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Dividing my time at Meet the Teacher night

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This past Tuesday was Meet the Teacher at my kids’ middle school. Now a middle school Meet the Teacher is quite different than at the elementary level. At the elementary, you typically only have one teacher/classroom to visit, and there is no hurry. The teacher has plenty of time to tell you the ins and outs of her class and what she expects of your student. But at middle school (and later at high school), you have eight teachers/classrooms to visit. In our case, we had to walk our child’s schedule, visiting the classes in order. For many, finding the classrooms alone was a problem though they did give you a map and had students posted throughout the school to direct you. And since you don’t...
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Book Fair!

Check out 100+ really cool Fantasy and Sci-Fi books! You can also enter to win great prizes including a Kindle Fire! Original link
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Quote of the Week – September 11

Step into a scene and let it drip from your fingertips. ~ MJ Bush Original link
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Challenge your character


The other day as I was struggling to write a scene, I realized the scene wasn’t working as it didn’t have any tension. Now not every scene needs to be tense or full of conflict, but one useful tip to give your characters challenges. Nothing should come easy for them. This advice helped me to fix the scene. In reviewing another scene, I noticed the protagonist did something the first time he tried. And that reminded me of another blog I wrote recently called “ Super Easy, Barely an Inconvenience ” which is a phrase used in every Pitch Meeting on the Screen Rant YouTube Channel. In this series by Ryan George, a pitchman (Ryan) presents movies to a studio executive (also played by Ryan). Whenev...
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Recipe of the Month – Spaghetti and Meatballs


My daughter Lexie has been on a spaghetti and meatballs kick ever since she had “the best” at a Texas Steakhouse in Corpus Christi in June. Now, I have made my own spaghetti meat sauce from scratch before but I hadn’t made spaghetti and meatballs. I found this recipe for meatballs on Delish.com. Now, I made just the meatballs and added them to a jar of Marinara sauce that Lexie likes but I am including the whole recipe including the sauce here. Ingredients 1 lb. spaghetti 1 lb. ground beef 1/3 c. bread crumbs 1/4 c. finely chopped parsley 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving 1 egg 2 garlic cloves, minced Kosher salt 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1...
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Quote of the Week – September 4

Books are uniquely portable magic. ~ Stephen King Original link
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Progress!

Morning everyone! I’ve been hard at work. Both the retail job and writing. ‘Inversion of Magic’ is up for sale, and I’ve got a couple events in November where you can pick up copies. I’ll get those dates and locations listed on that part of my site in a few days. Writing wise, I’ve been working on making ‘Mark of the Successor’ and ‘Consort of the Successor’ a single novel. The new title is ‘Tiadar’. I’m over halfway done with the first pass. The stories blended together better than I thought they would, which is nice. I was concerned about that, since the two novels focused on different characters. But the story works well. I’m deep into the second half now, where the focus is on Talin over...
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Family Night is a good thing


My husband has been working a great deal lately. This means he has been working weekends or evening. Sometimes his work takes him out of town. The kids have been missing him. So, this past weekend we decided we needed to do something as a family. Now sometimes in the past, we have gone somewhere to play miniature golf or gone to a laser tag/video game place like Incredible Pizza, Main Event or Dave & Busters. But those outing do get expensive and depending on the activity we may not always spend tons of time together. Lexie suggested we try game night. Back in July before our trip to Austin, I had bought two new games – Uno (Jurassic World edition) and 5 Second Rule. We had a great time play...
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Killing off a character or two

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Looking to add conflict or tension to your novel? You might consider killing off a character – or depending on the type of novel more than one character. No matter what type of novel you are writing – thriller, mystery, romance – there may come a time when you need to kill off one or more of your characters. From serial killers to mysterious deaths to killing out of jealousy or survival, murder or death can add to the conflict of your story. And what better way to have your antagonist instill fear than to kill off a few people. Or it could be your protagonist doing the killing to preserve his or her life or that of a loved one. Or it could be an accidental death – a fire, a car accident, a d...
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Quote of the Week – August 28

If writing is easy, you are doing it wrong. ~ Bryan Hutchinson Original link
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Encouraging the kids to try new foods

