Friday, March 23, 2018

Not there yet, but a little closer than yesterday

3500 WORDS PER POUND WEEK 9 (I THINK) WRITING So, how’s the writing going? Not that great, but I did just rewrite a chapter of the WIP I’ve been working on since The Time of the Flood because I was just freshly inspired by something new and fresh that I could inject to it, without having to alter the storyline too terribly much, so I’m hoping that this is the inspiration that I needed to get going. After the excitement wore off, it’s hard to keep the motivation going too much. I lose focus much too quickly and that’s what cuts me off at the knees. I’m trying. I missed two story deadlines, but I’m trying. I’m trying to think now about ways I’ve lost control, and other ways people have lost control for a story prompt, but focusing mostly on women. Kind of like the show Snapped, but I don’t want to go quite in that true crime direction. Frankly, any words I’m getting on the pages these days is a great victory for me. WIP #2 Salacious Details. I need salacious details. I’ve picked up some information I need about my RPF and now I need to collect as many salacious details about this as possible, I’m scouring gossip websites and magazines because I need ideas on what constitutes the life of this person. I need to answer questions like what is luxury, what is wealth, and why will people sell their souls for it? I like things too, I like nice things, but most of my life has been focused on survival, and staying alive, and staying one step ahead of the wolf, and so it fascinates me that there are people out there that have lives that are dedicated to acquiring wealth and power and things and that they are more important than life and living. People who never have to worry about the wolf. What must their lives be like/ Am I drawn to this story because I want to be her, or because I envy her in some way? Or maybe I like the drama, or both. Nostalgia Project Didn’t work on my project lately because I’m not 100% sure what it is that I want to get out of it. I tried it the Saturday before last and I didn’t feel it, and one thing I do know is that I want to recapture the feeling of stepping back in time, and it wasn’t there. So I need to think about what I really want to do with it, what the purpose of this whole thing is. I know I want to do something, recapture this feeling, so I have the WHAT, and I’m doing it by watching old shows from my childhood and some middle school/high school years so I have the HOW, I just need the WHY. Thoughts about Dr. Seuss Week at School Two things I need to write about regarding teaching. One is the Dr. Seuss Week we had at our school and the active shooter drill and evacuation we had on Thursday but that one’s so big, I might leave that for a Medium essay instead. So, Dr. Seuss. I’m kind of conflicted about Dr. Seuss. So many schools do this, and he’s everywhere, to the point of being tedious really. There’s a whole backstory here that’s not exactly appropriate for kids. Before Cat In the Hat, there was the whole, you know, drawing a bunch of really racist cartoons. http://nordic.businessinsider.com/before-dr-seuss-was-famous-he-drew-these-sad-racist-ads-2012-3/ He did mend his ways, apparently, and ended up changing his perspective and his mind, and ended up drawing anti-racist cartoons, and this past is difficult and complicated to explain to elementary students, but it doesn’t mean it should be left out of the conversation entirely. So, if he changed his mind, which he appears to have done, good, I’m glad he did. Maybe we should explore that journey-at an age appropriate level. Kids grow up to be people and people love Dr. Seuss, and I guess I shouldn’t try and take away from that if it gives people a sense of comfort and joy. But I’m just tired and worn out of Dr. Seuss, as he is not the only representative of children’s literature out there. He’s just not inspiring. I’m no longer a child, and perhaps you’d say that it’s no longer inspiring to me, but it would be inspiring to a kid who struggles to read or who is just exploring this for the first time. Maybe. But Dr. Seuss, while okay, I guess, is just way over hyped for what it offers. There’s so much to work with and choose from, Dr. Seuss isn’t the only one out there. I’m looking for more diversity. So is the point to honor Dr. Seuss, or to honor his contributions to children’s literature or children’s literature’s contribution to society? That very last one, I could get behind. Backlog of Vlogging I’m experiencing some technical difficulties with the backlog of ASMR videos I have downloaded that I’d love to upload to YouTube. They’re all in mp4 format, but for some reason every computer I’ve tried to upload them from tells me it’s in the wrong format, so I’m going to keep trying to figure out what I’ve got going on here. In the meantime I have some scripts to write, and my schedule to set up something like writing during the week and perform/record on the weekend. I’ve got some planning with props and everything else I want to do. So it’s not on hold, just in the planning stages. However, I am barely started to get on the radar of #ASMRVoices, so that is a BIG step for me, so yay! And that, for now, concludes my blogging day

