Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What I read, watched and rocked out to in 2014





2014 in Review!
Happy New Year to you all! I am starting the new year with a wonderful new job as kindergarten teacher in my own children's school district. In the past I've been a third grade teacher, stay-at-home mom for 11 years, a teacher's aide for kindergarten and Early Childhood, and a preschool teacher, too (all that I truly loved-I'm pretty lucky). But I have wanted to be a kindergarten teacher since I was 20 years old and my junior practicum assignment was kindergarten with an amazing teacher! I wanted to be her so badly! And now I am! Cheers to you all in this new year!


This post lists the books, movies, and concerts of 2014. Surprisingly it's the first year in a while that I watched more movies than read books!



BOOKS!
Read some amazing books by blogger buddies this year!!
Anansi and Company by Bish Denham
Wonder by RJ Palacio
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Control by Lydia Kang
Wish You Weren’t by Sherrie Petersen
Before You Break by Christina Lee
Watercolor by LTM
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Wishing for Washington by Shelly Sly
Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Seven Letters From Paris by Samantha Verant
 
MOVIES!
I saw ten movies in the theater which is probably a record! Also, saw more movies than read books this year. Sorry, brain!
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
Anchorman 2
Gravity
The Lego Movie
Muppets 2 Most Wanted
Mean Girls
Divergent
Dallas Buyers Club
Pearl Harbor
Bad Grandpa
The Wolf of Wall Street
Airplane!
European Vacation
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Giver
Neighbors
Mockingjay Part 1
Dumb and Dumber To
Elf (gotta see that every year)
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

CONCERTS!
Saw some faves (saw Buckcherry for 9th time and Motley Crue for 7th and final time) and finally saw The Toadies and Alter Bridge for the first time!
Buckcherry
The Toadies
Alter Bridge
Daughtry/Goo Goo Dolls/Plain White T’s
One Direction/Five Seconds of Summer
Buckcherry
Motley Crue/Alice Cooper  (two nights in a row- Crue’s final tour!)

What were your fave books/movies/music of 2014?
 
 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Poetry Friday



I haven't participated in Poetry Friday in a while, which is a shame, because I LOVE poetry! I've been busy teaching preschool this year, so my mind is on the very younger set while writing poetry.
Here's a number poem about a kid favorite - the puzzle!


PUZZLE                                                                                                

One piece, two piece

Three piece, four

All together

On the floor.

Five piece, six piece

Seven piece, Eight

It’s almost done.

I can’t wait!

Nine piece, ten piece

They all fit.

I’m finished now.

What is it?

- by Kelly Polark, all rights reserved


*Adorable illustration by Kelli Ann Little from picture book, ROCKABET: CLASSIC EDITION
(turned into a puzzle by me)

Thanks so much for stopping by! Go find other poems to read HERE at today's poetry roundup at Anastasia's Booktalking blog!

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Memoir, A Mutant, and a Manuscript Maven!






My friend and fellow blogger, Samantha Verant had an amazing October. Her debut memoir, SEVEN LETTERS FROM PARIS, was released as well as her debut middle grade novel, KING OF THE MUTANTS. (Yes, that is a photo of us taken six years ago in Chicago!)

Let me tell you about the two books!

SEVEN REASONS I LOVE SEVEN LETTERS FROM PARIS
1. Sam is one witty author.
2. The story made me laugh, sigh, and even tear up.
3. So yes, there is heartbreak, but there is much laughter and love, too.
4. Amazing story about second chances.
5. It embraces the lost art of letter writing.
6. There's a place in France where Sam likes to dance. (Maybe or maybe not)
7. I'm mentioned in the acknowledgements!


KING OF THE MUTANTS
I haven't read all of Sam's King of the Mutants yet (I've read the first few chapters long ago!), but I will because my son is getting it for Christmas! Here's the scoop:
Maverick Mercury is the sideshow attraction known as “Gator Boy” at Grumbling’s Traveling Circus and Sideshow. Despite being routinely kicked around by the other performers, Maverick has always been comfortable in his skin. That is, until he overhears Burt Grumbling talking about him behind his reptilian-like back. It seems Maverick’s freakish mutations are the result of some billionaire geneticist’s experiments gone awry. Apparently, this guy kidnaps kids, turns them into supermutants, and sells their powers to the highest bidder. Now, Maverick is on a mission to find the mad scientist who may have created him. All he has to do is steal some wheels from Burt, escape the clutches of one-eyed Yorgi and his gang of killer clowns, and make his way from some Podunk town in Florida to the Big Apple.

