Tag Archives: autoblogging

ZzzZZzzZ (A Philosophical Interlude)

cast-your-whole-voteWell, we all know that being emotionally drained is… draining, and I’ve basically been too tired today to do… like, anything.

The election’s still got me reeling and yesterday I successfully ignored it and worked on fiction, where I control all outcomes and the good guys (eventually) win, but today I accidentally started listening to NPR and reading blogs and am just… done.

Luckily there’s still comedy.

Me, trying to read Thoreau with 11th grade: And then what if you took the locker out of your binder? Wait. No. Um…
Kid next to me, under his breath: Maybe you need more coffee.
Me, with a sad, knowing laugh: Oh, StudentName, there is No Such Thing as “more coffee.” Trust me. If “more coffee” were the solution to my problem, I would be perfect right now.

So I’m going to go to bed early (read: on time) and tomorrow’s a new day. The sun will come up (partway through my workout) and I will keep doing everything I can in my little corner of the universe to make sure my Black, Mexican, LGBTQ+, female, atheist, and/or disabled students (this covers 99% of my students, btw, without even mentioning how many of them rely on entitlement programs for food and shelter) know that no matter what else happens, I love them and will do everything I can to protect them–starting by helping them learn to express themselves, fine-tune their bullshit detectors, and use evidence to support an argument (that, by the way, is what we’re actually doing in English classes, whether we’re reading Beowulf or The Onion).

Luckily there’s still literature.

Heroes. Satire.

Hmm. Writing as catharsis: suddenly I feel a lot better about charging back into class tomorrow to stomp around insisting to my Creative Writing class that “they / Do not go gentle into that good night” and pulling the American Lit crew, kicking and gnashing their teeth, through the rest of “On Civil Disobedience” (a fortuitous coincidence that we just happened to be dealing with the Transcendentalists this week…).

So, as Thoreau reminds us, we can’t just vote on paper and let that be the end of it. We must do everything we can. Even if it doesn’t feel like much.

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Actual NaNo-ing (It’s about time!!!)

So, I know I promised a deep and meaningful post about race & diversity in literature, but let’s just say that I didn’t have the mental or emotional energy for that today. I did, however, write 1498 words of a totally new opening to the old novel I’m working on with my OG writing partner!

Threw a teeny-tiny write-in and got lots accomplished, despite having to feed a toddler and put him to bed for the first half hour or so of writing time.

And the best part? These two ladies will be joining me for another session next week! (& an extra 132 words by writing this cheater post–HA!)

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The Edge of My Seat

I wanted to post a response to the Tweetstorm happening surrounding #TheContinent (a YA book with some serious “White Savior Narrative” stuff going on, click that link for a summary) and Jenny Trout’s response (in which she calls out her own use of racist tropes in some of her older books).

But I also want to watch election returns, so I’m probably going to go do that.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some thoughts about how I know #WeNeedDiverseBooks but also: I am a white lady.

Hopefully having survived watching the election returns (rather than posting as some sort of post-election zombie).

 

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All Saints’ Day

14915453_10154367153072415_5818038096005274670_nToday was the Feast of All Saints, where candles are lit and prayers are said and hymns are sung for all of the new saints–i.e., those who have died in the last year. I’m not what you’d call a regular churchgoer (I’m as strange as they come, har har) but I’ve found lately that in church, I can’t help but experience very strong emotion.

I was with my mother (and husband and son, but husband had to go to day care with son because son was NOT about that daycare life and would NOT be cool), and my mother- and father-in-law were singing in the choir.

This has been a rough year–on Facebook I tagged 14 people off the top of my head who have lost someone precious to them over the past year. I spent a lot of the service sniffling from a combination of catharsis and allergies (no it’s not a cold I 100% refuse to acknowledge that it’s a cold shut up it’s allergies).

My father died on December 10th of last year after a long battle with esophageal cancer, a very nasty cancer that he actually beat twice; it was the third recurrence that killed him.

When I think about it now, it’s with a weird mix of devastation and peace.

Continue reading All Saints’ Day

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two solutions to (one of) my problem(s)

My big problem with NaNo is time. I was talking to my mother about it today, and her reaction to the existance of NaNoWriMo was “In November? Don’t they know how much other stuff is going on in November?”

