Thursday, December 31, 2009

My ten words for the new year

Happy new year everyone!!

It's going to be a year of change for me. A year of possibilities, and yes, uncertainty. This list is to remind me of what's most important!











Chase Around the USA Winners!!

One last order of business before we move into a new month, a new year, a new opportunity to dream big!

I want to thank the following bloggers for doing an amazing job with the Chase Around the USA contest that has been happening over the past couple of months:

YA Bliss
The Never Ending Shelf 
A Good Addiction 
A Life Bound by Books 
The Book Scout 
The Compulsive Reader 
The Book Shopaholic

Here are the pictures they each made about the book as part of the contest:

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I've drawn three names to win a signed copy of one of my books (you choose which one!) and they are:

A Life Bound by Books

The Book Scout

A Good Addiction

And, with the help of some judges, the winner of the photo contest, who gets a signed copy of FLASH BURNOUT by LK Madigan, a signed copy of LIPS TOUCH by Laini Taylor, and a copy of CRASH INTO ME by Albert Borris is:

The Book Shopaholic, who did this photo:

Thanks to ALL of you for helping to make this contest a success, I really appreciate it!!

Winners, please contact me with your address so I can get your choice of book (if applicable) and get your prizes mailed to you in the next week or two.

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

January blog event - are you ready?

Are you ready to DREAM BIG in 2010?

Whatever your answer is to that question, I want to help YOU.
Inspire YOU.
Move YOU to dream big.

Because I do believe - "It may be that those who do most, dream most." ~Stephen Butler Leacock

I've asked 26 amazing authors for kids and teens to write around the topic "Dream Big" and they came through in a BIG way.

You will hear from:

Becca Fitzpatrick, author of the NYT bestselling novel HUSH, HUSH
L.K. Madigan, author of FLASH BURNOUT, a William Morris award finalist
Liz Garton Scanlon, author of the NYT best illustrated book ALL THE WORLD
And many, many more!!!

It all starts January 1st, right here.

I hope you'll join me and make 2010 the year YOU dream big!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bookish news!!


1. If you are a Portland, OR peep, I will be signing and reading next week. Tues., January 5th at 7:00 pm, to be exact, at the Clackamas Barnes and Noble. It's kind of weird, has me on their events page! Go HERE and wait a minute, and you'll see me as the ad scrolls from THE HONOR OF SPIES to CHASING BROOKLYN.

2. A few early reviews have been posted, so thought I'd share...

"Schroeder masterfully creates a parallel structure within the text, the energy and emotion of each scene heightening its overall drama, underscoring the sorrow and, above all, strengthening its final message of hope."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Schroeder has covered a few rough topics in one novel and she weaved [them] together in a magnificent way."

"Lisa has written a story that to me was emotional, powerful, strong and filled with love."

"As a reader, I got the feeling that I was reading the diaries of friends and felt the sympathy and urgency and thrill of healing right along with them."—

3. FAR FROM YOU makes a very cute paperback. I really like it. My new editor sent me a couple copies of each book until I get my author copies from the warehouse. Here, I took a picture for you:

Tomorrow - Find out what BIG plans I have for the month of January. It's so awesome and so exciting, I can't wait to share it with all of you!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Supporting authors when your heart is bigger than your wallet

As we look forward to a new year, I'm thinking about all the books I'm anticipating in the coming year.

I'm sure you know there are a LOT of great books for kids and teens coming out in the coming months. A lot as in hundreds and hundreds, many of them by debut authors who need all the help and support they can get. Unfortunately, most of us can't really buy hundreds of books each and every year. So I thought I'd post a list of ways we can support our fellow authors in other ways besides purchasing the book. When we can buy the book, wonderful! But when we can't, we can do other things that will help the author in the long run. I'm sure you know most of these, but I thought it might be a nice reminder for all of us, me included!

Lisa's Top 9 list of ways to support your author friends

1. Ask your public library to order a copy. There's a box at my library where you can request titles for purchase. Some libraries have it on-line. It really only takes a minute to do it. Usually you can request that the library reserve the title for you once they order it. That way you're first on the list to read it!