So happy for Sam on her double book whammy in October!


BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

I have big news about my blogger friend, Sharon!
Sharon Johnson Mayhew
The wonderful Sharon Mayhew has started an editing business called THE MANUSCRIPT MAVEN! Don't you love the name?! She has critiqued many of my manuscripts, and I highly recommend her. Check out her new website HERE!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy birthday, Lenny!

A very cool and special blogger turns fifteen today!
 


Happy birthday, Lenny!
Lenny, I hope you get fifteen hugs, fifteen bites of cake, fifteen minutes playing video games (okay, more), fifteen smiles, fifteen songs, fifteen fist bumps, fifteen happy emails, fifteen texts that make you laugh, and fifteen (and more) bloggers celebrating you today!
 
(And here's a virtual  hug, smile, and fist bump from me to start!)
 
 
Visit Sharon Mayhew's blog to see more bloggers who are celebrating Mr. Lee today!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

GUESS THE TRUE STATEMENT & WIN JESSICA BELL’S THRILLER, WHITE LADY! (Statement #78)


To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell’s latest novel, WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:

One of Jessica Bell’s many nicknames in her early twenties was ...

a. Jezebel

b. Bessie

c. Jessica Rabbit

 What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours. If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until someone does.


Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours only from the time of posting.

If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to download the book.

Click HERE to see the list of blogs.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.

​Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she’s rehabilitating herself as a “normal” mother and mathematics teacher, it’s time to stop dreaming about slicing people’s throats.

While being the wife of Melbourne’s leading drug lord and simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she’s determined to make it work.
 
It does work. Until Mia, her lover’s daughter, starts exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind Sonia’s back. It isn’t long before she finds out and gets involved to protect them.
But is protecting the kids really Sonia’s motive?
Click HERE to view the book trailer.
Click HERE for purchase links.
 
Jessica Bell, a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and the director of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.
Connect with Jessica online:
 
Congrats, Jessica!!!!
 
 
 
 

 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

May the Fun Be With You

This past weekend we celebrated my youngest son's birthday with his friends. All three of my children have their birthdays within a month so this is the last one for about a year. Back to school time and three birthdays make this the craziest time of the year for me!

Here are some fun photos from the Star Wars Extravaganza! (The majority of ideas executed here are of course from Pinterest!) 14 boys total made for a raucous house and a sweaty, stinky basement! Did I mention it was a sleepover, too?!

Warrooooum. (Light saber sound effect.)
 
 May the snacks be with you.
 
 Cue Imperial March.
 
There was Jedi Training.

 
 
And now I must nap.
 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Goodbye, summer! Hello, sale!

How can it be September already?

Gear up for the new school year with  new books! I'm ready for a new year in my preschool classroom, and I've already picked so many great books to share with my class!


My newest picture book, WORDS ON BIRDS,  is a great gift for teachers! You can purchase it HERE or enter to win a copy at Goodreads HERE!


Also, for your preteen girls, the ROCK 'N' ROLL PRINCESSES WEAR BLACK middle grade ebook is on sale for 99 cents HERE for just a few more weeks! Great Back to School sale!

Read Shelley Sly's great review of it HERE!






Also, thank you to the wonderful peeps at WRITE ON CON! Loved getting great suggestions on my newest picture book manuscript. Check out the website here!


Goodbye, summer! Hello, new school year. I went to see One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer with my daughter and mother-in-law this past weekend (certainly not my usual rock concert, but fun!) and also to a joyful family wedding.  Pinterest has been my friend for sure the last few weeks between planning for my kids' birthday parties and the new school year.
Yup. Here's Liam, Harry, and Niall singing to us!

How are you getting ready for the new school year? What did you do on Labor Day weekend?