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Falling off the Challenge--It's all on Me

It's that long stretch of afternoon that usually gets me. Especially on Sundays. I always have things to do, but they're at war with me wanting a break from Having To Do Things.
But Responsibilities. So I had mountains of student papers to sort out into their portfolios and I didn't get a chance to mount their artowrk OR work on my bulletin board, because I still needed time to lesson plan. Then I spent that time making sure I knew how I was going to clearly explain one point perspective . We started it last week but didn't get a chance to finish it. Then various chores. Plus being sick. So inevitably, I fell off the writing and vlogging wagon. I am a a big fat disappointment to myself.
I'm famous for being really hard on myself. I'm struggling to learn to give myself a break. I have things I want to write about, I have a giant list of them. Things like observing what's happening at school and what's going on over there. I'm teaching art and drama and I have thoughts and observations about it.
I'm moving my way through my nostalgia project including Saturday Morning Cartoons and old 90's shows and music. The nostalgia hits hard. Here's one, I'm watching Star Trek TNG, having finished TOS. I'm only about 3 episodes in, but man, is Stewart a mesmerizing actor. I know this is not news to anyone, but watching this series as an appreciative adult is just a brand new perspective.
Haven't written any fan fiction, so I'm way behind that even though there have been major developments in my character's world, including Hope Hicks, who it is rumored, was responsible for the hand written note in the famous (infamous?) "listening session" by dear leader in the White House. People speculated it was Ivanka, but I guess credit goes to Hope. Methinks there's a story there.
Then there's walking. I miss walking. I was doing so good with it, and catching up on all my audiobooks and podcasts and everything, but then the weather took a turn for the shitty, and that's the end of the that for awhile. I really really miss it. And it needs to be outside.
There's so much I need to catch up because I have set myself up for so many challenges, and this is what you get--if you don't keep up with all of them, then one misstep and it screws up the whole flow. But it's all still there waiting. That's the thing about art and writing, it never leaves you, and I'm not so far behind with everything that I can't pick it back up and get back in the stride of things. It's hard to get back into the stride of things, though, like with the walking thing. Now that I've stopped, even though I miss it, (both walking and writing) I'll now find ten excuses not to do it, which is exactly what I was afraid of. And no one else is responsible for this but me, and no one can write for me, no one can walk for me, so it's all on me.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

#NotOneMore School Shooting!

Subject: Send a letter: #NotOneMore School Shooting! Body: Dear Friends, I wrote a letter for the Action Network letter campaign "#NotOneMore School Shooting!". The Badass Teachers Association (BATs) says NOT ONE MORE. When will our lawmakers begin to put our children before NRA campaign donations? The time to talk about gun control is NOW! Please join BATs as we blast our federal lawmakers with emails from educators who are proclaiming loudly NOT ONE MORE!!! Can you join me and write a letter? Click here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/notonemore-school-shooting?source=email& Thanks! I include this picture here from yesterday's Boston Globe because I agree with it. I just don't want it to be this way.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Bradbury Challenge Week #6 Plus Rosemary's Baby

And here's the second week of February. Already. I' should have written this bit by bit like I did last week, but like I mentioned in my last post, I've been out of commission for a lot of last week. I've been sick with the flu, as has most of my work, and it's been difficult to manage a lot during the day by myself, especially since I haven't really felt like doing anything. I'm pushing myself to do this now. It's one of THOSE days. Tomorrow, since my breathing treatments have worked, it's back to work and everything else that comes with it. Honestly, we need to close the whole place down and disinfect the whole thing. But, I digress. Today I don't have any detailed updates, except that I did still manage to write, and even create a few ASMR videos--just not any with my face or voice in them. The three that I have cued up are things that have been waiting to be be put together. I just need to upload them, which I usually have to do when I'm at work when I'm not actively using my home internet because it takes a while and sucks up all my internet. Again, I digress. In any case, I do have another installment in my #WomenInHorrorMonth18. This is a brief bit of #flashfiction about Rosemary Woodhouse from Rosemary's Baby. If you've never seen it, it's a classic. It preys on all the fears and hopes of marriage and motherhood, of what happens when one person is selfish and manipulative. Rosemary is systematically groomed and isolated from her friends by her husband Guy, and taken under the wing of Minnie and Roman, who befriend her as she rides out an increasingly difficult pregnancy. I've included the YouTube link to the the audiobook at the end. I've read the book and listened to the audiobook and seen the movie enough times to have it memorized, so, yeah, I.m somewhat of a fan. And this is one of those rare cases where the movie is pretty close to the book, which is pretty good. Anyway,I hope you enjoy. HIS FATHERS EYES Being a new bride is so exciting. You have so many new ideas, and hopes and dreams about what the brand new life you’re going to share together. So full of hope and optimism. You found someone to be your mate that was really the hard part. I mean, finding a guy (whose name really was Guy, by the way) who said he loved you and wanted to marry you, sweep you off to the big city. New York. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And Guy was going to make, she just knew it. She knew it like she knew the sun rose in the east and set in the west. He has talent. He had exactly what it takes. Guy was everything. He was the epicenter of her world. He always knew the right thing to do, for both of them. He knew where the best of everything was, even if they couldn’t always afford it and above all else he made her laugh. It’s what she loved about him the most. She loved being a bride. It was like being initiated into a new secret society—one that everyone knows about of course, but that you can’t really belong to unless you have the invitations made. She delighted in them all. Picking out the colors (yellow was the rage in 1967) and her bouquet was made out of daisies. Guy wore one in his boutonniere. He smiled and indulged her, “Whatever you want, honey, it’s your day.” “It’s OUR day, Guy.” “Everyone knows this is for the bride.” He patted her cheek and kissed her on the forehead like you would a child. She adjusted to life in New York so well; it was as if she were a native. She made friends easily and was secretly pleased at not having to work, not if she didn’t want to. Some women wanted to work, just so they’d have something for themselves and some women had to, but Guy’s theatre career was really taking off. He was doing a lot of television and radio. She’d sometimes hear him when she was out shopping, which she liked to do on Thursday afternoons. This was one of the parts she liked best about being a housewife. The meal planning. It made her feel good to sit down, and organize everything on a sheet of paper, and determine her route. The Italian butcher for her meat, and the street market for fish and vegetables. She had read in a women’s magazine (which she also really loved) how to make her own grocery bags from yarn, so she made her own. She was so proud of them, and when she went to show Guy after spending all of Monday morning working on them, he grunted in acknowledgement and said “That’s great honey,” his eyes already on the t.v., his after work snack and his beer resting on the edge of the couch. She should allow that twinge of disappointment to thread through her. They’re just stupid