Tuesday News

Today I went to the pet store to get some more filter cartridges for Mikey’s tank. I was there for a long time because I was looking at the other fish and they have a few new turtles there as well. The betta fish looked lively (which isn’t usually the case) and I wanted to get one or two, but decided against it. I’m pretty sure my mother would kill me if I brought home another animal. They had new turtles there as well and I wanted to get them all.

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Speaking of turtles, I tried to find a log for Raph and they had one that would fit her shell, but it was really big. I didn’t buy it because I felt as though it would take up her entire tank and then I would never see her again. Plus, it was obnoxiously heavy. I did buy her some stepping stones to “naturally” file down her claws. They had a pack of large ones and a pack of small ones. The large bag was opened, so I decided to go with the small. I should have bought two because…well, they’re small. It doesn’t matter though, Raph hates them.

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On top of this, Chip was sad (yes, the black furry thing is her) because she thought the stones were hers and when I told her they weren’t, she kept barking and growling at me and threw a temper tantrum by snorting and rolling around all over the place. Meanwhile, here’s Hunter:

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Now that we’re all updated in what’s been going on in the lives of my animals, here’s what’s been going on in my life: I got a new job!

I’m sure some of you may remember that I lost my job last December because the preschool I worked at closed. Then I became a substitute teacher for another preschool starting last February. Well, they opened a new classroom and were in need of a few people. I got a call today saying I am officially the teacher’s aide for one of their nine classrooms. I am super excited!

So, starting in September I will be working full-time with five courses at school. For those of you who are (most likely not) asking this question: yes, I am all ready freaking out for what is going to happen to my mental state come November for NaNoWriMo. But, I guess we’ll worry about that at another time.

In other news, I came across a blog post last night from Creative Mysteries and from there was a link to Misha Burnett’s blog.

It’s a story challenge in which I urge all you other writers out there to check it out and give the challenge a go. I was going to write and post it today, but after reading the challenge I realized I wanted to give myself some time to think about it. It will most likely be posted for this week’s Short Story Sunday.

Well, that’s it for now. I don’t really anything too witty to say. ūüôā

A Degree In…What?

Another semester for my English degree has ended. I’ve had about a week of freedom so far and I’m all ready counting down the days until I (unfortunately) have to start up again.

I can’t complain. I do like my classes and (most) of my professors, but that doesn’t mean I want my schooling to last forever. Also, like most people, I’m sick of the homework.

Now I’d be lying if I said I haven’t learned anything; I have. Some information is more useful than others, but there are a few things here and there that stick with me and I’m going to explain one thing that I’ve learned this past summer.

I took a class called Theories of Rhetoric and Composition. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but once I started the class I realized it was mostly about teaching writing.¬†Okay, I thought to myself,¬†I can do this. I mean, I’m a teacher; I love to teach. Granted, the most English I teach is the ABCs to preschoolers.

My textbook, Cross-Talk in Comp Theory, is a series of articles written by scholars and writers discussing the English language, writing in general, and teaching/learning to write.

Textbook

We read almost the entire book during the ten-week class. Some articles I got into, others I didn’t care for, and some I didn’t understand what they were talking about at all. Yet, there are 18 articles we didn’t read and I plan on reading them in my own time anyway. It’s still an interesting book, nonetheless.

However, do you want to know the number one thing I learned from this textbook and the class as a whole? The English language is the hardest, most complex thing in the universe.

Every article in that book is written by a different person, but every article we read quoted at least one or more of the other articles in the book. Why did they quote each other? Because each author was trying to prove the other one was wrong.

Should grammar be taught in the classroom? Some thought yes, others thought it was (or should be) common sense and only be taught to those learning English as a second language. What age should grammar be learned? The ages varied; some said as early as possible, others said college. How should teachers teach grammar? Tests, worksheets, memorizing, etc. There were so many different options.

That was just a few articles arguing about grammar alone. There were so many other “issues” they touched upon about writing, reading, and even speaking English.

I think that was part of the reason why I had such a hard time trying to understand some of the articles. I read one thinking,¬†Yeah, that makes sense. Then the next article I read I would think,¬†Well, that makes sense as well. I wasn’t too sure what to believe.

Then it dawned on me: If these “professionals” don’t know how to teach English, then what is going on in the minds of my¬†professors? I have all ready had two professors give me mixed signals. One professor said when I cite in-text I should write, “(Author’s last name, page number)” and the following semester my professor took off points and said it should be, “(Author’s last name page number).” Do you see the difference?

Yes, one professor said I should use a comma (and my textbook told me to as well) while the other professor told me not to. I mentioned this to the professor who “corrected” me asking which was actually the “correct” way to cite and she never got back to me. So, I have decided to do whatever the professor wants for the sake of a good grade, but the bottom line is…what am I truly learning?

Keep in mind these two professors were not my professor for my Theories of Rhetoric and Composition class. So, when reading this textbook it gave me great insight on how I’m spending so much money, time, and effort for a degree in…what, exactly?

So many people assume I want to teach English because I have an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and now going for my Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. The main reason I did this is because I want to teach preschool if publishing novels doesn’t pay the bills, but it’s always been in the back of my mind to teach English in case I ever want to stop or take a break from chasing three-and-four-year-olds around all day.

Of course, after reading these articles, I question whether I would ever want to teach English or a creative writing course. I believe teaching is one of the most difficult occupations out there (and seriously underpaid). A teacher prepares a child for the future thus creating all the doctors, police officers, fire fighters, etc. Teaching should be taken seriously and I have run into many teachers and professors who don’t take it nearly as serious as they should.

Everyone learns differently and at their own pace. What might work for one child might not work for another. Therefore, it’s the teacher’s job to accommodate; create new, interesting ways to get the child to learn and understand while enjoying it. I realized that all the suggestions in the articles in my textbook would all work…they just might not work for¬†everyone.

To know that my professors aren’t on the same page and there is no¬†true way to teach and learn the English language as well as writing…then who’s to say who’s right and who’s wrong? The citing is a prime example…I got points taken off an assignment for listening to a teacher; a colleague of my (at the time) current professor.

It’s annoying, but at the same time, I feel proud to be writing. I’m working in a difficult field and even though I don’t have any novels published yet, I’m still plugging away at it. I research and I learn from other writers as well as myself. I do learn things from my classes, I’m not trying to say school is useless or anything, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that writing is most definitely hands-on.

I write because I love it and since I love it so much, I’m willing to keep writing and teaching myself to get better at it. That is one thing a course and a textbook cannot teach me.

Summer

Write A Lot

I know everyone is different, but according to my calendar today is the first day of summer! I’m super excited. Although, we didn’t really have much of a spring because winter kept trying to come back. Poor spring.

Anyway, yesterday was my last day of work. I’m going to miss the teachers I worked with and also the kids…although some kids I will not miss. Yet, I’ll see the majority of them in September.

But now I can officially work on my reading and writing goals. I don’t have to spend 4-6 hours a day at work, my mornings are free! The family I babysit for only needs me three days next week and three days the last week of august (when I usually watch them the whole summer) so that frees up some time. I still have my sister’s bridal shower to plan, my cousins to hang out with, and Disney to go to, but D will have way more time to write then I usually do over the summer.

This is great because I always lose the July session of CampNaNoWriMo. I’m usually babysitting every single day, sometimes double in one day. Then I have homework. I still have homework, but the classes aren’t bad and I’ve been able to do my homework pretty quickly and easily.

As long as I stick to my yet-to-be-written outline, write every single day, and give my novel undivided focus and attention, then I should be good to go for the July camp.

I’m almost done with editing¬†Detective Florence. I have about 70 pages left. Then I can start my outline for the sequel. I’m super excited about these novels. I can’t wait to get started on camp this year. It’ll be a good one!

Easter and Other Happenings

Hey everyone! I hope we all had a wonderful Easter yesterday. It was a good day and great weather, too! The Easter Bunny brought me an army of Ninja Turtle Beanie Balls which was awesome, a new SD card for my 3DS, and the Kalos Pokedex as well as the Kalos game guide for the X & Y Pokemon games. I also got bark for Raph so I can finally clean her tank. I’m sure she’ll be happy. In addition to that, Kris got the movie Frozen. Best Disney movie ever!

A lot has been going on. One of the preschool teachers has been out for three weeks straight (plus more) so I’ve been working a lot. I also have school…school has been interesting. I just signed up for classes for the Fall semester. I’m taking a class called Selected Authors…guess who the authors are! J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien. I get to read¬†Harry Potter and¬†The Lord of the Rings for school. How awesome is that?! It’s pretty awesome, yes.

In addition to work and school, I’ve been busy planning my sister’s bridal shower, which is in August. Plus the bachelorette party, which is in September. Then we have the wedding in October. So that’s been holding my attention a lot. I’ve been babysitting a lot, as well. This week is April vacation so I get a break from work, right? No…stupid me agreed to babysit for four different families and before I realized what I had done, it was too late. I babysat for about four hours today, tomorrow through Friday I have another family for about five hours in the morning. Tuesday night I’m babysitting for a third family and Thursday night I’m babysitting for a fourth family. Wonderful stuff.

I’ve also been slowly trying to clean my bedroom. Kris and I don’t go in there much anymore unless we’re sleeping because now we have our office that used to be Lisa’s room. You guys should have seen all the dust and yuckies in the room. It was terrible. But we’re going to be painting and organizing it soon so it needs to be done. Of course, it should be done regardless, but…whatever. I bought the extended editions of the three Lord of the Rings movies so Kris and I have been pretty busy with those. We’ve been addicted to the series since I had to read¬†The Hobbit for my Science Fiction & Fantasy class.

Well, that’s what’s been going on in my life. I’m sure you all noticed writing was not mentioned at all. Yeah, no. I’ve been failing at my writing recently. I can justify it because I have been really busy (except I guess watching three movies that total to over 12 hours probably doesn’t count as a good excuse), but it doesn’t look like I’ll be winning Camp NaNoWriMo this month.

I started off Camp strong and then I crashed and burned. In between homework and babysitting this week I’m going to really try to kick it into gear, but it’ll be difficult. I’m only at 16,000 or something like that. Kris and I are planning on going to Barnes & Noble on the 27th to write as much as we can though. So can we all keep our fingers crossed for both me and her? That would be much appreciated.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and are writing each and every day unlike me! ūüôā

A New Month

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Well, today marks off March 1st. From a teacher’s perspective, it is known as the longest month of the year. From a writer’s perspective, it is known as the editing month.

Yes, l have been writing four days a week and editing two days a week. However, since it’s an editing month, l decided to do more editing than writing. I’m still going to write Monday-Thursday, but l’m going to try to edit at least one or two chapters on those days, as well. I’ll edit big time on Fridays and Saturdays.

So, even though no one asked (and the above picture basically orders you not to ask) l’ll answer the question, anyway (in the editing sense–not writing). I have no idea when this draft will be finished, but l’m hoping by the end of the month.

One reason l want to edit more than write this month is because next month is April. Yes, it’s that time of year again…Camp NaNoWriMo! So, l will edit as much as l can, but l want to hold off on the carpel tunnel a little longer so l can get another 50,000 words in of a new novel.

New novel? Apparently l decided to write something new…that’s news to me. Well, l have a whole month to decide what to write.

The thing is…April is going to be here before we know it.

Inspiration Station

“You may not want to be a writer and that’s fine. But by the end of this class, you are going to know exactly what a writer does and all the blood, sweat, and tears that get mixed in with the ink.” –Athena Beech

 

Today was a rough day. Kris was home all day because she’s doing the over-night at her work tonight. I also had to go to work because the other teacher and I have been stripping the classrooms. We finished today, thank God. I can’t stand seeing the classrooms so bare. Anyway, because of those two factors I was not able to start writing early in the morning like I have been and with Kris there all I want to do is play video games with her. She got Sonic: Lost World for the Wii U for Christmas and we just started playing it the other day. It’s a great game and I bother her to play it at any moment I get.

So, I came home from work and said, “Wanna play Sonic?!” Kris said something to me that I regret mentioning to her…you see, the other day I wanted to do absolutely nothing. I had a cup of coffee in hand and all I wanted to do was put my feet up and watch¬†Psych. I have been watching that a lot lately, I don’t know why. But season eight starts tomorrow night!

Even though I wanted to do everything humanly possible that did not involve me writing my 5,000 word count, I repeated to myself: Work first, play later. I told Kris this. So, what do you think she said when I asked her to play Sonic? Yes, “Work first, play later.” Thus, we wrote.

Kris wrote a little and then decided to edit her novel (yay!) while I continued to write in order to hit my 5,000 daily word goal. Since I finished¬†Detective Florence I had to write something else. I looked at my To Do List and looked at all the novels from there. I couldn’t choose which one to write, so Kris put them in a randomizer thing on the internet and it told me to write¬†Hunter & Comet.

Well, I wrote an even 2,000 words for that. However, I wasn’t in the mood to write it so I decided to stop because it was turning out kind of crappy…even for the first draft.

I decided to write¬†Inspiration Station¬†instead. This was a story idea I came up with on a whim one night (pretty recently) when I wasn’t sure what to write. At the time I still wasn’t in the mood to finish¬†Detective Florence, I had no idea what to write so I decided to write about writing. I’m pretty sure I’ve explained this novel before, but I’m going to explain it again…

Inspiration Station is about a writer, Athena Beech, who is not yet published because she’s stuck on her writing. As her day job she starts her first semester teaching a creative writing course at a local community college. She has a class full of interesting students. Some are taking the class because they want to write for a living and others are taking it because they believe it to be an “easy A.” Athena takes this as a challenge and comes up with the “Inspiration Station” which is basically a bunch of writing prompts. She hopes to give inspiration to all her students as well as herself.

So, as you probably figured out, the quote up top is from the main character, the teacher, in the story. She said to her class right as they were being dismissed because most of them aren’t too into the class at the moment.

I’m having fun with it. As a teacher, I think it’s fun to write lesson plans and since I’m not a teacher anymore I don’t write lesson plans anymore. So, yes, I am writing actual lesson plans for Athena’s classes. They’re not fully thought-out, mostly just an outline to help me plan the novel, but it’s a lot of fun. I think some of that stuff would be cool to do in a real classroom.

I wrote 3,358 words for the story. Adding that to the 2,000 I wrote for Hunter & Comet, I have 5,358 for today. This also leaves me at 6,500-something total for Inspiration Station so far. I already had about 3,300-something words already written for the story.

I think¬†Inspiration Station is going to be the next novel I complete. I think it’s going to be a good one. I have high hopes for it, anyway.

Last Day

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” –Dr. Seuss

I know I haven’t post on here in a while (blame my internet), but we’re not going to talk about my writing at the moment. Right now, I feel the need to talk about something very important going on in my life. I tend to have a hard time putting my feelings into words and talking to people about it. I realized a long time ago that I tend to express myself much better through writing than any other way. So I’m going to get a few things off my chest:

As you all know, I am a preschool teacher at a wonderful private preschool ten minutes down the road from my house. I was promoted to teacher status at the beginning of this school year. I was very close to becoming lead teacher, but EEC wouldn’t certify me because I’m not 21 yet.

Anyway, I have had a great experience and I have learned a lot through my fellow teacher and the director of the preschool. Yes, it is just the three of us. This is due to lack of enrollment at the school; therefore we were struggling financially. In fact, that’s why I got bumped up to teacher because one other teacher got laid off due to the money issues.

Does anyone see where I’m going with this?

Due to low enrollment and lack of money, we had to close the school down. We weren’t even able to make it until the end of the school year in June. So today, our last day before winter break, is our last day of school. Forever. After today, I am officially unemployed. Of course, I have a few ideas of what I want to do next, but it won’t be with my kids anymore.

I wrote all the families a note and even wrote a note to my two co-workers. I basically thanked them for everything they’ve done because they all had a huge impact on my life whether any of us realized it or not. I also included the Dr. Seuss quote–call it corny, but I felt as though it was appropriate in light of everything going on. None of us have ever gone through this before. The parents have never had to search for a preschool for only six months before their child goes off to kindergarten. Myself and my co-workers had never been out of a job like this before. And the kids have obviously never had to leave their friends and teachers like this. Although, a lot of the kids are going to same school together, which will be good.

So, yeah…everyone is sad. But we’ve all been sticking together and have been trying to make it positive for the kids. Today we played games and did fun activities with the kids. We had a proper goodbye with them, so it was good. Not to mention the parents filmed the kids saying goodbye and made a video about it. I cried. A lot. In a good way, but it definitely hit a nerve.

Last year we got our pictures taken (one of the parents is a wonderful photographer) and she made collages of all our pictures to make a class photo. I ordered one and my mom told me to write the kids’ names on the back. She said, “You think you’ll remember, but come ten years down the road you’re going to be struggling to think of their name.” So I did. And we took a group photo of the kids this year and I wrote down their names. But honestly, after everything that’s happened, I don’t think this a group of kids I will ever forget.

Now I wrote this poem a little while ago. I found out I was losing my job back in November. I had the thought of posting something on here for all to see to show how much I love these kids and families, how much I’m going to miss them, and just how much they mean to me. So I hope you like it because it came from the heart:

My Inspiration

Every day
When you smile,
When you laugh,
When you give me hugs,
You inspire me.

Every day
When you’re so proud of your creation,
When you sing the songs we’ve learned,
When you make connections,
You inspire me.

Every day
When you play with your friends,
When you use your kind words,
When you share your toys,
You inspire me.

Every day
When you help your friends,
When you’re having fun,
When you’re trying your best,
You inspire me.

Every day
When I hear “please” and “thank you”,
When I hear “excuse me” and “I’m sorry”,
When I hear “I love you”,
You inspire me.

Every day
When I see your innocence
With everything you do,
I am inspired
To be the best I can be.

I Win

And Complete…

 

Well, not complete complete. But I did it! I won! I won NaNoWriMo! I have 50,230 words.

I can’t say that this month hasn’t been easy, but I do wonder why I’ve never won past NaNos before. I mean, this month I have been taking five online undergraduate courses as well as working 40 hours a week, being a Sunday school teacher on Sundays, babysitting on the side, having to continue on with my social life…not trying to sound cocky, but I am really impressed with myself. For once, I had an idea in my head and I actually stuck with it. I forced myself to finish what I started.

Now, the novel isn’t completed. I probably still have another 50k more words to write at the least. But at least I can nab that certificate at the end of the month.

Anyway, yesterday was Saturday and I didn’t write at all. I did homework in the morning, went food shopping, then hung out with my boyfriend for the entire day. I think I needed a break from writing so much (my left wrist is killing me) and there have been a lot of things going on work-wise that has been stressing me out (I’ll explain that one at a later date). Other than the homework that I had to get done because it was due today, I needed a “do nothing” day. But I think it helped because I was able to write so much today. I noticed I was writing less and less every day.

So Kris and I went to church this morning, went to Starbucks, and then we came home and began to write like any other Sunday. However, we both have had a craving for video games lately…she has been playing Harvest Moon and I’ve been playing Pokemon Conquest. So we decided to write for an hour, then play our games for a half hour. Then repeat. It worked because I hit 50k and Kris is now on par with the daily word count (she had skipped writing on Friday and got a little behind).

I created an outline for my novel before NaNo had started, but I didn’t finish outlining the whole novel because November had come. I find it ironic that the last sticky note (each sticky note was a scene) I posted is where I am now. So my non-finished outline brought me up to 50k. I think I got lucky on that one. No writer’s block for me! Well…at least for the NaNo portion.

I’m hoping to finish my novel before NaNo ends, but we’ll see. It seems as though it’s going to be a pretty long one…

I’m hoping everyone else hits their goal! ūüôā

Today’s Word Count: 6,467
Total Word Count: 50,230
Today’s Page Count: 20
Total Page Count: 160

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?

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.

Thoughts On Life

Warning, This Is A Really Long Post…

Kris and I tend to have a lot of conversations about our future. For some strange reason, I was beginning to think about again this morning. Kris was home with me, but she was in the shower so I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about it. Except for Hunter.

Yes, he is sitting in a drawer. This pic was taken a while ago, though.
Yes, he is sitting in a drawer. This pic was taken a while ago, though.

He seemed to agree with me on half of the things I said, too. Well…he meowed a lot, anyway. But together, in the half hour Kris was in the shower, he and I took a long, hard look at life.

I was always the type of person to have a plan.  I always stuck to that plan no matter what and it was very hard for someone or something to change my mind.

When I was in first grade, I was six-years-old, ¬†I loved my teacher a lot. Her name was Mrs. McCarthy. I have two memories from that class: one was that she had a beanie baby named Tiny. Every Friday one kid in the class was chosen to take it home for the weekend. Memory number two is that I remember telling her, “I’m going to be a first grade teacher just like you.”¬†I kept half of that promise. I do want to be a teacher and have wanted to be a teacher ever since.

When I was in fifth grade, I was ten, my sister found the FanFiction website. I wasn’t really all that interested in it, but I wanted to copy her because I was an annoying little sister. I created a story for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because that was my obsession at the time. The writing sucked, to be blunt. My spelling was terrible, I had no idea what grammar was, and for the most part there was no plot. I just threw a little girl into the turtles’ laps and based her off of me. As I got older, I took the story down and re-vamped it. It was popular and I continued on. I found the sister site, FictionPress, which is all original stuff. I posted a few things on there, came up with millions of novel ideas, and thought to myself, “Why post these on the internet when I could get them published?” That was when I got my start at writing.

But I still wanted to be a teacher. How was I to write and be a teacher at the same time? Mind you, at this point in time I thought authors made millions of dollars by just selling one book. I didn’t realize how difficult it truly is. But I thought writing was going to be so much work (which it is), so how was I to write full time all day every day and still be able to teach first grade?

“I’ll be an English teacher!” I finally came to a conclusion. I never really thought about what grade I wanted to teach, but I was gonna go with it for the time being. I love Spanish, too. There was some point in my life where I kept flip-flopping back and forth between being an English teacher and a Spanish teacher.

Then I got to seventh grade, I was 12. My aunt suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm. She and the rest of my family were over for my birthday, seeming completely fine, and two days later she was gone. She left behind Jackie and Kat (who were 3 and 1 at the time) and my Uncle behind. Two weeks later we had to put my dog Casey down due to seizures. This was around the time Hunter came into the picture (he was a stray), but that’s another story for another time.

Most of my writing during that time was sad and gloomy. Most of the things I wrote on FanFiction was in the humor section and I got a lot of reviews with people telling me that my work was so funny that they printed it out to share with their friends and such like that. But when she left behind her daughters, there was no one else to watch them while my Uncle was at work, so we took them in. I was the youngest of three and then suddenly a middle child of five. It was the biggest change of my life and it’s not something I would wish upon anybody.

I love my cousins to death and I am glad we did what we did to help them and my Uncle out, but when you’re 12 it’s tough to see just how good of a deed you’re really doing. But ever since then, I was done with change. I didn’t care if it was good or bad, I didn’t need anymore surprises in my life.

But people tell you that when you get to high school, things change. Your friends, even yourself, changes. “That will never!” I declared. I had the best group of friends in the world. Alyssa, Mary, Christina, and Kerri. I had known Christina and Kerri since elementary school and Alyssa and Mary came into the picture in middle school, sixth grade.

But at the beginning of ninth grade, high school…things changed. Just like people told me they would. Mary moved to another town so she went to a different high school. Alyssa went to a vocational school. Only Christina, Kerri, and I were at school together, but while I had a few classes with Kerri, I never saw Christina around. I kept in touch with Alyssa and kept in touch with Mary through Alyssa. But as each day passed, we talked less and less. Now we get in contact with each other once every few months and never hang out anymore.

Junior year was the bulk of when everything happened. I had just turned 16 and while everyone else was learning how to drive, I said no thank you. I wasn’t ready for it and I wasn’t going to be for a very long time. Kerri changed drastically that year to the point that I haven’t spoken to her since. And I changed, as well. I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but I was straying from the path that I had been on so for so.

