Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Next Step

I feel like I'm at the edge of a precipice. The river having give way to a gorge because I've waited so long to take the next step.

But how do you know how to cross the river when no one around you can see the blasted thing. And no one around you can help you to find a way. Awakening was tough, partly because I'm older and partly because I come from one of those families with set, unspoken, and unbreakable rules. I can accept awakening and am willing to find out what it all means and entails, but I don't know where to go from here. I'm not happy where I am, and I don't know the way to get across. Everytime I try jumping into the water, I get swept back to shore. And now, I must trust that I have wings and that I know or at least will learn how to use them in case the wind tries to blow me off course.

Awakening didn't negate my spiritual bonds with my God, it has deepened them. And with every course that I take that tries to tell me that this couldn't have existed or that was just myth, I find the hints to the truth. That they did exist. Do exist. And the proof will come out eventually.

But I don't know what it is I need to be or do to be happy. I'm not happy with myself because I still have this huge feeling of responsibility and duty that prevents me from packing up, taking my DD, and kissing it all good-bye. I'm upset with my family for taking advantage of it. And I hate the indecision that comes with not knowing which way to go. All the paths are open, some marked, some not, some merely faint shadows of the way once taken, and I stand in the middle of them all, dazed and confused. Alone, because although I can see others like me, know they are there, I cannot reach them. And those I can reach have extremely different values. Some of it is age, but some of it is in the heart.

The night engulfs me, the moon shines her brillance, the God of ages is surrounding me, and all should be peaceful. But I cannot reconcile the two worlds I live in. Neither one a lie and neither one complete.

Nanowrimo Goals Update

I don't feel like I got as much written as I did. But I can see it.
My goal for 11/21/2005 was 7,500 words. I actually wrote 8,035 words. I surpassed my goal. Now, I know I won't get 50,00 written by the end of the month, but that's okay, becuase I was writing. And it's been a while for that. So even though I more than likely won't make the Nanowrimo Goal, I still win, because I did write more this year than last year, and more than I have in several months.

So my goal for 11/28/2005 is 11, 000 words.
I'd like to reach 15,000 this month, but if not, 12,000 would be good.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

On Teaching Children

Well, specifically, on teaching my child. I live in a piss-poor school district. It really is. My DD is extremely smart and bright. But for the life of me, I can't seem to get her to understand how to put words together. When she reads, and she doesn't know what a word says, she tries to sound it out. But she almost always adds letters that aren't there. 8 out 10 times she does it when I've got a headache or am tired and have hardly any patience at all. Which I know makes things worse. The problem is I don't know what is normal for her age, and every time I ask the teachers I seem to get a different answer or they comment on how polite she is. Well that's fine and dandy, but it doesn't help. I had parent-teacher conferences with her teacher and the student teacher and I brought the homework from home that DD has to do nearly every night of the week. It seems that she doesn't listen. And I don't know how to make her. I also wonder if it has anything to with her lack of participation in gymnastics and dance. Or if the combination of the loss of extracurricular activities (car is broke and there isn't any other way to get her there, because, yes, I have that kind of family) with the loss of her grandfather is the cause. Or if it's something else. Either way, I'm feeling like a failure as a parent. She's a good kid, yes. She knows right from wrong, yes. She knows how to use her manners, yes. She knows to respect adults, yes. But as a student, she's not even meeting her potential. With all of the books in our house and all of the reading we do, she's reading below grade level. And at the end of Kindergarten, she was reading at or above. I don't get it. I don't understand it. In fact, I'm confused.

I tutor students in Math, English Composition (which should probably be renamed American Composition), and a varitey of other subjects and I can almost always accurately tell their learning style and catagorize their thought process into one of two catagories (logic or circular -- there may be a blog there... hmm). But with my own DD, I can't even begin to figure out her learning style (auditory, visual, hands on) let alone how she thinks. I don't know if me, being very creative is trying to raise a logical child who will excel in math and science or if I'm trying to raise a creative child who will be extremely creative, and I'm trying to do everything the right way as determined by logical people and it isn't working for either of us.

