‘A Boring Little Update’

Hey hey, how have y’all been?  Me, I’m taking things one day at a time.  Summer is not yet officially here, but the days are growing more and more humid with thunderstorms looming overhead creating a thick moisture in the air; like walking out your front door and into a sponge.  Though this weather won’t last the entire summer, I still see us using the hose a lot throughout the summer.

My daughter is taking summer school this year because she’s as good in math as I was at her age.  She absolutely despises math, yet she loves earning an allowance.  Basic addition compared to adding letters to the numbers.  I understand her hatred.  She’ll either get it enough to pass, or she’ll retake.  Her dad sits in and helps her, so it’s looking good that she’ll continue on to the 10th grade for next school year.

I took a little time off from writing, as writing an entire manuscript in four months is taxing.  However, I’ve been brainstorming which is now why I need to get back to writing, because otherwise I’m going mental trying to store it all.  With my manuscript currently in the editing phase, I’m moving forward, brainstorming a cover design, and going through my mental files for any additional material I may want to include in my book.  While I’m doing that, I’m also generating ideas for my next book “Y’all Didn’t Hear It from Me: Another Journal of Life Stories”.

Having said that, my husband and I were talking, and I want to celebrate my accomplishment once my 10 copies come.  Granted, my book won’t be to that stage until at least the end of this year, but I can begin planning for it now, right?  Why not, right?  We’re going to throw me a celebration party!  It may be holiday themed, or I might be able to pull it off of my own creative theme, but I’m going to celebrate.  Then, after the party, I’ll post the first vlog, me seeing my book for the first time.  I admit, it’s very exciting to think about.  I’m tickled pink!

Well, y’all, I think that’s it for now.  Is there anything y’all would like to hear about because my book is considered self-help/memoir.  I like being an ear for someone else in a situation.  Usually I can relate and I enjoy the input of others.

As always y’all, thanks for reading!

Busy, Busy, Busy, But Writing

Hey y’all!  I’m a so sorry I have not posted.  Until yesterday, Valentine’s Day, I have been so busy.  Between teaching 2-3 classes literally everyday, assisting my daughter when she’s in virtual class, and writing, I’ve been swamped, and tired.

The good news is that I’ve been creating as well as revising.  I’ve nearly finished all the rewriting I had to start on, now I’m creating new stuff, and digging into files for stuff I started when I first ‘officially’ picked up a pen and wrote my first sentence with a topic in mind.

I’m working on a rough draft of a piece I titled ’17 to 35′.  One day, probably a month ago, I was sitting in my bedroom in front of my mirror.  I was doing something, not looking in the mirror, but I did stop to look.  However, instead of looking at myself, I looked at the stuff I could see in the mirror behind me.  There are pictures of me sitting on our windowsill, when I was 17.  I’m 35 now.  Life has greatly changed.

I also wrote a new piece titled ‘The Text Message’.  It’s about a text message I received from a friend, and our entire conversation, that ended our friendship.  I felt used by this person because he had the audacity to slam me an unfaithful friend when I didn’t help him do something.  More details to come when you buy my book after it’s published.

Finally, I came up with an idea to write a piece which I will dedicate to my mother.  ‘A Dedication to My Mother’ will be about the good my mother did do for me though I considered her a terrible mother when I was younger.  Not only do I write about my feelings towards the things she did or didn’t do, I’m thanking her for all that she did do without realizing it.  She was a good person, just mislead.

So, y’all see, I’m writing, but I’ve also been booked nearly solid for classes, I’ve been preparing my daughter for her Interim Assessments, my husband and I had a court hearing to appear for about his current disability, and I’ve simply needed to take time for myself.  The court hearing about his disability, really put my nerves on edge.  Not knowing which way they were going to go.  The good news is, everything is just fine, and things are back to normal.

My husband and I enjoyed a nice, quiet Valentine’s Day.  We haven’t been able to for several years.  Either he was working at a restaurant, I was working, we didn’t have money, or we didn’t care.  We’ve experienced a couple Valentine’s Day’s when our moods were soured by a situation and we ignored it like it was a Tuesday.  Last night we cooked a flavorful dinner for two of salmon filets, fresh asparagus spears wrapped in bacon and roasted in the oven, sauteed fresh mushrooms, diced onion, and diced fresh garlic, cooked in white wine, and Long Grain Wild Rice.  It was a box of Rice-A-Roni.  The dinner was absolutely delicious.  Salmon is my favorite fish, but I love seafood in general.  After dinner, we played a couple quiet games of scrabble while drinking a couple beers.  Neither one of us kept score.  I had a lot of fun.  How was your Valentine’s Day with you Valentine?

Well, for now, I’m going to close, but look for my next post to be around or after St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m getting ready for cooking up some corned beef and cabbage and getting my Guinness on.  Maybe I’ll share a picture of my St. Patrick’s Day outfit, complete with a leprechaun hat.  It’s so cute!  Anyway, until next time.  Thanks for reading y’all!

