Tag Archives: goals

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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Blast from the Past

Well, while The Baby is napping, and C’s off feeding a friend’s cats and picking up his brother’s dog, I thought I’d try to pop up a quick entry. I’m working on finishing up my grant report for the Teacher Creativity Grant that led to the creation of this blog (fellow educators, GO APPLY!) and will post that shortly. I’ve also been doing some literary archaeology and re-reading the big, sprawling, terrifying novel draft that I was working on with a friend for several years (but no updates since… yikes, January 2015!).  Continue reading Blast from the Past

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Grinning my Evil Teacher Grin

The_Evil_GrinI am hoping to update this thing weekly, so here’s a very short update before I leave work and go home: I wrote THREE (okay, like, two and a third) pages this month. That is two-and-one-third pages more than I have written in the previous six months!

I am also having a heck of a time with my creative writing class, as usual. They are delightful. Today we started our poetry unit and several of them were comfortable enough to admit that they HATE poetry (usually they try to pretend they like it because they think that’s what I want to hear).

I like this because I know that now I get a chance to change their minds. >:) >:) >:) >:)

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Step 3: Profit

money-finance-bills-bank-notes Everyone has get-rich-quick schemes, but as somebody with an infant, I’ve been thinking a lot more lately about passive income (“get-rich-slowly-but-steadily,” maybe?).

I’m currently “supervising” anime club, by which I mean I’m updating my blog instead of grading papers and the anime club is watching netflix on my projector. I had lots of plans to use this chunk of time productively. Some of the better ones:

  • Work on writing (too distracting in case of emergency–the anime club does occasionally require some supervision and/or intervention from an adult).
  • Publish lesson plans and materials that I’ve developed over the last ten years to Teachers Pay Teachers (requires a lot of polishing and also double checking that I’m posting my stuff, not stuff I begged/stole/borrowed ten years ago).
  • Draw line-art for a literary coloring book (coloring books are in right now and I’m a huge nerd with passable drawing skills… this idea has merit, but I’m not sure where to start).
  • Start querying for a line of children’s board books based on famous classic (read: old enough to be out of copyright) American poetry (this is also a good idea, because baby lit is trending and also the baby book market is crowded but much of it is grim in terms of stuff that isn’t stultifying to the adult or too complex for the baby, in my nine months of experience).
  • Update my blog (the current winner).

So, I guess I’ll close with a question…

What scene from literature would you like to color in first?

I’m thinking I’ll probably start with stuff to go with Romeo and Juliet, since my frish-frosh will be reading that in a few weeks. Or maybe some poetry, which they’re starting later this month…

But I’m open to requests!

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What’s in a name?

juliet_capulet
That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet…

Today at Janet Reid’s blog, they’re talking about pseudonyms. The discussion was brought on by a particular case in which a man published poetry under a pseudonym that was deliberately chosen to sound Asian (the man is white). Sherman Alexie, one of my faves, writes about the situation here, in case you’re interested in more info.

So, the commentariat at Janet’s place are now discussing the issue, but from the perspective of writers seeking representation: should you use a pseudonym? If so, should you tell your agent?

I was planning, actually, on setting this blog up and writing under the name M.P. Larkin. Much like J.K. Rowling, L.M. Montgomer, L.J. Smith, and, yes, okay, fine, E.L. James, I was going to do the lady-using-two-initials-to-maybe-pass-as-not-a-lady-but-maintaining-plausible-deniability thing. Recently one of the writers at Jezebel realized this might still be helpful in getting published, just like the Brontë sisters had do to… Continue reading What’s in a name?

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Midwest Writers Workshop 2015

20150725_130355The third and final of my Lilly-grant-funded adventures this year was the Midwest Writers Workshop (#42, certainly an auspicious sign!).

This workshop was AMAZING! I got a ton out of it and it really had the most breadth in terms of a writing conference that could meet the needs of people at all levels, from novices just starting their novels to published authors looking for networking opportunities. Continue reading Midwest Writers Workshop 2015

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Testing, Testing…

Wow, it’s been a really long time since I’ve been in the habit of blogging daily (or more often, even). Hopefully I can shake off the dust and get back into the habit!


Pictured: me showing off my awesome dance moves

This webpage is brought to you by Mitchco Industries (webmaster/design guru) and the Teacher Creativity Fellowship sponsored by the Lilly Endowment. If you’re a teacher in Indiana, DEFINITELY check that sucker out!

The goals of my grant are to:
–set up a website (DONE!) with content on it (d’oh…)
–write about writing, in blog form (how meta!)
–actually write, and even complete a YA manuscript by August 2015*
–attend conferences, workshops, and retreats to help me develop a)my own craft and b)exercises for my creative writing students
–develop writing exercises for said students

So that’s the sort of thing I’ll be writing about here on the blog, along with some book reviews (examining other people’s storytelling) and links to resources I find.

*HAHAAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, that goal is getting revised. Because I submitted this grant proposal, then had a baby, which turns out to be a bit of a barrier to productivity. Luckily I have until June 2016 to complete my final report on this project for the grant people, and I hope to have the MS finished and be querying it by then.

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