50 Shades of Snow, Chocolate, and Disney Villains!

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222987piou70nuaeWeather: Cold. There is 7 inches of fluffy, soft snow on the ground (NO ICE thank gosh!) Had snow days on ALL. WEEK. (off Monday for Presidents Day. MAN!)

Working on:  Chores, cleaning, March blog project with a friend, updating my website

Currently Listening to: Good Enough from the first episode of Empire. Never seen the show, but I heard this song on a commercial for it…It’s so touching! I just got it for my I-pod!

Currently Watching: About to go watch “The Giver” with my hubby; I LOVE the book.  I hope the movie is good too…

Currently Reading: Mugen Spiral manga series

Wallpaper: Altaria from Pokémon, resting, with its clouded wings folded into itself like a swan. The background is sky blue and this Pokémon looks sincere, innocent.   I just beat Steven Stone in my Omega Ruby game and we are now the champions! =D Altaria is on my team and she is one of my favorite Pokémon ever!

Holiday(s): Chinese New Year! WOOT; year of the Ram! =) and Chocolate Mint Day. Yum!

Feeling: Full and dizzy, but content.

Icon: Been doing a lot of music and Disney for work lately. You guys will see why soon…;) I adore Knork and this part of the film, Emperor’s New Groove.

Do you want to build a snowman?  Well guys, I’ve got more than enough for that! >.<  We have had nice, fluffy snow since Monday and I have been off school all week!  I have been trying to get caught up on work, but I am starting to go a little cray-cray and get stir madness, but, I am enjoying the time to work, relax a tad, and snuggle with Socks. ^_^  Welcome to my MASSIVE monthly update for February 2015. For those who are not around me or are not aware (my publisher, Sheenah, knew before I reminded her this year…bless her kokoro), but February is my insanely busy month, the busiest of the year for me although it is ironically the shortest.  This is the time of the year I fill out job applications and teacher applications have to all be handwritten and there are constructive-response questions that get deep, and I have to have several other documents copied, official ones sent, research on the schools, editing/updating, and now, many are on-line, so transferring things to my computer as files…It is a lot of work, but one I try to take pride in to show that I am ready to have my own classroom. I deeply enjoy working as a teacher aide, but gonna reach for my dream, right?! 😉  This, on top of making my homemade Valentine’s day and it being the rough stretch of the year for my kiddos, this is the month I don’t get to do much for free time or writing, so sorry if my writing world, publishing, Paper Crane, promotions list is a little boring this time around! xD

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#1. On the 29th of January, I had the honor of reading from Spirit Vision 2: New Beginnings to several of the classes at my work, FMS, thanks to the fantastic Library Hippie, Mrs. Dillon. She was so open to helping me in every area, even bringing in decorations and making cute pink lanterns of her own, helping me hang them up after school the day before since I was scared of heights. She set up the bookings, timed things for me, took photos or short videos, asked her own questions… I have such a gem in her, as a librarian, a teacher, and a friend. ^_^ She even was giving me snacks since I was working non-stop! I didn’t have time to eat them sadly, but it was a sweet thought and the two bottles of ice cold water she got me really helped me. Man! My voice was shot by the end of the day and my back and feet were so sore, but it was worth it to share my works with my students. ^_^ All but one class was basically perfect! I was so proud! <3 I was also happy that Sheenah was able to give my co-workers 15% off from everything in our store those few days to thank them for their support! 🙂 I had a class write me thank you notes and they were so precious! I saved them in a folder.

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Like last year, I had an aide, this time instead of Vena White, I had “Professor Paranormal,” who helped me evaluate the students’ character, listening, and behavior.  They wore my mom’s nurse’s lab coat, Harry Potter classes, and had a pink star wand with steamers for a fabulous pointer. Many of them took it so seriously, but were still trying to bribe me to give their class points. The teachers were getting into this competition as much as their kids! HA! I had candy for those who could name all eight character words for our district, which character words Stary would have to possess as the Spirit Warrior and why and what powers do they think Stary has or should have as the Spirit Warrior.  I got some fun answers! We had a star and moon race going. The class who had the best behavior and character got a special prize from my company and the class who asked the best questions or the ones that stumped me the most got a prize from my company as well.

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And, of coarse, the acting out parts of the book was welcomed again! ^_^ The kids had SO much fun and still have not stopped talking about them.  I even got Mrs. Lankford and Mr. Whitener, two teachers I work with in language and who work so well together to be the rival spiritual beings: Allenia and Rico! They got so into it, especially when “Rico” wore the fedora and got to speak in 40’s and 50’s slang and Allenia was shaking her “aura” (a purple pom-pom) for five minutes straight with such energy! This was so my favorite preference and the other staff members and students were rolling on the floor! And to answer your question: YES! The props returned! =D Stary had a sparkly gold fedora with a star and moon wand. Umbra had my Shadow the Hedgehog hat and my LED light-up nun-chucks. Chloe, the favorite for her valley girl accent (and yes,  I had all boys, but one) was back with her famous blonde wig.  Rin had a pink mask and baseball beads and Lauren had cool glasses and a flower headband (since her last name is Flower).  Again, it was a blast and by 10:15 in the morning, all copies of all three of my books were checked out and we had a waiting list started! ^_^ Woot! I also sold a few copies of my books, a bracelet, and a few bookmarks. I got to sign some very special items for some students and they were so truly happy I was signing them as we talked. It felt so good to connect with them. Ms. Dillon left a mini display of my books and bookmarks to sell in the LMC, having copies of them. ^o^

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For my winners of the contest! I got to read to two different 8th grade classes and the class that one my Best Questions last year won Best Behavior this year. Those teachers were so proud! I gave both classes a certificate of character and signed it and left them room for them to sign it. These students had  45 minutes of me reading sample of Spirit Vision 3 and the first four pages of a short story that will appear to be in my collection for middle of this year.   Both classes and the teachers were so engrossed with my short story and they begged me for more! Ha! =) Looks like I did okay then! I had a few simple props this time to allot for questions, dramatic pauses, and reading time. What these kiddos got to do that was so cool beans was that if they wanted to, they could submit to me their own characters for the Spirit Vision world and five will make a cameo in Spirit Vision 4! I received 11 entries, which, considering I only gave middle school kids 5 days to do this, I am happy with this result and love what I have read from these future little writers so far. All in all, my second FMS tour was out of this world! <3

P.S. The students who are reading my book every Friday in my ELA Lab class are highly enjoying it now since we are past page 100 now, especially since they like to try to guess the murderer at the end of each class along with me making a quiz show over what we read that day (they have team names), LOL!

#2. After my applications (they have to be done by the end of this month to meet my personal goal), then I will go back to editing and finishing my personal read-through of Spirit Vision 3. That will be my main project in the writing field for the month of March. ^-^ We do have plans to release the book late this year.

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#3. BLOG EVENT MAJOR NEWS! So…Dan Wright (another author at the press) and I adore Disney and we were having a…creative discussion about who is the baddest of the Disney villain bad. Well, through a wild ride of event, on the 19th, I was CHALLENGED by Dan in a super funny video, the gauntlet thrown down, to partake in a challenge where we pick our favorite Disney villains and place them in head-to-head wrestling-like matches to see who has the baddest baddies of the House of Mouse! He claims he knows more than me…OH! Bring! It! On! I mean…SERIOUSLY?! Who can beat my baddies?! Here is what is going down:

Starting March 1st with round one, their will be a poll set up for two days. You guys watch my video (and Dan’s too…) over why our villain or villainess is the baddest and vote for your favorite. There are eight rounds total: six singles and two tag-teams. We will follow a basketball bracket system until we get to the final four. Dan and I will record a video or two together for the final four and finally…the championship for my most evil of Disney! The loser will have to do something beyond funny for you! xD Yeah… I don’t want to lose! This video is my reply to his issue of challenge and my team.

But, I need your help to make sure my team is on top! Here is our schedule:

  1. March 1st- Round #1
  2. March 3rd- Round #2
  3. March 5th- Round #3
  4. March 7th- Round #4
  5. March 9th- Round #5
  6. March 11th- Round #6
  7. March 13th- Round #7 (tag-team)
  8. March 15th- Round #8 (tag-team)
  9. March 17th (the real start to March Madness)- Votes tallied and will post results to see who will be in our final four and final two. ^_^

Check out our blogs every day for the month of March for the newest rounds and information and videos for them. But…I know you will be voting for my team!  😉

Here is my response video AND MEET MY TEAM:

Here is Dan’s original March Disney Villain Madness challenge video.

We have a Facebook Event’s page too with all the updates and information you need for “March Disney Villain Madness!”

*This is not affiliated with Walt Disney studios in any manner.  We are just doing this competition for fun. Thank you. =)

#4. Also, speaking of Dan, his first Paper Crane Books release is Tuesday, February 24th, for his newest book, “Amanda Moonstone and the Missing Prince” is released! Major congrats! I can’t wait to read it; the cover is lovely. I got to be in another one of his videos: A Valentine’s Day Special! It was pretty fun to record an evil voice, I must say. xD Like his other videos, this one would be about PG-13, just as a disclaimer.

