Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dark Angel Nights

Dark Angel. The story of a genetically engineered killing machine otherwise known as Max. Except she escaped from the training camp and is now fending for herself about ten years later in Seattle, the year 2020. The economy is in chaos, crime runs rampant and Max finds herself in cahoots, with Eyes Only, otherwise known as Logan Cale. His mission is to can the evil warlords, thieves, traffickers, and other miscellaneous to restore the country, or at least Seattle, to a safer environment. Max's mission: to find the other's like her.

I used to be hooked on this show back when it aired on television I don't know how long ago. This is how I’m spending my Saturday night, watching back to back episodes ordered from Netflix. Seems to be great fodder for snappy dialogue, funny, engaging, likeable, complicated characters, lots of action, and great plot points that utilize reincorporation to the pleasure of an audience such as me. Kudos to James Cameron.

Note to self: lay off Netflix until November, and my writing escapade, is over.

We’ll see how this works.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Haunting

Theresa over at Substitute Teacher's Saga is Hosting a Halloween Haunting with prizes (three signed books) and an exercise to let people know about you and your blog as well as learn about other people's blogs. Great opportunity to make new friends! Click here to go to her page.

Things on My Mind This Cool October Afternoon

National Novel Writing starts in four and a half days! I am excited. I’ve been (finally) seriously planning this story idea that has been in my head for the past two years or so, and I can’t wait to actually write it!

I made Breakfast treats this morning after searching everywhere for the recipe my Grandma sent me in the mail. (I don’t know why it was on the kitchen table…) They’re basically like oatmeal raisin cookies, except thicker and more lumpy.

Wondering if I should get a second job. Substitute teaching isn’t exactly a jack pot.

Wondering if I shouldn’t get a second job. Yet, at least. Maybe after November is over and the first draft of my novel is written??

The Last Word and the Word After That by Brian D. McLaren.

This is a great, thought-provoking book for anyone who feels ready to confront the existence (or non-existence) of hell, something that has bugged me for a long time. As a person coming from a Christian background, I have had trouble getting around the whole “hell” issue or at least the way most Christians perceive it and turn it back onto others. For instance, "you’re going to hell if you don’t believe this or that or do this or that." That whole thought process aggravates me like no other! This is a pretty heavy topic so feel free to disregard it. But this is what has been on my mind most intensely as of late.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How Do You Write?

I write with my eyes closed and my mind open.

When my eyes are open, all I see is the blank paper or the white Microsoft Word Document with only two sentences on it, and oh my gosh those sentences really suck. Hit backspace, Cross out with pen. Try again. Repeat previous scenario. Give up because it’s too depressing, and this idea is going nowhere.

But when my eyes are closed, I can’t see any of that. All I see is the story in my mind. The way my characters think, act, look, and why. And everything begins falling into place and before I know it, I have filled two pages, and there is this feeling of fun and play and creativity coursing through me.

I like to read the Writer magazine. The last page of each issue features a published author and the author’s answers to a list of usual questions.

“How do you write?” the interviewer asks.

With my eyes closed.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stupid sweepstakes (and other happier things)

Two days ago I awoke to an unavailable number ringing on my phone, and not being the brightest person first thing in the morning, I answered it. Resulting in a subscription to four magazines for the “price of $3.83 a week.”

Of course, there is always a catch…instead of paying for thirty-two months at a relatively low price, they tricked me. Without saying it in plain English, they bumped up the payments so that I would be done paying in sixteen months. Which turned out to be a whopping (for me) total of $49 a month.

Maybe that can be considered a good thing because the next day, reality bonked me on the head when I saw they had already debited my account for $49.81, which turned out to be a “pre-authorization fee.” Reality bonked me on the head again when I realized that I could not afford to pay hundreds of dollars for magazines that I did not really need, want, or even care about.

I canceled as soon as I could.

Lesson learned—do not answer Unavailable numbers, ever, especially when I’m practically still sleeping.

