Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Dec

23

2014

Santa’s Coming!!!!!

Filed under: #lifeofriley, Blogging, Check-it-out, Family, Vacation Madness

Life with Riley is starting to get a little bit more sane LOL! A little bit–he’s still a potty-training, chewing, puppy. But he’s quietly crating for about seven hours at night and ME getting a humane amount of sleep makes all the difference. He’s also learning to respond to his name, sit and go down on cue. He’s learning what off means and thankfully he hasn’t tested it too much at this point. Additionally he’s got a decent grasp of what easy and gentle mean and I’m happy to report he’s pretty darn good with his deposites. *fist pump*

 

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As you can see, we wear each other out some days. And even though I have to remind myself how far we’ve come in a week, I try to not get my panties in a twist about how much there still is to work on. I try to visualize the dog he will become when we’ve got the kinks worked out. It’s exciting to contemplate. I’m a behaviorist at heart and training him has it’s own special kind of rewards for me. But even though I’m pretty good at operant conditioning, I still get frustrated some days, but I’m learning to watch him closely–so I can “hear”¬†what he’s saying. It’s all part of training positively. And you’re going to hear me talk about this a bit in the future and how it pertains to writing because my mind (what little I have left) is spinning at the implications. But even though I’m having a sleepy puppy moment right now in which to blog…

SANTA’S COMING!!!!!

And that means I have a TON of other things to get done that just can’t wait. So, hold that thought. Enjoy your Christmas and I’ll be back here over the holidays if I can. But you can be sure you’ll see my in 2015 <3

What are your big plans for the Holiday?

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Dec

23

2011

The Magic of the Imperfect Ending

Filed under: Touching the Surface, Writing for Children, YA Books

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the Gift of the Magi was a Christmas story that fascinated me from an early age.  I can remember thinking that if I ever wrote stories, I would want them to illicit the same kind of emotional response that the Gift of the Magi did. I didn’t say it in quite those words, but what I knew was that it gave me the same feeling I’d get when I was tickled by my dad–I wanted it to stop AND never end at the same time.

I crave being smack in the middle of an ending that is both emotionally rich and mind bogglingly complicated at the same time.  I want it in life and I want it in my stories.  Even when I was younger I think I sensed that my world could never be flat–it must have it’s ups and downs.  It made me want to have flow–the ability to understand that everything is about perception.  I have my moments of desperation and frustration, but what drives me is my need to be endlessly surprised by our capacity to exceed our own expectations.  

Here’s another Christmas gift that gets me every time.  This one tugs at my heart strings even more than the Magi because it reinforces how I feel about kids–they are constantly underestimated.  If I watch them closely enough, they teach me everything I need to know.  It’s why I write for them.  They are the smartest audience out there.

What story or movie ending do you find perfectly imperfect?

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Dec

23

2010

How to Combine Your Christmas Letter with Your Query Letter.

Filed under: Uncategorized

I wish I could’ve sent a card to all of you–but I had to stop when I got that envelope-licking, paper-cut thingy on the side of my mouth. *grin…ouch*

Dear Fabulous Agents, Family & Friends:

Usually I let one of the kids write the yearly update, but since I’m stalking agents, I thought it would be a great idea to combine my Christmas letter with my query letter; allowing me to highlight my voice in a different venue. By the way, Santa has a copy of my YA novel and will be placing it under your tree very soon. For those of you who celebrate Hanukah—I sent it with the Hanukah armadillo—it will get there eventually (those animals are slow and hardly ever in picture books).

I also thought it would be helpful if you were aware of all the things I do in addition to my writing. (Can you see the multitasking?) Working towards publication is ALWAYS my top priority: but this year I’ve also taken and taught dance classes, coached Jr. Pee Wee soccer and started running. Did I mention that I’m also the “Box Top Fairy” for the Elementary school? (Impressive, I know!) But there’s more. Please be aware that the children NEVER ran out of clean underwear (they only wore my socks that once) and I tip the pizza guy every single time. Obviously I’ve got this marketing thing down–he’s a shoe-in to buy a copy of my book.