Moving Out, Moving Forward, Moving Up, and Moving On

Greetings and good morning y’all!  It has certainly been some time since my last post, but like all things in life, there has been a lot of things going on.

For instance, moving is never easy an easy task.  Packing, sorting, cleaning, loading, unloading, unpacking, and setting up.  It’s stressful, time consuming, hard work, expensive, and above all, physically draining.  After living under my parent’s roof for four years, seeing to and helping them around the house because they’re only getting older, they decided they’re ready to live on their own and don’t need my help as much.  I should have expected this, but I was busy, caught up in my own endeavors.  So, when they told me they were moving, that they found a place, nearly everything I was working on, screeched to an unexpected halt.  If it wasn’t for my amazing husband, I might have experienced emotional turmoil in epic proportions because there wasn’t any foresight, only a tight aftermath.

I’m not a religious person, but praying for guidance, strength, and some peace of mind is not beneath me.  I did this everyday until the day we moved into the trailer I now call my home.  A rustic two bedroom, single bathroom mobile home, settled in a quietly quaint mobile home park, managed by a couple, like ourselves.  I personally have several things in common with our landlady, not including her name reflecting that of my late great-grandmother.  As I mentioned, moving is expensive, and we used every penny to make it happen in record time.  We have a couple small debts to pay off, but nothing to lose precious sleep over.  Before finding this place, if it wasn’t for being genuinely exhausted every night, I would have lost sleep, caught between a rock and a hard place just trying to find a place to live.  However, when every thing else fell through, this place became the light at the end of the long, dark, questionable tunnel.  My prayers were answered.

It’s not quite been a week yet since we moved, but I was forced to take a week off from home-school and teaching.  I’ve missed my Chinese students, but my daughter rather enjoyed the full week away.  Unfortunately, now we’re facing Interim Assessments head on our first week back.  We’ll be spending this week and the weekend catching up on missed assignments and such, but she’s a trooper and with me for a mother/learning coach, there’s nothing she can’t successfully accomplish.  This morning, I taught my first class in our new place and it was awesome!  It truly feels great to be back in my online classroom.  I’ve missed my students with their smiling faces and energetic personalities.

We’re still settling in; down to a couple boxes left to unpack of bookshelf dust collectors, a pile of framed photos to hang, five full bookcases of books to reorganize, and a washer to replace a sensor in, but we’re happy.  My parents are happier as well, living as just the two of them- something they have been striving close to 30 years for.  They had to learn to live life separately before they could live life together.  Now they’re embracing their golden years, living their happily ever after.

As for us, hubby and I are also embracing our separate solitude.  Career oriented in our field of English literature and writing.  Creating our heart’s desire, stories and art with added educational attributes.  It’s our world.

Another Year, Another Entertaining Milestone

Hey y’all!

 

The school year is wrapping up.  Next week is our last week and then I’ll be packing our supplies to ship back to headquarters… until next school year come August.  Not only is our school year ending, my daughter is finishing her middle school career.  Next year she enters high school.  It’s the same online platform she’s adjusted to over the last two years, but it’s still high school.  Remember high school?  The beginning of the end.

Last night was performance night for our kids/performers at Kidz in Stepz.  My daughter’s been taking gymnastics classes with them since last year.  The growth I’ve seen in her, comparing this season to last season, leaves me speechless.  Last years showcase theme was “This is Me” and the girls performed their skills to “The Greatest Showman”.  This year it was “Moment of Truth” and the girls performed to “Ways to be Wicked”.  Want to know how ironically cool this is?  If you didn’t already know, “Ways to be Wicked” is the opening scene in Descendants 2, the movie.  My daughter practically lives and breathes Descendants; her favorites are villain kids Mal and Uma.  She has posters, barbie dolls, I made her a bouquet of ‘Descendants’ pen-toppers for Easter, displaying them in a purple, plastic, double-walled travel cup vase I decorated with ‘Descendants’ printouts, and I’m working on my own ‘Descendants’ inspired sketches to make her some t-shirts.  I was going to take a photo of the bouquet to share, but I completely forgot until after she took it apart and filled the cup with water.  I’m currently working on a remedy to change that.

Anyway, while last year’s showcase brought me to tears, watching the kids dance and perform their hearts to the fullest, this year proved to be every bit just as entertaining and tear filled.  The daddy dancers were all such awesome sports, dancing on stage, in the spotlight, with their little hearts of adorable innocence.  Then there was the teacher routine; a show by itself, it was so entertaining.  My face hurts from all the ear to ear smiling I did.  I laughed so much!

