Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Poem-A-Day: Three

Prompt for today: Tentative


open a text
the cursor blinks
what to say
what to say?

flash, flash, flash...
say something

“I miss you.”

And then

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Poem A Day: Day Two

Poem A Day Challenge: Day Two

This one is bright:

The night was wide with moonlight
Great cake slices
Of whiteness
Wedged between slips of grass
And flagstones

Poem A Day 2013

Day One: Tiny Haiku

I’m a speckled egg
and yet I embrace my flaws,
Imperfect but pleased.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Resolutions, 2013

New Year's Resolutions 2013

First, a bit of last year in review. Professionally, Year Seven in teaching was the worst. After a raucous Fall semester, we returned in the Spring to more of the same, with an ante up to full-on destructive. My students went from malcontent to miscreant, and by February, my co-worker and I wound up assaulted by a student who was out of control with anger and nobody could stop him. Fortunately, that incident represented a turning point in the year. That student realized he needed help. As teachers, we were able to use that occurrence as an example for how bad things had become, which granted us leverage against a few other students heading in the same direction. The year ended with our principal getting replaced, but sadly, many of our co-workers opted to leave, and who could blame them?

My mental health certainly suffered last year. Katya and I remained steadfast, though. We took our fabulous trip to London over Spring Break. While I loved London as a Anglophile must, Katya took the city into her heart. It re-wrote her in its likeness, and she pledges her undying loyalty to Queen and country. Seriously, she'd move there tomorrow if she could.

Over the summer, I attempted some repair to my mind, doing plenty of exercise, writing, and meditation. I completed Couch to 5K and moved into Bridge to 10K. Oddly, though, my training got derailed in the beginning of August when a stalker began to follow me around. This resulted in a fall with injury, a 9-1-1 call, and a creepy little note. I have the politest stalker ever!

In writing, I completed a Doctor Who short novella titled Tricky, about Rose Tyler and the Meta-Crisis Doctor. I also finished The Unusual Suspects, a novel based on The Unusuals. This led to a serious fangirl crush on Adam Goldberg, which has brewed into a deep admiration for the man as a photographer, musician, smartass, and actor. He makes me think, “Geez, what have I done with my life?” Basically, a true inspiration.

Sometime in July, I decided that I couldn't have another year like last year in teaching. Therefore, I began to psyche myself out through meditation, focusing on the things I really love about the job. Really, really, there is so much to love about teaching. So instead of focusing on the things I can't change about the job – the long hours, the pay, the mental akadjkfjal – I decided to flip my perspective, focusing on the things I like about it: my students (they rock), my co-workers (see above, re: they rock), the content (dude, I get to teach poetry and vocabulary), and getting to share summers with my daughter (an amazing perk when you have a daughter has awesome as mine).

That meditation, plus a most incredibly diverse bunch of teenagers and a competent (yet sassy) principal, made this fall semester the best so far. Not that August through December didn't have it's share of headaches, it did; but it's been much, much better.

So here I sit, contemplating next year: 2013. I'm well-shod of 2012. It's in the past, and I can only learn from it. I accomplished many of my goals last year, and some fell woefully to the side. But here we go, trying once more.

Personal Resolutions

Travel – Last year we made this goal. We traveled to London, we saw Stonehenge, we ate at Sherlock's Pub. This year, we're taking a Mediterranean cruise: Barcelona, Marseilles, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Messina, Split, and Venice. It's our most ambitious plan yet. The good news is, we've already booked and paid for the cruise. The bad news is, airfare's going to be tricky. Anyone have a giant transatlantic catapult they're willing to strap us into?

Television – Done, and done! We have licked our various TV addictions. We've replaced these addictions with tumblr. We've decided to limit our tumblr perusal to... hahahahaha. We all know that's not going to happen. I'll find an appropriate reaction gif later.

Reading Goal – Rocked this goal three years and running. Last year's goal, 40 books. I read 42. