Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Not Sticking with the Prepared Lesson

I'm teaching early morning Seminary this year and although I'm still writing, I think I'll include reflections of my class on this blog. Since seminary is a daily Bible study class, there may be more insight.

Today I prepared a class on the idea that we have each been called to a great work and that the purpose of our life is to find and fulfill it. I was pumped to get them motivated about their futures and feel empowered. Instead, we spent the entire time talking about the origin of the Book of Abraham, a subject I had only thought to touch on.

The thing is, I felt like we were focusing on the RIGHT thing, even though it wasn't at all what I had planned. As I was packing up, I sort of whined that we hadn't touched the planned topic and one of my wonderfully enthusiastic students made the comment that it was the best lesson because it was what they wanted to learn.

Not that as teacher we shouldn't prepare well, but the concept of customizing our study to the needs of the students surprised me. I hope for inspiration in the preparation and then wanted a tight, entertaining and inspirations production with interactive moments. When you've prepared well, it's sometimes even more difficult to put your prepared work aside to answer questions and go another direction. I'm glad I did and the other benefit is that I can use my planned remarks for tomorrow with very little preparation.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Change of Direction

Girl's camp was awesome, my eighteen year old daughter is flip-flopping back and forth in her relationship but for now the wedding is off, and the teenagers are gone this week on trek. You'd think I'd have some time to recap, but life keeps throwing me fast balls. I was called this week to be Seminary Teacher for the Art Students at our local magnet school. I'm thrilled because I LOVE the Old Testament but it will be held in the conference room of a member of the stake presidency and I don't know how I'm going to be quiet and cultured enough.

It's going to really challenge me to be prepared for seminary every morning, keep up on the housework and get my writing done. I've got a huge edit to do on my manuscript and I'd love to have it in by Christmas. I guess it's time to trim the fat and roll up my sleeves. Can you spell S-T-R-E-S-S??? It will be fine. Now I better run off and LIVE.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Maybe I Can Recapture Summer

Finally the sun is peeking through the clouds of the Northwest, and I feeling the hope of a wonderful summer. During my childhood I remember being cocoomed in my twisted sheets, staring at the dark window until the first touch of sunlight hit the panes. We had a rule that no one could get up until the sun did. I'd run outside with an abandon known only to youth and forgetfulness, and spend every second of the day free of the bounds of four walls, even taking my meals beneath the open skies.

We would stay busy building treehouses, exploring in the woods that curled around and connected the yards of surrounding houses to our own. We caught our share of wildlife, Healthy when they came into our care and limping, bruised and thirsty but alive when we let them free. I remember finding baby squirrels that had fallen from their nest, tadpoles that we watched turn to frogs in a mason jar filled with brown speckled water. We once found a crow tangled in yarn and brought the creature to my poor mother who freed it, bloodying her hands with its sharp beak and claws in the process.

As afternoons lazed on we would break into thousands of variations of tag, running just for the fun of it until we were sweaty and worn, which was the point. Then we would knock on the screen door with our faces red and beaded with sweat, begging to turn ont he sprinkler. Still in our play clothes we would rush across the stream of water like Poseidon's jump rope and ultimately unhook the hose until everyone was thoroughly soaked.

As the evening approached we relished the setting sun becau000000se it brought a fire to the firepit which meant s'mores, hot dogs or just burnt sticks which we held aloft like torches as we raced around the grass like mighty Olympians. At last, as the fires gave way to coals, my mother would insist we went inside to sleep. But before dawn, my hunger for the outdoors would awaken long before I was supposed to and I'd stare again at the darkened window, longing for the sunrise.

My question is with the lure of three video consoles, the internet, facebook, Halo Reach, television, netflix and hundreds of other electronic candy, could I help my children find such a summer or is it lost in the past? I'd like to try and it all starts next Thursday. Well, maybe not because I'm leaving for Girl's Camp the following week. But we get home the first of July and then leave on a family vacation. Scout camp is the next week and then two weeks later is Trek. When the kids get home we will have about two more weeks before the wedding in Utah and that trip. As August winds to an end, things slow down just in time for band camp and football and then school begins again. Perhaps we can still find summer in the edges.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Finding the Right Injury

You think it wouldn't be that hard but finding the right injury for the tutor in my book has been VERY challenging. Originally, I wanted him to hide his chest which had been scratched up and infected from being dragged by a rope. The only problem is that it would be his armpits not chest that would be rope burned- not working.

If he got dragged by his feet, then his back or face would be affected. Can you imagine his back? He'd have to lay on his stomach for recovery, ending all facial expressions and eye contact. Urgh. So I read about gut wounds and found that if he was struck by an arrow in the gut and it didn't puncture his intestines or stomach that it wouldn't even bleed that much. Look at this kitten! They pulled out the arrow and it recovered without any other problem.

PERFECT!! Only problem is that I already wrote five chapters with the other injury. So I'm rolling up my sleeves and rewriting today.

Word Count: 91,210

Will I finish anytime soon? Probably 30,000 more words to go.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tax Hell and Still Writing

So this week we were audited and I spent 5 hours on the phone to speak to the IRS only to freeze when I finally got in front of the person that had changed our refund amount. I heard her reasoning, which seemed sound, then as soon as I hung up, I was like- hey! we did spend that much on education. So I've got to get back on the horn and work it out today. Cross fingers. Yesterday was a fabulous writing day. Herod got attacked by robbers and is going to Strato Tower, which will be the future location of his great city of white. Cool kajool! So Greg, my hubby, thinks I should pitch it where it is to CFI and see if they are interested, giving them time to do marketing BEFORE the edit. Then I'll know before its done whether to shop around. I think he's write. Anyway, my word count is 78315 and I still need to go back to Emmaus, down to Ashkelon by the sea, back to Marisa (herod's in time out), up to Damascus, back to Emmaus, Aristobulus's escape into Jerusalem, the seige during which we flip down to Ashkelon on last time, and then the final scene in Petra. Okay, this book has got to be at least 120,000. And with my chapter turns, its going to be SOMETHING. AND six more after that? Really? Maybe it won't sell.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Guess how far I am

Wow, I think I wrote something like 20 pages today. My word count is 74, 161 and I just arrived in Galilee. Wahoo. Fight scene tomorrow and it's a good one.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Not Enough Time

I've got to put it away now but haven't gotten that far. WAY too much info dump and not enough storyline. Over a thousand words but I wanted to get further. At least we are FINALLY at Damascus. I'll try to steal a few more hours tonight. (Cross fingers.) 68715

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Blue Screen of Death

I've never experienced the blue screen of death until last week when I lost over 15 pages of writing. (No, I didn't save.) I was on a roll and had written ferociously for a few hours when it happened. The last time I had saved was before the good parts I had just come up with when POW-- it was ALL gone.

I rebooted at the computer seemed alright but I had lost trust in its abilities. That old saying "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" came to mind so forced my husband to march to Costco and buy the cheapest best one they had. We got an HP that they were closing out. It was on sale and we had to get the floor model because it was the last one but now I can type with confidence and I was able to finish another 7,000 words.

This weekend the boys are at the father sons campout so I'm writing all tomorrow. I'm hoping for a boon. I'll report tomorrow.

Current word count: 67, 492

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sprinting to The End

My birthday is in a month and three days. I've decided to use that as my goal for finishing Herod: Before the Throne. This is a project I started over a year ago but two moves and homeschooling has thrown me off track. I've started writing in force recently and really want to get the rough draft complete.

Today I had Ananel attacked by a crocodile. It may be too much but I was getting bored. I've written myself dry so it's time to take a break and get ready for the Sabbath.

Words written:3995
Total Words: 60,547

Goal: Under 120,000, better at 95,000

Wish me luck!!!