Monday, December 23, 2013
Today, in his annual tradition, an old school friend of my uncle's hand delivered a poinsettia from his greenhouses to our front door. He has dropped off a poinsettia for my grandmother every year since the beginning of time (aka at least as long as I have been alive). It is very sweet of him and my grandmother loves it. This old school friend of my uncle's also happens to be the father of the guy I made a fool of myself over in high school. (That is a super long and complicated story that you will NEVER hear.)
So when he pulled up today, my mom happened to be outside (seeing as it is unnaturally warm in the snow belt) and they apparently chatted (I can't verify this as I am currently in a different state). One of the updates he shared was that the boy I mentioned is no longer planning to take over the family farm and has decided he has no desire to return to our hometown. I cannot express to you the illogical heart break this causes me. I haven't spoken to this boy since graduation but everyone knew he was going to take over the farm and that our town would forever be his home. It feels cosmically wrong. My brain refuses to accept it. It makes me so sad.
It is thoroughly none of my business what this boy does and for all I know he is incredibly happy. However, there is something deep down in me that can't believe that. I hope that part of me is wrong. I hope that the last 6.5 years have changed him and he's happy. Actually, I hope he hasn't changed at all and just gets a clue before his dad sells the business.
Anyway, that is a really long way of saying that today I am filled with all the high school feels. I miss my best friend. I miss the yearbook room. I miss math homework (yes, I just said that) and advisement with my global history teacher. It doesn't matter that I will be back at that same high school in January as a substitute teacher and musical choreographer. Right now, I want MY high school back with all the people, drama, and ridiculousness that goes with it.
Someone build me a time machine or I'm libel to write myself one.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Musical practice for The Wedding Singer has begun. I've had three rehearsals which have all proved incredibly productive. I set a whole number on the first day and the following two rehearsals have allowed me to set 3/4 of another number. I'm so pleasantly surprised.
Life has been a kind of adjustment the past few weeks but I'm handling it. Except that I just realized its less than two weeks until Christmas. So I better get started on gifts.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Also, musical auditions are over for both shows I'm working on this season. I'm running point on The Wedding Singer with my sister's assistance while my sister is heading up Pippin with my backup. Auditions were cool, casting had some setbacks. I am trying to remain excited instead of apprehensive but I'm struggling.
Finally, I haven't touched G4 in over a week. I am stuck in the middle and it is a barren wasteland with no lifelines or avenues of escape. I chatted with the lovely Jenny Adams Perinovic about it and have decided on a change of plan. I was writing this story linearly, from point A to point B because I had events I wanted to happen but was pantsing everything in between. With two musicals and being back in my family home instead of holed up in a big house alone, I am going to be a lot busier soon and being stuck with G4 will mean no progress if I'm already busy. I know myself well enough to know that I won't make time for it. So I am switching paths. I am going to write the scenes I know I want and piece it all together later. Hell, I might even write the end first. But I have a new plan and I'm gonna stick to it!
Monday, November 18, 2013
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Also, it is such a perfect autumn day. I want to bottle it and paint my room in it. I want to live in eternal autumn. It makes me wonder how death can be so beautiful.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
But really, Millie is such a better show. LE SIGH.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I went to sleep last night with my G4 notebook open on my bedside table. I woke up this morning with cat puke all over it. #catladyproblems, I know. But for real, I was pretty much freaking out at 5:30 this morning without any real time to deal with it. I wiped up what I could and set it up to dry before I left for work, but honestly I don't know how salvageable it will be.
I grabbed another notebook from my drawer (yes I do indeed have a whole drawer of blank notebooks, it is a sickness) in case I'm in a writing mood but all day I've been stressing about the few pages I have written in the vomit notebook that I haven't yet typed. I spent quite a while today feeling incapable of writing because i might lose those pages (if the ink ran, the pages stick etc). Now, however, I feel kind of liberated. I was a bit stuck in those pages anyway. I didn't really like them and felt like I was taking the story in a weird direction.