If you see an interesting interview or a great review about an author you know, tweet about it or put the link in your blog and point people there. Stuff like this is much more interesting when it comes from someone besides the author herself.

3. E-mail the author and ask if he/she has any bookmarks or postcards you could pass out to teachers, librarians, friends, etc.

4. If you can take a couple of minutes to write even a short review after you've read a book, and then put that review up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, those reviews can be incredibly helpful to an author, especially if you liked the book.

5. Have a few book lists ready in your purse or wallet, in case a conversation comes up where you have a chance to give some recommendations. This happened to me just the other night, when a girl said she was done with BREAKING DAWN and didn't know what to read next. Word of mouth is HUGE, especially for authors that aren't well known, so be ready when the opportunity strikes!

6. If you go to an author's event, take a picture and post it to social media. If it's a really good picture, maybe try submitting it to the Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf on-line newsletter.

7. Make a list on Amazon, and put your favorite books in a certain genre, or favorite books of the year, or ten books you're really excited about in the coming year, whatever. People DO read those lists!

8. If you have a kid's birthday party to go to, give a book! Combine it with something else, if you'd like, to make it more fun and interesting, but buying books as gifts is really a win-win situation, right? Good for the kid, ultimately, if he/she ends up reading it, and good for the author and publishing industry.

9. Respond to questions on Goodreads, Amazon, twitter, etc. and recommend new titles. I often see the same titles being recommended over and over again, and while I know that's because they are GOOD books, there are other books, not well known, that could be getting some well-deserved air time too.

Are there any other good ones you can think of?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas poem

May We Always Believe
by Lisa Schroeder, Dec. 2005

’Twas the week before Christmas
and with so much to do,
not a Schroeder was sleeping.
They were frazzled, it’s true.

The cookies weren’t baked
and the gifts weren’t yet bought.
But with Target dot com,
surely all was not lost.

The boys topped their lists with
Nintendo DS!
Mom’s heart started racing
from Extreme Price Tag Stress.

“Why do you need that?”
Mom tried to outwit.
“You have a fine Gameboy.”

“But the new games don’t FIT!”

“Santa will bring them,”
G said, “Yes he will!”
Dad nodded and smiled
while Mom felt quite ill.

Visions of Kirby
danced in the boys’ heads
as they drifted to sleep
in their warm, comfy beds.

“How did we get here?”
Mom asked with a sigh.
“What happened to dump trucks,
and to blocks built so high?”

Just for a moment,
Dad closed his brown eyes.
“They grow up so fast.
It’s been quite a surprise.”

“Wait!” Mom exclaimed.
“Did you hear what G said?
This is nothing to dread!”

When Christmas Day came,
Santa left quite a loot.
He ate all the cookies,
left a mark with his boot.

“I told you, I told you!”
G squealed with joy.
Mom and Dad wiped their tears
at the sight of their boy.

“Will you always believe,
in that old Santa Claus?”
“I will!” answered G,
without nearly a pause.

Big brother S
well, he didn’t say much.
Except, “Santa’s great.”
Ah, what a nice touch.

And so Mom and Dad
watched the day, what a thrill.
And they found themselves wishing
time would stop. Just stand still.

Thank you, dear Lord,
for good girls and boys.
May we always believe,
and know life’s greatest joys.


Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!!

Wishing you peace, love and joy.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Two happy posts from blogging past

(Originally posted on livejournal in a locked post 10-24-06)


A fabulous agent loves my free verse novel, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME! She says she would be the strongest of advocates or something like that!

She wants to talk with me!!!!!

Of course, I have to ask questions and make sure she's THE ONE, but do you know how FREAKING good it feels to be wanted???

Again, I have to say, OMG!!!!!!!!!


(originally posted at livejournal on 10-26-06)

Don't Stop Believing

On April 23, 2004
the search began.

Steven Malk
was the first.

