Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Five

1. Nothing like having the director of a math lab ask to speak to you alone.  Yup, some girl's mother called to complain that my son made an insensitive comment to her the day before at another school location and she didn't want to come to the math lab.

This brought up memories of a similar incident that happened way back in the third grade.


We spoke with son and hopefully he'll realize he can't talk smack to some who are very sensitive.  I also emailed the other school's teachers, who said they'd never heard son doing anything out of the ordinary.

So the whole middle school drama has begun.  Ugh.

2. I admit I've been in a funk these past few weeks.  Hate when depression starts to rise it's ugly head.  Love reading YA author Heather Brewer's posts as she also deals with depression.  I personally feel the more we discuss this issue, the less stigma will be behind it.

This is how I feel whenever depression comes my way:

3. One thing that does help is reading.  Books are a healing balm for me.

This is a real fun story of a fifteen-year-old whose dad wants to go to Greece to interview civilians on their take of the Greece upheaval.  Voice is fun and light and I'd say almost more upper MG.

4. Okay, I admit it.  I'm a huge fan of horror novels.  And I couldn't wait to download the galley to THE SUFFERING:

I'm at 60% done.  Lots of creep factor set in a 'lost' Japanese village with a deadly secret.

Yes, Japanese dolls are involved.  Plus, human cocoons.

5. Stuck with my revisions.  Don't you just hate when you know something is missing and it's just within reach?


**Guilty pleasure:

I'm going to try to go to a mediation session.  This has been helping my anxiety/depression.

Photo courtesy of YogaWorksSouthBay/photos/ 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Friday Five

1. Son is slowly getting better.  Doctor still has him on a strict schedule but 'bumped' his academic time to one hour segments and no more than 4 hours a day.  This isn't as hard to do as last week's thirty minutes per class time and only 2-3 hrs for the day.


His teachers and doctors are trying to stress the importance of wearing a helmet.  But you know teens.  They think they're okay and the exception.

I can't stress the importance of wearing a helmet.  One of his teachers showed him his FB with a friend who cracked his skull while skateboarding.  Love when others try to help me out with this as everyone knows, no one listens to Moms.

Love this site:

Photo courtesy of

2. Ugh, with more family drama.  Need to stay out of it even if I know this one person's choices right now will carry serious consequences.  Sigh.

3. Now with something I LOVE to do besides writing--read books!

Just downloaded the ebook galley of the sequel to THE GIRL IN THE WELL:

If you loved the Ring as much as I did?  You'll love this creepy, spooky series.  Let's just say you'll never look at a doll the same way again!


This one is about an Argentinean teen who happens to be an undocumented citizen.  It's her senior year in high school and while her friends are discussing college choices, she fears the MIGA-border patrol, which can deport not only her but her family.  She doesn't look like the stereotypical Latina as she's fair skinned with blond hair.  So far loving!


This one is about the end of Earth and a rebel teen who is 'forgotten' while a limited few are able to flee the upcoming disaster to a new planet.  She's able to get on 'The Ark', one of the space ships but stumbles on a terrible secret and a possible love interest who might destroy everything she's hoped for.

**Guilty Pleasure:

Went to an author signing and picked up THE FRENCH GIRL'S WAR by Herb Williams-Dalgart.  I really loved the submissions he shared when I was in his critique group a few years back and had to pick up the book!

Book blurb:

The year is 1939; Germany has invaded Poland and France has now entered the war.

Sophie Claveaux, an eighteen-year-old Jewish farm girl, carries a curse. Her mother died giving birth to her and her father has long suffered the loss. Blaming herself, she decides to change her fate and study art in Paris. But before she can enact her plan, her father joins the war, renewing her fear that her curse will always prevail.

Forced to abandon her dreams of Paris, Sophie is sent to live in safety with her grandmother—only to learn there are no safe places in a time of war.

Now, Sophie must fight to protect her grandmother, her new home, and the curious blind artist who could change everything.

A compelling coming-of-age drama set against the backdrop of World War II, The French Girl’s War is a story of unexpected courage and surprising hope.

Plus, it's always nice to socialize with other writers!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Friday Five

1. Well our Easter weekend wasn't the best.  First, husband's Uncle Gene died after a prolong battle with prostate cancer.  Gene always to me was a great example of what a Christian should be.  He walked the walk and just didn't spout off against others who weren't Mormon but found goodness in everyone.  His loss will be felt but I'm happy that he is no longer in pain.  His funeral will be this Saturday.