grocery bags. But it was something she made, she was proud of it, proud of showcasing her skills at being frugal. It probably wouldn’t save them mountains of money, but, still, it was something she made, something she worked hard on. She wanted his approval more than anything in this world. She fought the urge not to throw it in the trash. It was the stupid women’s magazines that must be it. They were always telling her to do things that would make her house a home, how to please her husband with attractive centerpiece arrangements and an aesthetically pleasing dinner. Always have his after work snack and his drink. She carried his slippers like a dog. So eager to please, she might as well have her own tags and a bowl with her name on it. That’s what she thought afterwards, looking into the cradle now, with all of them surrounding her, watching to see what she would do. She didn’t know what she had done with the knife. After the initial horror had passed, and after she had spit in Guy’s face (and what a thrill she got out of that) she knew she couldn’t leave this baby to the rest of them, or with him. Leave him for Guy to raise? A bunch of old women whose oldest children were older than she was? The same people who had tried to convince her she was crazy rather than just tell her the truth? Someone had brought her a chair, a rocking chair. It was cushioned, and now Roman was placing the baby in her arms, more the proud papa than Guy. He was beaming as if it were his own child, or grandchild. Guy was still in the hallway, in the shadows, looking at her but not looking at her. She felt like she was underwater. Minnie’s tea sat cold. They had hooked her in, and he knew it. He was trying to be nice now. We weren’t sure how you’d react, Rosemary. He was talking, but Rosemary wasn’t listening. He was Dubrovnik, after all. She was looking into her baby’s eyes. The one old woman, whose name she couldn’t recall, was still eyeing her suspiciously, as if she would throw the baby out the window. No, she couldn’t do that. But what would they do about his eyes? They were gold, with the pupil slit like a cat’s eyes. There wasn’t any hiding them. How could he go to school? Her breath caught for a moment, but she forced herself to smile. They had to see her smile. There would be a way around this. Baby’s eyes change. They change all the time. There was something building in her. A power she couldn’t name, not like a witch’s power like she had read about, not like these witches, but something else. She was his mother. There was power in that. She looked up and met Roman’s eyes, and he nodded at her, an understanding passing between them. She had upstairs, all the baby clothes Guy, that liar, packed away. She was going to be able to shop for a boy! Images of little jumpers and navy blue rompers with red buttons filled her mind. She would just have to find a way to disguise the eyes, somehow. And she would have to do it on her own. She would be filing for divorce and full custody of the boy as soon as she was able. Her mind was whirling. She opened her mouth to speak, drawing in air, and felt the room tremble with weight. She felt power being drawn to her. I want the cradle back in my room where it belongs. I want all my things back. There were some muffled protests, but Roman just held up a hand, and nodded. Rosemary fixed her eyes on her son, whom she noticed had done nothing but coo in her arms since she had picked him up. She swore he smiled at her. Guy, I want you out. I want you to leave. Find a hotel or some place, I don’t care. Honey, c’mon, let’s talk about this. You got what you wanted. We all did. I’m filing for divorce in the morning. While I’m out, you can take your things. After that, I’m changing the locks. I don’t want to see you, I don’t want to look at you, I don’t want to think about you. Ever. You’ll never see me or the baby again. Why don’t you stay here tonight, dear, Minnie spoke up. Until things settle down, huh? No. Rosemary stood up. I’m tired of being told what to do by you people. All of you witches. This is my baby. Tonight I’m sleeping in my bed with my baby next to me. Roman, do you really think this is wise—an old man she didn’t know stood up, face red in protest. Good, she was hitting a nerve. She smiled, and the smile felt cold. Her baby, Adrian, the name floated to her mind, began laughing a baby laugh. She didn’t know her heart could be this empty, or this cold. I think Adrian approves, murmured Roman.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Interlude--#FlashFictionFriday Annie Wilkes