Long story short, after Christmas break, I did not go back to high school. I refused to go. My teachers were baffled, my parents didn’t know what to do, and I had no idea what had come over me. I hated the kids in my class, none of my teachers seemed to believe in me, and I was realizing that Kerri didn’t believe in me, either. We got in a huge fight because when she asked me what was going on with me, I told her I didn’t know because I truly didn’t know. She got angry at me thinking I was keeping something from her. That was the end of our friendship.

For the second half of my junior year I stayed home all day and went in after school to be tutored for a while to make sure I finished my junior year. I went into therapy where I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and had to be put on medication. I only had two teachers supporting me and the rest thought it was because I just needed to be in lower classes. I was put in the low classes all my life when I got A’s and B’s. I had to fight to get into the higher classes and now they were putting me down again. I had it with teachers. I had it with school. I was ready to drop out and not bother going to college.

My therapist found this “dual enrollment” program at a local community college. I was able to finish my high school diploma there and the courses would also count towards my degree. I went with it. And I’m glad I did. I not have my Associate’s degree in early childhood education. I’m starting my Bachelor’s in the Fall for English.

I hate change. I always hated it thinking I would never get through, but my entire life has changed in a million different directions and each time I adapted. I went from wanting to be a teacher, to an English teacher, to possibly a Spanish teacher, to finally deciding on being a preschool teacher (working towards owning my own preschool and being director) ,all while being a writer. I went from a group of four friends to just the one (Christina and I chat ever day). I went from being an almost high school drop-out to being a college graduate. And I have plans to get my Bachelor’s in English, Master’s in Business, and go back for a certificate in Special Ed. I went from being the youngest child to being one of the oldest.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that…I’m ready for anything else that life throws at me. I have a lot more schooling to get done and I have a ton of books to get published. Who knows what’s going to happen?

School > Life…Again

Homework, Homework, Homework…

 

It’s day two of classes and I have a good amount of homework so far. And this is only two classes. My other class meets on Mondays, but I don’t think I’ll have too much homework for that class, anyway. Science is only seven assignments for the whole semester, so I could sit down and do those all that once if I really wanted to…and I just might. It will be one less thing that I will have to worry about this semester.

Anyway, I’m telling you this because I did not write at all yesterday. I was in class from 10:30-2 and then I had work at 2:30-5. I did really well. The first day of classes went good, work went good…but it was a long day. I was fine and then as soon as I stepped into work I immediately became drained…and I didn’t even do anything with the kids, yet. But that was alright because they all got picked up early, so I wasn’t complaining.

Today I had class 9-10:15. It was math, so it was boring and horrible. I have the same professor as last semester, so I know that I’m going to be suffering a lot in that class because she does not know how to teach. Anyway, I’m waiting for my friend to get out of class so we can go home and relax a bit before we have work.

But here’s the plan for today: I’m at school until 11:45, which is when my friend’s class ends, and then I have work 2-5ish again. Random ti-bit about my work: we close at 5:45, but all the kids we have this year get picked up really early. We leave when the last kid leaves, so I end up getting out of work between 4:30 and five. That’s why I tell people that I work until 5ish. But I still get paid until 5:45, which is nice.

Back on topic: I’m at school for another half hour or so and then I have work 2-5. I’m probably going to try to get some homework done in between that. After work I’m going to try to get some more homework done again, depending on what I don’t have done already. After all of that, I’m going to try to get an hour of writing in.

Tomorrow I have school and no work, but I’m going out to eat with the people I work with, so tomorrow is going to be hard trying to write, as well. We’ll have to wait and see how that goes…right now I’m just trying to focus on today.

So tomorrow I will either post again about not writing tonight/tomorrow or that I did write tonight/tomorrow! The suspense is going to kill you, I know.

 

2013: 15,139 Words Written
2013: 825 Pages Read

Day 19

28334/50000 Words

Well, it’s official. I am behind in NaNo. I have to say that I knew this day was going to come eventually. It was kind of too good to be true that I was doing so well in the beginning.
The thing is, there are four more weeks of school left. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this week is only three days, so technically there are only three full weeks left and then there’s finals. Naturally, because the end of the semester is within sight, all my professors decide to dump a load on us students. I have a project in science that is due December 3. Because of NaNo, I already started it and I have to say that it is really easy and it’s not time consuming at all. I just have to fix it up a bit and then put it all together on the poster. I have one more written assignment to do for that class and then I’m done with science (the project is my final). Math…I’m never going to be done with math, let’s be honest. However, I did do the homework that she assigned so I don’t have any math homework until Wednesday. Health, I have a training to do for a quiz grade, but the website won’t work. That’s going to be interesting to tell my teacher especially since she’s get mad pretty easily. Teaching, I just have one more paper to write and my online class…that class takes up no time at all.