2. Not long after that, I had a knock at the door.  Son walks in acting kind of dazed.  Just when I started to close the door someone cleared their throat.  I looked and there was a strange woman with a teenage girl.  Long story short-they 'found' son unconscious.  Apparently he took a turn too fast and hit a parked car.  She insisted to walk him back home.  We spent the night at ER where they did a CAT scan and Xray to check for problems.  Both came back negative.  Then had a follow-up visit with doctor who told us he has a mild concussion and to limit academics/computer time to no more than 2-3 hours a day.  He needs a week to 'rest' his brain.

Another follow up appointment this next Monday.

And no, son wasn't wearing a helmet.  Ugh.  Even now, after the visit to ER, and cutting his computer game time?  He still doesn't see anything wrong with not wearing a helmet.  Double, triple UGH.  Teen boys.

3. Haven't been getting as much writing done due to monitoring son's progress, so I've been reading a lot.

You all know I'm a HUGE fan and supporter of #weneeddiversebooks

This one has a diverse background and protagonist set in Egypt during the revolution.

YABC review:

Teaser: A coming of age tale that gives readers a glimpse into the Egyptian revolution as seen through the eyes of a teen confronting her own inner battles and how she's able to make peace with not only that but embrace her culture. 


OMFG, this book is amazing!

YABC review:

Teaser: Nail-biting action that keeps readers glued to the page as Ruth let's readers know exactly how Ruthless she is. Her fight to survive and determination to outwit her abductor will stay with readers long after they read the last page. 

5. And FINALLY getting to this book:

This one has a total Terry Goodkind feel going for it.  A seventeen-year-old girl witnesses her brother taken for treason in a ruthless Roman like society.  So far hooked!

**Guilty pleasure:

Thinking I'm going to redeem this Starbucks gift card and get one of their nommy drinks.  Not sure yet which one but it has to have mocha in it.  One of my favorites has to be the Java chip fraps with soy.
Photo courtesy of

Friday, April 03, 2015

Friday Five

1. This week's Spring Break so I've been kicking back and not answering anything that has to do with

a. Education
b. State Testing
c. Lesson plans

2. Got this fab box of books from the lovely YA Books Central:

**Reading REBELS BY ACCIDENT-Miriam is an Egyptian teen who ends up being sent back to Egypt to live with her grandmother after getting in trouble.  Then she gets caught up in the Egyptian revolution.  I really wanted to read this one as Eihab, my brother-in-law is an Egyptian national and has lots of extended family still in Egypt.  He kept me up to date on what was going on during the revolution.

3. Also been going to Omar's Exotic Bird store and playing with these cockatiels.  Husband says it's about time to get another one.  They're so cute, smart, and inquisitive.


This novel feels very similar to Gayle Forman's JUST ONE DAY only this time it's two girls searching for the truth behind Charlie(their boyfriend) death.  Seems Charlie was dating both of these girls at the same time and only at his 'death' do they meet.  But Charlie's not the only one with a secret.

5. Finished reading HOTEL RUBY in a few hours.

Seriously, loved this read which had a Stephen King feel going for it. Not too gory, more psychological horror. Just how I like them!

**Guilty pleasure:

I'm going to 'treat' self to this new facial my doctor's office is doing.

Next week the school district close to us is having Spring break.  So this will be interesting as son's friends attend their high school and middle school.

Wishing break would last longer!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March Madness Day 30

We're almost there!!!!

Can you see the end is in fact in sight?

Photo courtesy of

Today I'm piggy backing on Denise's post and  thought it would be great if we can share some of our successes.  It doesn't have to be anything big, just a little something.

For me, I was able to get to the halfway mark of my revision plus, I was able to submit the first 25 pages to a YARWA contest.  I might not win or be a finalist but I'd never know if I don't sent it out, right?

So to everyone I'm doing a little celebrate dance for those successes, no matter how big or small they might be because  you did do it!

Stop at Shari's for the last day of March Madness!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Friday Five

1. Weather is crazy out here in Southern Ca.  Yesterday and today topped the 90s!  This is March, not July!!!  The weather man said our temperatures are a historical record high.  And who says that global warming doesn't exist?