I am a couple days behind in posting some of my #fanfiction for #WomenInHorrorMonth but I've been out of commission for the past few days since I caught the flu. Which is puzzling since I had a flu shot only a few weeks ago, which I'm thinking I might need a refund on. I have a list of women, both heroines and villanesses, Final Girls and Ladies of the Night that all have special places in my heart. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates, Misery) Certainly, many horror movie fans consider Misery to be one of the best Stephen King adaptations, I believe because it's relatively faithful to the book. Well, it also has some awesome actors in it, so there's that. It tells the story of a mega-obsessive fan, Annie Wilkes, whose wildest dreams come true when her favorite author Paul Sheldon crashes his car during a snowstorm near her home. Under the guise of caring for his injury, she takes him to her house, where he is bedridden with broken bones. At first, it appears as if Annie is Paul’s savior--perhaps she is. To reward Annie for saving him, Paul gives her his newest manuscript. However, she is...somewhat less than satisfied with the way the book ends. She goes off into a rage, her true form is revealed, and informs Paul that she hasn’t told anyone else where he is, and now he is 100% at her mercy. Paul now has to think of ways from placating her to fighting her to escape the room she's locked him up in. From there, Annie tortures Paul to get the story she wants, alternately being maternal and nurse-like and full on psychotic. Unsatisfied with Paul's writing efforts, and the death of her favorite character, she orders Paul to burn his manuscript and write up a new book instead, Misery’s Return. Demanding the character be written back to life, Paul has no choice but to do as she says--he can't leave and there's nothing for him to do but write. Of course, Paul does try to get away, but once Annie finds out, she smashes his ankles with a sledgehammer to ensure that won’t happen again, effectively "hobbling" him. We get glimpses into Annie's life, from her playful pet pig (named Misery, of course)to her junk food addiction to her depressive (and dangerous) mood swings. Eventually Paul finds a way to fight for his freedom.
So, please enjoy this super short (and mostly not finished) fiction of Annie Wilkes, the original fangirl! Loosely inspired by her scrapbook from the movie.
She would always volunteer for the night shift because it endeared her to everyone right away. Everyone hates the night shift, and Miss Wilkes was always a cheerful, bright volunteer. “Well, heck,” she’d say with a wide smile, “someone has to keep things cheerful around here! Just think of me as a big ray of sunshine at midnight!” What she loved most, of course, was working with all those babies. She could spend her whole life in the maternity ward and never get tired of it. She loved the new moms, and was especially good at calming their fears. ”You just grab my hand, now, and give one big old push!” When the new moms got tired of holding their newborns, she would gently extract the baby from their limp arms, holding them with awe and reverence, cooing nonsense to them while the exhausted mother sighs in contentment. “Of course it’s no problem,” Annie would say. “Mommy needs her rest!” Annie never spoke in a sentence to anyone, whether three decades or three hours old, that didn’t end in an exclamation point. She lays the infant down in the bassinet and wheels him down to the nursery. She doesn’t need to look where she’s going, so she looks at the baby instead. He’s helpless and new and pinky-red. So new he still has trouble opening his eyes all the way and his umbilical cord is taped to his tummy. His head has that conical shape to it, disguised by the white hat to keep his little head warm. She leans down and inhales his new scent. He smells so good. It’s such a shame he’s a boy. She sighs. Maybe she envies them. That’s what she thinks as she greets the desk nurse on her way back to nursery. “Hello, there!” She waves with the enthusiasm of a cheerleader on Football Friday. The nurse glances up from her files once in acknowledgment, nods curtly, then goes back to her papers. Cold ass bitch. Annie hates people who can’t spare the decency of politeness. Hates them. It doesn't cost anything to be pleasant. She puts on a smile everyday like she does her nurse’s uniform. She practices in the mirror. She thinks about the desk nurse as she wheels the baby boy into the nursery. The pediatric nurse has to be about 20 years old, maybe two years older than Annie was when she first started. The young nurse smiles at her, eager to please. This girl Annie likes. She follows orders. She wants to learn. She takes care of her patients. She says hello when you say hello to her. She hands the baby off with instructions taking care to praise the young nurse for the things she’s done right and just, ever so slightly, mention a few things that could be improved. See the way the infants are swaddled? Annie knows that the infant is bundled perfectly fine, but when the nurse’s back was turned she found that a corner had come untucked. “You see? These little guys will wiggle. You have to be careful! You have to be observant, all the time! There can never be any mistakes here. Any mistakes here can affect them for the rest of their lives. We’re entrusted with a sacred duty. We’re the guardians of the future!” The young nurse looked worried, but Annie has a way of smiling while she was dressing you down, and it didn’t really seem like a criticism at all. She was just pointing out a mistake. It was her job as her supervisor. You’ll get the hang of this, eventually.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Bradbury Challenge Week #5