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#5. Also, Holly Barbo was featured on Paper Crane’s podcast, Indie’s Reading Block Podcast, for “A Tin of Honey” Listen to it!

#6. A little before Valentine’s Day, I posted a top 14 (since Valentine’s is on the 14th) on my favorite flowers. Last year, I did anime couples for my V-day top ten, so I wanted to be a little more real world this year and dream of the lushness beauties of nature I never get, LOL! ^_^

#7. I also got ANOTHER FIVE STAR review on Amazon! Thank you T.D. for reading my book and your kind words! It is now on the Reviews Page.

#8. I added an interview from my “A Sweet, Little Dream” blog tour AND a guest post from there as well to their proper pages. You can click the links to view them if you would like or if you missed them. Thank you to all who followed me on the tour.

#9. I haven’t done this in a while! I was cleaning some folders and found my “First Year Con To-Do list” from my first Anime St. Louis back in 2012! Ha! It’s at the bottom of my “Fun Writings” page and was so kawaii with what we planned to do for our first con. We did get to do a few though. 😉

#10. I am working with some awesome people to get some local interviews soon and will keep you guys posted on that! My college, Mineral Area, interviews me in November and I now have that link in my “Interviews” page. ALSO! ^_^ At the end of March, I get to speak to my first COLLEGE writing class! A professor contacted me about it. I am so honored and a little afraid to be speaking to adults, but it will be a good experience.

#11. Come back here on the 27th (Friday) for our February 2015 Aspiring Author Spotlight, my co-worker and founder of the novel writing club at FMS, Ms. Millie Tice. Missed last months? Check out Ms. Jill Montgomery’s AAS interview and reading sample right here.

#12. Dan also got one of his quotes from his short story in our holiday anthology up for our February wallpaper! Grab your free download of it here!

#13. My Pinterest is heavily updated and will be organized over Sunday. Let’s just say I have a going to bed hobby now outside of Pokémon and reading, lol! =^o^= But, I am finding some great pictures for my Spirit Vision folders! Woot! Sorry for the mess, but enjoy the awesomeness!

#14. Rewind and Reminder: Check out my first MASSIVE update for 2015 if you missed it.

 

My “Normal” Life:

Work is busy will meetings, modifying, and trying not to get sick. It is a busy time that keeps me on my toes! -_-;;  These snow days have helped, but I have wanted to be lazy too! *sighs* What an ordeal. I DID get my spare room cleaned and with a little bit more basic tidying up, I should be able to give you guys a tour of our new place soon! I just finished my outlines for College for Kids and submitted them. I am so happy they asked me to teach again! 🙂 This will be my 6th summer teaching it! Can’t wait! <3

On the 21st (unless we get this dreaded ice crap everyone is talking about…*prays for no ice*), we are celebrating our one year anniversary for our Pokémon Event and we are going to try DOUBLE CARD BATTLES! We think we got the rules set.  Everyone is really pumped to try it and we also will have Valentine’s day décor and treats I made, celebrating Nathan Christina’s visit from his sabbatical, Sapphire and Kevin’s (the store’s owners) anniversary and her birthday, and just being together. We have an after party planned at Applebees and later my place! I can’t wait to share all the pictures on my author Facebook with you guys soon and do a detailed recap on it in my March update. 🙂

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We did have a practice for double battles last week: Tabby and Alesha: Team Primal (water and fire) VS. Team Sparkling Shadow Rivals (fairy and dark and since their characters are rivals…) Derrick and I coached and it was super fun! ^_^ Can’t wait to share this with more people.

On the 27th of January, it was Evan’s birthday. We took him bowling (and MAN! I had never seen it so crowded! They were holding lanes for people on a waiting list and it was hard to move. We didn’t stay as long as we normally do, but it was still a good time).  I was on bottom, points wise, the whole time.  -_-;; Then we went to Applebees because Evan was craving sweet potato fries.  I had a steak and it was awesome. I had a steak there a few weeks previous too with their garlic mashed potatoes. My father-in-law wanted to take us all out and it was such a grand time, especially since we got a sassy, 20 year old waitress who was going toe-to-toe with Bruce in the snarky, comedy department! He was hooting so much and was trying to convince my bro-in-law, Nathan AKA Fabio, to ask her out! They were hiring and she was begging for him to apply so she could boss him around. She even practiced, telling Nathan not to breathe and he actually held his breath, starling her! ^o^ Anyway, derailed there, but it made sense to. 😉 After we left Evan’s Applebee’s celebration, we went to Wal-mart and Game Stop to walk around and then they boys got eight Pokémon card packs (3 each for them and 2 for me…they spoil me. ^_^).  Evan is a MASTER at feeling the aura for good packs. We got 4 holofoil EXs total and he was all disappointed. HA! I got a Gengar EX my friend Brown needed and sold it to him cheaply. I did some work as they played Smash Brothers the rest of the night. It was a fun time. Derrick got me this little purple unicorn too there for my Valentine’s Day stuffed animal. She may not be as big as Kuma, but she’s on my nightstand, being cute.

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On the 7th of this month, I chaperoned the Sweetheart dance for some of my students and it was so much fun! ^-^ They were so cute all dressed up and I had never seen them so excited. They played with balloons, danced, had snacks, and loved being photographed. It is always fun to mess with my kiddos at middle school dances and recall my own. Mr. Compton (my co-worker) and I helped Mrs. Burch an hour beforehand with the kids in her room and they got their own little private time on the dance floor for half-an-hour before the students came. They were so darling and I was being dragged around all night by two of them, escorting them around, dancing, and making sure one didn’t run over dresses or students in her wheelchair since she was so pumped! o.0  I had a great time and I know these kiddos did too. Thank you to everyone who helped out to make this such a special night for them! <3

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On February 11th and 12th, I went to my mom’s (since I knew Socks would mess with me) to make my annual homemade Valentine’s Day chocolates. There, I, apparently, became best friends with her five month old puppy Georgie. He’s a white with some light brown Shiatsu and SO hyper and kawaii! <3 We played a lot and every time I moved, he would jump on me and prayed I would drop some food (I did give him treats).  Between the two nights, it took me around 7 hours total to make, freeze, and package all my chocolates, me making more this year than ever.  Usually, though, it takes me like 12 hours, but my mom has two roomie fridges and the plates she had to set them on were perfect for stacking securely, so I didn’t have to wait at all and that saved me hours of time! After about two and a half hours, Georgie got tired and laid his head on my shoe. It was darling and I even got him to listen to me on his lease as he walked around the house; he wanted me to walk him, giving me his lease with his teeth when I was cleaning up his toys (after we plated tag-a-war of coarse).  My mom was surprised, but I did this training a little with my dog Gabby at my dad’s growing up (I still miss my Lancey so much! 🙁 Love you baby boy).  I wore the pink cupcake apron my mom got for me on my 25th birthday! I also got to talk to her and grandma and listen to “The Guilt Trip” and “American Idol (they love it)” with them, which was nice. They really were happy when I brought over copies of New Beginnings for them to read, my grandma gushing over Suzy-chan’s cover. I’m so happy to have these lovely ladies in my life! <3 <3 <3

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I made chocolate for everyone! Everyone in my family, Derrick (he got the biggest bag of coarse), PLETNY for my co-workers, all color-coded based on wrapper with a key on trays at work, Jerry (my bus driver), everyone in the Poke Crew (including Kevin and Sapphire), and extras for the kids who attend Pokémon on the 21st too! After that, leftovers are fair game.  I was so happy I got them out on Valentine’s week this year because I don’t get to see everyone all the time, but it happened to work out.  I felt more confident this year and I was told my cookies and cream and peanut butter ones were amazing! Yeay! <3 I even made a “mystery chocolate,” in a sky blue wrapper (my darling grandma helped me with the idea).  I had half a bag of cinnamon chocolate chips left, but I knew pure cinnamon chocolate would be too spicy. I went through my mom’s cabinet and knew I wanted to make something odd for these last 15 chocolates (which, in a set of nearly 300, is not that many) and I found…bacon bits! The colors blended into a rusty red and you could only smell the ingredients a little. It was so neat! I warned that only brave people would try it and see what it was. I had a co-worker guess bacon, but some of the guesses I got were: German chocolate cake, mint, nuts, or red hots. Some liked it, some hated it, but HEY! Brave people I warned! 😉  I love making chocolates every year to thank anime for giving me so many grand, culturally different ideas! <3

 

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Derrick and I knew that with Valentine’s Day being on a Saturday, it would be slammed, so we celebrated on the 15th, the Sunday. MAN! That Sunday at church was grand! Not only did we have this amazing brunch with pancakes, bacon, eggs, fruit, and all these AMAZING breakfast-buffet food to celebrate the start of Lent, but we got to meet our new organist and she has a family of three little ones, all under the age of three! So, that day, we had 8 kids total, 2 being under a year! OH! I was in hog-heaven! *misty eyes* I LOVE KIDS! I got to play with them and hold them in my lap, feed them, play with them…It was the best! My dad even got to hold baby Eli a lot and the toddlers trusted him to cut their food and were bossing him around, but not me! Dad was so glad to play along and I think he liked holding them.  It always makes me smile to see him so natural. ^_^ I got at least five hints that it was my turn and dad was grinning! LOL! Still, it was a grand time with my new, extended church family and our friend Alexis (she’s a member too) will have her baby any time now! Yeay!

