Thursday, August 6, 2015

This is the first page.  Joe is an 8th grader in this.  I like this as the beginning, but in many respects the voice sounds too "academic" and I think it needs to be less formal, although the conversation here takes place with his English teacher...

Working Title – The Shadow People

             “Joe! Sit up!  What time did you get to sleep last night?” the teacher scolded.  Joe struggled to straighten up, nearly sliding out of his chair. The dark circles under his eyes and his disheveled hair were signs that it had once again been a late night for him, and it was hard for him to pay attention in class when he was this tired. “Please see me after class.”
            When the bell rang about twenty minutes later, Joe was still groggy.  He wandered up to Mrs. ___’s desk, sure he was about to get a lecture about how important getting a good night’s sleep was.  He really didn’t want to be bothered, and the last thing he needed was another lecture, but he knew it would be worse for him and that he would get in more trouble if he tried to ignore her. 
            “You wanted to see me?”
            “Joe, what’s going on with you lately?  You’re falling asleep and your grades are starting to slip.  I’m really getting worried.  Is there something going on that I can help you with?  Is there anything you need to talk about?  You’re usually such a good student, and I hate to see you in this condition.  What’s going on?”

            “I’m okay, Mrs. _____.  I guess I’ve just been playing too many video games lately, and sometimes the time just slips away from me.  I just got the newest Night Stalker game last weekend, and it’s really intense. Before I knew it last night, it was four o’clock, and then I tried to get to sleep, but I couldn’t get the game out of my mind. Just please, don’t call my mom.  I promise it won’t happen again.”

Monday, July 27, 2015

Yes, I'm full of excuses...

     So.  I started writing.  I got a little over a thousand words in one day (actually two hours or so), but then I got stuck.  The first pages of this story came out okay.  I don't know that it will set the world on fire, but the idea behind the story (I think) will be something teens will enjoy reading.  I am just not sure whether my pacing seems slow, or if I sound too "academic" in my writing.  Also, I have several ideas about which direction things could go, but I don't really have an outline.
     I wrote those first thousand+ words Friday night, and now it's Monday, and I haven't done anything more with it.  I think I'm looking at the mountain, and forgetting that the journey of a thousand miles begins with just a step, followed by another, and then another, and so-forth.  I'm even writing about the writing which in itself makes me feel better because I'm writing, but of course it is avoidance writing.
     I can put words together, and I can write in an "academic voice" but can I actually write a fictional story that someone will want to read?  As I sit here watching the Rays game on television, I think about the fact that I have less than three weeks before I have to go back to work, and then I will have even less time in which to write.  We're also in the midst of renovations to the house and "cosmetic repairs" from sinkhole activity.  That's going even slower than my writing is.  The hubby and I keep discussing our ideas, but I get motivated for a while, and then I complete something, and then we seem to hit a road block that seems to stop work for a few days.  We do have a deadline, so we have to get done by then.  I just hope I can do both at the same time and work on top of it all.  I wonder how many students I'll have this year, because the more students, the more essays to score.  We'll see how it goes.

Monday, July 6, 2015

First day, Second Year of Teachers Write

This is a new step in the journey of becoming me.  Last year when I joined the Teachers Write summer camp, I mostly "lurked," though I did share a piece of my writing that I had done a few years ago.  This year, since I've had this blogger account for a while, I decided to actually start using it to complete the assignments and to get started on some serious writing.  With that thought in mind, here is my list of "wonderings" that is the assignment from Kate today.

1. I wonder what it would be like to be an empath like Phoebe in Charmed, or what it would be like to be able to read other people's minds (some of it may be good, but I'm sure some of it could be a real challenge, especially when you don't want others to know you have this power).

2. I wonder where a specific one of my previous 8th grade students has ended up in life.  This student had a very unusual experience that I felt compelled to relay to a guidance counselor, and then together we had a conference to let the parents know what was going on with their child.  I think it could be the basis for an interesting story, but I would like to know what really happened.

3. I often wonder if any of my HS students have had some of the same experiences as I did in HS.  It's such a time of mixed emotions and uncertainty, yet there were other students who, to me at least, seemed to have it all together and weren't afraid of doing whatever they felt like doing.  

4. I wonder how people discover what it is that makes them passionate.  This one I've been thinking about for quite a while now.  Here's what I've hypothesized: when you find your passion in life, you've found what gives you a driving purpose, and the more you are driven by your passion, the more self-assured you are, and your passion, as a result, puts an end to your fears.  I think that's what I'm most trying to discover right now...what my passion should be, and how to become driven toward the place where I'm so self-assured that my fears all crumble and fall away.