I longed for him to say yes
like I long for
the warmth of the sun
in the dead of winter.

No thank you.
No thanks.

Dig deep.
Dig deeper.

Write some more.
Write better.

More queries.
More rejection.
More despair.

No thank you.
No thanks.


Write some more.
Write even better.

I celebrated with others,
watching them climb
the ladder of success
while my heart cried
because no one wanted

Try again.

No thank you.
No thanks.

Doubt creeps in
like a spider.
and then it is there,
and scarier
than you ever thought
it could be.

“Getting a good agent is hard.”

Climbing a mountain is hard.
Childbirth is hard.
Love is hard.

Think about that.
Hard, but worth it.
Definitely worth it.

And so,
the theme became

“It’s too short to be a novel.”
“Too sad.”
“Poetry isn’t my thing.”

Friends wrapped themselves
around my heart
and gave me love
and friendship
and encouragement
which carried me through.

One kind editor
and a world-famous author
said nice things,
opening the window just a crack
to let light and hope
shine through.


And then one day,
words on the screen,
making me jump up
and squeal,
clutching my chest
because my heart is beating
like a drum in an African village.

“I enjoyed it immensely.”
“The verse works here – never getting in the way...”
“I would be the most enthusiastic of advocates.”

But what if...
what if we don’t see eye to eye?
what if she’s weird?
what if she’s not the one?

A sleepless night
full of worry
but also
full of prayers
of thankfulness.
No matter what,
be grateful.

And then,
it’s good.
It’s ALL good.
More than I ever hoped for.
My favorite quote: “I don’t give up easily.”
No funny feelings.
Everything inside of me says YES.

She IS the one.

Each step,
each stumble,
each fall,
each word,
led me to this place.

On October 25, 2006
the search ended.

And a new chapter
in my life as a writer
has begun...

Monday, December 21, 2009

The lowest of the low, August 2006

This entry was made in a locked post on livejournal and I disabled comments, shortly after the harsh rejection letter I had received. I was really seriously close to quitting, I think. It was dated 8/25/06.


Thank you for all the kind words and cyber chocolate. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. What an awesome group of friends.

Initially I thought, it's just one person's opinion and she's entitled to it, and fine, be that way, I don't care.

But on the way to get pizza for my family who arrived home right at dinner time last night, I got sad about it, and my eyes started getting watery. That got me really ticked off and I cussed outloud because of it. But the truth is, I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something. It's that letter combined with the one before that and the one before that and the one where I came REALLY close before that...

SO yeah, is the universe telling me something?

Maybe it is...

So the decision I have to make - is it time to listen?

Friday, December 18, 2009

More rejections past

This one was labeled "Oh my gosh - please send chocolate," and was once again behind a locked post. Originally posted 8/24/06


I seriously got the worst rejection letter EVER today, from a very well-respected agent. If I didn't have 200+ of them to my name, it would probably cause me to quit.

I don't think she got my writing. AT all. One picture book she looked at, which has come close at a couple of houses and has been under consideration at Sterling for some time, caused her to say - "I found it very confusing." (Note from Lisa: This went on to sell and is coming out in Fall 2010. It's called LITTLE CHIMP'S BIG DAY)

As for the free verse novel, she said - "It seems to go on and on with sadness and loss and it is probably all emphasized by the free verse you've written. This might be an interesting novel if you decided to tackle full fiction and really develop plot and character." Okay, I may need to work on character, that's something I've thought about, but there is plot there! (Note from Lisa: This went on to sell and is my novel called I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME which is now in its eighth printing).

I need to just let it roll off my back because obviously we are not a good match. I just feel like the whole letter is negative, and I understand she's trying to be helpful, but wow.

(Note from Lisa: Does this give you hope? I hope so. It even reminds me how subjective this business is. What one person hates, another may love. So much of it is just about personal taste.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Guess for the next Chase Around the USA stop

Thanks to Kari at A Good Addiction for getting the ARC of CHASING BROOKLYN and reading quickly so it can be on its way to the next stop.

