Monday, December 28, 2015

Time Out!

I've been so inundated with school that I haven't commentated on ALL the tragedies surrounding the injustices in our world today, yesterday, and those that have yet to come. Tamir Rice a young boy playing at the playground gets gunned down and killed for no apparent reason and there is no solace for his family, no indictment on the premature and preemptive murder of this child! I'm driven back to the horrendous attack on Trayveon Martin and again the failed judicial system that exist with our laws and court systems. Matters of wording, timing, and evidence are all stunning revelations that allow criminals to run free and maintain a sense of overt dignity and entitlement. 
Everything is different and yet everything remains the same.  The same struggles of a race are still prevalent in society and yet with a blind eye or an awkward smile things are supposed to be "alright" "overcoming" and "equitable". These, and many more, are simply another reason to be an active member of the community! Your community! Shape awareness...DEFINE the laws in your district, city, county, state, country. It's time for just existing. Live with a purpose. Be the face of educators, police officers, sheriffs, constables, judges, county clerks, law makers, politicians, loan officers, bankers, business owners, doctors, dentists, etc. 
There's nothing wrong with aspiring to be an athlete, entertainer, Maverick, etc...anything you desire just choose to use your platform to implement CHANGE in the community that you, at the very least, reside in. Take selfies making a difference. Snapchat all the positive things in the community you're doing. Blog, rally, be sassy, be bold, be loud making statements for OUR future! It's time out!
xoxo, 
And now I'm off my soapbox! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Getting to JOY

It's easy to feel inadequate or worthless. It doesn't take having low self-esteem or an abusive background either. You can come from, what's called good-stock, or have what others might see as the picture-perfect life, and have an unfortunate series of events, get knocked down one too many times, feel you're blessings have escaped your grasps just all too often and you could get into a funk so low you feel as if you're walking the pits of hell with Satan himself. 
I'd be remiss to tell you to suck it up! Sometimes, truthfully, there comes a time for a good shout, scream, cry, whatever it is you do to let out anguish. It's required. It's not safe to keep things bottled up. It's not realistic to hold things in. For the greater good of your "help" you must let it go. In some of my darkest hours, just simply saying; "I'm giving this to God" did not offer me comfort. It didn't even make me feel a little bit better. It didn't make me feel hopeful! In fact, honestly speaking, it would piss me off. So to say that statement to you and not give you insight on my struggle would be wrong! 
I felt like a waste of space often. My very existence disturbed me! I had to consciously ask myself, "what am I here for?" I struggled in my head often questioning things. Nothing in particular, just things. Maybe at the time I should've confided in someone. Perhaps a family member, a friend, a counselor, even a total stranger may have sufficed but I was too embarrassed to admit signs of weakness. Too embarrassed to be vulnerable. Too embarrassed to be that transparent. To admit I didn't have it all together. To admit I was suffering from some form of depression or inadequacy.
In a light moment, maybe a conversation or two I would express nonchalantly my disdain for my life and myself but it was always taken as, you're just having a rough day. And instead of saying, "No. This day has lasted for some years. No. I cry myself to sleep each night and several times throughout the day. No. This rough day has been a wretched nightmare, one I can't seem to wake from. One that makes me feel like I can't catch my breath. Only I believe in God and I know I didn't give me life so I have no business taking it for granted". Those responses would run through my head but instead of saying them I'd smile and say, "Yes. Maybe." I'd hide the fact that I believed God hated me and was eternally testing me to see if I'd break! I remember screaming out in anguish alone in my car, in the shower, or in my bedroom, "You can't have my life! I won't be defeated! God you will show favor on me! I may not see it now but I will! I'm not dying in misery!"
