Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blooming May

“I plucked the petals off the wilted daisy and whispered, ‘I tell him. I tell him not.’ Even though it was childish to put the weight of such an important decision on a daisy, I’d already proven to be incapable of deciding any other way.

My voice croaked as I pinched off the last petal. ‘I’ll tell him.’”

- Beginning of my short story “Daisy” in 100 Stories for Queensland

On Sunday, I posted my query of Naked Eye on my 2nd blog, Earnest Writer's Excerpts . Feel free to visit and comment. I want to polish it for the NESCBWI Conference I’m attending next week. (See below.)

Tuesday was a good day.

100 Stories for Queensland was released as an EBOOK. Kindle and paperback editions coming soon.

My contract from Wyvern Publications arrived. Can’t wait for those line edits on my short story “Allured”, which will appear in the upcoming anthology Fangtales. I figure line edits on a short story is like training wheels for the whole novel I hope to I’ll get published someday.

Next week, I’m attending the NESCBWI conference in Fitchburg, MA. I’m going to be busy with a query and 10-page critique sessions. And I’m going to be a handler for 3 workshops. My writer friend, Judy Mintz is going too. Check out her funny BLOG !

Anyone else going to NESCBWI, Fitchburg?

In other news, Ebysswriter hosted a 250-word pitch contest. The honest feedback led me to combine chapters 1 and 3 into chapter 2, and now chapter 2 is chapter 1.

On the teaching front, I’ve (temporarily) returned to my old job last and this week. Don’t ask. And I’m doing all the planning and lessons and grading on daily sub pay. I've told the students so many times that it’s my last day that they don’t believe me anymore. Now I’m telling them “I’m just like The Terminator, I don’t die.”

I did a lesson on The Columbian Exchange, which led to a discussion about tomatoes leaching lead from plates, making Italians think tomatoes were poisonous and the potato blight leading to the Irish Potato famine because the British government still forced the export of wheat to England and the conquistadors and their treatment of the Aztecs and when people decide a group is less than human, they can justify treating them any way they’d like. They were riveted. It may have been the stifling heat in the classroom that made them docile. Hard to tell.

By the way, on May 10th, Nicole Zoltack will visit my blog to tell us what it’s like to write for a small e-publisher.

How’s your May so far?

Anything you're looking forward to this month?


  1. Thanks for the shout out. I've been spending time trying to find Google Adword coupons so I can try advertising my blog. I've decided that my pitch is, "you like nora ephron and erma bombeck; time to meet judy mintz!"

  2. You're just like the terminator. lol, that is great!

  3. Your short story sounds intriguing, I'll get it when it is out in paperback.
    Good luck with the conference and glad to see you are still getting work, Terminator Teacher!!
    Writing wise, I am getting a lot done even if our schools were out for two weeks.
    The potato famine, ouch..still a touchy subject here.

  4. Congrats on the short stories! It's great to be published, I am sure.

  5. @ Judy, never heard of adwords. Your slogan is catchy and true. It doesn't sound very YA, but then I guess few of our blogs do!

    @ Angela, thanks. Today, I am a tired Terminator.

    @ Brigid, I'm so happy you plan to buy it.

    Thanks. The conference is going to be very busy. And fun.

    Potato famine and feelings towards the British used to creep out here and there on my Irish side of the family. I'm sure it's that much more so in Ireland.

    @ J.L. Jackson, thank you. It is. Now my business cards that say "Author" don't lie!

  6. you are sooo busy! but good busy. happy for you. my little world is busy but only in my little world - wish I could go to your conference.

  7. Can I tell you how much i adore that beginning?!?!?

  8. I hope you have a GREAT time at your conference! I just got back from one and it was a very enlightening experience.

    And I loved the beginning of "Daisy". So good ~ :)

  9. Love that beginning of your story.
    Have a good time at the conference and I hope all goes well there.

  10. The Terminator! Love it!! :)

    My May is good - I got my computer back from Repair Land!! :)

  11. Hey, maybe you are the Terminator. *wink*

    The other day when I emailed you I didn't want you to think that I thought you'd been in the A to Z challenge. Theresa, I'm so tired, I don't know what I'm doing. I'm going to unplug next week for seven days. I need to refresh just like when I refresh my email. :-)

    I can't wait to read your short story that's in 100 Stories for Queensland. Congrads if I haven't said it before. I really don't know if I'm coming or going so I might have said it. :-)

  12. Congrats on publishing your short story! Best of luck at the conference and have a blast! I love that you told your students you're the terminator. I bet they LOVE you! You sound like an amazing teacher. christy

  13. Congratulations with the publications of your fabulous short stories!! Yay!!!!!!!

    And off you go to that amazing conference!!!! Good luck polishing your query!! Yay!!!!

    And of course the children were riveted - you are not only a wonderful teacher but a fab fab fab story teller too!! Yay!! Take care

  14. love the terminator teacher! I definitely plan to buy, Theresa!
    Have a great time at the conference. wish I was going.

  15. My May is flying by in a blur. You though, have a great deal to be celebrating, BIG CONGRATS!!!

    I also wanted to mention (because I know you teach Social Studies) May 16th PBS will be airing a documentary on "The Freedom Riders." A huge part of our current history to me. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  16. Haha, okay, I won't ask how it is your back at your "old" job, but I hope you have fun with those kids you've become attached to.

    Congratulations on your release...and your upcoming release! Have fun w/ those edits. ;)

  17. Love the beginning of your short story. Short stories seem harder to me to write. Have fun at the conference. Wish I was going.

  18. I'll see you at nescbwi in another week! :)

  19. I bet they were riveted. Sorry the classroom was so hot, though.

    Congrats on the pub credit.