It's time for me to guess where it's off to next.

I'm going to guess the warm and wonderful state of FLORIDA!

With the busy holidays coming, this might be the last stop, but we'll wait and see. Might have time for one more. Remember, the person holding the ARC on the release date of 1/5 is to mail the ARC back to me.

Thanks to everyone who has entered and participated to make this contest a success!!

Thankful Thursday - not a rerun

1. Thankful for the season - Christmas is so fun!

2. Thankful for messages. I found this in my e-mail archives, from when Mary still sent out daily inspirations. I hadn't remembered that I'd saved it - I happened to come across it yesterday. I believe the timing is too good to be an accident. As I count down the days left at the day job (16 working days!), it comes at a perfect time.

"God intends for us to live in prosperity: to enjoy rewarding relationships and fulfilling careers. God never intended that we drudge through the day and come home to collapse on the sofa, too tired to appreciate those around us. As co-creators, however, we have to make a decision for prosperity. If we don't decide to prosper, we unconsciously choose limitation and scarcity. All the abundance in the world is available to us, once we open ourselves to God." - Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey

3. Thankful for librarians and booksellers. Fuse #8 did a wonderful recap of the S&S librarian preview and IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES is there, cover and everything. Cool!

4. Thankful for ebay. Won TWO auctions this week, for hard to find items that is going to make someone very happy Christmas morning.

5. Thankful for books. I have read some AMAZING ones lately.

Hope you are enjoying this holiday season!! As always, I'm thankful for you too!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Remembering the merry-go-round

(originally posted at livejournal on 7/20/06)

Even though I keep falling off the merry-go-round, I keep getting back on. Somedays, I think I am just crazy to fall off, get back on, fall off, get back on, fall off, get back on...

I sent an e-query yesterday to a wonderful agent for my most recent mid-grade novel, and I got a request this morning for the full.

You see, I am not afraid of rejections. I have a drawer FULL of them, and they haven't killed me yet.

So I keep getting back on this whirly twirly thrill-of-a-lifetime merry-go-round hoping that someday, I will find my way to the middle, stand tall, with arms lifted toward the sky and then, yes, THEN, I will scream at the top of my lungs

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Before the sale, there were many rejections...

A month of mostly reruns continues. This was actually in a locked post, a handy livejournal feature, so only friends could see it. It was locked because it's really not a good idea to blog much about rejections, since you never know who is reading. But now that the book is published, well, perhaps it will give some of you a bit of hope!

Don't forget, I have a month of AWESOMENESS planned for January, so stay tuned for details on that...coming soon!!


(originally posted at livejournal on 7/3/06)

One of the things I made myself do this year was apply for the SCBWI Martha Weston grant. That's the one where if you win, you have to use the money to attend the SCBWI conference. I got an e-mail today that 43 people applied, and I didn't win. I suppose I didn't really expect to win, but it would have been so great to go and see some of you there!

I also got a very nice rejection from an editor on my verse novel. She wrote:

"Thank you for sending me I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, which I enjoyed reading.

I think your voice is strong and you really get at the nuances of a teenage girl grieving for her boyfriend. The ghost element certainly adds a fresh twist to a familiar subject. Even so, while I admire aspects of the project, I'm afraid that Ava didn't quite pull me into her story as much as I had hoped. Of course, this is only one reaction..."

I think this is the fifth rejection in the past week I've gotten (not all on this project). That string can stop ANYTIME now, thank you very much.

I think I'll go make myself a strawberry daquiri now. I'm tired and thirsty and I think that will just hit the spot.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Two new book babies on January 5th

Not only do I have a NEW hardcover YA, CHASING BROOKLYN, being released on January 5th (which will have a very nice review from Kirkus in the December 15th issue), but I also have a new paperback book being released.

Yes, isn't that exciting!?

Here is the beautiful new cover of FAR FROM YOU:

How many days until my book babies hit the bookstore shelves? Please, tell us, countdown widget!!