3500 Words Per Pound Weekly Update I’m a little late on getting this weekly update done. It’s more of a personal goal than anything else, but for the few people that check this out weekly, thanks. I notice you, and I appreciate you. Here’s to a great week, and let’s hope I shake off this horrible cold. Home sick today and seeing the doctor this afternoon for this awful sore throat and cough, which is how I’m able to even catch up and write this at all. I’m still going strong in the Bradbury Challenge—still writing one short story a week. And that’s probably the longest I’ve held to any particular goal or challenge I’ve set forth to do, so I’m pretty proud that this is something that I’ve not only been consistent with, I’ve managed to make into a daily/weekly practice. I say daily/weekly because I do work on it most days of the week, but not every day, and mostly on nights/weekends. But it goes to show that a little bit done every day, even 20 minutes or half an hour can add up to a whole story a week.
Or hours I’m “tutoring” in the computer lab. I’m supposed to be there as a writing tutor for college students, except no one ever, or hardly ever, shows up, so I have a lot of time on the computer to get some things done. I just don’t have recording space—it’s too public. But, anyway, I get to sit in the computer lab, listen to music and write and get paid so it’s definitely not all bad. Same philosophy of “a little bit adds up” can be applied to exercise too, one of my other goals I’m working and promptly failed at right after the first big snowfall. Haven’t got back on the exercise wagon, yet. Although, in related news, just finished “Walking Your Blues Away,” by Thom Hartman, and I really recommend it for a variety of reasons: it’s a well-crafted book with a well-developed argument, and it posits this bilateral movement theory unique to walking that I find just fascinating. In a nutshell, the right-left movement of walking helps stimulate the healing process for emotional trauma, PTSD and depression/anxiety (all of which I have been diagnosed with) and I do find walking to be helpful for these things, not to mention just enjoyable and how I get my audiobook and podcast time in. I do have a bit of a bias; I’m an ardent Thom Hartman fan because I’ve been a listener of his radio show for over a decade now. But I’m a listener and reader precisely because I believe he is an intelligent philosopher, among other roles, that make his books share-worthy. So that’s my mini book review.
Watching Saturday Morning Cartoons #1 I’ve started watching Saturday Morning Cartoons again and I think I have to blame this part on my nostalgia streak that’s been running through me—I think partly because I think as you get older the more you long for the things that made you happy when you were younger---and partly because of reading Ready Player One, which in itself is a giant 80’s nostalgia fest. First up are Jem and the Holograms. This was, hands down, my ultimate favorite show in 1986. Music was everything in 1986, and Jem and Holograms capitalized on that in a big “girl power” kind of way. Because of my misophonia, I often turn the sound down to my most comfortable volume, so I keep the closed captioning on, which is also a habit I picked up in grad school, it’s great way to keep yourself fresh when it comes to writing dialogue. And I have to say, I think there were some great writers on that show. I’d like to research more into this. Yes, I know there was the movie remake and all, but I heard mixed reviews about it. I’ll have to judge for myself one day. Nothing can recapture the feeling of dreaminess of sitting on the floor imagining having a pair of magic holographic earrings that could transform you into a superstar, and let you live a life a glamor, glitter, fashion and fame. And music. Let’s not forget the music.
Tales From the Darkside Season 2 Moving away from glitter and gold, there’s a different kind of nostalgia I’ve been immersing in, and that’s horror nostalgia. Although completely cheesy and even quaint by today’s standards, I remember cutting my horror teeth on George Romero’s Tales from the Darkside, and I’ve recently started watching Season 2 on VRV. It reminds me a lot of Twilight Zone episodes, just set against eh backdrop of the 1980’s, and early 90’s, with a few young and breakout stars making occasional appearances. It’s so strange, even to someone who grew up in a pre-digital world, to see that world again, and muse about how our horrors and the things we fear haven’t change. It’s like the old saying, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Take the episode about dirty laundry, titled “It All Comes Out In the Wash.” The players may change, but the characters are immortal, and it could easily take place in Ancient Greece or 16th century France or today. That’s what makes a good story good. It may be cheesy, but the stories are good.
The rabbit hole of political fan fiction Did I find some strange bedfellows here! Literally. I had no idea, at least not overtly, that political fan fiction was really even a thing. I guess on some level I must have known that everything has a fiction attached to it, or a level of fandom and devotion in its own little corner of the world, so I should have guessed, but okay, wow. It first started when I found this piece called The Arrangements, by CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE (all hail Ms. Adichie!) which creates a fiction based on what Melania Trump’s inner thoughts and inner life must be like. Loosely based on “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolfe. And that’s all it took. I was hooked. I wanted to know if there was more. Maybe not on the same level but it does exist out there. I started here: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-political-erotica-of-2016 and also here https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/12/the-fanfictionalization-of-politics/282417/ as well as a few stories in An Archive of Our Own, but if you know of any treasure troves out there, please let me know!
Current projects Well, first I felt like I could write my political fiction, too. I’m having a rough time with everything, still and the first thing anyone tells you are to write about it, and I like to make up stories for a living, as we’ve established, so why not combines the two? I would be focusing on the women that surround this Administration. I’m currently also working on getting some outlines done for some reader’s theatre scripts for the upper elementary grades at school. I’m just doing the outlines, though because while I want the scripts to have structure, I want the kids to do the actual writing parts. It should be their work, not mine. I’m just a guide in this respect. This week’s short story is based on a call for stories that look for romance within Poe’s stories, so that will be an interesting challenge. Definitely want to do something outside of “Poor Lenore.” I’ll have to comb through and see what strikes me. That’s the part I like about this too, is research. I do love me some research, and I always learn something new. Writing is a discovery process. Women in Horror Month. Also writing some flash fiction about some of my favorite ladies in horror films. Tragically backlogged but hope to be up with that soon.
Reading challenges I think I’ve mostly caught up with my reading challenges. I’m trying to hit a goal of 100 books read this year, and I’m keep track on Goodreads, if you’d like to see some of my progress and my reviews there. I just finished a book this morning (Tuesday February 6, 2018) for the 4th grade class I’m working with called The Fourteenth Goldfish and I admit I don’t read a lot of middle grade books. A lot of YA and New Adult but not middle grade, and this book was fantastic and got 5 stars from me. It was sweet, a quick read for me (although I do try to put myself into a fourth grade readers mind and slow down a little, it’s hard because I read this book in about an hour) and it has such an outstanding positive message for middle grade students with a quirky-be yourself and focus on what’s possible message, I just loved it. Life is a buffet. There’s so much! Did I bite off more than I chew, metaphorically speaking here? Yeah, probably. But I’m not going to let it bother me and I’m going to get done what I can and aspire to do what I can do. Because I can’t go back to the alternative which is doing nothing and then complaining that I never get anything done, and 2018 isn’t the year for that. I feel things changing and I want to keep it that way.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Bradbury Challenge Week #4

