October 1st

It’s October Already?

 

Oh, dear Lord…I can’t believe it’s October already. Yesterday when I left work, right before my co-worker got into her car I shouted, “We survived a whole month with these kids! Only eight more to go!”

It’s said because we have very low enrollment. We’re a small, private preschool and have two classrooms. One room is for two- and three-year-olds and the other room is for four- and five-year-olds. We have three kids in the younger room and 12 in the older room leaving our enrollment a total of 15. I was promoted–I have way more responsibilities and I’m also working 40 hours a week now. However, I am still making the same amount I was because we can’t afford to give us raises…we even had to lay one of the teachers off (which is basically the main reason I got bumped up to lead teacher). My paychecks are much bigger than last year, which I am hugely grateful for, but if I was paid what a lead teacher is supposed to be paid…well, I would have an easier time paying for school, wouldn’t I?

Ah, school…one month down, three more to go. My teachers are stupid. Have I mentioned that? All five of my classes end on December 14, but at the beginning of the semester, one professor thought it was a ten-week accelerated course. Do you want to know why he thought this? He thought it was the summer semester, not the fall. Um…I can see mixing up the days of the week, like thinking it’s Friday when it’s really Thursday, but mixing up the months? I mean, there’s a big difference between June and September. Does he not own a calendar? And he (and a couple of my other teachers) re-use lesson plans. I’m all for that, I’m a teacher, I understand what a pain it is and make a new lesson plan. It’s perfectly okay to re-use the same material, but…can you at least proof-read? I mean, this is an English degree, these people are English professors, don’t we know how to proof-read? In one class, the class that was an “accelerated course,” everything is supposedly due June 2013. For another class, this week’s assignments are apparently due in February 2013. I am paying 6,000 dollars this semester. I feel like I’m being ripped off somehow.

But it’s October. And I’m sick. Tomorrow will mark me being sick for a full week. I thought my sickness would start and end in September, but apparently not. I had a really bad cold and from that I got laryngitis. I still can’t talk all that well, but I am doing much better than I was. I know when you get laryngitis the best thing to do is not talk. Yeah, well I’m with a bunch of preschoolers for eight hours of the day. I can’t really rest my body let alone my voice. But as I said, it’s getting better. It’s all a matter of time now.

But I have to admit that I’m sick now rather than later because, well…it’s October. And we all know what October means, right? 30 days (31 days? I was never good at math and never will be) from now it will be the start of…

NaNoWriMoOh, yes! I have been waiting a long time for this. I would rather be sick now during NaNo Prep month rather than NaNo itself. I’ve been sick during November before and it sucked. I wasn’t able to get anything done.

But then I think to myself, “Crap…it’s October 1st.” How am I going to plan? How am I going to make the time with school and work? More importantly, what am I going to write?

Now I have tried to write two novels at the same time before. I’ve tried this a couple of times. It does not work. Not for me, anyway. Especially since I’m at work eight hours a day five days a week and then trying to get homework done in between. Oh, and I have to attempt to have a social life. That’s important…but maybe not for November? I don’t know.

Anyway, I have tried thinking of what I should write. I started this thinking process a couple weeks ago. I thought of something to write, but of course I’m beginning to change my mind. So I don’t really know what’s going to happen because I’m at a loss right now. All I know is that my time is limited because I need to do some serious planning if I want to win. If I don’t plan, I’m most likely going to fail due to being smothered by school and work. At least if I plan, I don’t really have to think. The point of NaNo is to not think and not edit, right? Then again…if you think you’re going to fail, aren’t you setting yourself up to fail?

Oh, well. I never listened to wise quotes like that.

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One Month

It’s Been Almost A Whole Month…

I fell off the face of the earth again, haven’t I? Sorry about that. Things have been so hectic lately that I haven’t had too much time to do things for myself…like write. Every since school and work started back up again, that’s all I’ve had time to do and to think about.

I got promoted at work. I am now a lead teacher in the classrooms. This also means I’m 40 hours a week. I work 10-6 Monday-Friday. I love it, but it makes me extremely tired at the end of the day. I’m not in the mood to do anything–write, homework–all I want to do is sit on the couch, put my feet up, and pig out while watching TV or playing video games. I don’t want to do anything that requires thinking.

School has been a lot…even though it’s not. I’m taking five online classes. I’m majoring in English, and so far it’s just been a whole lot of reading and no writing. It’s not bad…when you look at the assignments on paper, it looks like a lot, but it’s really not. The only bad thing about it was that school started September 4 and I just finished all my homework for weeks one and two. We just started week three. The reason for this is because my textbooks didn’t come…and I’m still missing one. So it’s not a lot of homework, but it kind of was because I had double homework. As soon as one of my professors found out I had gotten my book, he said, “Great! You should have no problem getting all the assignments done by tomorrow morning.” Um…I had to read like 600 pages, take a quiz, two discussion boards…it was a lot. How am I supposed to get that all done?

But now I’m hoping things will calm down a bit now I have my textbooks. Well…except one. I have five classes, all the homework for each class is due on Sundays, so I decided to work on one class each day. That would mean I would finish my homework for all five classes by Friday night. Not only would I get my assignments done and in early, but this will also give me Saturdays and Sundays off.

Sunday school started, too. Sunday afternoons are going to be spent preparing for the following Sunday. So I guess I really only Saturdays off to do literally whatever I want–whether it be writing or some sort of excuse to not write even more than I already have been not writing.

So, this is what my schedule looks like:

Sunday — Church 9-11:30, plan next week
Monday — Wake at 5:30/5:45am, homework, get cousins ready for school, homework, work 10-6, homework, dinner, homework, bed
Tuesday-Friday — See Monday
Saturday — Hopefully do whatever I want

Seriously, that’s why I have not been writing or updating this thing at all. My life does not include me having a social aspect or creative aspect to it.

With my textbooks and this plan I have for my classes and homework I should find time to write and such. I am going to be writing for at least a half hour a day, though. I have a half hour break at work so I decided to spend it by writing something–anything–in a notebook.

This is all the updates I have for now. I have to get ready for work soon. But I do hope I’m able to start updating this regularly again. I want to get back into the swing of things…that does not include school, but what can you do about that?

Quick Update

Updating About Nothing…

It’s been six days since I last updated, which kind of stinks because I was doing so well at updating regularly. However, my life has been a bit hectic lately, so I haven’t had any time. If I told you why I was so busy you wouldn’t believe me, although if you follow me on Twitter then you probably know that someone pushed my “Mom” button and I haven’t yet been able to figure out how to turn it off.

Yes, I have been babysitting all week. I am not going to go into details about it because then this post would take up the entire internet. Let’s just say that I regret getting my driver’s license six months ago.

I have been babysitting left and right this week and working on the new Sunday school curriculum for my church (my sister and I direct the Sunday school together). We have a meeting with the other teachers and our Reverend this afternoon so I have been trying to get everything done for that, as well as before it starts. I’ll have less time to focus on it when everything starts due to work and school. But I thought it was all good because I figured I could get everything I needed to get done this week and last week and such so that next week, my last week of freedom before school, work, and Sunday school start, I could just write until my fingers fell off. So, needless to say, I haven’t written since my last post on this blog. And it’s ironic because that last post was about me being super productive with my writing…

Here’s the catch: Due to financial problems, one of the teachers at my work got laid off. I work in a small private preschool and there’s only five of us: the director, the two teachers, and the two teacher assistants. I was one of the assistants. The other assistant quit last year (she was in the nursing field and graduated, so she went off to go live her life being a nurse) so we were looking to hire someone to replace her. Obviously instead of hiring someone, they let someone go. So now I have more hours and responsibility at work as I am being bumped up to lead teacher status with the other teacher. Which is great for me, but it sucks on how I ended up getting the position…we’re all very depressed that one of the teachers had to be let go.

My point is instead of starting back to work September 3, I start back on Monday. Yeah. 9-2 next week, so at least I’ll have the rest of the afternoon to write and get things done, but I was looking forward to having the whole day, the week in its entirety. But what are you going to do?

So basically I updated this to tell you that I have nothing to update. I was doing so well with my writing, but this week has been…blah. Today I’m babysitting Sam, Jackie, Kat, Cailey, and Juliana (the last two are my neighbors) until about three o’clock. Then I have the Sunday school meeting at four, then I have to babysit Hayden and Lyla (these kids are friends of a child I have at my preschool) at seven tonight probably until midnight. Maybe somewhere in there I can get a little writing in…hopefully. I’ll definitely bring a notebook tonight when babysitting. Hayden and Lyla are young, so they’ll both be in bed by eight.

We’ll just have to wait and see how everything plays out…but I am utterly exhausted.

A Great Day

A Writer Needs To Keep Busy…

I did very well today! I had the entire day to stay home and just write. I wanted to get a lot of editing done on Hunter. Honestly, I didn’t get much done on that, but I was still very productive.

I started off with Hunter. I said I had an epiphany with that novel and decided to outline each chapter on individual index cards so I can play around with the chapters to re-order them. Some chapters just might have to be completely re-written. But we’ll keep it easy for now.

I added a prologue to Hunter which was great because it added some background to the marriage of Cat’s (the protagonist) parents. Her mother is dead, but the prologue shows just how much Christina and Charles were not on the same page most of the time. Plus, there’s a part in the novel where a mutant has a message for Cat and I don’t think I ever explained it…yeah. So the prologue kind of added some insight to that, as well. It’ll force me to write that message in some where. So the prologue is actually helpful. I did not add it just because I felt like making the story longer.

I then outlined chapters one, two, and three. I have the entire novel edited on a hard copy, but I’m in the middle of re-typing it all up with the new edits. I add new edits that I didn’t put on the hard copy as I type it up because it’s as though I’m going through the novel a second time. So once I finish typing a new chapter, I’ll write the outline for it. So I was going to try to outline at least up to chapter four, but…I only typed up two pages of chapter four. Oh, well.

As I was going through this, I kept getting  a lot a new ideas for the sequel, Hunted. So I decided to start writing that even though I told myself I was going to wait until Hunter was completely edited. I wrote the prologue and chapter one. I’m on page 20 with 5,775 words. I think that’s an excellent start so far.

Tomorrow I plan on at least getting through chapter four on Hunter and maybe write chapter two for Hunted. Of course, I had a large mocha frap from Starbucks to help me get through today. So we’ll see how productive I am tomorrow.

A Lot To Do Or Just No Time?

Sunday School, Work, School, Write, Etc…

I have been very overwhelmed lately. I don’t know if it’s because I have a lot to do, or if it’s not that much, but I just can’t find the time to get it all done. Lately writing has kind of been on the back burner unless Kris and I go to Barnes and Noble and actually have a set day and time to get some writing done. I feel bad about not finding at least some time during the day to get some writing done.

My other sister, Lisa, and I run the Sunday school at our church together. I’m going to say this bluntly: people don’t like church. I don’t know what it is, but this generation is just not full of “church people.” My parish is very, very small. I like it that way, honestly. People say the more the merrier, but I hate large crowds. There are probably about 20 kids total in the Sunday school. I have the prek-k kids and Lisa has grades 1 & 2. Towards the end of the year, no one was coming so we ended up combining our classes. Each week, between the two of us, we’d have a total of four or five kids. The Sunday school consists of mostly younger kids (my class and Lisa’s class). The other two teachers do grades 3 & 4 and 5 and up. They never had a class because they’re kids would never show up.

To make a long story short, Lisa and I have been planning all summer to re-vamp the Sunday school. We found a new curriculum we think the kids will enjoy more as it’s more interactive with them. We’re thinking of ways to improve the snack and we’re going to add a show-and-tell each. For example, on the day we learn about Noah’s Ark, the kids will bring in a stuffed animal of their favorite animal. We’re hoping they’ll feel as though they have a job to do and will want to come to Sunday school. But this is a lot of work and a lot of planning.

Then there’s work. Work starts up again in about two weeks. I got back September 3 while the kids come back September 5. I’m going to be working 31 hours a week. That may not sound like a lot, but last year I worked 18 hours a week. I wanted more hours as I need to get myself through school. I’ll be babysitting whenever I can, too. I’m not complaining, but it’s going to take a lot of time away from writing.

School. School is going to take a lot of time away from writing. If I’m not working, I’m probably going to be doing homework. All I can say is thank God that I’m doing school online. I think I’d be screwed otherwise.

Then there’s cleaning and organizing. This is not a priority, but it’s still something that needs to get done. Kris and I are turning Lisa’s room into an office. We need to clean that entire room and organize it and all that fun stuff. Right now, my “office” is in the basement. I need to organize and clean everything down here because we’re most likely going to get rid of my desk (I bought a new one) and everything down here is going to go up there. This room is going to look so empty…then there’s my bedroom. Let’s not even discuss that.

I am going to write for an hour every morning. But because I’ll be home in the morning (since my school is online) I get the lovely job of getting my cousins ready for–and possibly driving them to–school. They get ready between 7 and 8. That’s the hour I have been writing for. Now that Jackie is going into middle school, she’s going to have to get ready earlier. They’re going to be at my house at 6:30. What am I going to do? Write from 5:30-6:30? I don’t think I can get up that early…I guess I could shoot for writing for just a half hour. If I have more time, I can always continue. But I like having the one, full, good hour.

But I guess I’m going to have to make due with what I have.

One Too Many Stories

Too Many Free Characters…

Meet Leo!
Meet Leo!

Do you all remember when my flash drive died? I was upset and disappointed. Then I quickly realized it was for the best. I had so many novels started on there that were no where near being finished. Half of them didn’t even make sense and weren’t good at all.

So losing my flash drive made me feel as though I was starting completely over, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I told myself that I was going to work on only one novel at a time. Only when I completed the first draft I’d be able to move on. I need to finish what I start.

I was doing so well, then I realized the other day that I have been falling out of my routine. I have three novels started, four in desperate need to be edited, and more ideas attempting to push themselves out of my head. It’s annoying, actually.

I have been doing pretty good. I haven’t been starting anything new other than what I already have started. I’m in the mood for both Hunter & Comet and Union Academy. So I’m going to try to finish those first while trying to edit Hunter and Diary of a Lover at the same time. I just need to print out Diary of a Lover (and give it to Kris) while Hunter has a long way to go before I can give it to anyone else. As stated in my previous post, I figured out what is wrong with Hunter and I desperately need to fix it. So I’m going to do that and it’s most likely going to take a while.

Speaking of my flash drive dying…I know that conversation was a little while ago, but LOOK! This is my new flash drive. He’s rubber and small and adorable and 8GB! And he was 15 bucks. 😉

Meet Leo's other half!
Meet Leo’s other half!

Lots Of Updates

Good News, Good News, And More Good News…

1. Back in June my oldest sister moved out of the house and in with her boyfriend. Now we have a vacant room upstairs, across the hall from my bedroom. Kris and I share a bedroom. We have shared this room since we were…very, very little. Not our whole lives, but just about. So naturally one of us would say, “I’ll move into Lisa’s room!” Then we would each have our bedroom and our own space. Yeah, no. Neither one of us even thought about having our own bedroom.

Instead we’re going to turn the bedroom into an office/video game sanctuary. Yes, it sounds counter productive, I know. An office is for working and video games are for goofing off, relaxing, and doing nothing. However, we feel as though we’ll figure something out.

My dad has a TV stand for us and Kris and I bought a brand new 39″ TV. It looks awesome! Of course…it’s still in the box. We have to re-do the floor and the walls in the room first. Then we can probably start decorating it. We each bought a desk, we bought a brand new printer (color, wireless, automatic two-sided printing!), Raph is going to move up there with us and we’re getting a new mascot! Yes, I am going to get fish soon. So we’ll have a turtle and three fish in the room with us. Then we’re going to have a couch–our uncle gave us his as he didn’t need it anymore. We wanted to get a mini refrigerator, but dad said no. Sad day.

The room is empty now. I can’t wait to see what it’s going to look like when we’re all done with it! We’re going to start working on the room soon.

2. Lately I have been working on three things. I have been editing Hunter and I have been going back and forth between writing Union Academy and Hunter & Comet. I have no idea which one is going to get finished first. Well, hopefully Hunter will be the one to get finished first…as that is the novel that is the farthest along. But I’ll guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and I got a lot done. I tried to write Union Academy, but I have the character list on Donny, my iPod. I brought Donny. Donny was dead. Oops. So I couldn’t really write it because that novel had a lot of characters and I can’t keep them straight just yet.

So I ended up editing Hunter. I printed out the first draft, then my flash drive died. So I edited the hard copy and now I’m re-typing it. I can’t complain because as I’m re-typing it I’m finding a lot of mistakes I didn’t catch when I looked at it the first time around. Plus, I’m also adding and taking out things I didn’t before. It’s kind of like editing the second draft already.

I’m on page 50 typing it up on the computer. In the hard copy, I’m on page 41 or 42 or something like that. There’s at least a five-page difference between the two. But since the one on the computer is longer, that means I added a good amount of stuff. The question is, is all that stuff good and relevant to the story? Or did I throw it in there because I wanted to mark up the page a little more? We’ll have to wait and see when I finish typing it and print it out again.

3. I had an epiphany when it came to Hunter. I’m in the middle of typing up chapter three and I have mixed feelings on the plot. I can’t tell if the events in the chapters are just happening out of order, or if the novel is just moving too fast. No, I did not print out the novel and accidentally mix up some chapters. The pages are numbered and so are the chapters. I went to preschool. I teach preschool. So…I would hope I know how to count. Well, at least up to ten, anyway…that’s pretty much as high as we go.

Anyway, as I type up each chapter, I’m going to take index cards and summarize each chapter. One card for chapter one, another card for chapter two, etc. When I have all the chapters summarized and the whole novel re-typed, I’m going to play around with the cards and re-order them. Like a puzzle…this will be great because I suck at puzzles.

I just wonder which would be easier: play around with the cards, print out the second draft and re-order the chapters that way, or play around with the cards re-order the chapters on the computer, then print out the second draft. Although, I guess I can cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now I need to work on writing a gazillion summaries (not really, I think it’s only 18 chapters long…but each chapters is really looong…I don’t know why I did that to myself) and finish typing up the second draft.

4. Did I mention I’m getting fish? 😀

Story Of My Life

100% Me…

Just Write

 

This quote is the story of my life. Seriously. I have detected a pattern in my blog posts recently. Whenever I talk about writing, I’m usually complaining that I haven’t gotten anything done lately. Granted, there are a few posts where I’m excited that I actually got something done.

But when I found this card on Pinterest I had to pin it because I thought it was hysterical. It truly has my name written all over it.

It’s so much easier to talk about writing than actually doing it. I think it’s because it’s easier to dream than rather do. I always tell Kris that I wish I had a magic wand to wave so my novels would just write and edit themselves. Oh, and it would nice if they could find a publisher, as well.

I started a new novel called Union Academy. I’m also trying to edit Hunter at the same time. I have a couple of other novels I could be editing and I also have a couple other novels that I have started. Why I chose to do these two, I have no idea. They just happened to be what I was in the mood for.

But I decided that I need to stop talking about writing and actually do it. Then I can talk about it.

A Dumb Story

Here We Go…

So I realized that I haven’t really talked too much about my writing on here lately. I can’t really say that things haven’t been going well, but I guess they haven’t really been going all that great, either.

Ever since I got stuck with my novel Cybertra back in July for Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ve been kind of stuck on all of my writing. I’ve been trying, but I don’t really know what to do with myself.

I went on vacation for a week in July and that was one whole week that I didn’t write. I played Pokemon instead. So that also slowed me down a bit, too. But I can’t complain because I think I needed a break from writing for a little bit.

But when I came back from vacation I realized that I really needed to get back into the swing of things. I have three young adult novels completed, why aren’t I editing them? I have three other novels started, why aren’t I finishing them?

Kris and I went to Barnes and Noble together last week. I took out my laptop and was beside myself. What was I supposed to write? I had no idea. Kris found a cool writing prompt app on her phone in which we both downloaded. She wasn’t too sure what to write, either, so we each picked a prompt. Mine was, “Everything is ruined because…” Again, what was I supposed to write about?