I felt alone in the wilderness. I can not tell a lie. I felt if I took one step forward I was pushed back three. I felt everything I prayed for came to me in the reverse and negative. I felt the moment I felt happiness, I was back-hand slapped into a gutter. What others would call favor, I called a curse! I was ungrateful but, if I'm being brutally honest; I felt I deserved more.
There's the problem! The AHA moment! 
I'm not entitled to ANYTHING on God's green earth! How dare I look at the chicken He gives me to eat and demand sirloin? I'm the hungry one, not Him. He is Bread! 
How dare I think I should get everything I pray for? I don't follow everything He commands! How dare I look at her or them over there and get mad at their blessings? I don't know their struggle, their life, their commitment to Christ! 
Hallelujah! I'm ministering to myself at this very moment! 
God's time is not our time! My simple mind can't even conjure up the life plan God has in store for me! I can't imagine the infinite possibilities of His plans for my life. So why limit myself to being upset if, instead of getting to my destination on a jet; I arrive by ship.
Hard times come, it's inevitable. You get sad, mad, sick, tired, frustrated and much more BUT keep on living. Brighter days come. Brighter days go. Then when you least expect it they come again! My great secret formula is; there is NO secret formula to getting to happy. It's circumstantial. You can, however; surround yourself with good people sharing good things! Weed out your toxic negativity. Isolation is NOT the key! It's more like a sickness. Be around life. Be around movement activities happening. Keep your mind motivated by the hustle and bustle of a day. 
Don't be so quick to run to a pharmacy to take pills. Exercise. Change your diet. Get enough sleep. Stay active! An idle mind is the devil's workshop. If nothing else Get Up! It takes strength. It takes practice. You may slump back into a funk. I did! You may fall ten times! Get UP thirty! Don't stay there! Get Up! Move around. Don't isolate yourself. You have a purpose no matter how insignificant you may feel in a moment or for a time. Every day your purpose may not appear clear to you. Every day isn't roses. Sometimes there's mold amongst the bushes. Every day won't be peaceful. I'm a liar and the truth isn't within me if I say it is and you're silly if you believe that I could. The motivation is in YOU. Highlight what you need from this blog, highlight thoughts, people, moments in your life that significantly keep you in a "safe" place. 
A "safe" place is figuratively and literally speaking, actually; the place, not only your mind, but in and throughout life that detaches you from the negative waste-of-space emotions we encounter. 
It's hard work to stay in a positive place- mentally! It takes active involvement on our part to think positive, speak positively, and be positive. Don't be naive to think you can say, "I'm going to be positive," and poof! Like magic, everything around you and within you will be positive. Work at it. Set reminders in your phone with positive affirmations that go off throughout the day. Write positive notes or messages and strategically place them in areas you live or work in. Interact with positive people. Read positivity. Live positively. These things will shape your negative internal thoughts into positive actions and reactions to circumstances that may surround you. 
God's abundant blessings in attaining your JOY!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Eliminating Excuses

