Monthly Archives: May 2007

Secret Society Girl

Just finished Secret Society Girl and WHOA, is it ever awesome. There were only three copies left when I picked mine up yesterday and by now I’m sure they’re gone because all my students want to read it. I’m definitely adding this to my classroom library. 🙂

I’ve noticed a recurring theme in the YA books I’ve loved. One: the female protagonist is strong, but she has a huge arc. Two: the girls are smart. They might be pretty, but pretty isn’t as important as smart. And while they might enjoy shoes, shopping isn’t their driving force. And neither are boys. They guys are there, but they’re secondary and the romance, if there is one, doesn’t really drive the book at all.
My students LOVE these books. They fly off the shelves in the library.

Speaking of off the shelves, someone has requested that To Kill a Mockingbird be taken off our reading list. They say it’s offensive.
You know what I find offensive? People complaining about a book’s content when they haven’t bothered to READ the book.
UGH!

One More Week

I can do this. I can definitely make the one more week of school. And next year I’m going to remember the word no. I can not get over committed the way I was this year. I’m supposed to get a student teacher, so that will help.

I was reading Rob Thomas’s home page yesterday because I knew he was a former high school journalism adviser and that he’d written novels while working. And you know what he said? Write every day.
Sounds familiar, huh? He wrote one page a day over the course of a year. And when he was done he sent out over 30 queries. He said it’s all about building the discipline.
He also said care about the product and forget about the sale.
Hey, nothing new there either.

All the writing advice in the world is right there on the Internet courtesy of a Google search. And none of it is new. So WHY is it still so hard?!?!
Answer: it’s not hard if you’re doing it, but it damn sure is if all you do is think about it.  Definitely something to remember

The End of May

So I realized today my blah’s are pretty typical for this time of year. I always go through this strange mourning period the last three weeks of May that kicks into high gear right about now because my seniors are graduating. This year is worse because DD will be a senior next year and it seems like only yesterday I was giving her kisses before her first big day of school. I know it’s an exciting time for my kids, and I’m excited for them, but I’m also sad because this is it. They’re moving on. Some of them I’ll see again, and that’s always cool. A few stay in touch here or by e-mail to the school. One came to see me this week. I work with her dad. He wanted her to major in science because she could make more money there. I told her to find something she could be passionate about because no amount of money in the world makes up for waking up every day excited about your job. 🙂
After a year, dad agreed with me, but not without a little grumbling.
Graduation is a week from today. And once I watch those kids walk the stage, I’ll be fine. Until then, I’m resigned to the May blahs.

Grey’s Anatomy: I spent some time on fan sites today and saw the same thing over and over. The only reason people are upset is that no one got their happy ending. I sure hope the powers that be that control the show know better than that. Grey’s isn’t about happy endings. This season stunk because the characters acted completely out of the norm and without any real motivation.

Some scenes from the best of Grey’s Season 2, back when the show was better than anything else on TV.

Whoa

So I read Second Helpings and Charmed Thirds this week and the whole time I was reading I was thinking OHMYGOD my DAUGHTER is this age. I don’t know why I was so shocked at the content. I mean, hello, I was 17 once upon a time and I’ve taught these kids for 13 years (which means I started teaching when I was just a tad bit older than a teenager). But still I was shocked.
What’s more, I read the books after my students all gave them HIGH reviews. They said stuff like: These are the best books ever. And Jessica Darling is so real. And Pineville is just like Rider.
I read Sloppy Firsts and thought great book, a little edge.
Second Helpings freaked me out. But I still had to read Charmed Thirds. Loved it. But still. ACK!!!!
It’s easier sometimes not to know what they’re thinking and doing. Maybe healthier too. 🙂

tried reading another book my kids suggested. It was like a chick lit book with a male main character. It didn’t work. I wanted to smack him upside the head and say grow up, you idiot. Definitely not for me.

Grey’s sucked last night. Season Three sucked. None of the characters were motivated. The plots made no sense. The show I loved is no more. 😦 This is almost as bad as Veronica Mars being cancelled. Almost.

ONE WEEK of school. Woo Hoo!!!!!

No!!!!

Veronica Mars has been cancelled. It’s one of the best shows on TV and it’s no more. How can that be? I’m in mourning. 😦 I don’t know how Rob Thomas can make such absolutely impossible situations seem so realistic. I think that’s the key to most of the shows on WB. They’re larger than life but we still know the people.

I’m still in shock that Melinda got voted off Idol last night. HOW did that happen? She was fabulous.Dh hates AI, but he said he’d go see Melinda in concert.

And Ugly Betty, totally NOT a comedy tonight. Major Kleenex moments.

