It Is Finished

I have finally completed the edits to my first novel, Fountain of Many Wishes. I sent it to 2 different authors to get it professionally edited. They both made suggestions that I believe were helpful. I have been trying to finish editing since January, but life kept getting in the way (I got sick, had to work, my dissertation, etc). Now, I can say I'm done.

What's next? The synopsis (cue scary music now). I'm not sure what to make of the "dreaded" synopsis. I've heard more negative things about it than positive. Some say writing a synopsis is even harder than writing the actual novel! I guess I'll find out myself. For me, it's all about my thinking. If I go into writing the synopsis dreading it and thinking it's going to be difficult, then it will be. If I go into it thinking I can do it, then, it won't be so hard. After the synopsis, I'm thinking about resending my novel to be professionally edited (want to make sure I send in my best). After that, I'm sending it to publishers and agents in hopes that someone would want to publish it.

So, I'm off to write my synopsis. Next stop: agent representation or publication!


Happy Spring!

Ah! The first day of Spring. The flowers...the sun...the beauty. Spring comes in a close second in the 'Rae's Fave Season' contest. I'm more of a winter chick, but I do love spring. It's absolutely gorgeous here in Houston, Texas. It's perfect. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and it's nice and breezy outside. It's not too cold and not too hot. I'm lovin' it! This is a pic of the tree in our front yard. Oh how I'd love to go to Kemah for a day. For those who don't know about Kemah, it's a small town near Galveston, Texas that hosts one of Texas' top attractions: the Kemah Boardwalk. The boardwalk sits right off Galveston Bay and has restaurants and businesses lined along the way. It's gorgeous. Here are a few pics. It's a perfect day for walking along the boardwalk, listening to the music, enjoying the attractions. They have this fun boat ride where you ride along the Bay while the hosts and hostesses dance to fun music. If you sit in the right spot, you're bound to get soaked during the fast turns. I love it, but alas, I must get back to writing and working on my dissertation. *sigh*

In other news, I thought this spring break was going to be filled with me getting far in my dissertation and finishing my novel edits. After all, I wasn't working, right? WRONG! For some reason, my brain has refused to actually think hard this week (I guess it's taking the spring BREAK thing seriously, huh). I've tried everyday this week to sit and work, but my brain would not allow me to. All I've done this week is watch TV, catch up on reading, peruse the 'Net, check email, sleep, chill...nothing but relaxation. Oh the horror! *rolls eyes* I guess I should be thanking my brain for forcing me to relax. I've been known to stress myself out when it comes to work, writing, and school. Stress as in working too hard with no breaks. My body has shut down before (not literally, obviously since I'm still alive). I'd be in bed and my brain would refuse to tell my body to get up. I've also gotten sick before. So, right now, I publically thank my brain for taking care of me...for being smart enough to know when I need to relax...for having my back.

Enjoy your day!


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Fountain of Many Wishes Casting Call

For the past several days, I took a break from my dissertation so I could work on editing my first novel, Fountain of Many Wishes. Finally, after a rough start at the beginning of this year, I am almost done with the editing. I'd planned to have this books edited and out with publishers/agents by the end of January, but, I got sick and ended up having several relapses. Basically, I was sick for the whole month of January. This put me behind in everything. I've spent the greater part of February catching up, especially with school and my dissertation. Now, I am glad to say, I'm caught up. So, I'm thinking editing will be complete by, say, the end of next week (if not earlier)...which means I can send my baby out by the end of this month/beginning of next month. I can finally move to the next step in becoming a published author. Yay, me!

Anyway, since I'm practically finished revising and editing my first baby, I've decided to make this post about a casting call. I've done this before (like last year) on my myspace blog, but, now that I'm closer to the whole publication process, I'm posting it on here. Who would I cast to be in the movie version of my book? Hmmm...

Fountain of Many Wishes: 14 year-old, Zac Barnes, is tired of the way his life is going. He and his sister don't always get along, his mother is constantly on his back, and, compared to his best friends, Carlos and Bree, he's a loser with a capital L. When Bree gives him a rock from the Fountain of Many Wishes, Zac's luck, and his life, changes for the better. He now has the life he's always dreamed of. Eventually, though, he learns why people say, "Be careful what you wish for."

Zac Barnes: Zac is a class clown who wants to be a pro wrestler. He's contantly in trouble for playing around in school instead of working. Zac feels out of place with his best friends, Bree and Carlos, because of the fact that there's nothing special about him (at least in his mind). He's just a normal 14 year-old boy who loves video games (especially the wresting ones). He's also a typical, annoying little brother to his sis, Faith. I'd cast Devon Werkheiser from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. The only difference is Zac has brown eyes.
Bree Taylor, one of Zac's best friends: Bree, the pretty, overachiever of the trio, is well liked by practically everyone, despite her sarcastic nature. She's the 8th grade student council president and the smartest kid in the school. Bree enjoys reading the dictionary to expand her vocab, which comes in handy when she's angry (she spits out big words so fast it'll make your head spin). She can insult you without you even knowing it. She has eyes for Carlos. Fro Bree, I'd cast KeKe Palmer from Akeelah and the Bee and Jump In, etc. She has the same...fiesty-ness that Bree has. I can totally see her playing the part.
Carlos Ramirez, Zac's other best friend: Carlos is the cutie pie athlete who all the girls go crazy over. He's on the 8th grade football team at Brittmore Junior High and has a place waiting for him on the high school team. Carlos is also well liked by everyone. He, like Bree, doesn't let the popularity get to his head. He's the kind who'll talk to anybody, even the ones that others won't talk to. He has a little sneaky side though (which people find it hard to believe). He's a sweetie pie who has eyes for Bree. I'd cast Nick Jonas from the Jonas Brothers.
Faith Barnes, Zac's big sister (by 11 months). Faith is a girlie girl with a slash of rebel. She likes all things girls (her fav color is pink) but has a little edge to her. She's the typical 15 year-old girl who's into fashion and boys. She sometimes takes a know-it-all attitude towards Zac. I'd cast Alexz Johnson (Instant Star, Final Destination 3) for Faith. She even had the red hair/gray eyes deal going like Faith.