    You need to hold a pool. Student who correctly guesses your last day gets a prize. (Might as well make it a game.)

  20. So much going on for you this month. Good luck with your short stories (and subbing)!

  21. Wow, I forgot all about that 250 word pitch contest. I was in it.

    You got all of that about changing the chapters around from feedback on your first 250 words. Impressive. :)

  22. Congrats on your accomplishments, it sounds like May is off to a great start for you :D.. and I LOVe that beginning... very intriguing.

    I hope to return to blogging full time this month and am aiming to query by early June.. we'll see how it all pans out.

  23. Congratulations about the 100 stories for queensland!!!

    GodSpeed for the month ahead!!

    with warm regards
    CatchyTips for Writers

  24. your May sounds brilliant. I'm looking forward to a writer's festival in a couple weeks. :)

  25. @ Tara, I wish you could go to my conference too. I always learn a lot and get reenergized.

    @ Christina, thank you. I'm so glad to hear it!

    @ Donea, which conference did you attend?

    Thanks for the feedback.

    @ Choices, thank you. I'm hoping to have a better time. This year I have more people I know and my critiques are on Friday, so I can relax more on Saturday.

    @ Jemi, glad you got your computer back. It's hard to live without one.

    @ Robyn, poor you! You sound burned out. Unplugging will do you good. If I had forced myself to do the A to Z Challenge, I wouldn't have known whether I was coming or going. Relax! See you when you return.

    And thank for the congrats.

  26. My April was amazing, so I'm hoping May is marvelous, too. :)
    Love the beginning of your short story. Great hook, well written.

  27. The Columbian Exchange lesson does sound riveting!!

  28. the Terminator! LOL!! The end is drawing closer, so it looks like you will be there the whole year. Awesome. And that is super about the writing contract and the conference. I love that opening quote about the daisy...did you write that? Very nice.

    Can't wait to see what Nichole has to say~ <3

  29. I just can't help cracking up over how you can't get away from your old class.

    And as for the other news: all awesome, all envied. :-)

  30. Sounds like your students love you :)

  31. Hi Theresa .. enjoy the Conference - it'll be fun and different.

    Wonderful news about the ongoing subbing - hope it sticks one day .. am sure it will.

    Perhaps the kids felt they'd been corralled and it was easier to be docile and accept their fate?! Sounds like an interesting lesson.

    Cheers Hilary

  32. Ooh, I love classes like that Theresa, where one topic links to another.
    And congratulations on 100 Stories for Queensland!

  33. Sounds like you're having a great month. My May's been pretty good so far - I'm plotting a new novel, which is always fun. :)

  34. I feel like I can read the excitement in your voice. Congrats on all the great stuff going on. Love the Terminator reference, but unfortunately, it's tempting me to make a very lame "I'll be back" joke.

    Your short story sounds great.

  35. @ Erica, I hope they love me or at least respect me. I'm having fun with them. Though now I've gotten another extension through Wednesday, so hopefully they don't tire of me! I'll need to figure out what to do with them next.

    @ Old Kitty, congratulations on the publication of your short story too!

    Now I just need to prepare everything for the conference. I'd better get things together this weekend because it seems I'm now working at my old school until the conference.

    A fab storyteller? That's a nice compliment. Thanks!

    @ TerryLynnJohnson, I'm so happy you plan to buy the book!

    I wish you were going to the conference too. I'd love to see you in person.

    @ Jules, I hope you're enjoying your flying May.

    I'll check out the PBS documentary. It doesn't quite fit the curriculum, but if I'm still teaching the 8th-graders by then, I'll have them watch it. Thanks!

    @ Nicki, I'm having fun with the students. That said, I'm thrilled it's Friday!

    Right now I'm editing my manuscript so I hope to have plenty of practice with editing by the time the publishers send me notes. Thank you!

    @ Natalie, thank you. I've shied away from attempting short stories until recently, and then these two attempts seemed to click.

  36. @ Laura, I look forward to seeing you at NESCBWI!

    @ Liz, the extension of days is getting ridiculous already. The students don't know what to think. Ha! I should do a pool.

    @ Brooke, thank you! It is a busy month!

    @ Stina, I only had 3 comments, and 2 mentioned the flashback shouldn't come right away. I mixed it up to see if I liked it better, and I did. Aubrie, my critique buddy liked it better too. I'm bringing it to the NESCBWI conference next Friday, so I'll get feedback during my peer critique.

    Good luck with the pitch!

    @ Writing Nut, thank you.

    I wish you luck on your querying. I'll look for your blog return.

    @ AllMyPosts, thank you. Have a wonderful rest of your month.

  37. @ Lynda, enjoy the writer's festival!

    @ Kelly, thank you. Wonderful you had an amazing April. Hope it continues too.

    @ Liz, I enjoyed teaching it. If the students are quiet and have a lot of questions, I think it's a good sign.

    @ LTM, I assume this teacher is coming back. Maybe this week? We'll see. When I leave, I'll be sad all over again. Though this time it will be with less fanfare.

    Yes, that's the beginning of my story "Daisy". I'm glad you like it!

    @ Shannon, returning for so long is crazy. And if continues through Friday, I'll have to turn it down for the conference. Grrr!

    Don't be envious. 5 years and I have 2 short stories (1 published and 1 in the future). 'Bout time!

    @ Jess, I hope so. I love my students.

  38. @ Hilary, thank you. I think this is my 4th or 5th year attending the conference. It's reenergizing.

    It will be nice to say I have my own book out or a full-time teaching job someday. Someday soon, I hope!

    @ Deniz, I love making those connection for the students. Thanks!

    @ Susan, good luck with your novel plotting.

    @ Missed Periods, thank you. If I had known, I would've said, "I'll be back," to my students on the "last" day.