Sunday, March 28, 2010

Peppermint Tea Break

The tea is brewing and my post is long past due.

I never made my SVEN challenge word count total. Well, actually, I technically made the total, but the words I’ve spent writing for the last three months have been data driven drivel for my Professional Certification as a teacher. I don’t want to spend too many more words on the subject, but if you’re a teacher in the state of Washington, you know the writer’s hell that I’ve been living in these last few months. To be a teacher, with a master’s degree and a few years of experience, is not enough in this state. You must also complete a professional certification course wherein you take professional growth classes and apply action research and data from your classroom to analyze how to be a better teacher. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t had to write in teacher-speak. It’s a language only to be read before going comatose. I was exhausted for a week after I finished writing the pages of analysis and it wasn’t because of the time change.

That done, it is spring break this week. Other than setting up a Greek and Latin root words unit, I’m free to write again without the guilt of my career hanging over my head.

I did sneak in a few days of pure writing since January. I got further along in my steam punk novel, though I missed my deadline for the novella version in April. The deadline is next week and I just can’t seem to get my heroine sassy enough to beat the bad guy over the head fast enough to fit into 50,000 words. *big sigh*

The revision of my young adult novel, Once Fey, is halfway done. I wrote the novel last summer. Urban faerie stories have been my focus in story telling for a few years and this story of a girl who discovers truths about herself that aren’t too flattering, is the best of them. I’ve wanted to write about learning and growing despite your own imperfections for awhile. Many of the young adult stories written for the fantasy market have been centered on the faerie princess crowd. They’re basically ‘Mary Sue’ perfect and only progress through their stories by hurdling obstacles put before them, usually by older, clueless authority figures that don’t understand them.

I’m chuckling because my students see me as one of the older, clueless and themselves as misunderstood perfection, which is why those faerie princess books are so popular. I’ve got a few aspiring snow queens in my classroom, believe me.

My peppermint tea is hot and the rain is coming down in buckets. I promised myself a good long write today and not a blog rant, either. I’ve left my protagonist reeling from a bout of iron sickness, the news that her new boyfriend is a dog, and her brother is being ransomed to the dwarf king. After all, it’s the story telling that’s most important, isn’t it?

Cheers for now.

This week’s reading is The Girl with Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I just finished Kim Harrison’s Black Magic Sanction. Rachel Morgan is certainly a character who makes her imperfections look good as she thunders along her plot line.