The below link to the video is ridiculous and outrageous!!! If that lady would have defended herself in ANY way "they" (media, parents, admin, etc.) would have persecuted her and the students would have been described as misguided and needing a positive mentor! šŸ˜” Where do we, as a community, go from this foolishness? How can you possibly justify this behavior? At what point are individuals held accountable for their actions and appropriate consequences put into place?! When are excuses eliminated? 
The below video makes me sick to my stomach, sad, disgusted, and enraged all at the same time. NO ONE should endure that type of malicious disrespect! NO ONE should have the right to treat anyone in that manner! And NO ONE should have to be on the defensive in a classroom...the one place that should be a safe haven for (here's the kicker) LEARNING!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tolerance

Tolerance is the perfect word that defines 2015 if I had to choose only one word. Tolerance says tons. However, what it doesn't say is approve. Tolerance says, I may not agree or understand you and your perception of life, liberty, or justice BUT; it is your reality and if it is your reality there are others that face the same reality and I accept that we live on this planet together. Living together on this planet means we must co-exist and be respectful each other as living, breathing beings. It does not mean pushing or forcing views on each other. Good day, and happy tolerating! 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Why not me?

Before looking around at others and asking the question, " Why them?" Look at yourself in the mirror and ask, "Why not me?"
Do you actually have what it takes? Really think about this question. It's not to diminish your self esteem, but it's to make you think. You may be lacking something! 
It goes back to the old saying, " Sweep around your own front door before you go to sweep someone else's", or "Taste your words before you spit them out", or biblically put; "Take the plank out of your own eye before you attempt to remove the speck from your brother's."
Everything that glitters isn't gold and perhaps you have a few things from the list of "ain't gots" that you should be working in. You may assume you're highly qualified and find out the person you're comparing yourself to is overly-qualified. You may disregard them or count them out of your league but just remember FAVOR ain't fair. 
Think on these things...before you get your feelings hurt comparing yourself to others.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Do you know what gluten means?!

https://youtu.be/AdJFE1sp4Fw 

At a workshop this morning we discussed science illiteracy. Many people in the world aren't actually knowledgable about topics and, in fact, even stances or decisions they make. Many people believe everything they Google, find on the Internet or see on a billboard. Some people only give credibility to a friend, fit fan member, or another person they run marathons with. 
The trainer gave several examples of scientific information people aren't literate or knowledgeable about but make vast opinions and assumptions on: vaccinations, eating foods with unknown named ingredients, etc.
Gluten-free me laugh! Gluten is mixture of two proteins found in grains and wheat. It is harmful to those people that have celiac disease only. 
If your objective is to cut down on carbs...great! If it is to cut back on gluten...why? The above YouTube was hilarious! And the following meme's are even better! 
Mind you- water and lettuce do NOT contain wheat or grains but over 30% of people "maintain" a gluten-free diet and pay top dollar (an exuberant amount) to have gluten-free (non-containing) foods and drinks! 
Someone is a marketing genius and getting rich off science illiteracy! Pay attention. If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it enough, as quoted by Albert Einstein. 


Here, lettuce does NOT contain lactose anyway (side-eye)...this is laughable to me. #literacy 

Enjoy this gluten-free post (smiles)
Thanks Lisa F. for the funnies today during our training.



Thursday, October 8, 2015

When You Don't Have the Words...

“Troubles or grief do not last always, for with our friends and family, and our very own personal beliefs of hope; we are certain to find strength through hard times and moments.  Even when it feels as if there’s a storm cloud over our heads, the thunder’s too loud, and all the earth beneath us shakes…the sun ALWAYS shines again.”
~SoKhrystian (Twitter)

When you just don't have the words...I'll write them for you! I did this for a coworker whom had a grieving friend. My coworker didn't have the words and wanted to send a card to encourage the friend.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

What's in your learning tool-kit?

As a leader continual learning is an invaluable manifestation of success. A learning tool-kit can be used in any and every aspect of our daily lives. Don't get caught up in the comparison of the classroom that I'm posting with this picture. The underlying question is: What will you, or do you, use to seek out knowledge? How and what steps are you taking to be better every day and with every obstacle? ...every question in your life? 
A learning tool-kit changes frequently and congruently with objectives and goals as they are mastered! The items in my tool-kit may not be in your tool-kit. This month our tool-kits may be uniquely different and come three months from now, our tool-kits could be a variation of the same things. As we are individuals, so are our learning tool-kits! As you master habits, your tool-kit will stand to be refined or totally re-defined. 
A leadership series takes each avenue of skill and creates a progress measure to exemplify intrinsic motivation. A leadership series builds over time. It's a succession of target areas meant to tranform your way of thinking and essentially transform your life! We are leaders in the decision-making steps of our lives. Identify what's in your learning tool-kit. It's all that you use on a day to day basis to achieve success. 

Welcome to Khrystian Nichole's Leadership journey! If you are reading this, it's not too late, and your boarding pass awaits you!

xoxo 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Year, New Tasks, New Journey 2015-2016

Growth is a good thing! If you're not developing and changing; there's a good chance you're not actually alive so, yea...let's keep growing and changing! 
Anywho...the start of a new school year is upon us and this will be the first time in eleven years that I won't be preparing a classroom, eyeballing a class roster to read familiar names, preparing a name tent so the students can mimic one for themselves on their desks, creating seating charts, etc, etc...
It's exciting! It's definitely new! I'm officially ready though with a growth mindset! 

Here's the first looks of my office! 
 




Wishing myself and all my friends in education a great start to a great year! 

1st day of my eleventh year in education






Single Girl EATS! Food Chronicles part 7

I needed something quick, healthy, fulfilling, AND delicious all wrapped into one dish and I got it with this pasta meal I created...thanks to the inspiration of my cousin Kisha whom was getting home to cook a meal for her family! F.O.E! Lol 

Ingredients include:
Chicken breast strips (cut in half)
Penne pasta (or your preference)
Vegetable oil
Half Onion 
Half Bell pepper
Yellow pepper
Half JalapeƱo pepper
Tomato sauce and paste (or just get Ragu)
Can of rotel
Onion powder
Garlic pepper
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Season chicken then grill along with veggies. Once chicken is done, add tomato sauce, paste, rotel, and all seasonings to taste. Bring to boil then simmer (low). Boil pasta. Drain. Add pasta to sauce and Enjoy!





Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Straight Outta Compton

Great movie! Nice story. It was about N.W.A. The rise, the fall, the ups and downs. It was not about the independent artist DJ Yella, MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, or Eazy E. It was not about Ruthless Records. The story of N.W.A made a path for the artists' successes and sometimes detriments, but it was not a story of their independent legal matters, outside relationships, film careers, record labels, or anything else attributed to their individual names or fame. If it was...it would have been some type of elongated mini-series and not the two-hour theater movie those of us whom have seen it, thoroughly enjoyed. The movie that gave us a nostalgic remembrance of an era that revolutionized hard-core, gangsta, misogynistic, realistic rap that was played, banned, talked about, played again, and opened up numerous doors for so many other producers, artists, labels, free thinkers, activists, and executives!
Everyone is coming up and out of the wood works as contributors to the story of N.W.A. I'll say- you may have been around at the time, an artist in the studio, a label mate, riding in the car, on the tour bus, at Eazy E's Wet and Wild party, you may have even been the specific Felecia at the hotel during one of their numerous wild nights, but you are not; I repeat NOT one of the contributing members of N.W.A which the movie was based upon. Knock it off...enjoy the film...let your memory take you back...then, get over yourself. 
If you hadn't seen the movie; I highly suggest you do. I couldn't actually "relate" since I was seven and eight years old at the height of the groups commercial success, plus the fact my mom wouldn't allow me to listen to or watch rated "R" things...let's face it- I was sheltered- but I sure did enjoy the film! 

Cruising down the block in my six fo' 
xoxo








Thursday, August 6, 2015

...there is always hope...

Sometimes life's disappoints can gut punch you. There is always hope. Sometimes you feel all alone in a room full of people. There is always hope. Some days you feel lost and misguided. There is always hope. Every now and again you want to retreat to your bed, cut off the lights, hide under the covers, and disappear from the world. There is always hope. It may storm unmercifully for months, even years. There is always hope. God hasn't left you. He hears your cries. He heard your thoughts looping through your mind and your innermost fears and desires. There is ALWAYS hope!

 

Monday, July 6, 2015

I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers and grandmothers. I sit on the knee caps of soldiers marching for freedom. I echo the voice of civil rights' leaders. I rally behind the backs of my brothers and sisters for equality and against injustice. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Single Girl...EATS! Food Chronicles pt. 6

Of course it would be a play on Single Girl Gems! I'd been having a taste for fresh, steamed green beans and fish...that I make! Paired it with rice, along with an optional cream sauce or remoulade, and there you have it! Pretty PHAT heaven on Earth! 
 Before

After

Before

After

Before 



After

....and finally Wah La!
After! 

Happy Summer Lovin', Cookin', and Eating!
xoxo









Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Road tripping~Gone Wrong

When road tripping goes wrong...just imagine a hundred and something mile ride, roughly two hours, to a beautiful resort...
You want no sounds, except that of the R. Kelly station you have playing. You're riding and you're rolling, rolling and riding. You would have placed the address into the gps, only the resort, initially, didn't come up on the grid. You're told that signs will be everywhere anyway, so you're good...so you think! 
A nostalgic collection of music playing and sing-along anthems belted, easy breezy traffic flow (exceptional actually) and two and a half hours later you're asked, "Where are you?" "What time did we leave the house?" Then told, "Look for exit 25."
YIKES!! 
Looking at the sign ahead it reads exit EIGHTY-SIX! 86! Ocho y sies! Yes! 86! Not 25, not even close to 25 if you round! Not even the vicinity, not even close to the same city! 
Yes! That's the story of my life. I drove an hour out from the resort! A nice evening relaxing by the pool that should have began at 6:30...the latest! Didn't begin until 8:30- after I'd arrived! It was dark! It was night! What do you do with lemons? Make lemon drop martini's!! #SingleGirlGem
Late night jacuzzi lounging...a night cap...and bed! The next day would be better! It had to be, right? I was already AT the resort! 

Happy road tripping!



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Teaching Tid-bit

TWEET board for student responses, exit tickets, or as an alternative to a mail box! This makes for an awesome student-centered learning tool. Post-it notes and pencils should be assessible to students at all times. 

To address a particular lesson question stem or open-ended question where individual student responses are required: each student receives the question stem, along with a post-it to TWEET the teacher their response. 

When using as an exit ticket, use the same procedure except; students TWEET as the exit the classroom!

Take it a step further and create an actual classroom twitter account and take student responses to the net! 

It helps keep students accountable for their learning, engaged in the student expectation, gives you immediate feedback in short chunks, and bridges social media aspects to the classroom! 



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Not a threat...a promise!

Knowing what you want, how you want it, and the time-frame in which you want it is not a threat! It's setting smart goals! It's making and keeping a promise. Defining your life in stages is not placing ultimatums or vice grips on anyone else.  If you don't define yourself for yourself or know what you want when you want it, or have goals in place and measureable timelines...someone else is going to do it for you and then you'll really be in bad shape. It is a variation of an Audre Lord quote in which she says, "If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive." She was speaking the absolute truth, and I'm fairly certain you may be familiar with the quote. 
If someone feels threatened by your definition or expectations for your life tell them to move around. You don't have time to be confined or manipulated to feel as if you're doing something wrong by mapping out your life, goals, and aspirations. Just putting this out there for the dazed and confused...or as a reminder for those on target and mastering...
Great luck in life! Today is June 3rd! We're mid-year and it's time to SELF-CHECK!
xoxo

Saturday, May 23, 2015

My Educational (Career) Journey

At no-years in, a mere 11 years ago, I began substitute teaching as a means to an end when I thought I wanted to pursue a higher degree in corporate law. Racked with an exuberant amount of passions and an even greater abundance of decisions; I chose the path of least resistance (to say the least) and chose to get a certification in grades 4-8 since that was the grade-level I had been subbing and was most comfortable. 
I started the career as a NEW teacher leading a cross-curricular team of veteran teachers and boy did I get a crash-course in teacher-parent-student connections professional development! The hiring principal at the time stated, "Oh, being a team leader won't be so bad. You'll just have to spend an extra hour of your Mondays with me after school." Ok! She lied! BUT...she did take it easy on me. All I truly did was relay messages from this Type-A personality principal to the other members on my team and Wha La! What do you know? I'm a first-year teacher with a distinguished title among educators around the nation. I gain a close relationship with the principal, remaining administration, leaders on the campus, and my peers which would follow me for ten full years until I receive my second Service Award. (You get a Service Award every five years.)
Fast forward today, I'm offered, applied, interviewed, and accepted a position as Science Academic Coach. Who knew that my time in the classroom as a science teacher and team leader all these years, additional certifications later, two campuses, four principals, an internship, professional and personal victories and defeats all would be preparing me for this transfer...this moment. Who knew that I would be a valuable asset to a campus all because of my leadership skills, integrity, work ethic, qualifications, experience, relationships, effectiveness, positivity, and professional standing? I'm excited for the change, and open to all it will bring. Boots on and strapped tight as I embark on this next chapter that I've been told, "is seeing education in an entire different light!"
I'm all set with my idealistic views of what instructional/academic coaching looks like and feels like. 
Bring it on!








Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cinco de Mayo!

I love participating in the Cinco de Mayo celebrations around the city! As of late, I've been restaurant hopping to get maximum exposure and FUN! 
Little bit of a history lesson: 
It's the fifth of May celebrated annually by Mexicans, Americans, and other mixed nationalities. It's celebrated in honor of the Mexican army's victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla! They were considered the underdog and triumphed! 
In essence, my celebration of Cinco de Mayo is about achievement through obstacles! 




Sunday, May 3, 2015

Bookfest!

Not only did I present Single Girl Gems, get sales, and network with other authors, vendors, book lovers, and avid readers; I got the bonus of getting four titles for six bucks!!!! Be still my heart! 






Create the life YOU want

The number one question I received from middle schoolers at their career fair was, "how much do you get paid, Miss?" 
Kids are curious, but so are adults! So I'll answer this question for both parties. The key word is WORKING. Like I explained to the kids; you can be the best dancer, actress, writer, artist, etcetera in the world. You could even get booked quite often, however; if you don't show up and show out; you won't get paid. In other words: produce quality work. Auditions, contracts, and negotions are always available. They are out there. There's also always a need for creative talent and ideas. All you have to do is constantly produce and you'll constantly get paid for your services. Some contracts are worth hundreds, some thousands, and some millions. It really just depends on budgets. Then from there it depends on how well you extend money. Are you going to invest in yourself to gain more contracts and ultimately more money or will you spend it on frivolous items that won't produce a return? Those items look really good however, deplete your savings.
When going into the business of entertainment or entrepreneurship self-investment is truly the most important thing. It's probably one of the most important life gems I could give as I stood and answered their anxious questions about my life aside of teaching 5th grade science.
The second, most entertaining question was, "how do you have time to do all of this?"
The question perplexes me because I never think of it as much until someone else makes me realize it is a bunch of stuff. Really they're all inter-related if you think about it. Aside from the obvious: Just do it attitude, there's really not much else to say. Of course some things lack. I don't get to audition for roles as much throughout the year, with the exception of summer, due to my schedule and most auditions are held on week days. I prefer stability over anything which is one major reason I've remained in education for so long and have finally decided to take it to another level by completing graduate school by any means necessary. 
Just remember life is what YOU make it! Don't just think outside the box...remove that ding dang on box. There's no limits to what you can do and how much of if you can do when you create your own rules!



























The Business behind Boxing

So...obviously the fight against Floyd Mayweather and Manny Paquiao was all  about the money. They could not seriously, actually, fight and not go a full twelve rounds with all the money racked in from spectators and sponsors. If you don't know that...please get an understanding of business, brands, marketing, and corporations before you speak ignorantly to your assumptions of this fight. Knock outs are exciting but nothing says a formidable rematch more than a feeling that everything wasn't accomplished the first time. A sense of could, would, or should happen the next round. Anticipation. Let down. The terms that make you want a rematch. Perhaps they intend for fans to feel like the fight wasn't enough.
Let's be real for a blog and say; this fight was overall boring! Nothing fantastic, note-worthy, or memorable. Money had the power behind his punches whenever they landed and PAC man had hits...as innumerable as they were. He threw many hits, but missed plenty. The hits were most entertaining probably because we saw head slanging and "dancing" around the ring. Audiences were mostly biased and had favorites before the match which made for a competitive night amongst boxing fans! Regardless of what you feel, Mayweather dominated the punches and indeed won! Congrats! Paquiao was a commendable contender and did his job well. He kept Mayweather on his toes for sure ...however; the best man for the night won. 
I've read and heard many people say how they've seen better fights on YouTube, snap chat, or streaming online. People have said they've seen better fights with a bill collector, between kids on a playground, with a fly buzzing around their ear, or with a wireless connection, but let's face it: none of those "fights" ever had a multi-million dollar pay day, endorsements, or the exposure of the match between PAC man and Money May. Those two men are making plans for the next "big" thing and going to sleep well at night. Same folks complaining will be at the next fight party, if not hosting it at their house!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Costs

There are several costs associated with being the best, good at what you do, or a master at your given craft. Whatever the situation or reason; you'll have them talking about you regardless-good or bad so give them plenty of ammunition! 
Keep being great and continue developing, transforming and last, but certainly not least; don't dim your light! 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Conferences, Festivals, and Workshops oh my!