Tomorrow, your regularly scheduled reruns continue. Happy December!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A rerun on fun

Note: By some miracle, Secret Garden Books in Seattle got a few copies of CHASING BROOKLYN in early. AND I signed them!!! If you are interested in getting one for yourself or that special someone for the holidays, you can e-mail them at They'll then have you call with a credit card number and your address. Please note they also have signed copies of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and FAR FROM YOU to order as well. They'll ship anywhere in the US!!

(originally posted at livejournal on June 30, 2006)

Last night I awoke to the sound of the dog barking. I came downstairs and heard talking and laughter coming from outside.

I peeked through the blinds and saw three cars, one behind the other. And outside those cars were 12 kids.

Now, you might think that as an almost-40-year-old mother of two sleeping boys, I might have wanted to go out and ask that they keep it down, or move their party somewhere else. No, I didn't think that.

I wanted to skip upstairs, run a brush through my hair, throw on some shorts and a tank top, and join them.

For just one night, I wanted to pretend I was 16 again, with no worries or cares in the world except, "Where can we go now to make some fun?"

Fun. I have recently discovered, or remembered, since I had certainly experienced it in those teen years, how much I LOVE TO HAVE FUN.

I have worked hard the past five years, writing, writing and writing some more. People would tell me I was so driven, so inspiring, and underneath those words, I think they were saying, a little crazy. I never let up. Never. My family would go places and do things and I would stay home and write.

Over the past two weeks, I had no writing goals even though I had lots of time. I was, after all, on vacation. But, my only goal was to have fun and enjoy the time. And boy did we have fun. We played, we laughed, we did LOTS of fun things, and even just curling up to watch a DVD on a Wednesday afternoon was fun because it's SO not something I'd ever let myself do.

A friend recently e-mailed me and said, you know, it's like a well. At some point, your well does go dry, and it's good to let the water seep back in, and fill up again.

I have never been good at balance. I'm pretty much an all or nothing girl. That is my goal now, more than ever, to find the balance of work and family and fun and writing. Honestly, right now, it seems impossible to me. But it's something to work on and strive for.

Certainly, there are times writing is fun. But in a much quieter kind of way. And it does fill me up in ways other things don't. But I think, right now, I need the other kind of fun. The loud, laughter-filled, people-filled, everything-in-your-body-sings-filled kind of fun.

And I refuse to feel guilty or bad about that. My well is is being filled. And it feels so good.

So hey - have FUN this weekend, okay!?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

This one's fun to look back on

It's a month of reruns!! (originally published at livejournal on 4/6/06)

It was fun finding this entry. Here is where my career changed directions. Right here. I went from trying to be a PB/MG writer to a YA writer. Still, 3+ years later, I can remember what it was like writing that book - in a word, amazing. It was like a gift from God, it flowed so easily. I've only had one other book like that, and it's coming out in March: IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES.


A new story is inside me
and now starting to appear
outside of me.
On paper.
Where it can become
what it is meant to be.

It haunted me all night.

Haunted is exactly the right word.

It is written in free verse.

I don't know if I know what I'm doing
but I know I love what I'm doing
so I'm going to keep doing it.

I got up at 5:30 and have written
6 chapters.
6 short chapters
Almost 1000 words.

I could write it all day long
if only I could write all day long.

But there's that thing called work.

So, Ava and Jackson,
I will see you again,
later on,
if not on paper,
then in my dreams.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How does your garden grow?

originally published at livejournal on 3/17/06


I'm busy planting...

Seeds of motivation.

Hints of what's to come.

More personality for each character.

Sometimes it rains hard and I can hardly see if I'm making progress.

And then, the sun shines for a brief moment, and I smile.

I move forward along the rows.

Then I go back, where I missed a spot here and there.

Forward and back.

Sunshine and rain.

Forward and back.

Sunshine and rain.

I'm in the garden of revision.

It's hard work.

But hopefully by spring,

the flowers will bloom

and the story will finally be

complete and full of color!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Free book plates for one week!

