This is an excellent summary of what is wrong with American education today, and how kids are missing out on an important facet of their education because politicians and business people have decided it’s “unnecessary.”
I had a long post about Serious Business. But WordPress ate it. Damn it. So here’s a fragment, Chapter 2 of
The War for Earth The Remembrance War book one, which has as working titles Pathfinder and The Finder, neither of which I like. As usual, it’s a work in progress, and I’m not entirely happy with it–there are some edits and adjustments to be made. But it’s not, I hope, unreadable.
Chapter one can be found here.
I have been working on a scene that I just couldn’t make work. And I couldn’t leave it alone to come back to it later, even though there is plot after the scene that I have mapped out pretty well. It just bugged me so much that every time I left it behind to work on the next scene, I’d get antsy and need to go look at it again.
Last night, I finally cracked it. It was a tricky exposition scene in which I needed to introduce a few characters, and it didn’t make sense to introduce one, then move on to another in a later scene, repeat until they’re all there. It only really made sense for the narrator (I’m working in first person, which started out being awesome, and is now killing me, and I’m seriously wondering if it would make sense to rework the first two chapters into third person) to mention them all in the same scene. I finally managed to come up with a conversation that simultaneously introduced everyone the reader hadn’t met yet, gave some personality handles for each one, and came off as natural conversation.
I keep making excuses why I can’t write. Too busy. Kid needs my attention. Too tired.
Note to self: STOP IT. Just STOP. You are NEVER going to publish, or even get close to it, if you don’t suck it up and finish the damned book. And you probably won’t get this one published, either, but do you think you’re going to get there if you don’t finish one first? You’re learning craft as you go. Whether this one is published or not is largely irrelevant. What matters is that you write.
I’m 41 years old. My mother died when I was 5. My father was in prison at the time, and I never saw him again. He died in 1993; I didn’t find his address until 2 years after he had died.
I was adopted by a woman so vile I rarely speak her name. When she died in 1989 I was glad of it, partly because her long illness and decline was destroying her, as well as my adopted siblings and I, but mostly because she was evil. The six years I spent in her care, from age 6 to age 12, were, with some brief interludes of normalcy, largely a period of pain and anger brought on by abuse it took me years to get over. Her husband, who left her when I was 12, and with whom I briefly lived when I was 15 (the time between 12 and 15, I was a ward of the court), was ok, but weak vs. his wives, and he abandoned me when it got rough between my stepmom and I (who was also crazy–clinically, not just because she didn’t like me).
My aunt and her husband took me in when I was 15 (I’d been disowned by the adopted family), and they were great. I love the hell out of my aunt and uncle. I really, honestly, do. Even though I disagree with them on both politics and religion, sometimes massively, I am so very glad they are a part of my world. In almost every way, they are the best parents I could have asked for. The only thing they can’t do is be my actual parents.
People I know say it’s the same thing, that it’s just my perception, but the truth is, it feels different. Maybe it wouldn’t have, if I’d grown up with them from day one, but I remember my mom. Nothing can replace her.
I still have days, like today, when I really wish I could call my mom. I keep remembering the only memory I have of her voice, just barely. And I feel like I’m on the edge of tears. Actually, writing this brought on tears. I’m ok now, but still sad.
Nothing like a little gratuitous geek reference.
Well, my admin finally ironed out the issue with my fifth period class, and now it’s a much more manageable 35 kids. Mind you, I’d prefer it was more like 25, but we can’t have everything, and small classes are a rarity these days. But the kids seem pretty good, and even after lunch they got right to work for me, so all is well, in the end.
I’m hoping I can get some writing done tonight. We’ll see.
First week has gone pretty well. I enjoy my classes, except for one. It’s not the class’ fault–it’s the administrations. You see, I have 52 students registered in the class, in a classroom with only 35 desks. It’s a fire hazard, and illegal. They’re trying to fix it, but these things can take time, and part of it is getting a teacher hired, which takes a while, sadly. Hopefully it’ll get ironed out before the week is over.
I think the War for Earth plot is getting adjusted. It started out as a trilogy starring Teren Hunt (Name may change, of course). Now it looks like it might be a book starring Teren, with a trilogy set a few decades later starring someone else. Not sure. If that does work best, then I’d probably shelf this novel once it’s done until I’ve got the others written, as I’m not sure most publishers would publish a prequel novel when the main sequence is unpublished. But, again, that’s getting ahead of myself; I need to finish this book first. Hell, I might change my mind and make the whole series about Teren again. Or maybe his niece… hmm…
The older I get, the more it was beginning to bother me that I download Doctor Who illegally even though I’m generally very much opposed to illegal downloading. Even though I deleted every episode as soon as I saw it, and then bought the DVDs as soon as I could, it just didn’t feel right.
Imagine my pleasure and discovering that you can now buy them from iTunes the day after they air. Hopefully these are the full episode and not cut all to hell for BBC America, but if they are, the season is so cheap it won’t stop me from buying the discs if I need to. I don’t think they are, though–I’ve bought other episodes via iTunes when only the seasons already on DVD were available, and the episode was identical to the download from the BBC I got.
I’ll miss the BBC announcer’s voice; it was nice to pretend for a moment I lived in the UK, but meh. I’ll live. Guilt-free Doctor Who is mine!
But I’m not watching yesterday’s episode until my wife gets home. That’s love!
Last night my daughter was asleep by 8:30; which is a victory. Unfortunately, her body decided to wake her at 4am this morning. I managed to get her tucked in with me and back to sleep by 4:45, but then she decided to wake up again at 5:30 and didn’t go back to sleep at all.
I had planned to go on a day trip to Clearlake (about 70 miles away) to visit my mother’s grave today, as tomorrow is the observed anniversary of her death. She actually died on September 7th, but it was Labor Day that year, so even though I was only six and barely remember the actual incident (I wasn’t living with her when she died), in fact I think my “memory” of being told is actually just remembering what people told me happened when they told me years later, “Labor Day” seems an easier and more solid anniversary date. Especially since I have to work on the seventh.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting all morbid over here. But my mother died when I was six, and that influenced a lot of my life. And, being a dad now, I find I miss her more often, especially when her granddaughter does something funny or adorable and I flash on the fact that her grandmother missed all of it. Her “Nana” is my mother’s sister, and was an important–probably the MOST important–part of my life growing up, a mom in nearly every respect. But as much as I think it bothers her, that will never totally replace the want in me for my mom, no matter how messed up she was when I was a kid. I will forever wonder what might have been, if my grandfather and aunt had managed to straighten my mom out.
Anyway, I’d planned on that trip today, but with my kiddo waking up at so unworthy an hour, I’m kind of afraid that if I put her in a car for two hours there and back (or close to that), she’ll sleep. And anyone who knows my kid knows that if she naps, we’re in for a miserable night.
Also, my wife is out of town, and if she’s planning on coming back before the evening, I’d like to be here for her.
So instead I’ll probably do my kid’s laundry, and mine, and clean the house from the wreck my daughter and her bestie made of it yesterday. Maybe Monday will be more fun. Ha!
Got some writing done. Not as much as I’d like, but about 3000 words for the day. I guess that’s probably pretty good, actually, especially considering my original plan was to play Mass Effect 3 for hours. Unless they suck, but let’s not go there tonight, mmkay?
Tomorrow I have some work to do on my classes, then Tuesday I begin working again. Yay?
*sniff* Oh, great, I need to change the catbox. Yay. Thanks, cat. Ugh.