I’ve been thinking Thursday: No love

It’s schedule time at the coop. Never ending emails and text messages and mind changers and fuzzing with the grid. It’s one of those thankless jobs no one notices if you do it right but man does everyone see it when you oops.

Anyway, this year we decided to try polling the teenagers in addition to the parents. And we changed how we polled. In past years, it’s been a short little survey but this year we gave them a copy of every proposal and asked them which ones they were most interested in.

I hand the surveys out to the teenagers in my classes, because 90% of them take me. Then I file them away and teach for the day.

When I finally get home tonight and I see what they have marked as choices. It was sad. So sad. I might have cried a little.

Not everyone is interested in what I proposed to teach next year. That happens. I expected that. But what got me was a couple of my favorite students, don’t want to take me next year. Whaaaaa.

Yes, I have favorites, any teacher who tells you they don’t, either hates all kids or you aren’t one of their faves. LOL

It’s hard when your favorites don’t return the love.

 

Writerly Wednesday 1.16

Hello my darlings,

It’s been not much writing lately and a lot of writing business. I’m trying to fine tune my back of the book verbiage for The Body in the Pool.

Maybe you’d like to help me with that?

Option A:

Seattle has seen it’s fair share of serial killers, but this time a new demographic needs to watch their backs…successful white males are losing their lives in shockingly public venues.

Detective Spencer Thomas and his task force are 12 murders deep and no closer to finding the Dismember Killer than they were when the first body appeared. The killer is taunting them without leaving in any useful evidence.

With a pregnant wife on bed rest, brass that strips his resources, and the FBI breathing down his neck…the last thing Spence needs is a dead body at an exclusive boarding school. Except now, he’s got one…

 

Option B:

Whispering Evergreen Academy, boarding school to the troubled elite, just got the worst kind of floater dumped in their pool; a dead one. Another successful white male, left in a public place, is this the 12th body dropped by the Dismember Killer?

Detective Spencer Thomas and his task force hope this time the serial killer has left some evidence they can use.  They’ve come up empty so far – no physical evidence, no witnesses, and no surveillance. Will this body be any different?

 

What do you think? What direction would you go? What would you change? Help me finally finish this blurb so I can publish the darn book.

Book Review: Jurassic Park

I know it’s an oldie but I never read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton back in the day.  Even when you google it, you get the movies first and then a bunch of questions about the movies. I had to scroll halfway down the page to get to the first listing for the book.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Amazon):

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind’s most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them—for a price.

Until something goes wrong. . . .

In Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton taps all his mesmerizing talent and scientific brilliance to create his most electrifying technothriller.

 

My thoughts:

Okay so everyone knows this story. I didn’t even need the summary I am sure. Although it is interesting from a marketing point of view. That dangler…it once worked so well. LOL

The kiddo found the audio version on the shelf at one of our local libraries and begged me to get it. I warned him it wouldn’t be like the movies, although having never read it myself I could only guess on that. He wanted it anyway. Sure.

12 discs is a lot of dino attacks but the book is far more in depth than the movies. There is much more about people’s motivation and back story. The kiddo loved to point out all the things in the book that didn’t happen in movie one. And then argue about which of the other movies something like that happened in.

I was much more intrigued by the way Hollywood softened some aspects of the book and bloodied up others. For example,  in the movies, Hammond is the kind, benevolent old man who adores his grand children, really all children, and just wants an amazing experience for them, and if that makes him lots of money, well what’s wrong with that. In the book, he is a nasty lunatic. Flat out.

They flip the ages and genders of the children.

The dino attacks in the movies are way more gruesome. In the book, the images are painted in broad strokes with just a few, ickaroo moments and a lot of tension. I liked the balance. Liked it well enough I might start reading more Crichton.

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Flipping the Switch

Howdy Y’all.

Why yes, I was in Texas recently. Why do you ask?

LOL

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how you can see something one way and then in the blink of an eye *flip* you see it totally differently.

Earlier this week the President of the coop sent me, the chair of the scheduling co, some proposals for next year from people she recruited. Her comments were boiled down to these are fabulous teachers who would be a huge benefit to the coop.

Okay, I’ll take a gander.

They teach exactly what I teach, in fact several of their proposals are classes I already proposed for this upcoming year.

Oh, my giddy aunt.

Yup, she’s getting blatant with her desire to replace me. LOL.

And I was pissed, I was. She and I have never gotten along, never seen eye to eye, always bumped heads.

Then a switch flipped and I thought, what if this is my chance to leave. To stop teaching. To have that time to invest in my writing.

What if I just look at the situation differently?

Writerly Wednesday: Short Stories

Greetings and Salutations! As you read this I am on a plane heading somewhere sunny and warm and boy am I ready for it.

My kindle is loaded with all sorts of short story collections as I pick out the material my students will study for the rest of the year. They have picked three genres to focus on: comedy(lord help me), alien sci fi/horror, and medieval fantasy. whew.

I have a sudden flash of understanding why teachers, when I went to school, ruled with an iron fist. It’s dangerous to let the kids have a say. LOL

I’m putting out a bat signal, if you have any shorts laying about that fit those categories, let me know. I’d love to bring some independent author’s work into our class. Widen their horizons.  And if you don’t have anything but know something good, tell me about it.

Book Review: The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place

A few years back a friend introduced me to the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place is the latest installment, I think we’re up to ten now.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):

Flavia is enjoying the summer, spending her days punting along the river with her reluctant family. Languishing in boredom, she drags a slack hand in the water, and catches her fingers in the open mouth of a drowned corpse.

Brought to shore, the dead man is found to be dressed in blue silk with ribbons at the knee, and wearing a single red ballet slipper.

Flavia needs to put her super-sleuthing skills to the test to investigate the murder of three gossips in the local church, and to keep her sisters out of danger. But what could possibly connect the son of an executed killer, a far too canny police constable, a traveling circus, and the publican’s mysteriously talented wife?

My thoughts:

I love this series. The writing is crisp. The characters varied and always amusing. The amateur defeats the professional investigating murders that happen across her path in the strangest of ways. I never much thought about it but I suppose Flavia is technically a cozy series.

And yet, it never reads that way. Flavia is as professional as any cop or adult detective I’ve read. She’s careful with the evidence, performing her own analysis and chemical experiments on them. She interviews suspects with aplomb, she seeks out specialists when needed, and researches everything. Of course, she’s 12 …