The kids were absolutely remarkable, right down to the tiny tots.  Remembering a lot of the faces from last years performance, we went into the new year, and I didn’t see a lot of them.  Not until last night.  I can’t believe how much many of them have grown.  Looking at my daughter’s gymnastics photo from last year and comparing it to her photo this year, her growth stuns me.  I’m filled with mixed emotions.  She’s taller, but she’s still and will always be lean and petite.  She’s progressing physically and in physical stature as a gymnast.  Her confidence level blows the roof when she’s in practice and it shows.  She’s a team supporter, but really, they all are!  They are all team supporters; supporting each other every dance step of the way!

I can’t wait to see next year at Kidz In Stepz!

 

Well, that’s all for now.  Until next time!

Thanks y’all for reading!

Monday of Mondays

Hey y’all!  I don’t know about you, but today feels like the Monday of all Mondays.  I was halfway through my shower this morning when I remembered that it is Monday which means my daughter had school.

Where did the weekend go?  One day it was here, and the next, it’s gone and now here we have Monday.  Normally, daylight savings time doesn’t affect me.  One year, I set my alarm for the time change, waking up just so I could experience gaining the hour back.  This year I experienced losing that hour.  It was strange to watch and witness the time on my personal computer flip from 1:59am to 3:00am.  One thing is for sure, thanks to daylight savings time, I’ll never forget my first VIPKid class.

Though I’m tired, I can’t complain about the work pile.  I literally ‘paced’ my way through first class Math, drank a fresh cup of dark roast coffee for the caffeinated perk during English/Language Arts, and I still yawned my way through Science and Social Studies.  It felt like the longest day of school ever, but because of my weekend turn out, it’s worth it.

I keep thinking about the class I taught and the student I was working with.  She wore a deep purple, long-sleeved shirt, and just before I began class, she was eating a banana while the guy, appearing to be her dad, was trying to work the kinks out of their end of the virtual classroom.  Their background noise was fascinating.  I didn’t understand anything I was hearing, but I was next to tears, embracing the biggest opportunity of my lifetime, working with authentic ethnicity.  I’m eager to teach my next class/student!

The only work I did manage to find the motivation and energy for was completing my 5-star reward system.  I hot glued the magnets on this evening, after dinner, so I can use it this weekend.

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Thanks for reading y’all!

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!! 🙂

Weekend Blur

Hey y’all!  It was back to school this morning after a nice long Thanksgiving vacation.  Thanksgiving wasn’t nearly as stressing as I thought it might be which is a good thing, so getting back to Class Connect was natural.  We’re also finishing with our first semester over the next four weeks, before school lets out for Christmas and New Year’s, so we’re reviewing material the entire time.

I’m still waiting to hear back from the online tutoring company.  I’m on the edge of my seat here, waiting, eager to get started.  Completing the sample they wanted me to submit was nerve wracking, but I still enjoyed it.  Now I get the gist of their way, I’m ready to get started.  I imagine I would be able to review a paper or two a night.

Another thing I get to wait on, I finished and submitted a short narrative to Chicken Soup for the Soul titled “Christmas Crash Site of 2011”.  The submission due date is this Friday.

Finally, last night I began revising another story I’m working on to submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul.  The story topic is ‘running for good’.  I have until the 15th of December to finish it.

Well y’all, I guess that sums up my weekend.  Oh, and my Georgia Bulldawgs beat the Techies 45-21.  Woot woot!  Next we play Alabama for the SEC Championship.

With a pretty busy week ahead of me, I’m looking at Friday before I’ll be able to write again, but perhaps I’ll have some ‘news’…  Either way, cross your fingers, say some prayers, think positive thoughts, and send good vibes my way.  I really want this contract.

Thanks for reading with me y’all!

Optimistic Update

Good afternoon y’all!  The sun finally decided to show itself again after three long days of rainy, bitterly chilly weather.

At this time, I’m also proud to say that Thanksgiving vacation has officially began for me.  I managed to keep my daughter’s attention and keep her focused so she could complete her school work, turning it in on time.  She’s finally completely caught up.  I’ve only been trying to do that for three weeks now.

Some good news I wanted to share… I received word back from a company I submitted an application and cover letter to; to be a writing tutor.  I was going to write and post to my blog this evening, but I decided to write now and spend this evening completing the paperwork to get it back to the company.

I was told, and I quote, “After I have received your completed documents, it will take a few days for approval from the director to have your account created.  Let me know if you have any questions and I hope to hear from you soon.”  That’s professional lingo for we want to see you for a second interview!

When the email came in, I was working in the kitchen when my pocket vibrated (because I keep my phone on vibrate most of the time).  Normally I wouldn’t check it until I was finished, but I stopped to check it this time.  I’m glad I did although reading it made me shake all over.  I felt entirely in disbelief because lately everything I’ve tried to work for has crash landed or fallen apart.  I’m growing tired of my ideas being rejected.  I wasn’t even sure of this chance, doubting myself after only an entire day thanks to constant thought.  That’s why I was so surprised to get a response.

