’s magazine, or even sitting through online Class Connect with my daughter as her Learning Coach, I may be doing all of these things at home, but I like ‘looking the part’; dressing for the office.  It’s a self-motivator; to take myself serious.

We went back to school this week.  It’s a blessing because I’m able to watch my daughter educationally grow in online school, but it also means summer is officially over.  This year is her last year in middle school, so it’ll be a little bittersweet, but like every year before, I’ll have fond memories to reminisce on and write about in my memoir series.

Speaking of going back to school, I’ve started using social media to converse with other parents and Learning Coaches affiliated with Georgia Cyber Academy through a closed Facebook group.  Maybe, as the year progresses on, I can introduce my magazine.  Maybe they’ll sponsor our magazine!  I don’t know how exactly it works, but I won’t know unless I inquire; and research.

I noticed, I’m growing as a writer.  I’m busting through that final brick wall of self-doubt, allowing myself to write with a creativity that scares me.  I was writing a nonfiction piece for the August issue of McKraft’s Literary Magazine, about school cafeteria food.  I wound up titling it Smells Like School-Made Spaghetti.  The way I described some of the foods I wrote about, not only did I laugh at my own descriptive writing uncontrollably, but I also hesitated because I worried my descriptive writing would offend a reader, or readers.  My hubby is a big help in that area because he does all my proofreading.  We make the perfect team because of this.  He proofs my writing and I proof his.

As for my magazine; we’re still creating it, and it’s building per monthly issue.  I’m no longer printing them out because cost became entirely too much for our extremely limited budget, but I think I prefer going digital where this is concerned.  The cost comparison is definitely persuadable.  The August issue of McKraft’s Literary Magazine I created as I said before with ‘Back to School” in mind.  From my nonfiction piece about school food in the 90’s, my daughter’s essay about her love for GCA, to the cover art done entirely by me. I also included a very simple recipe for manipulatable no-bake cheesecake that makes for a nice slice of tasty, sweet after-school snack.  Yum!

Since creating a working itinerary, my manuscript is beginning to come along again.  Slowly build.  I just finished writing a story piece about my experience on September 11, 2001 for our upcoming issue of McKraft’s.  When I originally wrote the story, I was writing to submit it to Chicken Soup for the Soul- Spirit of America.  No success.  I thought about it again while brainstorming a theme for September, so I grabbed it up and rewrote it.  It’s going in our September issue of McKraft’s, but I’m also including it in my manuscript.  I’m pretty proud of my rewrite.

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