Therefore, I've chosen to view the cat puke incident as an act of the cosmos, some higher writing god telling me to get it together. I'm pitching those pages and starting fresh in the new notebook.
Monday, October 14, 2013
The library of my memories as a student, student teacher, and substitute was a brittle and stuffy one. And not in an endearing nostalgic kind of way. More of a I'm going to get thrown out of here breathing too loud, don't you dare bring that water bottle in here, you heathen, you don't deserve to touch books kind of way. Really inviting. Not.
When I was subbing last week (the first time this year because I was in the other state) I passed the library and it was a completely different place. There was a Newberry Honor bulletin board on one side of the door and a collage of the best 100 YA titles to date on the other. Just inside the door, I saw a display table of Halloween themed books for October reading.
Later, I asked a student who the new librarian was and suddenly the world made sense again. The new librarian is the former elementary school librarian. The zany, quirky woman who made library period in grade school awesome.
As a rule I'm not a big fan of change but I am definitely a fan of this.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Also, I bought a Disney Princesses calender and a HUGE package of stickers today because I'm trying the sticker technique. (learn about it here: http://youtu.be/kvDtCIA-_dk)
In other news, I am listening to my G4 playlist for the first time in a while and OMG it is so spot on. Sometimes I really know myself/my brain/my writing. :)
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
The book full of sass and friendship and boys and magic and secrets. It was well written, imaginative, quirky, and painful. I forced myself to read it more slowly than I normally would because I was enjoying it so much and didn't want it to end. It was so good.
Then it ended.
The end is absolutely heartbreaking, but that wasn't why I didn't like it. I didn't like it because a few pages before the end it suddenly became really clear that this was the first book in a series and things were just taking off, not wrapping up. And nothing against series. I know they're trendy, plus more of a good thing. But sometimes I just want a book to be self-contained. I want it to end on the last page.
That being said, I still love Unspoken, and I plan to continue the series. I just feel have a preference to single books.
ok, end rant.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Sunday, September 22, 2013
- Voice is the author's style, the quality that makes his or her writing unique, and which conveys the author's attitude, personality, and character; or
- Voice is the characteristic speech and thought patterns of a first-person narrator; a persona. Because voice has so much to do with the reader's experience of a work of literature, it is one of the most important elements of a piece of writing.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I have officially filled an entire one subject notebook with nothing but words for G4. I am so excited to be making real progress on this story. I love getting into the plot and character interactions. I love seeing where this story is going since I'm pantsing it.
I am going out of town for the next week so I don't think I will get much written but I will be having a great time anyway. When I get back it will be pen to paper all the time :)
Saturday, August 31, 2013
One of my junior high students, S, had previously told me how much she wants to be an author. On Thursday, she noticed my writing notebook on my desk and asked what it was. I told her that it was my story notebook for my WIP.
"But you didn't tell me you write!" she exclaimed, and with the grabbiest of metaphorical grabby hands she wanted to know all about it. I gave her the very short version (high school, friendship, boys, musical theatre), and she was full of smiles and genuine interest. "How cool! Someday I'll see your book and be able to say you were my teacher!" she said before leaving.
It doesn't matter that she has never read a word I've written or that I don't write under my real name so she won't actually be able to do that. What matters is that her blind faith and excitement has motivated me to keep writing this story. My goal is to finish a complete draft by the end of the calendar year, and I am determined to reach it!
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton left me with three big things/ideas. 1. death sucks but we keep those we love close to in other ways 2. magic is awesome but it comes with a price 3. bad people can become good, good people can go bad. its all in your choices and actions
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater left me with four more big things/ideas. 1. risk everything for love 2. life finds a way 3. trust your friends. 4. parents should pay enough attention to know if a girl is keeping a boy in her room
The House of Tradd Street by Karen White left with with three big things/ideas. 1. don't sleep with suave men because you're annoyed at the nosy sweet one at home 2. old houses have stories to tell and secrets to keep 3. even broken families have hope of mending themselves.
