Showing posts from January, 2012


I teach a lot of kids writing--I tell them everyone has a story to tell. And that's true. We all have a story to tell. Not all of us have a story to sell, however. It's a dream, though. I think I once read that writing a book is on almost everyone's bucket list. Could you imagine if everyone who wanted to write a book actually did?

I went to a convention in November and one of the author panelists, when asked to sum up the problems with balancing writing and a day job summed it up beautifully, "Stop f--ing around and write." Vulgar, but true. It's also been called, "ass in chair." However, after you've written, edited, and rewritten it's time to send it off. Which leads, almost inevitably to rejection slips.

I've gotten a lot of them. The publishing industry has changed a bit in the last decade or so and most of my thanks, but no thanks letters show up in my email in box than in my mailbox. I remember waiting, stalking the mailman as my …

The Winter Crazies

Why do they have to have graduation pictures in January? I've been teaching for fifteen years and every year the last two weeks of January roll around and it's time for graduation pictures. The high school placement and entrance exams are all finished, they're waiting for word, and everything is going along just swimmingly and bam! Let's have graduation pictures. That won't make them ricochet off the walls at all.

We had snow too on Friday. Yipes! Add snow to that mix and you have a special kind of crazy. Not only at the middle school. We've been so spoiled this winter. I think it's interesting that all the experts predicted a colder than normal, wetter than normal, snow up to our eyeballs winter and it's been warmer than usual. Admittedly, we got about six inches of snow on Friday and the commute home was a little longer than usual--an hour rather than my usual 20 to 30 minutes, but that's not that bad. We're used to digging out around here.


Houston, We Have A Problem . . .

I know, it's probably a misquote. I've found out that most of the famous "quotes" out there are actually misquoted. Interesting and useless little detail there.

My wishes of a week ago still haven't come true. The craziness is still there--in spades with work vying for the top spot of insanity with my personal crises. Life is turning into a bad country song. Dad's still in the hospital--the ICU now (like I said, three steps back) with no end in sight and no real answers. I remember him saying once that it's called the "art of teaching" and the "practice of medicine" because you can never get that medicine one perfected. I'm starting to see his point.

Work stuff--contract craziness and I'm the one charge. So, they shout at me. Usually I can take it. Usually, I'm able to go toe to toe and nose to nose with the best of them, but now . . . now not so much. Feeling kind of fragile now. Taking everything way too personally. So, I…

Scattered Focus

My attention has been a little scattered lately. I intended over this Christmas break to bang out about 5000-10,000 words. That was the goal. There's only one day left to my break, I go back on Thursday--I know, but talk to the school board--and I've written only about 2,000 words. It's been an odd break. First of all, it's been weirdly warm around here. Yesterday was the first day we've had that dipped into the 20's. Very strange for the Chicagoland area late December, early January. Usually, we're in the 20's by the middle of December and by this time in January, 30 feels downright balmy. I think we're all waiting for the other weatherwise shoe to drop around here. We got pounded with over 20 inches of snow last Groundhog Day and I think we're all wondering when the real weather is going to get here and make us pay for the warmth. What does that thought say about Midwestern thought processes?

Also, we had Christmas this year, but it's stil…