Wrapping up this week I have to conclude that just because I'm writing a whole lot and I think, I hope, improving on my craft and I think, I hope, discovering a lot more about my strengths and weaknesses about myself as a writer it doesn't mean that success is imminent and I'll be signing some major contracts any time soon. Writing is pretty humbling, especially when sending things out into the world and not getting a whole lot of responses back. Okay, not getting ANY responses back is more to the point. But there is one thing I CAN say. I'm doing it, and I'm trying. Maybe I'm not there yet, but I'm closer than I was in December. The theory is that the more I write, the better I get at it, so just because I haven't heard any responses from any place I've sent any writing to doesn't mean that in the future it'll be the same brick wall. Most of what I'm sending out is the stuff that's in my wheelhouse: spec fiction, horror, some sci-fi, urban fantasy, that type of thing. Almost anything with magic, mythology and a bit of darkness. That's where I live. I live for this stuff, and writing about it, and making time for it and room for it in my life has made that door open for me, like I talked about in previous posts. And I really don't feel terrible about writerly rejection. There's only been about three since the beginning of the year, and for one I know these things take time and two, I'm just not obsessing over it. Most places are too overwhelmed to send back a critique of what worked for them and what didn't, at least in my experience. Plus it gives me a chance to keep polishing it for another submission to someplace else. It could be right for something else someday. Rejection doesn't make me stop believing in my own work. I think it does for other people, though, and if I look at it as a bigger metaphor for life relationships, I mean how many people stop believing in themselves after being rejected in relationships? *raises hand* I know I have, at least before I was married. This is different for me, somehow. Maybe it's also knowing how many mainstream and very successful authors were also rejected before they landed success, and I'm not even shopping for major publishers at the moment, just small calls for short stories, for the most part. Maybe it's time to look towards branching out into plays, which was my MFA after all, and some other venues. Maybe open things up a bit, and not let myself be so constrained. Speaking of not being so constrained, I have returned to script writing, after a fashion. Playwrighting (and yes it's spelled right although my spellcheck always tells me its not) was my concentration and I'm trying to build my ASMR brand. So I'm new to ASMR creation, although not to the world of ASMR and I can't wait to keep producing more videos. It's wonderful to be writing this much. I feel very driven.I've only uploaded a few videos to my YouTube channel, and most of them are non-talking and background noise or misophonia-masking videos. I have horrible misophonia, and discovered ASMR videos last year as a way to cope, and was so smitten with the genre and the variety that I knew I had fallen in love and found a calling at the same time. Not only that, but it gives me a chance to be creative in a theatrical way so I get to have theatre back in my life, which is awesome. Things have a way of finding their way to you (or back to you) if you really want them. I believe that now. I didn't believe that for so, so, long. Maybe it's because the wait seems to long, but then--why wait? Things sometimes, though very rarely, drop into your lap. In any case, I've got about a million ideas, and a character list about as long as my arm. Creativity finds a way. It's theatre, it's writing, it's performing, it's everything I went to school for. Now, if I could just find a props department...=)