As I work on G4 I keep thinking of what big things people might take away from it someday if they ever read it. I know what I want them to take away but will they?
Monday, August 19, 2013
I took French and Spanish in high school, hold a BA in French from The Ohio State University, am a certified secondary French teacher in NYS, studied classical and medieval Latin in college as well as Old Occitan, and taught my self some VERY basic Portuguese for a trip I took to Brazil in 2010.
Anyway, I love languages and particularly grammar. Oddly enough, however, I know far more about foreign grammar than I do about English grammar. I fully understand the rule behind qui and que usage in French which is the only way I can remember the that and which rules in English. I also use the Latin case system to understand when to use who vs. whom (its all about the accusative case, man).
I still make really simple grammatical mistakes that are colloquially common, etc. BUT I use my foreign language skills to minimize them. And I will always think its funny that I learned English grammar when I learned other languages.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Sarah used an extremely relevant quote by J.K. Rowling that expresses an author's connection to their characters. I hadn't quite realized but each of my the main ladies has a bit of me in them. And the boys? I think I've crushed on all of them in my time.
Predictable? Maybe. But it means I know my characters. And I love them.
And when I say I know them, I mean it. S.E. Hinton, author of the Outsiders once did an interview talking about just how well she knew her characters but the internet has failed me so I can't share it with you. Her interview was the first thing I thought of when I read Sarah's post.
I'm happy to say that I know exactly what my characters eat for breakfast and which sock they put on first BUT I struggle to know which of those details are of interest to you. Sometimes I want to give you the whole back story because its totally interesting to me but I know I have to find my middle ground.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
In high school chemistry, my teacher told me that doing things with your non-dominant hand that you normally do with your dominant one creates new neuro-pathways. I have no idea if its true but I took it to heart and taught myself to write with my left hand. It came in really handy when my right hand cramped up in college classes.
I also use it when my brain can't put a sentence together. I've told you already that I write a huge proportion of my stuff in longhand first, right? Well, when I'm stuck, it helps sometimes to pass my pen, turn my notebook a little, and get something on the page. Its a little messier than my usual handwriting but it almost always gets me out of my head. Its how I fixed something today!
Its also fun. So the next time you're bored, or blocked, try writing with the other hand. And don't forget to tell me how it goes! :-)
Friday, August 9, 2013
Her work in progress, Slings and Arrows, is great. I am all about her main characters. And I cannot wait until I get to read more of it!
And her comments on my first two chapters of Goodbye Good-Goody Girl were great.
Until recently I had been relying heavily on my dear friend Jenny Adams Perinovic for feedback and comments. In the last month I won a chapter critic from The Great Noveling Adventure from Sarah at injustyourword.com and have done this chapter swap. It has been a liberating and humbling experience. Having a feeling of community as I write feels so great!
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Take these two versions of my sentence from G4
Naked This: This was evidenced by the fact that I had somehow managed to smudge a long dark line down my cheek like a morbid mime tear.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
On a different but related note: Due to some terrible scheduling problems between my two jobs I have been awake for more than 24 hours during which I have traversed New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Right now I NEED sleep. It is taking all my faculties to type this, but I felt that it was an important realization to share. In my sleep-deprived delirium today, so many ideas came to me. So many perfect bits that needed working out. I wonder if some moderate level of perpetual sleep deprivation might actually increase my creative productivity.
I have reached the point where I can't actually think anymore so I'll just leave this here and see what happens.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Mirella wanted to make her senior year count but now her life is spiraling out of control, and she has to decide if she's ready to really be Millie and say goodbye to the good girl.
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March, April, May, June. Four months of occasional late night encounters. Food poisoning, movies in bed, melty man, new sheets, forgotten j...
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I sat in the driver's seat of his car and could reach absolutely nothing. "Are you even human?" I asked. "How do you driv...