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Showing posts from January, 2013
Marion County Reading Council officers Twyla Rote, Lisa McCombs, Pat Myers, and Sherry Dickerson pose with WV author Wiley Cash.
WV authors Mary Rocini and Lisa McCombs at WVRA.
 Mary Rocini and Lisa McCombs with the Mad Sad Glad Guys!
 Lisa McCombs and Daleen Berry at The Greenbrier!
Lisa and Kerri, owner of Kerri's Korner Bookstore.

God doesn't throw us more than we can catch.

I am always saddened when reading a book that I cannot wait to finish. All books are valuable...all stories worth telling; but Lucy in the Sky is just so unrealistic to the majority of youth out there, that I cannot (with a clear conscious) put it on my classroom shelf. I understand that culture varies from coast to coast, hood to hood, but why must authors continue to characterize today's youth in such a manner that sets the standard SO LOW?

I think of my own students over the years and I know that they are troubled, swimming against the stream, living in a self-involved world that doesn't openly tolerate discipline; but I also know without a doubt that every young person desperately WANTS to be good. We all yearn discipline and structure, whether we admit it or not.

After reading books like this or even the divinely successful works of Ellen Hopkins, I close my eyes and am grateful for  the likes of Judy Blume and Sarah Dessen. These ladies tell stories. They meet the needs …

I'm inspired

Recently I have had the pleasure of reading the thoughts of a fellow MS warrior; thus revisiting my own relationship with something that has just become another appendage. I've written my story before and admittedly (momentarily) been impressed with my own fortitude and will to move on. Then I look at it again and think, "C'mon, Lisa, it's no big deal."
Learning to walk again (and again) is nothing compared to the terminal cancer patient and his anxious family.
Re-evaluating that mountain of stairs in front of me cannot compare to the three brain surgeries my own brother has survived in two years.
Dragging around a dropped foot while willing spectactors to consider that my uneven gait is not a product of a liquid lunch should be a testimony to the actual wino under the bridge who some how can afford to consume insane amounts of alcohol, while I live from pay check to pay check buying groceries for my family rather than visiting my favorite spirit of choice.


Hey, Baby, it's cold, cold, cold outside! Two hour delay this morning and I anticipate a repeat tomorrow. And then...a warm up...and SNOW!
I love winter. My fantasy vacation is to be snowed in with a pile of books and a put of hot tea. It's been a long time since I enjoyed nature's screen play from my living room window. I get giddy just thinking about the possibility.

Let's Remember Dear Abby

The news of Dear Abby's passing has taken its toll on me, but has also caste a new purpose to my writing. Tomorrow I will be signing copies of Abby and Raspberry Beret at Barnes and Noble in Morgantown, WV, 1-4 PM. I hope you will join me in paying homage to the great lady who hugely inspired my YA novels and the diary format in which they are written.

"Dear Abby" hero and my muse...God Speed

'Dear Abby' advice columnist dies at age 94 Thursday - 1/17/2013, 4:28pm  ET FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2001 file photo, Pauline Friedman Phillips, right, the nationally-syndicated advice columnist best known as "Dear Abby," and her daughter Jeanne Phillips, pose after the dedication of a Dear Abby star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Phillips, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, she was 94. Phillips' column competed for decades with the advice column of Ann Landers, written by her twin sister, Esther Friedman Lederer. Their relationship was stormy in their early adult years, but later they regained the close relationship they had growing up in Sioux City, Iowa. The two columns differed in style. Ann Landers responded to questioners with homey, detailed advice. Abby's replies were often flippant one-liners. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) By STEVE KARNOWSKI
Associated Press Writer MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Pauline Friedman Phillips, who as Dear …

This is where I want to live....Oh, but I do, I do!

Looks like a 5 Star to me!

20th Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title: Abby Author: Lisa A. McCombs Judge Number: 75

Books were evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.
In some cases, you may see special or out of place characters/symbols in your commentary. For example, you may see that a character/symbol replaces an apostrophe, copyright, and other "symbols". These substitutions occur for various reasons – and are unavoidable. They are often [programming] misinterpretations due to encoding, installed fonts, web based content/sources etc. Since the “content”[data] of the commentary is comprised of data sent from several different computers (programs, fonts etc.,) and from the internet (online entry system), you may at times see an interpretation of what had been an apostrophe, quotation mark etc.

Structure and Organization: 5  Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 

Thank you, Robert Lee Brewer

This morning marks day 5 of my flu and day 2 of my son's own case; thus, while he is recovering, I am diving head first into stir-craziness (as one can obviously attain from my vocabulary).

No worries.  5:00 AM found me on the prowl for new and refreshing reading material and when I spied my 2013 copy of Writer's Market, I just knew that was the fuel I needed.

How many of you have actually read a copy of Writer's Market? I mean, really read the content; not raced frantically to the publisher/agent listings with an indignant attitude of not yet being discovered? There is some really informative stuff located in the pages prior to those discouraging lists.

Robert Lee Brewer, editor of said gospel, offers some much needed advice and very reader friendly tips on pages 161-174 for the social media flunky (like me) and I even enjoyed his From the Editor piece. You're a cutie, Robert Lee Brewer; and, no, I'm not flirting, but my sleep deprived, fever raged brain is feelin…

It's just not fair...