I’ve been reading over all the paperwork, filling out printed forms, trying to print out my cover letter to hand-sign it, but the printer isn’t cooperating, and writing up a brief summary about why I’m qualified to tutor college-level writing and reviewing papers in both APA and MLA style format.  I’ve also been reading the tutor provider response form example they sent me to read over and review.  It’s fourteen pages in length so printing it isn’t an option right now, but I have perused it.  Now that I know what they’re looking for, I’m even more excited to get the ball rolling, and just in time for the holidays!

Seriously, I can’t wait to get started.

As always, thank you for reading and following me.  Hope everyone has a great weekend, and I’ll write again on Monday!

Monday of Mondays

The beginning of a new work week is always a long, drawn out drag.  Laundry, school, and anything else that finds it’s way into my schedule.  I’m not complaining, just stating a fact is all.  It’s the same story every Monday.  I’m just writing about it for a change.

I begin the day feeling well-rested and motivated to take on any chore.  By the time school is over, and all homework is completed, I feel as if I’ve been run over, mentally, by a freight train.  One of the many negatives to being a writer, but it’s an occupation I love to hate.

I’m revisiting a lot of rough drafts I previously thought were polished stories.  Either that, or I’ve really grown in the last 6 months.  Between revising a short piece I titled ‘Chicken Slick’ about a recipe that’s been passed down through several generations, and another short piece titled ‘Christmas Crash Site’ I’m rewriting to submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul, I’d say my week is pretty well planned.

I really hope it doesn’t sound like I’m complaining about my job, because really I’m not.  Writing is my release.  I don’t like complaining to people about my woes because we all have them, whether we like, love, or hate our jobs.  As a homeschooling mother, I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.  Every job, every position has it’s ups and downs.  I prefer to stress myself out making sure my daughter’s grades are where I think they should be and working one-on-one with her, to stressing over the dreaded phone call I used to get from her brick and mortar school, everyday, because she was misbehaving so badly her teachers couldn’t handle her.  What a nightmare that used to be!

In Science class today, while her teacher is trying to teach about Newton’s ‘second law’, only a few were making an effort to participate.  So, her teacher nicely told everyone to virtually raise their hands to let her know they were present and actively participating.  The turnout wasn’t so nice.  Ten times, the teacher repeated herself, “Raise your hands if you are with me and can hear me.”  Ten times.  Out of 44 students, only 21 virtually raised their hands.  Not good.  So, she kicked them out.  I know it sounds harsh, and maybe even rude, but that’s why I like her Science teacher.  She’s no nonsense for the most part… as long as her students are following directions.  I’ve thought about becoming a teacher, but no.  I’ll stick to writing.

This evening I’m revising and rewriting ‘Chicken Slick’ because I know I can make it sound so much better than it’s current draft.  I seriously need to stop being afraid of my abilities.  It’s like I’m afraid of succeeding, or scared of my own potential, but it is only Monday.

Again, until tomorrow… and thanks for reading.

Beyond My Comfort Zone

I took a huge step earlier this week; made a move very similar to applying for a job.  I sent a proposal letter to Mrs. Ainsley Earhardt of Fox & Friends with a copy of each magazine issue we printed–May, June, and July.

When did I gain the nerve to make such a bold move?  Well, it was a bold move to me; compared to others–not so much.  However, you must understand the amount of discouragement I’ve listened to through the years.  Said by people I thought were my friends.  Friends are supportive, these people were not.  It has taken a significant amount of effort to get over them and move on.

I truly believe in my magazine as I’ve never felt this sure of any project idea I’ve ever had.  I know that by sending my work to Ainsley (or anyone at Fox), I’m taking a chance, a risk, that she’ll share it on live national television.  It’s both scary and exciting to consider, but I also know there’s a heartbreaking chance Ainsley won’t be phased at all by my magazines.  The truth is, my heart knows what it wants; to see my creation on television so millions of others can see it.  As the founder and creator of McKraft’s Literary Magazine, I am an entrepreneur with a skilled talent to share with the world.  I want it to work for me and my family.

I’ve learned in life not to get my hopes up, nor cross my fingers for good luck.  It’s childish encouragement.  I thought about our odds the other night while I was watching a movie with my hubby and concluded that I deserve this.  I’ve done all the work to obtain the skills to write and create our magazine.  I took English and layout design in high school working on the yearbook, then I went to college for English and Literature, and to be a writer.  I’ve lived a life full of experiences to write about, and hubby and I want to travel and see Americana.  That’s something else to write about, and who doesn’t want to read about experiences if not to be inspired?

The best place to begin our writing is in our own McKraft’s Literary Magazine!

I’m currently working on our August issue with a cover design theme ‘Back to School’.