In the end, I wrote a small short story that was about four pages long. I’ll post it on here tomorrow. It was probably the dumbest thing I had ever written in my life. I wasn’t too crazy about the way I had written it, the story line was kind of weird, and the characters were just…odd. It certainly was not my best work.

But it was soon after that that I began to write again. That same day at Barnes and Noble, I whipped out my Hunter & Comet story and wrote a little bit of that. Then, for some strange reason, I got into the mood of writing one of those cliche high school drama novels. I have a couple of ideas for those and ended up starting one. It’s called Union Academy. I have no idea what the plot really is…it’s just one of those drama stories where things never seem to go right for a group of high school girls.

The time we went to Barnes and Noble after that, the latest time we’ve gone, I ended up writing that. And I got a good chunk done, too. So I think I’m over my little writer’s block. Not only that, but I actually started editing Hunter again.

It just goes to show that whatever writing you’re stuck on, just write something, anything. Even if it’s terrible. And it will help.

Future Thoughts

Playing It Over And Over In My Mind…

This goes along with the obnoxious post that I posted here yesterday.

I mentioned that Kris and I tend to talk about our future a lot. I have no idea what gets us thinking about it, but I guess it’s just the feeling of “wondering.” I haven’t really talked to her in a little while about it, but I have been thinking about it myself lately. I also said that yesterday I was talking to my cat, Hunter about it. He meowed back at me…if only I knew what he was saying.

I said that I had always had a plan. I wanted to be a teacher. Then I wanted to be a writer and a teacher. Well, I still have those plans. I’m working towards those goals. I went to school for teaching and I am a teacher’s assistant at a preschool. I just mailed my lead teacher application the other day. I will be going to school for English starting this Fall and I also have a few novels I have written and completed. I just need to seriously edit them.

But then I really got to thinking and even though I practically wanted to be a teacher my whole life, the other major thing I’ve always wanted to be was a mom.

I babysit my cousins a lot and I babysit for another family a lot. I need mom hours at work and I can’t get them now. But when I’m a director of a preschool and a writer at the same time, how am I going to find time to spend with my kids?

Yes, I know. I turn 20 in about a month, so why am I thinking about what I’m going to do with my kids now? But I feel as though I need a plan.

The other day I was home alone. I woke up early, made a cup of coffee, and sat down at my desk to write. I had my turtle, Raph out of her tank. She was getting into all sorts of messes which distracted me from writing (she likes to go into small nooks and crannies, but we’re in the basement…you have no idea how many spiders are in those small nooks and crannies!).

Raph

I also have my cat, Hunter down there to babysit her. He likes to watch her and lately when he starts going somewhere she isn’t supposed to (for example, the laundry room) he begins to meow and howl obnoxiously loud until he has my undivided attention. The best part is that I don’t have to pay him.

Hunter

Then there’s my pip-squeak of a dog, Chip. Sometimes she sits on my lap while I write and other times she sits on the stairs and barks. God only knows why.

Chip

So I was thinking to myself that I would absolutely love to have that every day. Wake up early, get the kids off to school, get the husband off to work, then it’s just me, the animals (fish is going to get thrown into the mix soon), and my writing. Of course, I guess I would occasionally clean the house, too.

But when I thought of this ideal lifestyle, I realized that no where in there involves teaching. I want to own a preschool. How can I stay home all day writing with my pets while my kids are at school then hang out with my kids, do homework with them, and cook dinner when I’m running my own preschool? This is problematic.

Then I thought maybe I could hold off the directing until my kids are a little older and I can just teach in the mean time. Then again, I only turn 20 next month…when am I having kids? Not for a while, I know that much. So why am I thinking about this so much? I have no idea.

All I know is that there are so many things I want to be doing and there is just not enough time. Writing is the number one priority and I want to have kids and I want to teach. How am I supposed to fit everything together to work perfectly like puzzles pieces meant for the same picture? And I know that there are going to be so many other things that I’m going to want to do, as well. It really sucks not knowing what’s going to happen in the future. I wish I could plan everything out, but I can’t.