Not bad for a fat girl


Sunday Night Teacher Freak Out

stressIt’s really too early for this. We’ve just had our first week of school, and the children were only there for four of the five days. I should not be in teacher freak out mode.

Sure, I was a little freaked out last week, because last week I didn’t know my class. I didn’t know how many of the thirty-four kiddos on my list would show up (for the record, 30), and I didn’t know what they would be like (also for the record, AWESOME!). Last week freaking out was normal. This week, not so much.

I should be calm, cool, and collected, but I am not. It’s starting to get dark, my family hasn’t been fed yet (the hungry teenager keeps reminding me), and I’m starting to fixate on the stuff I need to get done for school. I can literally feel my blood pressure rising. And yes, I do mean literally (I promise, I know the difference).

A few deep breaths, a request for my son to cook our gourmet dinner (thank you Red Baron pizza company) and a quick visit to my zen place should set things right. Now, what do I REALLY need to accomplish?

1. Correct and grade a math quiz. Yes, a real quiz the first week of school. I’m hardcore.

2. Score the spelling tests (that we corrected in class). Told you I was hardcore.

3. Create the writing lesson to be used by the entire grade level. Or at least create the part that we’re using tomorrow.

That’s it. That’s do-able. That’s no reason for panic. I think I’ll go have some pizza, then maybe I’ll think about tomorrow.


Holy Nano, Batman!

batmanIt’s official, I am REALLY freaking out. Today is November 27. NaNoWriMo ends November 30. I MUST finish my 50,000 words. I really really really really must. (Hey, there’s a technique I hadn’t thought of to up my word count, repeat unnecessary words multiple times for effect, or maybe not).

I have my flying pig socks on (for optimism), I have my leggings on (for comfort) and I have my NaNoWriMo hoodie on for warmth and writerly inspiration. I keep typing, but it’s like that giant plate of spaghetti… there’s still so much more to go!

Okay, I need to snap out of it. I’m home alone (well, the puppy is here to cheer me on) and I have no excuses. School is closed today, I’ve already done the Thanksgiving and Hanukkah shopping (that’s a weirdness all its own), and I have no reason not to crank out the words. So, why am I here? Because I don’t know how to fit all the parts together! It’s turned into this big messy thing that I’m not quite sure how to manage. Yes, I’m still following my story line, but I’m not quite sure how to move from one point to another in a way that makes sense. I may just have to forego sense for the time being, and JUST WRITE.

Phew. I think that’s out of my system. Now I need to grab a drink, let the dog out, and hammer away at the old keyboard. Super jealous of my fellow NaNo writers who have finished your 50,000. I’ll be there soon, really I will, just 8,000ish words to go.


Stranger in a Strange Land

I am having a minor freak out moment here. I am 17,000 words plus into my Young Adult novel that I’m writing. I’m doing it as part of NaNoWriMo, and for some foolish reason I think I can either complete the 50,000 word challenge or at least get close. I’m on the right pace, but not everyday turns out the same for writing. I mean, once all my original ideas have been written, then what?

That’s not the real problem, though. The 50,000 words all need to flow in a manner that tells a single story, and within that story convey multiple plot lines and characters. Words are easy. images-1I can always find words (in spite of an earlier post wondering whether or not I would be able to do just that). It’s finding the right words that’s the problem.

I know, I’m supposed to suspend judgment and just write. Silence the inner editor and all that jazz. Got it. What I don’t have are novel writing skills. I’m floundering in the land of description and spending too much energy on back story. I know I need more action, but I’m not sure how to write it. How do I pace my scenes? How do I utilize dialogue effectively? How do I move the action from one point to another? How do I include the factual information necessary to understand the story? And on and on it goes. I have no idea how to craft a novel, this much is apparent.

For that reason, and that reason alone,  I am freaking out. One thing that has helped me is the software I’m using, WriteItNow. It allows me to arrange my writing into chapters, gives me places for notes, setting, ideas, etc. imagesIt has screens that allow me to connect my characters together with all of their relationships, and offers so much more that I haven’t even scratched the surface of. And no, they’re not paying me to endorse them.

The other help has been my flow map of the story. I’m sure the software offers something very similar, but I didn’t take the time that I needed to learn how to do it. I just grabbed a pen and paper and started drawing my boxes, with each chapter’s main event summarized, so I can go back and add, delete, or change as necessary. For me this is far easier than an outline, but it still gives me the structure I need to make sure the story has continuity.

If you’re still reading, you deserve a medal. I feel a little better just getting my worries about this project off my chest. Now if I were a smart NaBloPoMo blogger, I would wait until tomorrow to post this, but I’m not. There will be more words tomorrow, I’m sure.