So I explain all of this to you and it seems like I don’t have that much because I have most of it done or started already. However, it’s actually a lot more than it sounds, which is a sad thing. Anyway, I’m trying to get all of this done and out of the way so that I can finally start focusing on my NaNo again. I may just bring my laptop or something when I go away this weekend so that I can work on it bit by bit. There’s wi-fi there now, so I may be able to write and even update my NaNo stats.

I think my other problem is this: I never finished the outline in October. The last time I wrote my NaNo (nine days ago…wow) I had finished the outline. Now that I have nothing to follow, even though I still have ideas, I think I’m scaring myself away. I can freelance, but I know that it’s going to turn out terrible. Which isn’t a bad thing–it just means that I’m going to have a little extra editing to do later. But the fact that it’s going so well now, I’m afraid that I’m going to mess it all up.

My other problem, I think, is because I may be getting bored with it. I have noticed a pattern with myself: I start something and never finish it. I come up with ideas and ideas and ideas and I never do anything with them. Before NaNo even started, my sister and I were going to write together. I whipped out my list of novels and looked them over. I didn’t feel like writing anything. I wanted to come up with something new. But I really didn’t because I knew that I should start working on something on the list. Or, I should finish something that I had already started. I’m pretty sure I have at least ten novels that are already started. It’s a problem. They should have a support group for something like this.

Just the other day, I came up with a new idea, which is why I think I might be getting bored with Saving Each Other. I told my sister the other day that I haven’t written anything in a while and that it was really bumming me out. So what did I do? I turned on the TV.

I am determined to finish NaNo this year. I am determined to finish the entire novel. I am determined to actually edit it fairly soon so that I can maybe get something finally published. But with school and work and Thanksgiving around the corner (especially since I’m going away), it’s going to be tough. I have to admit that I am a little discouraged, but I am really hoping that I push past this feeling and just get the dumb novel done.

Please wish me luck and Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have a good one and I hope all your NaNo novels are going much better than mine! ūüôā

About One More Week

NaNo starts next Thursday. That gives me a little less than one week to finish my outline for Saving Each Other. I know that I started working on this outline around the beginning of October, but I have been busy with a lot of other things. For example, homework. Not to mention that I have a little more homework now because I skipped school this past Wednesday.

Yes, I am sick. Therefore, I have not been working on anything at all. No writing, no homework, no nothing. I haven’t even been able to go hang out with my friends. The only thing I have been doing is playing Pokemon Conquest and I have to say that I am getting very far in the game. Well, I also have been going to work, but that’s only because we’re short-staffed and I hate calling out of work in the first place.

I’m angry because I only have science class on Mondays and this upcoming Monday my science class was cancelled. No school for me! Which is a great thing because I’m sick so I can have an extra day of the weekend to sleep in. Well, I checked my e-mail last night and guess what? Math class is cancelled for today. Fantastic, yes? Not at all…we have to “make it up.” And guess when we have to make it up? Yes, on Monday. -_- So here I am in the library at school waiting around until 10:30 for my science class. I guess for today it’s good because having one class is better than two. But on Monday…one class is definitely not better than none.

Yes, I am at school waiting around for two hours for my class to start that I don’t even want to go to. I’m coughing up all my insides, wheezing, I’m exhausted from lack of sleep, and I’m a bit dizzy. Of course, I can’t miss this class because then this would be my third time skipping this class this semester and that would mean I would have to attend all of November…let’s face it, I am not going to attend all of November whether I’m sick or not. I’m going to go to class early and talk to my teacher about missing Wednesday and I’m really hoping that she’s like, “Oh, Rachel you look awful! You should go home and get some rest.” And then I’m home free. That could happen…right? No, probably not.

Here’s a funny story for you: yesterday I came to school for my Health class. On Thursdays Health is the only class that I have. My professor is very weird and awkward. She’s in her 50s (I think) and all she talks about is her boyfriend. His name is Steve. I shouldn’t know that. Anyway, she can be nice when she wants to be, but if she doesn’t like you, she makes it known. For example, she talks to me just fine and I could actually have a normal conversation with her if I wanted to, but all the other girls at my table…well, we can just say that my professor is very bitter towards them. If they’re talking while she’s talking, she’ll call them out on it. If anyone else in the class is talking while she’s talking, it’s as though she doesn’t notice.

But enough about that, I got to class at 8:45 yesterday when class starts at 9:00. It was just the two of us in the room and I was coughing:
Professor: “Rachel, is that you I hear coughing over there?”
Me: Well, there’s no one else in here, so I guess so… “Yeah, that’s me.”
Professor: “Do you have allergies or are you getting sick?”
Me: “I’m sick.”
Professor: “Oh, that’s too bad.”