I am and never have been attracted to the use of narcotics for amusement, but I could very easily become a Prednisone junkie. Steroids are the golden moment for MS victims; and on Sunday I was given a high dosage of said drug to jump-start my flu recovery. An hour later the heavens opened up and life was good again. My feet fell in perfect step; my hands actually grasped items they reached for; my annoying head flutter ceased. For two days I remembered what it was like to be near normal again.
...and then I woke up this morning with an uneven walking gait, a numb left hand, and a bobble head reflected in the mirror.

I actually felt like an addict as I reached for my bottle of steroids for round two. How long would it take to regain that euphoria of Sunday afternoon? How long will that settled state of mind and body last this time? I get to consume these lovely little tablets, twice a day for five days; supposedly to help combat the flu. But I know, and everyone out there with a neurol…

Irrelevant blog commens

It's exciting when I see that there on comments on my blog postings; but rather curious when those comments have absolutely nothing to do with my post. Is this some kind of piracy to gain recognition for one's self or are there really idiots out there who have no idea what they are reading....oops...there's the problem. They can't read!
      Which gets me to my most recent project. West Virginia, my beautiful home state, will celebrate its' 150th birthday in June and to celebrate the entire state is challenging schools, libraries, reading groups, communities, families, neighborhoods, EVERYONE, to read 150 books between January 1 and December 31. I cannot wait to approach my own faculty with this event. Teaching eighth graders makes this inconceivable for my classroom, since they leave me in June to move on to the high school; but that doesn't mean that I won't be talking it up as an extra something for them to think about.
...and I did it again! Slow down, Lisa, you are on a Fog Delay...

I hate it when I tap that "publish" button and then see as blaring spelling mistake. I meant to say "folks":)

Fog Delay

That's right folk...Marion County Schools is on a two hour delay due to intense FOG. In my thirty years of teaching, I do not recall school closing because of fog. No, I am not complaining (other than the fact that I was totally dressed and "made up" by 6:30); I just find it rather comical that it is January 10 and the temperature is more like spring than winter (Where's the snow?!) and while my child hood anticipation of a Snow Day (C'mon, Snowbird!) is still active, I never would have dreamed of a Fog Day.
Hey, I'll take it any way I can get it. I just hate to begin a new semester on such an event. I like new beginnings and am a firm believer that their outcome is a result of their foundation. I hope this shaky foundation isn't representative of second semester's outcome.
So...on the Today Show this early morn, reports of a dangerous flu outbreak is spreading across our country. Guess I'd better get that flu shot...

Exciting stuff....exciting year

I am once again blown away by my current eighth graders and their voracious appetite for writing (and reading!). We started working on WV Promising Young WritersWVDE yesterday and they are SO excited, which makes me equally pumped. After talking about effective "grabbers" and doing a writing sprint on one of seven fictional narrative writing prompts, I know as a certainty that only good things are going to happen in room 208 today. The most memorable "grabber" from yesterday is "It's not safe here anymore". I mean, how does that NOT grab your attention. Good job, G. Baker! I cannot wait to see what is in store for us today.
     On a more personal note: I will be at Barnes and Noble in Morgantown on Saturday, January 19, at 1:00, signing copies of Abby and Raspberry Beret. Since that week is Educator's Week I hope to see many fellow educators/YA readers. I cannot wait to release the third and final installment in my trilogy, but I have set a …

If you liked Abby, you'll love Raspberry Beret!

I opened my FB page today and found that my dear niece had taken the time to download this image of Raspberry Beret. It is so cool so see one's own published work being advertised in such a manner. Thanks, Rachel!:) If you don't have your copy of Raspberry Beret yet, check it out on Amazon!

Reminding myself that this IS the 21st century...

I read my latest copy of Writers Digest today and am once again totally overwhelmed with publishing information. My first novel is self-published but is basically in the hands of a self-publishing house in BC and my second novel is a product of Create Space. Not a business-minded individual, I am clueless as to how to promote my books in the fashion that is suggested by these interesting articles that leave me burdened with my techie ignorance. I love to write. I just do not have an interest in the promoting of my work. Terrible, huh? It all sounds so simple until I sit down to tackle the situation head on.
    So, here's my to do list:
1. Write a convincing query.
2. Write an interesting summary of Abby an equally wonderful piece to promote Raspberry Beret.
3. Focus on understanding the workings of e-book publication.
4. Remember to actually do WORK on the computer instead of playing Bubble Witch Saga (I am addicted).
5. At least pretend to be what I always wanted to be: an …

2013 and misunderstood

So...I decided yesterday that I cannot handle my life successfully if I have to be responsible for how MY life affects other people...what is happening to me is not a personal attack on others...
     Let me explain....
On December 14, 2000, at the age of 40, I gave birth to a son. Six months later I collapsed and  after a week of hospitalization I was officially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. For the first summer of my son's life I had to depend upon other people to care for my  little darling because I could not walk, had limited feeling in my arms, and suffered impaired speech. Four weeks after my diagnosis, I began a life long commitment to self injections to help ward off future diseased related symptoms. Every other day I had to "shoot up" so that soon my body was covered with thumbnail bruises and my energy level was cut practically in two. I continued to self-inject until I "accidentally" made the decision to discontinue my use of this …