Sunday, September 25, 2011

FREE Las Vegas Event for Book Lovers!

The Vegas Valley Book Festival will be held in downtown Las Vegas from November 3rd – 6th this year.  Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, there will be 100 writers/authors attending, many of them from the Nevada region.  The keynote speakers will be Max Brooks, author ofThe Zombie Survival Guide and Jane Smiley, author of A Thousand Acres.
Max Brooks kicks things off Thursday, November 3rd, at the Clark Country Library Main Theatre.
Friday events focus on poetry with poet Martin Espada.
Saturday marks the beginning of the Children’s and Young Adult Book Festivals, and also offers workshops on everything from short fiction to sci-fi/fantasy writing.  There is something for everyone!
Sunday’s focus is food!  So this is a perfect day for all of us foodies to attend and enjoy great food!
It is the 6th anniversary of the Children’s Book Festival, which will be held at the historic Fifth Street School on November 5th and will feature award-winning authors/illustrators, such as Loren Long who illustrated Of Thee I Sing: a letter to my daughters by Barack Obama and Anna Dewdney, author of the Llama, Llama series.  There will be arts and crafts, live theatre, storytelling, book signings, book sales, and much more!
I’m thrilled to announce that for the first time, the festival will feature a Young Adult day!  Also on November 5th at the Fifth Street School, the well-known, award-winning authors will be hosted at the YA Festival Plaza (under the Big Top Festival Tent) at 10 a.m. and continue in the auditorium for the Paranormal Ball (the ONLY part of the festival that is not free – $10 tickets to attend).
10:15 a.m.
Authors for teen fantasy and paranormal fiction will read excerpts from their work.  James Dashner of the Maze Runner triology (my husband LOVES his books and I can’t wait to get my hands on them to read now, too!), Becca Fitzpatrick of the Hush, Hush trilogy (I’ve read the first and I know one of my student’s is reading the series right now), Rachel Caine of the Morganville Vampire series, and many more will be in attendance!
11:25 a.m.
Authors of contemporary teen fiction (I LOVE Jay Asher and his book 13 Reasons Why) will discuss their novels and how important realistic teen fiction is for young adults.  Other authors:  Liz Gallagher, Stephanie Perkins, Emily Wing Smith, and Lisa Schroeder.
Authors will discuss how the lines of fiction and fantasy can be blurred to create stories that still resonate with teens and reflect real issues, but give them something fantastical and imaginative to read. Authors include:  Jay Asher, Heather Davis, Cat Patrick, and more!
The Comic Book Festival will be held on Saturday, November 4th, at the Clark County Library on East Flamingo Road.  There will be an “Artist Alley”, special guests, panel discussions, film viewings, and much more.
As I’ve already said, there is something for everyone at this festival.  Please, come out and support the arts, literacy, and just enjoy yourself.  It’s free!  (I LOVE free stuff.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vacation in the Dominican

Vacation in the Dominican: Jacinda and Chad's June Wedding 2011

Doesn't she make a beautiful bride?????
I made a video using as a sample to show my students how to use the program to make book trailers. It's of my sister's wedding over the summer. She was a beautiful bride!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Best-selling Adult Novelists to Take on YA World

Looks like adult authors want in on the YA fiction action!  Check out which authors are trying to break into the YA world.  Everyone’s learning – YA is where it’s at. ;)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Great Resources for Teachers!

I've been slowly gathering a list of websites and resources to check out and/or use in my classroom and I thought, why not share the information?  There is so much wonderful stuff out there and if it weren't for others sharing, I would be in the dark about it all.

To start, I'll introduce, a site which VERY easily creates videos.  I made a trailer for the book The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson as an experiment and to show my students what they can do (Click on the link above).

Here is a list I've generated of other possible sites for personal and/or educational purposes (and if you have some to add, please let me know about them!):

List of Useful Websites: - make a page of blogs, tweets, articles, etc. on one subject - social networking site for classrooms; it's like Facebook for school.  I use this in my classroom right now and the students really enjoy it.  I post videos, pictures, discussion questions, polls, etc. for them and they get to respond.  They seem to really enjoy it! - annotate, highlight, make comments on ANY document.  Just upload it. - highlight text from articles posted online and print or save.  – upload pdf files to create an online flip book - create videos or book trailers  - convert Word docs to PDF files - Kelly Gallagher – articles to discuss in class (articles of the week)

 Reading Rockets – invaluable info for teachers on books, authors, classroom strategies, etc.

 Punctuation: - quick lessons in punctuation

About Authors/Books:

Videos for the Classroom:
TED – inspirational lectures

The Last Lecture (by dying Dr. Randy Pausch)

Free Hugs Guy (writing prompts; discussion)

Lincoln Assassination Witness (Game Show with smoking host)

Batman movie (onomatopoeia)

Did you Know 4.0?  (effect of Technology and changes; Fall 2009)

Shift Happens (2011)

Figurative Language Bomb

WWII Propaganda Posters

Two trailers for tone and mood based on Mary Poppins

Elements of Fiction (Flocabulary)

Videos of the Week - game to introduce Microsoft Office  – wiki for $99/year
YouTube:  Social Media Revolution 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Look!  I made a book trailer to share with my students.  I'm pretty proud of myself, actually.  Check it out! :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1st Draft Complete!

I couldn't have done it without the patience (emphasis on patience)
and support of my handsome husband!

I’ve completed the first draft of my novel! WHOO HOO!!! :)

Now, I know that I have many, many, many revisions to do, but it is a great feeling to have reached this first major milestone in my writing.  

I want to jump right into the revisions, but I’ve decided to let my manuscript sit for a week without looking at it and come back to it fresh next week, ready to work.

It was my mom's encouragement that kept me going.  She's
my biggest fan (although totally biased).  I love you, Mom!
Who says that camping can’t be productive???  (Lucky for me, my computer battery died just as I typed – and saved – my final sentence.)

Cheers to accomplishing our goals and reaching for our dreams! :)

*Special thanks to my mom, husband, best friends Jill and Laura, and my sister.  Also, I never would have started or continued this novel without the encouragement of my 6th and 7th graders in Arizona. I began writing with them in class and it grew from there.* 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

I'm off to the great outdoors for a three-day camping trip!  Along with having fun with friends and family, I'm bringing my laptop to get some writing in during the down times.  Goal:  2,000 words.  Will it happen?  Probably not, but I'll try!

Have a great one, everyone!