And that was the end of that. Now here’s the real kicker; about…maybe five or six times during the course of the class she kept asking me if I was okay. Whether I was coughing or just sitting there paying attention to her talking about absolutely nothing, she would interrupt herself to ask if I was okay:
Professor: “Now what that means is–Rachel, are you okay?”
Me: *Completely confused* “Yeah?”
Professor: “Anyway, what that means…”
And again…
Professor: “If you work–Rachel, are you sure you’re okay?”
Me: Can you just leave me alone? “Yes.”

And then at the end of class she says to me: “You know, you really do look lousy.”

…Thanks. -_-

Anyway, I really hope no one says anything to me today because then I’m not going to be a happy camper. I already feel like crap from being sick. I have to get myself through this school day and then get myself through work…with ten children today. I have an extra one. Yipee…yesterday I was trying to talk to the kids and the more I talked the softer my voice got because I kept coughing so I was losing my voice. Eventually the kids turned around and walked away as if they were like, “We don’t know what you’re saying, so we’re just gonna go now…bye.”

Let’s hope that this is an easy day for me and that I don’t have to do much at all. Except I have to finish that outline and do some homework. Meh.

Home Alone

Not Really, I Got The Two Dogs, Cat, and Turtle…

Comet is actually being quiet right now…I gave him a bone, that’s why. Chip is whining because I did not give her a bone. The reason for that is because she has about a million bones hidden throughout this house. If she really wants a bone, she can use that tiny powerful nose God gave her and find at least one of the many bones. I know she has at least two…one is buried in my pillow and the other is buried in my blankets. Damn dog. Hunter is howling at absolutely nothing, but I think it’s just too quiet for him…or maybe he thinks he’s home alone. I don’t know why he cries like that. Raph, I think, is finally going into “hibernation mode” like she should have a couple weeks ago when the weather started getting cold, but instead she got more hyper.

She flipped her house over and then began using it as a playground…

Right. She should not be doing that in the fall. However, I noticed that she has been “redecorating” less and has not been trying to walk through the tank glass as much to get out. I think she thinks she can walk through walls. No, instead she has been like this:

On her way into the pool…then she said, “nope” and wasn’t having it.

Yes, she was in that position for a very long time. Of course, as I type this, she is knocking on the glass shouting, “Let me out!” I can’t complain, though. I like working while she’s walking around. I feel as though I have company. This is what it comes down to…I have no friends.

Just kidding, I do. But they’re all at school right now. You wanna know why I’m not at school? I only had one class today and it was cancelled. I am super excited! Not because I was able to sleep in, no, because it was my health class. And my teacher for my health class bites. I mean today we were supposed to meet in the library to do research on our projects. Of course, I’m doing something else that I will not go into because it’s a long story, but to keep it short and sweet, I’m¬†exempt¬†from the project. So I don’t even know what I would be doing, anyway. It would probably have been nothing.

But this is great because now I have the whole day to myself…well, until I have to go to work. But I would much rather be at work than go to school…especially when I have health. What am I to do with myself? I could go some more homework done so I have less to do while working on NaNo. I could work on outlining my NaNo some more. I could clean, I could sing and dance, I could play video games…preferably Pokemon. But I just don’t know because I am just way too excited right now!

Speaking of NaNo, I am outlining¬†Saving Each Other (SEO) and I decided that I might as well write it for NaNo. It’s almost the middle of October and I don’t know how long it will take me to outline SEO¬†plus another novel and then decide between the two. I’m on chapter twelve for SEO and I have no idea how many more chapters there will be.

The other reason as to why I decided to write it for NaNo is because I was thinking a lot about it the other day…well, yesterday. In the shower. I don’t know about any of you people out there, but I do my best thinking when I am in the shower…or trying to sleep. Which is probably why I never actually sleep…huh. Anyway, in the shower I was thinking about the novel and thinking about the outline and realized, “I’m on chapter twelve, but really, nothing’s happened yet.” I mean, let’s face it: at this point, I’ll be on chapter 100 and the plot will just be beginning. Then I realized…what is the plot?

Seriously, I really had to ask myself this question. I honestly had no idea what the plot was. I came up with a cool title, I made up some awesome characters, I even came up with a cover for the novel. But what is the plot? Someone is after them, yes, I understand that. But who? And why? I got nothing. But when I was in the shower, I came up with a wonderful idea. I am not going to tell you what that idea is because I don’t want to give anything away, but…I guess you could say that it’s kind of “cliche” for a fantasy novel. But that’s alright, because I have tricks up my sleeve.

The summary for SEO is in the post right below this one…just so you know. So scroll down. A lot. Or…turn to the last page or something, I don’t really know how my blog works…I never really look at the finished product. I just type, proofread on here and hit “publish.” The summary was something quick I whipped up for you guys. It’s not the “final” summary and still needs a bit of work. Just a warning…

So I still don’t know what I am going to do with myself today, but I know first things first: get some more coffee. I drank it all while writing this. Don’t worry…it’s decaf. We ran out of¬†caffeinated. Boo. ūüôĀ