Whoa. It seems like only yesterday I was sitting in my big chair posting away about lessons I’d learned on my weight loss journey. Somehow I lost a few yesterdays in between.
This week’s been a killer. Late nights at school, working the state mandated test, church. It’s been a whirlwind. But I haven’t been exhausted, just busy.
then yesterday I finally had some time and I reuined it by taking a critique of the yearbook I advise personally. God, when I get published I am so not reading reviews. I can only imagine what I’d do. What I did yesterday was write an open letter to judges everywhere and post it to an educators loop I’m on. A loop with hundreds of subscribers. One of whom was probably the judge that hurt my feelings. Today I’ve gotten a TON of bravo mails. I’m sure someone somewhere will eventually write a response I won’t be so happy with. 🙂
But that’s okay. I don’t figure the person who wrote the critique meant it personaly, but they might have. They called the typography of the book “dated.” That’s stretching a little in my opinion. Especially since we copied our fonts from InStyle magazine. Oh well. It dsoesn’t matter. The critique actually freed me from the silliness of competitive yearbook. It doesn’t matter. It means nothing. It’s nice when they sing your praises and it sucks when they don’t. I’d just never dealt with the it sucks part before.
On the bright side, we’re down to the last very few pages of the yearbook. Thank you Lord it’s almost over. We’re down to the Index and one spread that needs football coach cooperation. I just don’t think the football coaches get that although they don’t care about accolades and a photo in the yearbook, their kids do. (More than that, their mama’s do!) I’m working on problem solving that issue for future years.
Tonight I get to meet with my critique group. Thank God! I need them. Of course, I have NOTHING NEW. I read a great article in my RWR today. Meg Cabot said she gets writer’s block when something’s wrong with her story. I think that’s where I am. I’m going to work on that with my CPs. I need their help!
Speaking of needing help. Sometimes I think parents need help. We have an incredible teacher at our school. He’s tough as nails but wonderful for freshmen students. He teaches kids how to study and kids who make it thorugh his class say they learned more about how to make good grades from him than any other teacher ever. He teaches Bio. It’s not an easy subject to teach when you live on the buckle of the Bible Belt. Anyway, a parent has set up a website to destory this man’s career. It’s complete with how to write complaint letters and e-mail addresses to send them to.
I’m beyond offended by the whole mess. As a teacher, I can’t even imagine. My daughter dropped this teacher’s class because she wasn’t willing to do the level of work necessary. But even she says the website it atrocious. I think it’s probably libelous. Hopefully by next week it’ll be gone.
Posted in adviser, thoughts, writing, yearbook
Tagged adviser, critque group, deadlines, judges, publications, RRRW, stress, teaching, time, writing
Okay. I admit it. I’m guilty. I haven’t been back since Monday. Why?
Neglect, pure and simple. And not just neglect of my journal. I’ve neglected my story-telling too. And my family. And my friends.
The only thing I haven’t neglected is my day job. Not exactly the way I try to keep my priorities.
I’ve learned a lot over the last eleven years teaching and eight years writing. The biggest thing I’ve learned (other than teenagers will be teenagers) is life works a lot better if I live my life God first, family second and my job third. God first: He’s in control if I want Him to be. Family second: Sure quality is better than quantity, but that doesn’t cut it if the qualtity is one hour and a quick kiss good morning and good night. Job third: Okay, that’s the hard part. My day job is awesome. It was my dream job and I had no idea how fulfilling it would be. I love it and I love my students. We’re on major deadlines right now, so I spend a lot of my life in the newsroom. And that’s a good thing because my kids understand their paper is the voice of their campus. They understand that they have a responsibility to their peers to show what’s going on around the campus. A couple of them are even working on a first amendment piece after a study showed 1/3 of high school students think the 1st amendment is dangerous. Both the reporters lean to the conservative side and both believe the first amendment is essential to democracy. I’ve definitely done my job! My yearbook kids understand the importance of documenting the year as they see it and talking to people other than their “friends” or the “popular” kids.
then there’s my other job. Right now that job is a dream. The closest it is to reality is the handful of contest finals I’ve collected to take off the sting of the file full of rejection. Unpublished, multi-rejected writer is DEFINITELY a job. It’s a hard job. It’s a heart-wrenching job. It’s a totally crazy job because it’s unexplainable to people who don’t write. My extended family sees me at family reunion and asks “So you get a book published yet?” and I just sigh and say, “Nope. But I’ve got something in New York right now.” Or like right now, I can say I’ve got two somethings up there right now. And that’s not even the job part of it. That’s just the sigh-inducing annoying part that keeps me going because the family means well, they just don’t understand.
The job part is making myself sit at the computer and let the story flow. Let it flow in spite of the nagging doubts of rejection. Let it flow in spite of the way the cat gets upset and flops across the laptop keys. Let it flow even when the work week’s long and crazy.
Because the only way I’m ever going to sell a book and then another and then another is to find a way to ignore nagging doubts and write the stories I love, even when rejections come along. Even when the day job is busy. Even when the cat, or dh or dd get upset because I haven’t given them enough of my time.
And that leads me right back to the beginning.
God first. Family second. Job third.
It almost sounds like I’m going to say I have to realize there’s just no way I can fit in the job of unpubbed multi-rejected author along with the rest of my life.
And you know what? Sometimes that thought’s almost tempting.
But it’s not right.
Because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt there’s a reason these stories burn to be told by ME. God gave me my talent and He wants me to write stories that end in HEA, that provide a little fun for people in the midst of their busy lives possibly an escape from desperate times and emotional upheaval.
So getting back to the beginning instead leads to the only conclusion possible. getting my priorities back in order is the one way I can guarantee I’ll find a way to work it all in.
No more neglect. Not for God. Not for my family. Not for my job. And definitely not for my dream.
PS: H/S bought THREE new authors this week! If they can do it, so can I! Woo Hoo!
That day job I love so much nearly killed me this week. Deadline, deadline, deadline. And then my wonderful, incredible yearbook editor figured out we’d somehow missed sending a page in to the plant in NOVEMBER when it was due. I nearly died. And all I could think today was UGH!
We switched to a strange, crazy seven period day, hour classes schedule and even though it’s really a good thing, it makes my job ACK at times. Today was one of those times.
The good thing: At the end of the day I could look at my students and say they’re the best. And I truly believe that.
And the best thing is…It’s Friday so I have a TON of time to spend with my wonderful, lovely characters in my new story!
Sometimes I sit at the computer and it’s almost magical. The words flow, the story unwinds, the people feel absolutely real. It’s the most amazing feeling int he world.
And then there’s nights like tonight. Where did those people go? What happened to my incredible plot and my sizzling tension? And hel-lo why can’t I seem to use the English language in all its greatness. Why did an Internet search of a dead person take on the feel of a call to grandma to see how cookie making’s coming along. UGH!
Usually a great episode of Alias inspires me beyond belief. Maybe if I would’ve started writing then instead of watching L&O. (It was so NOT good, I can’t even go into how bad it was!)
Oh well. I finally admitted defeat, webbed some ideas for how to get where I’m going and made a few notes about stuff I know I want to add. Maybe it’s that I was writing to the first major turning point and I got in too much of a hurry. I don’t know.
I think I will go back and really punch up this first part of my new book. Make it shine, check my clues, add some characterization. I write in thirds, so this is Act 1. I’ll have to look at this revision as a fun puzzle to solve. Maybe then I can be as excited about it as I am about writing new words when the magic’s there.
I guess we’ll see. Tomorrow. Tonight I’m going to sleep. And I’m NOT watching any more TV!