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Anyway! Back to the day of romance. This year, I asked Derrick if I could please have my wedding band and engagement ring set re-sized and shined. It costs a little more than we thought, but it feels so much better and is so pretty! He gave me money to go to my favorite chocolate place too. So, the 15th, we went to Colton’s (after Socks gave him a Valentine’s day card. Derrick thought it was sort of lame, but cute =^0^=).  I got him a cute card where the theme was Disney romantic quotes, Resses, homemade chocolates, “Dragon Wood” book, Attack on Titan part 2 DVD set in English dub, and a Japanese Mega Gardvior figure (there is a story behind this: for DAYS, he had been trying to catch or breed a shiny Ralts so he could get a shiny Gardvior, his favorite Pokémon, but no luck. So, I got him the figure so he can always have one! ^-^).  It was a nice date with my sweetheart.

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Late Sunday night, it started snowing and we got about 7-10 inches of fluffy white yuki. This is the first time it has snowed at our new place and the first time Socks has seen real snow.  🙂 I was out of school that WHOLE WEEK (Feb. 17th-20th!)  We are up to 8 snow days now. Not as bad as the 19 last year.  That Monday, I had plans with Alesha and Julie to go see a movie and have lunch, a girl day.  There was a good 5 inches by this time (the movie was at 10:30), but it was still coming down and we were insane, apparently, because we were the only people in the whole theater! The employees were shocked, but Alesha came prepared and shoveled around our cars so we could get out later.  They took me to…*sighs* -_-;; “50 Shades of Gray.” Before anyone gets in a hissy, I don’t judge, but they wanted to go and take me to see my reaction, because I blush easily.  I can see why some people consider it as “hentai,” but it actually did have a story and all three of us there loved Twilight, so I was seeing the similarities (since it was originally a fan fiction for Twilight). It was neat to have the whole big theater to ourselves, like a private screening, and we could talk in normal voices.  After this, we went to a favorite local restaurant, El Tap for Mexican, and chatted for about two hours. There were only 11 people in the restaurant total and they closed early after we left at 1:40.  The snow was fluffy and luckily easy to get off my car and walk, but there was a lot of it and it was starting to compact on the roads, making them slicker.  Yes, we were crazy to get out, but it was a much needed girl day! =)

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10991304_925589850807386_9122648947446189598_nOn the 19th, Evan came over and we went to Englar park (which is in New Beginnings) and played in the snow there. It had hardly been touched and we only ran into two kids, a person, and a little dog.  It was fun! 🙂  We walked, sang “Frozen” songs as he ate the chocolate I made for him, broke and sucked on icicles (and played with them), made bestie snow angels, threw a few snow balls (although the snow as not sticky), and goofed around. It was so fantastic and just what we needed since we were both stressed and grumpy before that. He did scare me though by walking on the ice with his tennis shoes! o.0  I know he’s from the country and has more nature experience than me, a city slicker, but there was no ranger and I was panicked! He was teased me though the whole time and luckily, was fine.  He also made me a heart out of snow…and, clumsy me, almost fell on it! >.< Then he wrote: M + D for Morgan + Derrick and then an E for Evan at the bottom, since all three of us are always thought of together! =) After this, we went to a place for me to get a Pepsi (I was still stuffed; that late morning, I was going stir crazy from all the snow days and since the main roads were clear, I did a few errands and went to an antique mall outside of town to get the BEST soft pretzel with cheese you will ever eat and relax! ^-^ I was full all day though other than like the five fried pickles of Evan’s I munched on).  He was craving “good sweet tea” and teriyaki chicken wings and this place had half-price apps that time of day. Him and Derrick played Wii tennis after that while I did some work! I am so lucky to have such an amazing bestie!

Well guys, I have company tonight, so time to clean, do applications, and prep for Pokémon before Glee and King of the Nerds come on tonight! SUCH FANTASTIC SHOWS!

Ride a unicorn, hug a wizard, and friend a dragon on Facebook! See you guys all March long for “March Disney Villain Madness!” Ja!

 

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