Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Slamming My Head Against the Wall

When I was a young child, I used to get really bad ear-aches. My mother always tried to stop me, but the only way I found to relieve the pressure was to slam my head against the wall.

Tonight, I’m thinking that method might once again make it onto my list of possibilities. I don’t have an ear-ache, but the pressure and stress might just be beginning to get to me. I thought maybe if I had a way to let it all out, I’d at least feel better.

So, tonight I’m forgetting the teachings of The Secret for a few minutes and release my top five lists of reasons I’m under duress. Once I’m done, I plan to take a deep breath, log off my computer, and go to bed.

After all, like Scarlett O’Hara says, “Tomorrow is another day.”

Stress #1: Summer vacation is over and I’m back teaching school. This year is my first ever to have a class of 7th graders on top of three 8th grade and one 9th grade classes. The class sizes range from 25 to 43 students packed into a room that is wall-to-wall kid. Altogether, I have nearly 160 students in my classes. Just think about how many papers that adds up to each week to grade.

Stress #2: My husband in living and working in Los Angeles which is great for the finances, but it leaves me home with five children to watch out for, on top of all the others things I do. By the time I leave for work in the morning, no one is awake except the youngest who leaves with me to be dropped off at a neighbor’s who takes him to and from school. I have to hope all goes well and everyone makes it to school on time, come rain or shine.

Stress #3: One of our children has gotten a little too big for his britches in the last few weeks and keeps both my husband and I emotionally distraught, trying to figure out what to do to prevent him from having a negative impact on the other boys. Is it a sin to count the weeks until he graduates and moves into a life of his own?

Stress #4: I’m enrolled in graduate school and classes start again for me tomorrow. Now, if that isn’t enough, I just started reading the articles for this week’s discussion and I might as well be trying to read Greek! As a nearly thirty-year teacher who knows that educational theory is almost always a bunch of malarkey and rarely useful in the real classroom, reading this stuff, assigned by doctoral candidates who are years younger than me, makes me crazy.

Stress #5: I want nothing more than to publish full-length novels and non-fictions books, but every time I turn around it’s another major rejection for me. Tonight I had great hope that I had found an agent. Alas the e-mailed rejection came less that two hours after I had sent the sample chapters she had requested. I should be happy about my writing because a script option was recently renewed, but I’ve worked so much harder on the novels, only to receive yet another rejection.

It’s eight-thirty. My brain is fried. My body is tired. I’m going to bed to sleep, perchance to dream of better things. And tomorrow, I will awake and again pursue my dreams of holding my published novel in my hands before too many more days pass me by.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Lest I Look Like a Slacker

If you've watched my progress in the Summer Reading Thing, you might think I've been such a slacker. Not true. I may not have yet finished all the books on that list---I go back to work on Wednesday, so summer is over for me---but I've read lots of other books this summer. I'm currently reading New Moon and the copy of Eclipse is on my desk next to where I am typing.
So, I've decided to share a little bit about the other books I've read this summer, so you'll know that I have been reading, just not always the books I said I'd get around to.

1. The Greatest Discovery - Sorensen. Very predictable, a little sappy, but a quick read.

2. My Point, and I do Have One - Ellen Degeneres. Some funny parts, some crude parts.

3. Nobody's Better Than You, Mom - Bowen. Should have made my boys read this one!

4. Aunt Dimity's Christmas - Atherton. Recommended by someoen at critique, but I abandoned.

5. The Elusive Mrs. Polifax - Gilman. A 2nd read for me. I love this series.

6. The Independence Club - Nunes. I enjoyed this one a lot and hope Rachel starts a series.

7. Purple Cow - Godin. Okay, I'm weird because I read marketing and business books for fun.

8. Free Prize Inside - Godin. Lots of good ideas to draw customers to your products.

9. The Peach Cobler Murder - Fluke. Another favorite mystery series for me.

10. Mrs. Polifax and the Whirling Dervish - Gilman. The trouble this woman gets into!

11. Secerts to Zarahemla - Wilson. I kept getting lost. The characters were confusing to me.

12. The Fudge Cupcake Murder - Fluke. I kept craving chocolate, but still loved this one.

13. Life As We Knew It - Pfeffer. Interesting YA novel about the moon moving closer.

14. Ghost of a Chance - Blair. Better than the first book, but some parts still bugged me.

15. Death on Demand - Hart. I discovered a new mystery writer that I liked.

16. Dead as a Doornail - Harris. A disappointing and somewhat crude vampire mystery.

17. Rickles' Book- Don Rickles. Like Ellen, sometimes funny, sometimes VERY crude.

18. Nothing to Regret - Pinkston. Liked it but wish it had been a series with more development.

19. It's All Too Much - Walsh. Loved the book, love the series (Clean Sweep). Loved the advice.

20. When Faith Endures - Van Nuygen. Taught me a lot about LDS, the Vietnamese, and war.

21. Deep Storm - Child. Another great thriller from one of my favorite writers.

22. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Rowling. Thought the ending was PERFECT!

23. Farworld: City Under the Water - Savage. Don't look for this one yet; it's not out til 2008.

24. Loved Like That - Wright. Liked it a lot, but I wonder if my book is too similar in theme?

25. Religious Literacy - Prothero. Interesting view why we are religiously illiterate.

26. One Minute Millionaire - Allen & Hansen. 2nd time reading this. Good motivation.

27. Circle the Truth - Schmatz. MG religious fantasy. IT was oaky, but not a grabber.

28. Twilight - Meyer. Decided to reread this one. Liked it better this 2nd time.

29. Wild Worlds - Moore. YA Graphic novel. Why must the girls be half-naked?

30. Loving Will Shakespeare - Meyer. I'm related to both of Wills' parents.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Lucky Fours

Four Jobs I've had:
Administrative Assistant for McDonald's in Bloomington, IN
Associate Producer for Stadium of Fire, Alan Osmond Productions
Fan Club President and Promotions for Osmonds: Second Generation
English Department Chair, Payson Jr. High School

Four Places I've Lived:
Alexandria, IN
Bloomington, IN
Rockville, IN
Spanish Fork

Four Favorite TV Shows:
American Idol
Clean Sweep
The Partridge Family (now on video)
Everwood (even though my husband worked on the show and grew to dislike it)

Four Favorite Foods:
Fettucinni Alfredo
Pepperoni Pizza
Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Four Websites I Frequent:
Drudge Report
Spanish Fork Library
Writers in Heels (of course!)

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now:
In a comfy spot, reading
In Los Angeles with my husband who is working on a commercial
Visiting family in Indiana
Back in the beginning of June, ready to start summer vacation again

Four Movies I Love:
Franco Zefferelli's Romeo & Juliet
Ever After
Back to the Future
Never Been Kissed

Four Bloggers I Tag Next:
Zac Quist
Alyssa Burrell
Heather Moore
Scott Franson