I will send you a signed book plate made out to whomever you'd like if you are thinking of giving one of my books for a holiday gift. I can even send you one for CHASING BROOKLYN and you could include a bookstore gift card for the recipient to purchase it when it comes out on January 5th.

All you have to do is send me a note through my web site ( and tell me what book you're buying, WHO you'd like me to write a little message to, and the address where I should send it.

For my book plates, I use clear mailing labels that you stick inside the book, on the title page, and because they're clear, it *almost* looks like I really signed the book!

I'll also throw in a signed CHASING BROOKLYN bookmark as well.

Offer good through December 14, 2009.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dream on

The month of reruns continues. Are you bored yet?


Thursday I'm speaking to the local MOMS club about pursuing dreams.

So, I'm talking about how we have to become intentional and decide to DO IT.

We have to take little steps at first, and simply do one or two things that move us in the direction of that dream.

And once a person starts taking those steps, it's amazing how she then feel closer to it, like it is now HER dream, not just A dream.

I'll talk about how fear is a normal feeling, but we have to face that fear, because our dream exists beyond the borders of that fear. If we let fear control our actions, we're basically imprisoned, and nothing good can happen there.

And finally, I'll talk about the importance of enjoying the journey. You must find joy in each step you take, and look for and be thankful for the people you meet along the way, who help you on your journey.

So. You all have dreams. What keeps you going day in and day out? What advice would you give someone who has a little inkling of a dream in their heart, but they are afraid and unsure of moving toward that dream?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

(originally published on livejournal 2.27.06)

Friday, December 4, 2009

About the book I'm reading...

Remember, this is a month of reruns! Original date will always be at the end of the post.



Okay, I thought the first couple of chapters were not very well written. I was kinda depressed and upset that THIS book could have gotten THAT much money and interest. I really didn't know if I wanted to read on, but I forged ahead.

And now, OMG. I'm like 3/4 of the way through the thing and my heart is racing and I want everything to be okay and I'm wondering how it might turn out, and if that'd be a good thing or a bad thing and, and...

I have to finish it tonight, so I can sleep!!! Seriously, that hardly ever happens to me. I'm not one of those - I-Stayed-Up-All-Night-Reading-This-Book kind of people. I'm very much a I-Need-My-Sleep-Or-I-Am-CRANKY girl. I mean, for me, there's always tomorrow, and it's just not that big of deal.

But this, well, I have to know what happens. So I'm going to finish.

(originally posted at livejournal 2.19.06)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm not the only one...

who watches American Idol and thinks of this writing thing we do.

So many of these people WANT to be singers. Even if they don't have one ounce of talent in their tiny baby toe. And so Randy or Paula or Simon will say, I think you better find something else, 'cause singing just ain't for you. And sometimes, the person is shocked, which is shocking in and of itself. And we sit around and go, well, duh! You can't sing!

So, we get rejection after rejection, and we start to wonder, is that what they're telling ME? Is this their way of telling me, this just ain't for you honey?

And after much pondering, I think not.

My thought is that a great singing voice is probably one of the few things we can't really improve upon. Either you're born with it or your not.

Some might say sports is another thing, as we watch the Olympics and stand in awe of what these people can do. But no one is born a gold medalist. Each and every person at those games has worked hard and long to get there. And how many of them will go home without a medal? A lot. Does it mean it ain't for them? No way. Maybe they have more to learn. Maybe they need to practice more. And maybe, luck just wasn't on their side this time.

I know I have more to learn. I know I need to practice, every day if I can find the time. And I know in the end, luck plays a big part in all of it. The right place at the right time and all that.

Lots of times I'll read a good book and get depressed because, geez, I want to write like THAT. But the thing is, I'm seeing the best part. I'm not seeing the earlier drafts where parts didn't make sense. I'm not seeing the parts the author cut because they were crap. I'm not seeing the 10-page letter the editor wrote that told the author all the things he/she needed to do to make the story better.

Sometimes I can't even get myself to open my current WIP because I get into that whole mindset of, "what's the point? It isn't any good, I have no clue what I'm doing, there's nothing special I can offer that the world doesn't already have, blah, blah, blah."