As an adult I've adopted the mantra of life-long learning. You learn something new everyday. Take what you learn and use it! I would be remiss to not receive formal training, or network with other professionals, or "pick" the brain of a successful person or groups of people I intend to model after. 
Conferences,festivals, and workshops work to build, not only relationships, but bridge gaps, define talents and refine gifts that you otherwise wouldn't receive without surrounding yourself with other like-minded individuals and professionals. 
Treat yourself to these events. Don't cheat yourself of the knowledge you gain from others' wisdom, trials and errors. Use someone else's platform to springboard and discover tips or tools to give birth to your ideas or nurture your development. 
Here are some GEMS I took away from my first Writer's Conference. Some I knew and when that occurs; it becomes life's way of assuring you are on the right path. Other new ideas and methods learned become gems to polish and use. As a published author, I've been approached on numerous occasions about becoming a writer, author; I've been asked about publication practices, and so-on and so-forth. Here you go in a nutshell (thanks Mr. Halliday for your expertise):
1. Writer's write! Just do it. Write anything. Everything. Your grocery list, a letter, a task list, whichever it is: WRITE! 
2. Have it your way. It's your work, not your editor, or the publishing house. Own it. Stick to the non-negotiables of your story and save compromises for how the story is told.
3. Keep your target audience and purpose in mind throughout the writing, editing, and re-writing process. 
4. Decide the how of your book-style. Will it be informative? Informing your reader or stating information, or is it for a particular group? Explaining how to do something.
5. Study, study, study. Your genre, writing styles, favorite authors, undesirable authors, words, content, etc.
6. Find your voice and perspective. Use your gifts because they're unique. You won't be Stephen King because God already created him just like He created you.
7. When using the element of surprise in your writing- don't forget it. 
8. Strategic order versus logical order. Begin with the end in mind and write leading your reader to it.
9. Watch superlatives! Watch frivolous words and cliche phrases. (My take away, for sure!) Edit your writing without intimidation to use strong verbs and concise language. There aren't gestures, intonation, inflection, or accents with written words. Reading becomes repetitive without ACTIVE verbs!
10. Be brutal when re-writing! Abort what's not good. 
11. It's not EVER as good as it can be! Don't ask? While writing keep in mind; is my voice effective and meant for my audience?? 
12. Trendy can be overdone. It's not new, as much as, it's popular. Stay above the trends. Be aware, but above.
 
Thanks HBU Writer's Conference 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Much Can Happen in Three Days!

Thank God for the Son! Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tales of a 5th grade Teacher

Here's a note one of the "designated" students for the "good" kids left for my substitute teacher in the hopes to not get "told" on when I returned.

Hump Day Randoms

If you are over a group of people it is nice, polite...not to mention PROFESSIONAL to know their names and how to PRONOUNCE them.

Closed mouths don't get fed, but when they are fed and full; they become ungrateful. 

We are not all alike. Respect it and move on. 

Sometimes you just need FIVE! Five seconds, five deep breaths, five minutes, five fingers closed into a fist, five dollars, five cents, five hard laughs, five good thoughts, five kind words, to use your five senses...

Moist plastic on cardboard makes it cave in.

Check your food before you leave; they hardly ever get it right at the drive-thrus. 

It's ok to say, "No."

Remaining silent for fifteen minutes calms you and relaxes your mood. (See rule of five above)

A simple thank you goes a long way.

If you want good food...make it at home!

