It happened. Actually it happened quite a while back now. I’m a grandma, and I finally understand all the talk about how amazing and wonderful that miraculous journey is.
People have always told me nothing beats being a grandma. Now I know it’s true. For future reference on the blog this will be DGD (Darling grand daughter). You can see from the photos that we’re kind of in love with this sweetie.
I spent all day in my Sharlene Gallagher universe. It was awesome. Half way through the day I posted this on Facebook:
So far Sharlene has fought demons, put some mean girls in their place, snagged a kiss (hel-lo, I write romance) and aced Calculus all while saving the world. Pretty good day for a guardian angel.
So yeah. Great day.
Even better because I finished edits on the book. Wonderful!
AND THEN (SPOILER ALERT…there’s no happy ending to this post. It veers off on a crazy direction of gloom courtesy of the news. If you don’t want to go there, quit reading now and enjoy the gloriousness of my day with Sharlene!
Better yet go read the first or second book. Angel Eyes isn’t ready yet, but it will be soon!)
(Don’t say I didn’t warn you)
(Third time’s the charm. The rest of this post is a rant…)
WAH! I’m addicted to the news. How did I let it ruin my great day?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
I watched News Hour. And the whole time the source talked about a serious problem with education I thought I can’t believe a word you say because I no longer trust News Hour and I no longer believe the Dept. of Education wants public schools to survive. AND then I got in this funk of reading all sorts of education news that made me even more depressed.
And that just sucks. Because until then I was thinking about how EXCITED I am for Monday and how weird that is because Monday is the beginning of the end of the school year…testing, crazy hormonal students, deadlines. But even with all that I’m looking forward to seeing my kids again. They make me love my job. Most educators I know love their jobs. But now I’m all stressed and sad and grumpy and I think I better go work on the romantic suspense I’m revising because I get to blow stuff up in those books and that might actually make me feel better.
I teach journalism. I can’t quit the news. I think I might have to, though. Boo.
Posted in thoughts
Tagged An Angel Earns Her Wings, Dead Girl Walking, education, fiction, guardian angels, journalism, Mary Beth Lee, news, sad, Sharlene Gallagher, spring break, YA
DH moved into the old house in 1976. I moved in 1992.
We’ve spent the past few days over there working to get it ready to sell or maybe rent. It’s so weird how every empty room brings so many memories to life. Today I was scrubbing doorways and found a caution sticker stuck to a wall just high enough that DD must’ve put it there when she was around 9. She spent a lot of time with her nose in the corner back in those days. I figure she reached behind my desk and stuck it there.
And speaking of desks…I wrote my first books in that giant living room turned office of sorts. I woke DH up at 2 a.m. crying when I reached The End the first time. NOTHING I’ve done with writing beats that feeling.
I remember when we got Internet. One of my students worked for a company called Webfire, and he helped us set up AOL when we bought our first new computer, a Macintosh Performa. It’s so funny to remember trying to figure out email. It’s even funnier to remember DH calling me at work to tell me he’d broken the computer. It wouldn’t turn on. Back in those days computers cost a fortune. I ran to the office and everyone agreed it was urgent for me to go home, so they called a sub in and I drove like a crazy maniac to get to my panicked hubby. The dead computer wasn’t dead at all. It was asleep. One quick touch of the space bar and wa-lah.
It’s funny to remember the games of Risk and Phase 10 and poker and the number of Colorado Bulldogs and Dr Peppers and that time I decided to become a gourmet cook and DD and DH wrinkled up their noses and called for pizza. AND that time I caught the tostada shells on fire and then looked for them. AND that time DD blew on the rotel tomatoes before taking a bite because she thought that would cool them down.
I never loved that house. It never felt like mine. But now that we’re working to get rid of it, I’m sad. Not sad enough to move back, but sad all the same.
Almost every time I visit DD at Starbucks these perfect supermodel impersonator German or Italian mothers with several small children who look like they jumped off the pages of an Osh Kosh b’Gosh ad are in line with friends. For some reason I think that image stuck in my brain when I said my niece and nephew could spend the night one day this week.
MAN, kids are hard work! I have no idea how the above mentioned women look like a million bucks while raising children.
By the time Ella and Alan left, I was worn out. It’s going to take 48 hours to recover from a 24-hour visit.
But you know what? We had a blast. And all those Spring Break plans that didn’t happen because I chose Auntie Time instead? I’m cool with that.
I teach because I enjoy my job. I enjoy journalism and writing and current events and debates and discussions and books and movies and computer programs and kids who yell, “Mrs. Lee, help! The spinning pinwheel of doom won’t go away.” Or “oh GOD, I think the server just disappeared.”
I teach because most days when the alarm wakes me up, I don’t hide under the covers and say “I don’t wanna.” Most days I get myself going and by the time I walk in the building, I’m ready to see the teenagers who’ve changed my life from year to year and the adults I work with.
I teach because I can tell a room full of kids the Big Fat Man story, and even though those who’ve heard it before groan, they still laugh when I get to the nonsense ending.
I teach because it’s the one place a room of teenagers ASKS me to make up a song on Garage Band and then sing it to the one who needs to hear the words.
I teach because sometimes heartbroken, hurt, angry students will tell me their stories, ask for my advice, and actually take that advice and do something with it.
I teach because I love working with kids who give up their weekends to compete by taking tests with the hopes of moving on to the next level (hello UIL!).
I teach because I think it’s amazing to watch a kid revise and revise and revise for a check plus because I tell them I won’t give them a grade for anything less (even though the gradebook clearly shows I will).
I teach because I love it. And even though tomorrow will be one of those pull the covers over the head and say “I don’t wanna” mornings, by the time I get to my classroom (or before if I don’t hit all the lights on SWPKWY), I’ll be excited to be there, ready to make a difference.
We set up an old computer so I could use Rosetta Stone to re-learn French. So far I can tell you about old and young people, running, jumping, cars, planes, short and long hair, lots of colors and animals. I got to skip the numbers lesson because I still remembered that. Yay!
I’ve cleaned one room and my kitchen cabinets are half way de-cluttered. I even used a hammer on one of them.
I kicked off break marching in Austin, went to hockey game, got a little office area set up, read two great books, downloaded the second in the Hunger Games series to listen to, caught up on e-mail, watched the rest of season 2 of Bones and some of season 3, ate too much some days, not enough others, worked out every day…at least a little, got my hair colored and trimmed.
So here it is Friday.
On Monday our local budget committee will present their recommendations for cuts to the school board. There’s a story on dallasnews.com that says the Senate has cut the funding shortfall in half for public education. It will be interesting to see if that proves to be true.
I needed Spring Break this year. Like always, it’s gone too fast. Hopefully next week isn’t too painful.
Had a blast in NYC. Slammed into a great big stop sign the minute I got home. Not the kind you have to claim on insurance, but the kind you go to Dr. for. A round of antibiotics later and the bronchitis is still slowing me down. Talk about a bummer for Spring Break. I didn’t even get out of bed for three days. So not cool. 😦
I thought all the Y workouts were shooing off the winter colds, but this one snuck in right before the deadline. Not working out is driving me crazy. Hopefully by Wednesday I’ll be able to get back on track. Maybe I’ll do Pilates tomorrow.
Got a rejection from Super today. The editor called my writing raw and powerful and gutsy (I think that was meant as a compliment), which made me super happy, and then went on to be very detailed in the reasons she was rejecting the manuscript. The reasons were so true! And while I was reading the rejection letter I was thinking to myself WHY CAN I SEE THE REASONS ARE TRUE AFTER THE FACT and not get it right before I send the books in?!!!?! UGH.
Surprisingly this rejection bounced right off me. Not sure why. Maybe because I saw the validity in the comments. Maybe because the editor was (I think) so positive in the opening of the letter before explaining why she was turning it down. Maybe it’s because it made it up the line to an editor and even says it was considered. I don’t know. I keep thinking, praying, pleading, Jesus, Please don’t let this be the closest I get to THE CALL. And that’s not exactly positive self-talk, so I should be bummed or something about this, but I’m not. I’m just accepting.
But this rejection did kind of give me a direction I hadn’t really thought of. If this editor saw one of my strengths as a gutsy rawness, then maybe that’s something I should be focusing on. Just another thing to think about as I work on my new WIP. Or rather as I think about working on my new WIP because I swear thinking about it is as close as I’m getting.
When I first started this journal, I swore I’d post on a daily basis. I said there was no way I would go days and days without posting because seriously, how hard is it to write a few words?
Boy did I find out.
This week exhaustion didn’t even begin to cover it. We met the big book deadline last week and it was time to kick into high gear for newspaper. For some reason the hours for this deadline were unlike anything I’ve done in years. And then when I got home it was the whole mom, wife thing. Figure out what’s for supper, make the supper, clean up a little, (VERY LITTLE), sit down for a minute and crawl into bed. I made it to the Y once. UGH!
And that’s all with one of my best friends in town from Arizona b/c she had a family funeral.
I definitely discovered how little time I had and how horrible I am at managing it. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t fun to come home at 6 or 7 and find out no one had a clue what to have for supper, but the meal we had planned wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t fun to hear about how the trip to NYC was expensive so no going out. (I swear, if that excusse is used again, I’ll sit at the table with my own plate of toast and go to bed before I fix dinner!) And it wasn’t fun to realize I still had to pack for my trip and my trip’s in the morning!
But what is fun is the knowledge that tomorrow I’m on vacation. And I’m staying on vacation for five days. ANd then, when I get back, it’s 4 more days of Spring Break. God, I need it. I hope to use this frustration and aggravation in a book one day. I guess we’ll see. Right now, I just want to pack and go to bed.