This senator needs to check out the West Coast and other areas that have had historical high temps and four years of drought.

2. I've been checking out a new CW series: iZombie.  Verdict?  So far really enjoying this tale of a morgue assistant, who just happens to be a zombie, eat brains of the dead to help solve who killed them.

Photo Courtesy of
Sassy dialogue and a really charming villain.  By the producers of Veronica Mars.  What's not to like?

3. And wow on this season of THE AMERICANS.  Disturbing but also has me really think including one scene where the Keri Russell character stumbles on an elderly lady and lets her know she'll have to kill her.  The woman engages her in conversation about her life and viewers see the usual badass, hard Russell's mask turn back especially when the woman asks her:

"Why are you doing this?"
Russell, "Because it will change the world for the better."
Disbelief on woman's face.  "You think by doing this to me,(murdering her) you'll do that?"
Russell, "Yes."
Woman, "That's what evil says when they do something evil."
Pan in to Russell's face that shows a glimpse of doubt on what she'll be doing.  Even pouring out the woman's heart pills with the hint for her to take all of them to basically kill herself, doesn't help.

Love scenes like this that pull back and reveal telling insights into characters.
Photo courtesy of The

I grew up during the Cold War and this series is brutal but also insightful.

4. Right now trying to finish this book:

As most of you know I'm LDS and my one ancestor Eliza T. Clark knew Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.  He was in charge of Winter Quarters, where the Saints went before leaving to go to Deseret(Utah) after being driven out by mobsters.  **We actually had an extermination act in place in Missouri to kill any Mormon on side.  It was signed by then governor Boggs in the early 1800s.

My great something grandfather was a polygamist and founded Farmington, Utah.  There's a monument for him there.

Photo Courtesy of

So I love to read about the Mormon pioneers.  My husband's ancestors actually were part of the handcart company that suffer mega losses and one of them settled in St. George, Utah(where this story takes place).

I really am trying to like this book but  feel that the author would have done a much better job having this come out as a nonfiction book.  Lund spent ten years researching for this new series and it shows.  There's lots of fascinating insights into what the early Saints went through--the links to how boys as young as four worked in the coal mines was especially horrific.  What makes this book really difficult to read is the dialect which I've just been skimming over(another huge reason why not to use in a novel), cheesy dialogue, and clumsy writing.  I don't 'buy' the so-called romance and cringe at the text-book spouting dialogue.  No one I know speaks that way and I seriously doubt they spoke that way then.

This is my Sunday read so I'll probably continue, hoping that it'll get better.  Right now on page 300.

5. Just finished the latest Rachel Hawkins' novel: MISS MAYHEM

Think Buffy meets Southern charm. There's so much to love about this series. Harper Price has sass and determination as she tries to help her new boyfie David even when a new challenge is thrown both their ways. 

YA Books Central review coming!

** Guilty Pleasure:

Plan to go to favorite library and drop off some Cybil's nominated books!  Julie Fitch 'gets' YA and so it's always a joy to share!

Still haven't seen INSURGENT.  Might seen either today or tomorrow.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March Madness Day 23

We're almost at the finish line!  Can you believe how fast this month has gone by?

Loved reading all the writing posts so far this month.  So many great analogies from plants to the ocean.

Today I want to talk about something that I think affects all of us one time or another--

The green eyed monster:

Photo courtesy of

You know when this monster comes out.  It's so easy to think that everyone else is doing better, getting better deals, the top agents, etc, etc.

I remember once talking to a YA author who just got a huge book deal.  She told me she was a ten year plus overnight success.

Most successful authors have been writing for some time.  Sure, a few do grab those big deals right off the start but mostly it's those authors who persevere though those times of doubt and rejections.  They keep on the path.

Photo courtesy of

I think writing has a lot to do with faith.

Martin Luther King said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

Isn't that the truth!

So what do you do when that green eyed monster shows up?

For me, I try to realize that everyone has their own path.  Also(and this is huge for me) I try really hard not to compare my journey to someone elses.  And yes, that can be really hard some days.

Faith.  Perseverance.

Check over at Shari's blog tomorrow!

And when you think you're not good enough, here's a little Sara Bareilles for you: