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Typing with my eyes wide shut

Soon I may have mentioned that I’m taking writing classes. I started taking classes at Writers Village again mainly to get writing again. Which I Am! Score! I’m pushing myself, writing new things and coming up with writings.

In one of my current classes, the goal was to write a flash story without looking at the screen. If you have a monitor, you turn it off. On a laptop, you change the font to white. I have a laptop. White on white did not work for me.

I tried, oh how I tried. But those darn red squiggles were driving me batty! What’s a girl to DO? The story was going nowhere.

So I tried an old standby: turned on my iTunes and started writing with my eyes closed.

And it was marvelous.

I’m not sure what it is, the symbiotic relationship between the arts. Music, writing, dance, painting and so many others. It’s as if we all have the ability to help spark that next person… no matter what our preferred form of art is.

Till next time

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Almost

Today I was deep in my feelings of failure. I’d received another rejection– a very nice one, one that told me how much the editor liked my story and it invited me to submit again to their anthologies.

As soon as I saw the email, I thought to myself: Great, another rejection. I hadn’t even read it yet.

My inner critic came up and attacked me. It’s not an editor– an editor improves your work. The Inner Critic trashes your work and your soul. “Great, I’m still almost good enough. Not there, never there, but almost good enough.”

It  was enough to make me cry.

Last week, I showed a very personal short story that I had experimented with to some beta readers. Ok, only one of them was really one of my normal Beta readers. Mostly, while they enjoyed the story, it confounded them. It almost made sense. I haven’t read the notes my regular beta reader sent me, but I think I will soon. She reads as an editor, not a critic. My other, who actually HAS edited my work, hasn’t read it yet. It’s out of my wheel house.

It’s real.

No dragons, witches or even an AI or space ship. No elves. Just something this side of way too real. I wrote it for one class, rewrote it for another and… people didn’t get it. I completely ignored the feedback from a classmate whose writing and crits I highly admire, though. The one that said I had spot on characterization, and the details of being cold were right as well.

The class that starts on Monday I’ve been looking forward to. It’s on writing linked short stories. I have read the course page backwards and forwards, and it didn’t say anything about the stories we write having to be in the literary vein– i.e. no fantasy, sci fi, speculative fiction. Can I catch a break? The last “normal” story I wrote confounded people.

So I did what any good, self respecting sulking writer does. I called my sister. She’s been a second mother to me all my life, and we’ve gotten a lot closer in the last few years. We talk Monday through Friday. And she told me what I needed to hear.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

You’re not almost good enough.

You’re almost there.

 

 

Hello, let’s talk mainstreaming

Hello my lovelies! It’s been a while since we’ve talked. Never fear, I’m still writing.

I started taking writing classes and it is definitely keeping me on my toes. It has a secondary affect, which could have been adverse. My 11 yr old son is being mainstreamed in English Language Arts (ELA) and math. I am hopeless with math, but English? Who Ohio! I’ve got a degree in that!

This is important. If you have a child going from Special Ed to Mainstream you need to listen carefully.

His teachers are phenomenal. But most classes in the SDP range are focused on reading, writing and spelling. Parts of speech, well… So we have a child that has fought his way through everything and is ready to cross the threshold hold but doesn’t know half of what’s being asked of him. Not because he’s dumb. Not because of bad teachers. But because the program that got him this far didn’t teach him those particular things.

He also has a problem with short term memory. Don’t feel bad though, his brain goes so super fast, he’s able to convert to long term memory. It might take him a bit, but he’s able to do it. Pre Mommy taking classes it was no problem.

With me taking classes it is a problem. There’s only so much time in the day. Also, my kid will be a turkey with me:crying, pouting, fit throwing, you know the drill. Our kids will push us to our limits of patience, but will be perfect angels for everyone else. This just childhood, nothing to do with dyspraxia.

But a tutor? And a person he already loves to death? Who also happens to be card carrying member of the Grammar Police? Oh yes, that will do. That will do nicely, thank you very much. No crying, no fits, just lots of learning. And that is a wonderful thing.

Now, I’m off to do your own homework. Ack! I promise, tho, no crying… well. I won’t throw a fit…. no. I promise to do my homework. How’s that?

Ending as you mean to begin

I ended 2017 the way I mean to go on for 2018. Namely, I wrote a short story, did some spot editing (which is my bad part), sent it off to a couple of Beta readers. I’ll be submitting it before the week is done. Next thing up might be an essay contest regarding the end of the world. I have some thoughts that if I can get the zombies pointed in the right direction just might work 🙂

I’m taking a few online classes, too. Just to get the old noggin working again, keep myself busy and all that. I finished one on CS Lewis, and this week I start Tolstoy. He terrified me in college, but now I’m ready to tackle him. I can do this!

My son did end up with presents under the tree. Sigh. But we will be going to SF, maybe next weekend. That would be awesome. This weekend, we’re going to a kid’s paradise, where they have go-cart racing, mini golf, rock climbing, laser tag and oh so much more. I did buy him the year pass for it, so he’ll be going. A lot.  Although I just looked online and the season pass is cheaper than a day pass. SMH.

Hope all of your Christmas Wishes and New Years Dreams come true.

 

 

A Different Kind of Christmas

My son nickel and dimes me to death. Video games, in-app purchases, toys, soda, chips…. It seems like every day there’s a new thing that he needs me to buy for him. Sometimes I say yes, but I often say no. He’s a pretty good kid, and there are never any fits or tears over my not wanting to be a walking wallet.

               A few nights ago, that changed. Not about things though. He misses doing things with me. Simple things like playing 2 square, crafts and playing with his Legos. Little trips going to places we love. “We never do anything fun anymore!” He cried. Not for things, but for me.

               I was a little confused, as we had just been up to Sacramento for a fun filled weekend. Back in September, we went to Monterey, and on the way back stopped at Pea Soup Andersons. We might not do fun things every weekend—but I don’t have him all the time. He spends Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning with his dad.

               We had the conversation. I needed to know before the Black Friday deals disappeared. “Do you want things, or do you want me to buy tickets for us to do stuff through out the year?”

               “I want to do stuff with you,” he told me.

               “Ok. That means you’re not going to be able to be with your dad every weekend.”

               “I miss you, Mom.” Way to break a Mommy’s heart, kiddo. I miss you too, but I wanted you to have that opportunity to build a relationship with your dad. Now, though… Well. Mommy’s back in the driver’s seat and we’re going to do this!

               I still surfed the ads bought him a few things for under the tree (thank you wifi!). But I also started my evil plan.

               Boomers:  This weekend, the year pass is only $39.99 It doesn’t cover the arcade or food, but it is something he loved doing with his dad. It’s also something that I can just as easily take him to, let him go Go Kart racing, climb a wall, all sorts of fun stuff. The pass also works for the remainder of this year. Hmmm…. To give early or not?

               The Exploratorium He loves science and tinkering and there is no better place than the Exploratorium. I’m still debating between a yearly family membership and just buying one time tickets. We travel a lot with my sister and her son, so they would be on the pass as well. One huge thing in favor of the pass is that I don’t have to drive there. We’ve taken Amtrak down to Pier 39 before: it’s an economical, fun way for us to get into the city and back home again. In 2 visits, the pass would be paid for. I almost did it last year and regretted passing.

               The Winchester Mystery House: My son is 11 years old and has been asking to visit “Sara’s House” for at least a year. He’s fascinated by why she would build the way she did, all the little oddities. I’d like for him to experience it in real life, instead of via YouTube.

               In addition to the above, I’m looking at both science and art kits for us to do together. There are a ton of them out there, including some that come as a monthly subscription. I like that more for the science than the art. For art projects (which we’ll start on Sunday when he comes home), I can go to any number of local stores. There are plans for experiments on the Exploratorium website, and I could probably find kits online and just buy one or two. I have time to figure it out, though.

               The sad part about the list above is that coupled with what I snagged online for him, I’m not going to spend a whole lot more money on Christmas by doing this. There will be a lot less Christmas clutter, and I’m going to have to get creative on how to wrap and present these gifts.

               But before that, we’re going to go out back and play 2 square together.

               In the end, I’m giving him the gift he wants. The gift of time. With me. 

Nano

Well. I’m nanoing. Not burning it up like some, but an increase in words almost every day.

I’m almost 10k into my story and I have no clue who it’s about. I have all the characters… but who I thought it was about?

Nope.

But I’m told that I can edit later. 

I believe I can do this. Even with the curveball I keep getting  thrown.

No excuses. Just words.

Not quitting till December 1st.

I can do this.

Neuro

My path is not the

Straight and narrow 

Of your ken…

You say you understand,

My brain isn’t wired like yours.

And yet, 

Every time,

Everyday,

I have to fight for the

Simple right

To be 

Who 

Am.

If I had autism

I’d fit in your b
ox.

If I had ADD

You’d feel better

Putting pills 

In my mouth.

It’s not my fault

You choose not 

to see….

There are no boxes 

For souls

And mine is beautiful

Even if you choose

Not

to

See.