You should also know that I managed to write spectacular prose, even when sleep deprived. My oldest son Jamison has made a huge life change and is now a 4th grade student at The Kildonan School (a magical, mystery land for kids with dyslexia). He’s doing fantastic: his reading has improved, his self-esteem has rocketed, he’s learning to ride horses and he’s a kick-ass mountain biker. (I can say that because I write for Young Adults, right?) The one downside we’ve experienced, was the 4 hrs he spent on the bus every day–the bus picked him up at 6am. But never fear, because of the diverse platform I’ve developed and my powers of persuasion, I was able to get Jamie’s bus route switched. This cut off almost 2 hrs from his daily commute. (Additional good news–I think the Superintendant and the Board of Education would gladly buy my book in order to shut me up. Can you see the potential sales?)

My other two boys, Ty (2nd grade) and Aidan (Kindergarten) are also doing fantastic at Fishkill Elementary. This year we researched every detail of the Scholastic Book Fair. Working in tandem, we heavily pushed books by SCBWI and Blue Board authors. As you can see, I’m very aware of the importance of networking and helping out my fellow writers. Additionally, all three boys are now blue belts in Jujitsu, have scored goals during soccer games and can do many amazing acrobatic tricks and hip-hop moves. I’m pretty convinced that they would add tremendous appeal to any author event.

Recently, John and I were fortunate enough to wish on a falling star. Obviously I’m still waiting for my wish to come true (hint, hint), but John has wonderful news! He’s been hired as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. We are so proud of him. It was really hard for him to leave E&Y (he loved it there) but he plans on staying close with all his old friends and hopes to make new ones too. Right now things are a little crazy, but I’m sure, in time, he would be more than willing to hand out TOUCHING THE SURFACE swag.

My mom (Jean) is doing well and although she still struggles with joint pain, it benefits her to be active. Trying to be helpful, I have arranged for her to be on “grandmother duty” in January. I’m excited already. Can’t wait to see all my friends at the NY SCBWI Conference! I’m also hoping she’d like to stretch her limbs a little in August—I hear LA is amazing.

My brother Terry and his girlfriend Amber are also very happy and doing well. Amber is a pediatric nurse and continues to be very helpful as a reader, even though she has to deal with kids all day. Terry is keeping me on my toes by switching jobs. He’s no longer driving all over several counties, so I guess I’m going to have to nix the car magnet idea. Because he’s the best little brother in the world, you can count on him to pitch in anyway he’s able. Hmmmm… He’s still a volunteer member at the firehouse–perhaps he could talk to them about the magnets. (I’ve always wanted to see my name in lights.)

My mother-in-law (Joanne) has continued on as the head secretary at the middle school. (I don’t need to highlight the implications of that one.) She was considering an early retirement, but it’s hard to walk away from a gaggle of hormonal pre-teens. To keep things quiet, I’ve suggested that students waiting in her office would benefit from the implementation of a supplementary YA reading program. She’s looking into it.

The Lanes (Laura, Justin, Kyle and Jessica) are on their way home for Christmas, so of course the whole family is excited. It isn’t often we get visitors all the way from St. Louis (aka my primary remote fan site).

Last but not least, we have a wedding!!!!! Chris and Tom are tying the knot the day after Christmas. We are sooooo thrilled to welcome Tom and his two children, Kristin and Nick, into the family. (What luck–a tween and teen reader!) We love them already and look forward to celebrating this wonderful day with them.

Well, I’ve already had to reduce my font and narrow my margins, so I guess its time to go. The good news is that its only one page and its in easy to read Times New Roman. I’m hoping you have a Happy Holiday and a good sense of humor.

Love~
Kim and her Fan Club Members…John, Jamison, Ty and Aidan

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