Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A to Z and the 80s

I was a teen in the 1980s. The director John Hughes was able to perfectly capture what it was like—the angst, cliques, choices, clueless parents. Our parents (well, not mine) had been to Woodstock. Now they were supporting Reagan. It felt like we were always on the brink of disaster. We had nuclear bomb drills and fallout shelters in our schools, and then “The Day After” came out and told us it was for nothing. Then we learned about AIDS.

We were doomed.

At home, my parents were always in a state of separation, divorce, and reconciliation. I turned to music and friends to escape. My friends and I spent HOURS watching videos. Many, many years later, I can still remember the lyrics and every second of those videos. The musicians experimented with gender bending and pushing sexual boundaries. The look of the musicians and the cleverness of the videos became part of the music.

The decade was about football-sized shoulder pads, big hair, mullets, synthesizers, rhinestones, lace gloves, NEON, shirts with big letters, acid wash jeans, lots of blue or black eyeliner, and pink lipstick.

It was tragic.

For the month of April, I’m going to post for 26 days, for the 26 letters of the alphabet about the bands that influenced me in alphabetical order. In the early 80s, it was pop. But as I got older, it was more alternative. I found out who I was through music. Yes, conservative parents of the 80s—your worst fears came true. Music shaped me. Music saved me.

I’m taking on the bands of the 1980s – A to Z style through Arlee Bird’s A to Z Challenge. I’ve got pop, post-punk, and new wave.

Visit often. Wear your leg warmers. Neon and lace gloves are optional.

Click below for:

Other A to Z participants.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Inspiration and Validation

Today, I’m over at SHELLEY SLY'S BLOG

where I discuss writing inspiration.

Please VISIT!

Also, the winner of My Life as a Misfit by Susan Oloier

is P.K. Hrezo!


In other news, I, along with

Hart Johnson

Roland Yeomans

and (I think I missed her on my last list)

Connie Keller

made it to the quarter finals of ABNA!

From 10k to 2k to 500.

Happy spring!

Theresa xo

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nuts and Misfits

Nutschell (of "The Writing Nut") is hosting me on her blog today. YaY!
She’s interviewing me about writing spaces and writing. I don’t know if you’ll learn anything, but there are pictures!

If you comment on Nutschell's BLOG
you can win this ebook:
It’s available at Smashwords
And Amazon
It isn’t easy being the last remaining person at the dinner table or being forced to square dance with a group of sweaty seventh graders in a school cafeteria. But in My Life as a Misfit, Susan Oloier recounts growing up in the 1980s from a humorous and less-than-popular perspective with such stories as Do-Si-Don’t, Riding a Permanent Wave, Baseball, and The Food Critic.

The description makes me laugh. Since I was a teen in the 1980s, I know I’ll relate to this memoir. I’ve downloaded it, but haven’t read it yet.
After you visit and comment on Nutschell’s blog, feel free to visit Susan Oloier’s BLOG

It's not required to share this post about both posts
and contest, but it would be appreciated.
Winner will be chosen 03/19.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lunch Lesson

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle."

- Plato- Plato

While walking around the cafeteria during my Wednesday lunch duty, I saw a fifth grade boy with pale skin, shaggy, neat brown hair and an earnest face sitting alone without lunch. Most students were either on line buying or eating food from home.

I asked, “Are you buying lunch today?”

His eyes filled with tears, as he shook his head no.

“You know, they have free lunches for kids who forget to pack. Would you like to get one?”

I could see he was fighting not to cry. Waiting for him to compose himself, I kneeled next to his seat.

Eventually he said, “I can’t. I have allergies.”

He pulled out a folded, wrinkled, laminated paper. I scanned the extensive typed list of banned foods. No peanuts (free PBJ out). He couldn’t even have the hummus alternative.

“I can see that.” Can you have fruit?” He nodded. “Follow me. We’ll get you fruit.”

We cut the line. I handed him an orange. Then I tried to give him an apple. “I’m allergic to apples,” he said.

I put the apple into the basket.

We returned to his table where he began peeling the orange.

“I’ll be right back.”

I found the assistant principal a few rows over. I explained the boy’s situation. She said she’d take him to the nurse to figure out an alternative. Then she spoke with him for a few minutes and they both left the cafeteria.

A while later, the boy returned with a plastic container of romaine lettuce. No croutons, no carrots, no salad dressing. Safe for him. He ate that and the orange, and then joined his friends for recess.

I learned an important lesson.

Pay attention to EVERYONE. Don’t just notice the ones who make noise. You never know when someone might need you.

I knew this already. It’s what drives me as a teacher. I want to connect with everyone—the pains in the butt, the ones who always do the right thing, and the ones you really need to pay attention to or you’ll forget they’re there.

But in a cafeteria with hundreds of students, this is harder.

Later, in the hallway, when I passed his class in a line, the boy went out of his way to say hi to me.

I hope he learned a lesson too.

Don’t stay silent. There are people who care all around you. Reach out and someone will help you.

...And don’t forget your lunch.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rise of the Novelette

Rachel Morgan is taking over my blog today. I'm a big fan of Rachel because she's brunette and so is her protagonist. I'm a little sick of all the eyes in blues, greens, ambers, and even blacks. I'll forgive Rachel for using purple instead of brown since it's my favorite color. Gorgeous cover (below), right?

Before self publishing took off, there was really no place for the novelette--too small for publishers to publish as a stand alone novel; too long to be included in an anthology. But now authors and some indie publishers are making their novelettes available. I'll let Rachel tell you about hers:

Today the Creepy Hollow series kicks off with the release of the first story, GUARDIAN!!

GUARDIAN introduces readers to the magical world of Creepy Hollow, a realm where fae creatures both safe and definitely-not-so-safe dwell. Things are cool as long the fae stick to their own realm. It's when they find their way into the human world that things start going wrong...

1. Receive assignment.

2. Save a life.

3. Sleep.

4. Repeat.

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone—she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until one of her assignments—a human boy who shouldn’t even be able to see her—follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.

The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? But Nate and Vi are about to land themselves in even bigger trouble—and it’ll take all Vi’s training to get them out alive.

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:


The Creepy Hollow Series

Author Info

To find out more about the series, the author, and the characters, check out the blog tour that’s happening over the next two weeks.