Ashton Avery, Zac's crush: Ashton's the head cheerleader for the Brittmore Junior High Tigers. Zac is obsessed with her, although she treats him like dirt. Ashton has a thing for Carlos, who's into Bree. Ashton doesn't have much going for her in the brains department, but she was voted the hottest girl in school (with Bree in a close second). She's a model, the former Miss Preteen Houston and an aspiring actress. I'd cast AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia...) as Ashton.

Rachel Everett: She's one of Ashton's shadows (at the beginning) who's crushing on Zac. Rachel appears throughout the story every once in awhile. Do her and Zac get together? Hmm... Stay tuned. I'd cast Abigail Mavity (Star and Stella Save the World).

Those are the children of FOMW. I won't post pics of the adults (they're not important), but I will post the names:

Vivian Adams, Zac's mom: Elisa Donovan (Clueless)

Zachary Barnes Sr. Zac's dad: William Mapother (The Grudge, Lords of Dogtown)

David Myers, Viv's new man: Pat Mastroianni (Degrassi)
Cosmic Crusher, Zac's fave wrestler: Jonathan Coachman (WWE)

So that's it - my cast of characters.


Committment and Not Believing in the Impossible

Three and a half hours. That's how long we stood in line last night to participate in the caucus. Three and a half hours! Oh, let's not forget the fact that it was like 45 degrees outside. So, we stood 40 - 50 degree weather...for three and a half hours. Conversation was going on the whole time. Some people brought chairs and just moved along with the line. I saw people with books, or walking around (with their spots being saved) to keep warm, but, most of us stood in line talking - whether we knew the people in front and behind or not. Such comraderie! The funny thing is, very few people left. Most of us (I'd have to say at least 800 people) decided to stay and stick it out. Now, that's committment!

Now, on to other things - my dissertation. Last semester, I took two classes just so I could have a better chance to graduate this October instead of February of next year. Sadly, it's looking like I took (and slaved over...and worked hard in) two classes in vain. If I'd have known there was a possiblity that I'd still be graduating in February, would I have taken two classes? NO! Ugh! It doesn't look like I'll finish by October. In fact, my chairperson said it's basically impossible, as in, it ain't happening. *Sigh* So, my set grad date is February, 2009. But, personally, I don't believe in the impossible. The good thing is, I moved back in with my parents and continued to substitute for this very reason. So, my schedule's flexible (if I don't want to go to work, I just don't need to check in with a supervisor) and my bills are low (I still pay rent, but it's nowhere near what I'd be paying in an apartment - plus, my parents are flexible). So, I'm going to work my...butt off to finish by October. If October comes, and I'm still not finished, well, at least I tried and didn't give up.

The truth of the matter is, I've been in school for almost 30 years. Yep! I was a smart little cookie, so my parents enrolled me in a school for little ones when I was one and a half. Clearly, I was supposed to be three, but, because I was potty trained and knew my stuff, they didn't catch on...until I messed it up and told the truth when they asked me how old I was on my b-day (The conversation went a little like this...Teacher: "And how old are you today, four?" Me: "I'm not four! I'm two!" Yeah, I know...) . I've been traveling the educational road ever since. I took 2 years off between my BS and MA and 2 years off between my BA and this one (EdD). I'll be 32 this year, which means I've been in school for 28 of my 32 years. 28! Who does that? I am now officially sick of school. I'm tired and ready to hang up the "student" hat. That's why I'm so anxious to get out. So, I'm going for that October graduation. One thing I can say about myself is that I'm both stubborn and determined. Once I set my mind to something, that's it...and noone can tell me otherwise. So, here I go!


Book Review: Jinx by Meg Cabot

Genre: Young Adult

Jean Honeychurch is a magnet for misfortune, so much so, that she's known as, Jinx, among her family. Her "bad luck" is the reason why she has to move from her home in Iowa, to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in New York - a move Jean doesn't mind making. Trouble seems to follow Jean, though. She (a) finds that her cousin, Tory, has had a total personality/appearance change, (b) catches the eye of Zach, a guy Tory is crushing on, and (c) discovers that drugs isn't the only dark thing Tory's into, but something far more sinister.

Like Meg Cabot's other books, Jinx is a book I found hard to put down. The characters are lovable and the plot is both believable and engaging. The only negative thing I have to say about Jinx is I wish Jean had more of a backbone (you'll see why I say that when you read the book). This doesn't take away from how good the book is, though.

Rating: 4/5