Tuesday, January 29, 2008

every day things

Writing with some classes today about every day events. You know - the ones that don't shift the earth on its axis or anything but still make us gleeful. Since I try to write with them when we write, I pondered this one on paper for thirty minutes or so, which means I'm behind on my grading now.

So what makes me leap off the new leather furniture with wacky joy? Amongst others: having a new book to read; when the husband actually toasted me a waffle and cut me half a banana today for breakfast which he truly never does on a week day and made me giddy with thankfulness because I was running late; eating lunch out with my buddies; getting a text message from college graduate son that says he loves me; realizing there's a new epsiode of a favorite show (guess that one's on hold for a long while now unless I count Anthony Bourdain on Travel Channel, such as last night's ep where he was in Crete and they skinned a goat right there on camera and I gagged); any opportunity to eat cold spring rolls.

Any every day event that gets you all grinning?

Til next time...

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Well, doc confirmed it. I've got the flu. Flu positive. That's me. Nurse stuck a swabby stick up both my nostrils ("Whoa. Don't back up mama. I have to push this way up there.") Came back a few seconds later with the jolly news. Physician's assistant kept asking - didn't you feel really really feverish? Sort of, I told her. Skin achy. Some fever. What was it when you took it? And at this point I simply couldn't admit that we no longer own a working thermometer and the only one I could find was an old rectal one and there was simply no fever in the world that was going to make me attempt that. When I feel better, I guess I need to procure a temp taking device. But on the upside, the p.a. did say that I probably have a very mild case since I am exposed to multiple germs every day working in a public high school and thus have a hardy immune system. (This does not make me any less likely to feel like scouring my hands after each class period of hackers and sneezers dances around me but whatever. I guess you guys have made me on tough flu gal)

I am now enjoying the world of day time television. Although 1-2 PM seems a down time in the programming. Rachael Ray will come on at 2PM. Yay! The rerun of season one ep of 7th Heaven was sufficiently treacly for my weakened state. Ellen was okay, but I think I dozed mostly and then made some tomato soup and then she had a guy on talking about the Dao (or maybe it was the Dow - I am fluish so it's hard to say) And I'm edging toward page 600 of Sweet Far Thing.

Okay, time to snooze before perky Rachael and the Dr. Phil.

Til next time...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Too, too young

Okay, this one shocked me. Heath Ledger - too young, too talented, gone too, too soon. Will be curious and sad regardless to find out cause of death. Whatever it is, what a shame.

definitely the blues... and the flu

So okay, I don't really have the blues. But methinks I do have the flu. Or at least - flu like symptoms. Cough. Sniffle. Low grade fevery sigh. Hit last nite; went away some this morning; hit again with a vengeance by 1 PM. And now I'm in sweats, mostly just lying on the couch feeling fluish and wishing someone (husband maybe?) would make me some tomato soup with crackers, some more hot tea, and make "there there" sounds til I recovered. Also wondering if it's bad enough to waste a sick day tomorrow and call a sub, which is - unless you are truly incapacitated or the mother of a sick kid - always, always more trouble than it's worth. Always. Really.

Okay, so that's all you're getting from me today. My skin hurts. I'm headed back to the couch. Tea. More of Sweet Far Thing. And let's see how guilty those ungraded papers in my bag make me feel. Or the fact that I still haven't planned my costume for mandatory Super Hero pep rally. (pink cheeks Ranger? Super Cougher? Zena, Phlegm Princess? Buffy the Fever Slayer?... okay enough. Not even amusing myself at this point, but other suggestions are heartily welcome.)

Til next time...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The things they ask

Trying to get through close reading techniques today in class. Really. I was trying. Rollicking, rocking seniors - well, not so much. So it goes much like this (and yeah, I've combined a couple of days here because darn it, it's my blog so I can alter reality however I please. So there.)

Me: Okay, let's get started.
Random Student 1 (names not used so as to protect the innocent... okay not so innocent, but whatever): Okay... hahahahahahahaha.
Me: (Glaring look)
Me: Oh yeah, whose Econ book is that lying on the chair. It's been lying there for three days.
RS2: Maybe it's not a book. Maybe it's a Decepticon.
Me: (eye rolling. laughing. realizing why I suck at discipline and always have. It's cause I always, ALWAYS think they're funny. Cause they are.)
Everyone: (Lengthy digression on Transformer movie, Shia Lebouf and other related topics)
Me: (actually teaches close reading techniques and talks about diction, connotation, denotation, imagery, and other really cool literary stuff)
RS3: You know, you never really told us about your book. Really. You didn't.
Me: (Thinks - huh. I guess I didn't. Cause deal wasn't made public til 12/18 and then on 12/19 we left for Christmas break and before then I didn't really say much cause deal wasn't public)
Me: (Tells them about SPARK)
RS4: So the cover. Can you choose what's on the cover?
(I've been getting asked this A LOT lately. Don't quite know why, but clearly it's a favorite question. Which is really odd to me, but I guess not to anyone else. And I wish I had a great answer. One that was better than, "well, probably I won't have a lot of control over this since now that someone is paying me cash American, they probably get to decide. Sorry to burst your bubble)
RS5: Yeah. The cover. Can we all be on it? We could pose.
RS6: Yeah. We could. Are you going to dedicate it to us? You know we're your inspiration.
RS7: Can I go pee? I've been holding it forever. Really. (crosses legs and winces to make point)

And onward like that....
By 3:15, I headed out to have Starbucks with a colleague. We solved the problems of the world. Okay, no we didn't. But she believes we might have if that Starbucks hadn't been out of cranberry scones. Really. Refill the scones! Scones!! We want more.

Til next time...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In which the journalism kids ask me questions

Got interviewed today by the intrepid reporters of our school newspaper. You guys rock! They want to run an article about me and SPARK, so they came, pads and pens in hand, to ask their questions. And they'd done their homework too - which was quite cool. They'd been on the ABLA website so they knew about the agency and super agent Michelle. They poked around on my blog and fledgling website. And had a lovely list of questions which I duly answered as best I could. Best of all, they were really, really excited for me, which made me really excited.

And then, because I was still at work and still had three classes left, I took my ten minutes to eat my peanut butter and Ritz crackers and banana and then went back to teach poetry analysis and methods of persuasion. That'll knock me down a few pegs back to the real world. Well, as real as you get in a job where you've just been told it is now mandatory for everyone to participate in the come as your favorite super hero pep rally in a couple of weeks. Maybe I will appear as the non-costumed rebellious super hero.

Til next time...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Random stuff for a Sunday morning

1. Flipping through TV guide to see how sparse the new episodes are getting and what do I spy for later this week? Scott Baio 46! Cause the whole I'm single and 45 thing just wasn't enough. Dare I say that I might have to succumb?
2. Husband has been in Tempe with the new college graduate while new college graduate gets settled in house share. I've been fretting over what one of my critique group pals is thinking of novel 2 as she reads for me. Also 1/5 ( I know this because she's divided it into 5 acts!) of Libba Bray's A Sweet Far Thing. And yes... spoiler coming..... Kartik has returned. Good for you Kartik. (Funny bit, by the way on Libba Bray's web site - video chat with her and Maureen Johnson.)
3. After writing non stop for so long, it feels weird to not actually be in the middle of a story. Thought I'd give myself a break. Clearly, I don't want one.
4. Did I say I'm fretting? Obsessing. Brooding. Really.
5. Ran into one of my favorite English dept. colleagues at the mall yesterday. Sat outside at a table at Panera and ate lunch and chatted for a LONG TIME. While in line for our Pick 2's, we ran into a student we both have. Freaks the poor things out (yes, you guys if you're reading this because I know some of you are!) when their teachers appear - Together! Talking about books! - in the same line to buy food at the mall (They go to the mall? Really? Crazy!) as they are. Yes, we know you don't like to have your worlds collide like this. We know it unnerves you, poor things. Makes you wonder where else we might be hiding. Get over it. Seriously.
6. I allowed the perky girl at the Benefits counter to talk me into a 6 pack of lip gloss. Colors look good. But there's this teensy bit of uber sweet bubble gummy fragrance when you first open the tube. Which tells me I have purchased lip gloss that while glossing my lips into kissable perfection is probably aimed at a demographic that does not include me.
7. Waiting on more Spark news. Promise, promise, that I will post more on that journey soon. Really. I. Promise.

Til next time...

Monday, January 7, 2008

I made it!

Haven't posted since New Year's. Been toiling at finishing novel number 2. And..... drum roll.... I've plowed my way through the first full draft. I'd written the idea for this book well over a year ago. Played around with it in many ways. And then, it got put aside for the lengthy adventure that was Spark. But in late October, I knew it was time to finish. And now I am. I'm too superstitous to talk about the story much. But I will say that it's been another interesting journey. The premise remained the same. But the MC developed into someone I hadn't expected. Or rather, someone I should have expected but for some stupid reason didn't. And the host of supporting characters? Well, I didn't know who they were going to be, either. One in particular took many incarnations as I wandered along. She was a friend. Then a girlfriend. Then a friend again. And finally landed as a former girlfriend of sorts. I'm happy with how she turned out. At least today.

I will say that my MC is a guy. Don't know about the rest of you, but I listen to music to inspire me and for whatever reason, this MC needed country music and lots of it. If husband never hears Tim McGraw or Trace Adkins again, it will be too soon. (MC might love country, but husband is, shall we say, much less fond of me blasting it all over the house because I'm not big on head phones, ear buds, or anything of that sort)

Looking forward to 27 Dresses this weekend. Looking forward to digging in to Libba Bray's The Sweet Far Thing. Like many of you, I avoid reading YA when I'm full on into a story of my own. Too much voice distraction. I had to settle for a Silhouette western romance and lots of magazines.

And as for my Gossip Girl obsession - well - Chuck Bass - could you get any sleazier? I surely hope so!

Til next time...