SO maybe the name of the blog is Teaching Children, but On Being a Confuzzled Parent.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Nanowrimo Goals Update

Well my goal for this past week was 5,000 words. Not a bad goal. However, it is my sad duty to inform everyone that, I didn't make it. Again. But hey, I'm writing, so already I've won! So there! However, I did sit down and figure it out, to make a 50,000 word deadline by the end of the month, you need to write about 6 pages a day. Which means that as of today I should've written 24500 words or 98 pages. Oops.

My goals for 11/14/2005 -- 5,000 words
I wrote = 3,424 words (19 pages)

So my goal for 11/21/2005 -- 4,076 which would put my total at 7,500 words.
What I "should" be at is 36,750 words or 147 pages.

I am, however, almost down with the first chapter. And I can't wait to get writing again! So much for my muscle test. :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


This past weekend, I did something I've needed to do since the 3rd of August. I escaped. This was the weekend of the Love Designer's Autumn Authors Affair in Chicago. I went down there with several friends of mine. We left early Friday afternoon and arrived at dinner time. After getting settle in our room, we registered and then met up with several friends that we hadn't seen in a year. We had dinner and then played trivia. Our team was the Awesomest Awesomes. We placed third out of five. We had to endure movie clips of exquiste heroes with excellent lines and abs amongst several other categories. It was a lot of fun. We went back up to the room, three of us pulled out our laptops and headphones, and did some writing. My one friend went to bed. And I did some writing. First on my futuristic series and then I went to work on my contemporary paranormal. Saturday morning started early with breakfast followed by registration, and then the opening speeches. Workshops started shortly after that. I went to a plotting workshop followed by one on character archtypes and then one on making your characters suffer is good. And then we went to lunch and sat with more friends and then skipped the luncheon keynote and Q&A to go upstairs and write. I went to a two hour workshop on characterization. Being a pantzer myself, most of what I learned I can adjust to my writing style with absolutely no problem. Others will require a little bit of work. After workshops we went to the bookstore were we all got books and promo materials. And then to dinner. After dinner, we brought our laptops down to the common room, sang filk songs about writers, editors, and urinary tragedies, while we were writing. And then we sang songs from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's musical episode. It was well after 1:00 am before we went to bed. We left after breakfast on Sunday and got home early in the evening. My DD spent the weekend at my mom's and had a wonderful time. And my mom who gets pissy about anything I do, basically was thrilled that I was home, I had a good time, and that I got to relax.

It was weird being in a hotel again. The last time was when my dad died. And a lot of things did remind me of him and that he was gone, but I did put them off to the side, knowing that I would need to get back to them, but enjoying the fact that for one weekend I got to be carefree. I hung out with writers who understand what you mean when you say the voices are all gone and how scary that feels (100 times worse than writer's block). And you don't have to use an analogy to help them understand. They also understand the why of how it happened and I found out that eventually those rifts would heal. I can write again. I can write again. I have ideas for characters. I know where I'm going with stories I was already working on, allbeit not the ones I was writing at the time, namely EK and DR. But I am writing. And I think that in small doses until I'm okay and then they'll bombard me.

I did however pick up two pins -- one says "I hate it when my voices argue with your imaginary friends" and the other says "Of course I can't take a joke, that's why I'm single" which probably sounds worse than it is. But there you go. I absolutely will not apologize for leaving my friends and family to fend for themselves for one weekend nor will I apologize for not dwelling on the fact that I have no social life or that I am still single. Because really, I'm not sorry, and I don't have time.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This month is National Novel Writing Month, Nanowrimo, at least it is according to author Chris Baty and the thousands of us who participate in this every year. The idea is to write 50,000 words in one month on one project, say a book or movie script. No problem you say. Yeah, but this is in addition to the hariness of your life already. So you are writing in addition to working, being a parent, and preparing for the onslaught of the holidays. And I'm participating again this year. I'm hoping to beat last years personal record which was about 2,000 words. I didn't do so well last year. I'll keep a weekly tally going, a goal for this week and how I did last week. I'm working on Heir Apparent, the first in a new series. And while this isn't a movie script, it's still writing, and that is what I do.

So this month's goal is 50,000 words.
This week's goal (Monday to Monday) is 2,000.