Writing: I’m a mess. I’ve read a ton,  but I keep waffling on the writing. And I know that’s crazy. How can I go from writing all the time to just stopping? The ideas are there. The characters are there. Heck, I’ve got two books plotted out and a couple ready for revisions. But I don’t write.
Until this Tuesday, it almost made sense. I mean I’ve been swamped at work. Swamped beyond belief. But in 99 I wrote a book while working on my thesis and finishing up my graduate work in English. So it’s not that I can’t. It’s that I don’t want it bad enough. I’ve never felt like this before. It should hurt more. It should feel like the time I got the rejection on a second set of requested revisions without a request to see more of my work. Or, I don’t know, like a break up or problems in a relationship. The writer part of me has been as big a part of my life as a family member, closer than a lot of them. So now that we’re not speaking to each other, I should feel something monumental. Not this awareness that almost feels like sad acceptance.
I have a friend who’s surrounded herself with only the positive. I’m sure she’d say this kind of post is just filling me with negative energy which translates to less writing and more rejections. But it doesn’t feel negative. It just feels normal.

Reading Material :-)

I finished the new JD Robb paperback. Loved it. It was a different sort of Eve Dallas book. More subplot, more outside the mystery. More gore in the descriptions of the crime.
From the preview it looks like the next one is more what I’m used to. I like Nora because she always delivers. I know what to expect and I enjoy her characters. I hear people say she writes three main characters and that’s it. I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, I really like those three characters. 🙂 Eve, Peabody and Mavis are WONDERFUL in every book. The women are far more important to me in the JD Robb books than in a typical romantic suspense. I’m not sure why.
Today a teacher on the j-teacher listserve asked about books with strong female characters. I suggested some great YAs and a couple contemporaries. I didn’t even think about the strong women of romance. One of the YA series I suggested certainly had romantic elements and lots of thoughts about sex, but it’s more a story about self discovery than relationship. (If you haven’t read Megan McCafferty’s Sloopy Firstsand Second Helpings, you’re missing out. WOW!)

Yes!

1104 books successfully delivered and the final newspaper put to bed. I LOVE this feeling.

DDs Big Dance

And she’s asked me to help with the curling iron.
ACK!
I don’t own a curling iron for several good reasons the biggest of which is I make a mess of my hair when I use one.
I’m armed with Abba and Dancing Queen on my iPod. Hopefully her hair survives.

It’s been a crazy week, so we weren’t able to do the normal dance hair appointment her friends were doing. Instead we spent the last two days with my dad at the hospital. He had heart surgery last week and was rushed to the hospital again Thursday afternoon. Today dd spent the morning and early afternoon with me at the hospital by choice instead of getting her hair done for the invitation only senior sponsored dance. AND she went with me Thursday afternoon instead of finishing her driving lessons which would have meant a driver’s license Monday. You know, her mouth might drive me crazy sometimes, but she’s a pretty good kid!

Movies:
 I know it’s crazy, but I’d never seen What’s Eating Gilbert Grape until today. WOW! Talk about fantastic. And I just finished Stranger than Fiction. At first I thought the movie was ridiculously silly, but the longer I watched,the more I liked it. By the end, I LOVED the movie.

Yikes

Weather:
It looked like a tornado-filled storm would hit us tonight. Instead, the storm split and went on either side of us. Whew.
I took photos of the wall cloud, but it was too dark, so they didn’t turn out.

Books I Love
I love YA. Love it. It amazes me how Meg Cabot can make her teen characters so real to their ages. Same with Scott Westerfeld and Megan McCafferty and Laurie Halse Anderson.  I teach this age group and spend more time with them than with adults. But I still find myself writing unbelievable teen characters sometimes. I mean no way would a teenager know and appreciate the sexiness of Magnum PI. 🙂

Blogs:
I love bloghopping. I spend way too much time doing it. I know I should stop and maybe, I don’t know, WRITE, but I can’t.  Blogs by my favorite authors are like a Favorite Author Fix. Who cares if it’s not “story”. It’s Voice! Blogs by my friends are just informative and fun.

YB:
It’s almost yearbook time. I keep reading that yearbooks are dying. So far (knock on wood) yearbooks are still a big deal on my campus. We try to cover the entire school and real stories. I don’t know if that makes a difference or not. I know I love my yearbooks and I pretty much hated high school other than newspaper. Strange that I’m spending thirty years of my adult life there by choice. 🙂

Do you still have your yearbooks? If so, do you ever look at them?

YAY

I spoke at our cohort graduation tonight. ACK!
Actually, I’ve gotten to where I really like public speaking. It’s like story telling plus an adrenaline rush. 🙂
The cohort has changed my life and my teaching. I’m going to miss the monthly “recharge” meetings. It’s going to be tough to stay energized without those amazing people to lift me up, but I hope I’m instrumental in bringing that same kind of thing to my campus. No, I know I can. It’s just going to take a lot of persistence on my part.

Teachers, I HIGHLY recommend Whatever it Takes.

Tagged by Mary

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

8 random facts/habits about me …

1. I hate cold weather.

2. I collect penguins

3. I was born in North Dakota

4. I used to manage a Del Taco

5. I like doing the dishes

6. I hate radishes

7. My favorite city in the US: Boston

8. I LOVE Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars.

I’m tagging mel and karen.

(I know I’m breaking the rules!)