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Bradbury Challenge Week #3

It's week three, and I'm still here, and the great thing is, still writing. And not only that, writing A LOT. I don't know if writing everyday, or almost everyday has opened something up in me, and I think I referenced this in my previous post, but something sure has changed. All the writing books I've ever read tell you how important it is just to show up, and that's what I've been doing. I can't say I've been doing it every single day of the week, though. My workaday week as a teacher keeps me busy and tired. I might only end up doing casual research those days (my fancy academic way of saying "messing around on the Internet" vaguely exploring sites that match the research to the play, poem, or likely short story that I'm working on. More work means more submissions. I'm getting better at practicing my cover letter, my bio and synopsis writing. In any case, I'm feeling more confident in submitting work because I'm actually doing the work to get there, even if my work isn't chosen for a particular anthology. I've still got a growing body of work, and that's one of the important parts of doing this whole thing. In other news, we got over a foot of snow dumped on our little mountain valley yesterday night, and spent most of the day today digging out from under, and creating paths for the cars to drive and the animals to walk. We've had a cozy little fire going since yesterday and it does make for the ideal writing situation--if ever there really is one. The weather forces me to be inside (even though I have been, up until now, doing really well with my walking program) which means I don't have a lot of excuses for NOT writing, and the overwhelming feeling of guilt and failure I'd feel for not using this time would weigh too heavily on me--I've come too far to let any more precious time go by.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Bradbury Challenge Week 2

So it's been a while since I've updated this blog, but that in itself is part of the Bradbury Challenge. First, if you're not familiar, an explanation of what the Bradbury Challenge is this: write 52 short stories, one each for each week of the year.
It's week two and I'm pretty proud to say that I have two stories already. I'm two for two. So go me. I'm gaining my inspiration from a backlog of ideas that I have, and I'm just setting the Sunday night deadline and getting it done, and I think one of the things that pressing me into getting it done is making myself accountable by charting my progress publicly on the blog. I'm tracking my progress in my bullet journal, so I can pick it up and look at it, which I think helps, having something physical to look t it. I don't know what it is, but there's something about it this time that feels different this time. I don't know if its motivation or inspiration or drive, or what it is. But I'm going with it, because I definitely have no shortage of ideas. What I lacked was discipline to sit down and do it, because something else always got in the way because, frankly, I let it. This is the year I let it in. Also, taking it in small bites, and not setting gigantic lofty impossible goals that will be impossible for me to complete then hating myself when I don't is a lot more attainable, and the progress easier to track and manage. Setting easier goals is, well, easier. After all, the challenge is writing 52 short stories in a year, not 52 short stories in a week. Not a novel a week. And I want to do everything, and because of that, I think, I end up doing nothing. I'm also a few weeks into my new position as an elementary art teacher, and I'm loving it. This is going to be my year of art. I can feel it. Bringing in more art in my life feels like a warm invitation, and it's opening something in me. A story: a long time ago, in my teens, I mentally held a funeral for art in my head. I wanted so badly to be an artist. And I let it go. And then it comes back in this form. Art came back to me. It's just funny how this happens. You think its gone forever and then it appears out of nowhere, even if only for the rest of the school year. There's no guarantee I'll have the same job in September, but I'm glad I have it now, and it's all I can be grateful for. I have art and two stories, which is more than what I started off the year with, so that's something.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hour 12

Hour 12: Midpoint success. #deweys24hourreadathon #igreadathon #figthistlebooks progress: Done! 


Hour 10

Hour 10 blanket fort. #deweys24hourreadathon #igreadathon #figthistlebooks progress: 

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Not there yet, but a little closer than yesterday

3500 WORDS PER POUND WEEK 9 (I THINK) WRITING So, how’s the writing going? Not that great, but I did just rewrite a chapter of the WIP I’v...