For the love of all things Kate Spade, find the "funny" in ALL things! It's really not that serious!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Stupid F*cking Bird

Stupid F*cking Bird, by Aaron Posner, sort of adapted from The Seagull by Anton Chelhov, is intrepidly bold! Stages Repertory Theatre has a witty ensemble cast that create clever moments with comedic lines,  melodramatic scenes, and outlandish interaction with the audience, not to mention their chemistry combined to make a fun night at the theatre! 
"Start the f*cking show," is what the audience was coaxed to say in order to begin the series of events where we witnessed an absorbent amount of "We are here" self-consciousness, profane dialogue,  intertwining love webs that never quite connect, family dysfunction, and "accidental" resilience among other things. Sitting in the audience feels as if you're peeking through the back gate of someone's yard on a warm Fall night eavesdropping gleefully. Yet you feel apart of the on-stage conversation during those extreme moments in which you're asked advice or to express you're opinion. 
When Con asks how to win Nina's love, audience members are reluctant at first to answer, but then voices begin to emerge from various corners of the stage, "Stop acting!" "Tell her again!" "Give her a brownie!" After erupting laughter, both from on stage and off; the play moves on. 
I found the show to be wickedly funny with a parade of charming actors one behind the other allowing realistic vulnerability to lead their performances. I recommend a view or TWO. Even a person unfamiliar with either playwright will find humor and the "fun" in the show. The script is unrestricted enough that every night could motivate clever moments that would vary with the audience during any given performance.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Have a great day on P.U.R.P.O.S.E

Having a great or even good day each day is easy...once you have purpose! Purpose is easy once you know what if takes. I can't tell you to do something without giving you the means to do it, and then having tried it for myself! So here you go...tested, tried, and TRUE!
Pray- If not as soon as you wake up, make it apart of your day. Pray for your strength. Pray that you woke up. Pray for your sanity to get you through the day.Pray  for sound decision-making. Pray for that coworker or person that's sure to piss you off as soon as they enter your presence (lol...but truth)! Pray for your family, your friends, your neighbors. Pray for perfect strangers. Pray for your enemies. Pray for anything or anyone you want and if you get stumped, heck; pray for world peace cuz we just can never have too much of that! 
Understand that just because a problem arises or some type of conflict occurs throughout the day, even if it's multiple issues; you WILL be okay. As sure as you live the sun will rise and set. Understand that circumstances don't make the day...you do and how you handle your conflicts.
Risk disappointments from not-so-good decisions. Risk taking chances. Risk losing sometimes to gain, or just risk losing...continue understanding that you WILL be okay! Risk giving to receive. Risk throwing negativity to the wind so that positive thoughts can emerge and re-emerge throughout your day.
Prepare yourself for the day. If you know ahead of time you'll be busy all day, get proper rest the night before. Prepare your mind for the tasks ahead. Drink coffee or exercise if you're tired or cranky. Think before you speak or act out. You already know Jane or John will annoy you in some way so prepare to deflect their negativity or the annoyance that's forthcoming. If you're running late- breathe. Rushing and being unprepared won't make your day go any smoother. You are, in fact, already late.
Own your day. It's yours and not a single other person can give it to you or take the way you feel about your day from you. Once you know that, you understand that no one can make your day great but you. Set your intentions to own your day and go out of your way to make it great! If that includes eating an ice cream sundae...do it! (Okay, maybe that's just me)
Sing a happy tune! Singing is usually synonymous with happy. Whistling, humming...have you ever seen a person doing any of the above mentioned having a "bad" day?! Ok then! Hey, if nothing else has worked for you, I'm telling you, try it out! I don't care if it's, "Take me to the King," or "Hakuna Matata" sing something that lifts your mood! Music is a definite mood-changer. If you're embarrassed or around a bunch of people, let the music play in your head. They won't know unless you start belting out that one chorus or verse you just love.
Expose your intentions to have a great day by a simple smile. I'm not a fan of walking around with a huge kool-aid grin on your face but approaching someone or being approached with a smile on your face is a sure-fire way to transfer some positive, good energy. If no one else smiles, oh well! They're not in charge of your day. You are, so smile anyway. Your intentions are to have a great day. And nothing says a person is having a great day like a universal smile. 

If you'll notice the non-negotiable theme in all of the above for having a great day- on purpose- starts within. It's totally MENTAL! It's all on you! Remember that, and you're sure to have great days! 

xoxo