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This summer, I encouraged the kids to try some new foods. They are both picky eaters in their own way. Jase likes steak, fries and chicken nuggets. The only fruits he eats are apples and red grapes. Lexie likes chicken and a variety of meals such as chicken enchiladas, chili, and fried rice. She is my fruit eater as she likes strawberries, red grapes, apples, mangos, raspberries and watermelon. But there are so many other foods out there. And being non-adventurous kids, they are usually hesitant to try new things. To fix this, I started a food challenge. I wrote down different categories – new fruit, new vegetable, new bread, bakery items, and a “your choice” option. Each week the kids drew ...
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Quote of the Week – August 21


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And I’m back!

inversion of magic final
Today, I took a leap of faith. “Inversion of Magic” (formerly titled ‘Arine’s Sanctuary’) has been uploaded as a self-published title. It’s on Amazon as an ebook, print book is coming. I enrolled it in the Kindle Unlimited program as well. New title, new cover, but the story is the same. It’s one I have long believed in. I hope you will, as well.   mybook.to/inversionofmagic   bb Original link
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Middle School begins for the kids


Summer has flown by, and the first day of school is here. Our summer actually was a week shorter as school is starting a week early this year in order for the kids to get out at the end of May instead of in June. This past week before school was packed for me since I am PTA president at the Middle School, and there were events every day at the school – making copies, campus clean up, stuffing 1200 Welcome back packets, a staff breakfast and then student orientations. I’m glad that week is done. And as much as I enjoy having the summers with Lexie and Jase, I am ready to get back to my normal routine. This is Lexie’s first year at the middle school and Jase’s last year there. Yes, for this on...
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Quote of the Week – August 14

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~ Elmore Leonard Original link
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I’m still here!

Hey everyone! Yeah, I’ve been quiet. LOL. We took a short vacation, and it helped to get out of town. I’ve regained my momentum, my perspective. I’m hard at work combining both ‘Mark of the Successor’ and ‘Consort of the Successor’ into a single, well done novel. It’s good to revisit the story! I found some issues that should’ve been fixed in editing and weren’t, and am streamlining the story. Finding my voice again, adding things where needed. I’m on the fence as to self publishing it or sending it out as a query book when done, though. On the agent search, I’ve heard back from a few. All rejections, which is fine. I want someone who believes in my stories, after all! Two more are still pen...
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Recipe of the Month – Spinach Artichoke Pasta


I love Spinach Artichoke dip. One of our local restaurants serves a Spinach Artichoke pasta which is basically pasta mixed with that delicious dip. Wanting to make my own, I searched the internet and found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman website. Delicious! (This recipe makes a lot so I half it.)       Ingredients 6 T. Butter 4 cloves of garlic, minced 2 bags baby spinach 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and halved 3 T. flour 3 cups milk 1/4 t. cayenne pepper 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese 1 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese, grated salt and pepper to taste 12 oz (weight) Penne Pasta, cooked crushed red pepper, to taste Directions Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet. Add garlic and thr...
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Quote of the Week – August 7

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. ~ Richard Bach Original link
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Trying Noom to lose weight


I set out today to write an update on my experience with Noom, the health app designed by behavioral psychologists to help you lose weight for the long run. Then as I was looking back at my posts, I realized I have never written about my decision to try Noom. Between 2013 and 2016, I have lost weight by counting calories. This method does work. I am proof of that. But it never failed that I would gain the weight back as soon as I resumed eating normally and not watching my calorie intake. This is where Noom comes into play. Yes, Noom has you reducing and counting calories, but they focus on making tangible, sustainable lifestyle shifts. On this diet, there is no food that you cannot eat. You...
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Celebrating seven years of blogging

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Seven years ago, on July 30, 2012, I began this blog. And now 1,678 posts later, I am still here blogging away. Oh yes, things have changed. I use to try and blog Monday thru Friday. I used to host authors every week. As I’ve gotten busier, the number of posts per week/month have dropped, but I still try to blog three days a week. I began this blog to discuss a few things that are important to me – parenting, writing and publishing. And those things are still important to me. If you are new here, please feel free to click on the topics on the left and scroll through some of the posts. I hope you find something of interest. For those of you who want to know why my blog is called “Into Another...
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