But so far blogging daily has been fun and exciting, and so far so good in terms of meeting my goal.

So maybe I just need to be looking for things with shorter turnaround times. Like flash fiction  contests or the 8-Hour Book Challenge! Continue reading two solutions to (one of) my problem(s)

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that old-time feeling

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(please ignore this shoddy attempt to muffle its very loud chime with a dishtowel)

My husband just inherited a clock with Westminster chimes that used to belong to his grandparents. It’s now sitting on top of what our toddler son calls “the No-No,” aka a barrister cabinet.

Listening to the chimes every fifteen minutes is reminding me that my grandparents, too, had a (grandfather) clock with Westminster chimes; I had sort of forgotten about it until I heard this clock chime when I got home. When it went off, I got a very visceral wave of nostalgia.

aka Barrister Cabinet
Atop the No-No

People talk a lot about how evocative smells are–and I find that to be true, although I have a pretty terrible sense of smell (an asset for a high school teacher; high schoolers, as a group, do not smell great).

But the chimes got me thinking about memory in general (mine is terrible and so I rely on looking back at journals to remind me about stuff) and that sent me over to LiveJournal to peer back in time at me-from-the-past.  Continue reading that old-time feeling

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Words on Words on Words

So, having spent the requisite half-hour noodling around with web design (I have definitely not kept up with advances in coding since the late 90s/early 2000s, y’all), I am now ready to stare blankly at a “New Post” window for a while before I knock out today’s blog post.

I happened to be putting around on Twitter earlier and saw some tweets from Cleolinda Jones,  which took me waaaay back. I read her LiveJournal (remember LIVEJOURNAL??) obsessively in college and just loved her writing.  In fact, that got me to thinking about how much I love recaps, because I actually… follow a lot of recappers pop-culture analysis blogs.

Continue reading Words on Words on Words

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NaNoOHNO

failboat2So, it’s that time of year again…

The time where I debate whether or not to fail at NaNoWriMo yet again.

Don’t get me wrong–I love a good tradition! And I’ve been failing NaNo for, like, fifteen years now.

Some years I’ve even failed it professionally (they have a program where teachers can do it with students… Yeah, we all failed). I have buttons.

And remember that one time that I got a huge grant to write a manuscript in three months? “It can’t be that hard,” I said to myself. “Tons of people write a novel in a month.”

(The part where I had a baby right at the beginning of the three months did throw a pretty serious monkey wrench into that plan. And I wrote more than zero words, which puts me ahead of many years’ NaNo efforts…)

According to the NaNo website, my lifetime total is 8,729 words. So, this year–despite the toddler, the full-time (plus) job, the general chaos of life when one is, like me, terrible at saying no to things…

I’m doing it.

Not for the 50,000 words, or the winner badge (because, let’s face it, I am… not optimistic it can be done during this season of my life). But for the practice.

I’m going to write something, anything, every day this month. 

Please feel free to harass me via Twitter: @larkinplarkin

Here’s today’s effort. Wish me luck tomorrow…!

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New Year, New Schedule… New Mistakes to Make!

COME ON
It’s possible that I am my own Iago

So, I’m back to school, and we’re on a new schedule (woo) and I’ve got new students (woooo) and I almost made it into the year with no new classes, but then a bunch of the nerdy kids were sad there was no AP Literature & Composition this year so… AP Lit & Comp club?? (Seven kids have expressed interest. This may well be the Best Club Ever.)

That got me thinking, of course, about all the

amazing classics we’d get to read once I put together a reading list.

Continue reading New Year, New Schedule… New Mistakes to Make!

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All You Need Is Love

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The Kid, with his first Valentine ever (thanks, Mema!).

Last weekend, my husband and I hosted our annual Valentine’s Day party. This was the first year when my darling son could attend (him being currently nine months old) and even though he went to bed before the party had hit its apex, I think it’s safe to say everybody had a good time.

I started throwing these parties as small dinner parties the year we had my “fake kid” living with us, because I wanted to do some family-style activities and she had recently been through a breakup. My parents had always made sure to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a day about everyone you love–not just romantic partners–and even after I graduated from college I would occasionally get a package of conversation hearts in the mail from them.  Continue reading All You Need Is Love

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