After describing a situation that made me incredibly nervous and incensed at my stupidity (Again, I’m not the brightest in the morning!), here are several things that make me incredibly happy!

This morning, my 4-year old brother was chomping on a carrot, and said, “I love the taste of carrots!”

And yesterday, I fixed him a bowl of broccoli, and…he ate it all!

Then last night, I enticed him into sharing my grapefruit with me, and….HE LIKED IT! He kept wanting more.

So, if you couldn’t tell by now, kids who like to eat vegetables and things like grapefruit make me very happy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Road Sign Affirmations

While driving home one day (usually an hour long drive), I became immersed in my thoughts of a novel that I’m planning. One of the main characters is a blind girl, and while I am set on the characters for the story, I have been having trouble deciding which direction I want the story to go in. There are two directions that I keep going back and forth between, and both have their desirable qualities. But each direction would change the themes and other characteristics of the story greatly. They wouldn’t be the same story at all. So I’ve been playing with both a little.

Anyway, before I blather on too long, here is the point of this anecdote. While driving, I passed through a small town that I have been through a hundred times. While daydreaming a scene in my head, I suddenly came to an epiphany about the blind girl and the direction that the story should follow. At that exact same moment, I saw a yellow diamond-shaped sign that said “Blind Person Area.” Now, I have driven through this town countless times, and I have never seen that sign before! I didn’t even know they made such signs. And to see it at the exact moment that I was thinking about a scene involving the blind girl and when I finally felt certain about what I wanted the story to do. What’s more, when I’m lost in my thoughts like that, I don’t usually notice random signs on the side of the road. Especially ones I’ve never seen before. Except this one didn’t seem so random….

Has anyone had similar experiences when they are in creative mode?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Things I Want To Do (And Keep Doing)

Things I Want To Do (And Keep Doing)

Leave my curtains open.
Wear a big stylish hat.
Collect funky jewelry, and wear it.
Pierce my ears. Look for dangly dragonfly earrings.
Go to Patti Digh’s book tour for Creative Is A Verb in December.
Smile at strangers.
Write a novel.
Write a book of poetry. Dedicate it to my creative writing teacher who knew what I was capable of before I did.
Visit the state of Virginia. Perhaps stay there for a long while. :)
Make children smile.
Make adults smile.
Make myself smile.

Things I Have Finished/Done

Finally finished the giant collage I started last year. (I love it. Through images and words cut from magazines I pasted parallels between love and hate, war and peace onto a huge poster board. Finally I can hang it on my wall.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

To find that thing that folds you into complete abandon

To find that thing
that folds you into complete abandon.
The art or practice
that bursts you with joy and light
and purpose
and the sentiment
that joy is the purpose.

I was watching Lisa Hannigan sing, and watching her was like watching someone who was so completely herself that she seemed to glow.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Can We Stop Yet?

Yesterday, I got a 7:30 a.m. call to sub for high school PE at my brother and sister's school. (My brother is a freshman and my sister is a junior) Both of them have opted out of PE this year so I didn't have either of them in class.

At first, when I got the call, I was hesitant. PE?! Can I do that? But I hadn't had an assignment all week, so I said I'd do it.

Basically, all I had to do was take everyone outside and have them walk laps around the track. It was a nice day, sunny with a cool fall breeze. The only annoying thing was the complainers: It's cold. Can we stop now? C'mon I've walked five laps! Occasionally, I'd have to approach the kids sitting along the fence surrounding the track and tell them to get moving. Ugh, I don't like telling people what to do, which is going to have to change if I'm going to keep subbing. I don't mind anymore with elementary school kids, but I haven't had any experience with high schoolers. I'm back at that beginning stage again where I have yet to grow into the teacherly role.

One of my brother's cross country teammates was in one of my classes. He told my brother after practice, "I thought she would be meaner."

I'm not sure what he meant by that. [Did he think I looked mean before?? Who knows...]

Anyways, are there any substitute teachers out there, reading this, who have any experiences to share? P.E. related or otherwise...