When I'm feeling down about it all, and those ugly, negative things are going through my mind, I remind myself that it's my ugly ego trying to protect me from getting hurt. It's a constant battle, getting that ego to shut up, let me tell you. The best way to shut it up, I've found, is just open the document and WRITE. And then another letter comes in the mail and my ego says, "See, I told you so." Oh yes, I know, it's so fun, isn't it?

I try to tell myself, so what - I'm going home without a yellow piece of paper taking me to Hollywood. So what - I'm going home without a medal today. So what - another editor said "NO" to me and another hundred people in her stack.

I'm going to keep learning. I'm going to keep practicing. And I'm going to keep writing. With each word typed on the page, we get better. With each book we read, we get better. With each idea comes the possibility that maybe THIS ONE is the one that some editor or agent will fall in love with.

Don't. Stop. Believing.

(originally posted on livejournal 2.12.06)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oh say can you see...

Remember - it's a month of reruns!


On Wednesday, the band teacher had "try-outs" for the Star Spangled Banner, to be played at the next 6th grade concert. Each student could decide if he/she wanted to try out or not. There really wasn't any pressure. But at the end of each performance, the teacher would tell the student - yes, you will play with the special group at the next concert for that song, or no, you will not.

My son, who at one time had counseling for anxiety issues, couldn't decide if he was going to try out or not. He practiced Monday and Tuesday nights. The high note didn't sound right to me. He said, it's right, Mom. Okay, I thought, maybe they haven't learned the really high note, so they're playing it this way? (how stupid, I now realize - the band teacher would never let the song be played that way). But at the time, I don't know, I just thought, okay, whatever.

I gave him lots of pep talks Tuesday and Wednesday. The good, motherly ones. You know it's okay if you try and get a no. At least you tried, which is more than a lot of kids will do. If you don't try, won't you wonder later what would have happened if you did?

Wednesday after school, he came home. I waited patiently for him to tell me. He didn't say anything. Finally, I asked.

Me: Well?????
Him: I had 3 mistakes. I played the high note 3 times and each time it was wrong. To get a yes, you can't have any note mistakes. You can squeak a little, that's okay, but no wrong notes.
Me: Oh, I'm so sorry.
Him: Mom, I was so nervous, my whole body was shaking. And I squeaked a lot. But I got all the notes right except that one I was playing wrong.
Me: Did the teacher show you the note it should be?
Him: Yes. And we can have a redo on Friday.
Me: You can??? A redo? Are you going to try again?
Him: I don't know. I was so nervous. It was terrible. I thought I was going to throw up. I don't know if I can do it again.

Last night, he asked his dad to say a prayer with him, about having courage to try again today. And to do well.

He played the song again today.

And he got a YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so proud of my boy.

"O'er the land of the free, and the home of the BRAVE!"

A good reminder that sometimes, we don't get it right the first time. But if we keep trying, anything can happen!

(originally posted at Livejournal 2.10.06)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On Failure

A month of reruns begins today!


Another run, run, run kinda day.

Speaking of running...

Last night I pulled out an inspirational book I like to flip through now and then. IF YOU WANT TO WALK ON WATER, YOU'VE GOT TO GET OUT OF THE BOAT.

I randomly opened the book last night and I came to the page that talked about the movie CHARIOTS OF FIRE.

I don't think I saw this movie??? I remember hearing about it. But I don't think I saw it. But apparently one of the characters lost a race. He was ready to quit. Give up running and racing.

He said something like, But I race to win.

And the woman he was talking to said, but if you don't race, you won't win.

Sometimes we need to hear that message over and over again. To try is not to fail. To NOT try is to fail.

That is why I keep sending my work out, even though my drawer is full of rejections. If I don't race, I won't win. If I do race, I might not win. But you never know. Someone has to win. Why not me?

My running shoes are on. Anyone want to join me?

(originally posted at my livejournal blog on 10.26.05)