Reclaiming My Self

Shortly before I moved to Sacramento, my dad gave me brand-new cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, which I wore often at home while working in the pasture or when riding my horse.
When I moved to Sacramento, I kept wearing them, because they were a part of me, and I liked them. But I was pretty mercilessly made fun of for the first half of 10th grade, and by January I’d stopped wearing the boots or the hat.  I had also realized by then that I wasn’t going to be returning to Napa no matter how much I wanted to, and I consciously “released” the trappings of what I had been forced to consider my “old” life and got rid of the boots and hate entirely.
I’ve never owned another pair of cowboy boots, or a hat, even though I grew up wearing them and used to love them.
Now I want some cowboy boots. I have ZERO need for them, and I’m not even sure I’d wear them often, or I’d go out and buy them. But I want them.  I miss the feel of them when walking, either on a street or in a field.
I’ve been doing this with music, too.  Sometime in the mid-80s I stopped listening to the 70s-era rock and pop music I’d grown up with, because it wasn’t “cool” in the circle of friends I was hanging out with.  But now, at 46, I’ve been listening to a lot of Linda Ronstadt and Neil Diamond, Dolly Parton, Journey, King Crimson, the Mamas and the Papas… the music I remember from childhood.  Of course I’m also still listening to 80s New Wave, and even Kitaro and my beloved Scottish folk music, but I’ve been spending a lot more time with the old stuff.
The older I get, the less I care what people think about what I listen to, or wear, or like.

Just checking in…

So the open call for questions didn’t work.  Small audiance, and I’m not really that interesting, anyway. So okay.

I finished the online Unit Design course I’ve been working on.  It required a lot of reading and prep, and then writing a four-week unit on Hamlet.  To begin with, I read Ben Crystal’s excellent Springboard Shakespeare: Hamlet and Shakespeare on Toast for ideas on how to get my teen students to realize Shakespeare wasn’t all high-brow, and the latter book was especially useful, having within it a lot of myth-busting stories and information.

I also refreshed my memory on designing units from my teacher education, by rereading my Understanding by Design textbook, some articles from the Globe Theatre Foundation on teaching Shakespeare via performance, and did a quick review of the California Common Core State Standards, marking which standards I could engage through teaching Hamlet.

I got an A on my unit design.  Well, technically I got 100/100; there aren’t any letter grades attached, but still.  That’s an A in my book.  Which gives me the units I needed to move over on the pay scale, so I’ll make more money next year, which is nice.

On the writing front, Seeking Home, book 1 of the Remembrance War, is still out to a couple of agents and one small press publisher I thought had already rejected it, but apparently hadn’t.  We’ll see how that all shakes out. In the meantime I’m working on a new project, which I’ve talked about a bit here, but which has changed in some pretty large ways since I first started talking about it.

I’m also working on an RPG world based on my WIP for a homebrew Traveler game I plan to run for wife and friends.  The story of the WIP will run in the background, the game characters will interact with it as they wish, but the novel will not be taking the game into account; the novel is already plotted.  No way am I changing that before the zeroth draft is done.

I’ve got a few other projects in various states of planning, including an epic fantasy and a one-shot Gaiman-esque fantasy that will stretch my abilities a fair bit.

Work is work.

A little experiment: Open Questions

Okay, so… I’m no Scalzi, but I thought maybe I’d try to do a reader question period.  I don’t have a ton of readers, but if you have any questions about my writing, or (more entertaining, most likely) teaching, or what-have-you, feel free to ask in the comments.  I’ll answer in a post or three.

Or none?  That’s possible, too.  We’ll see what happens!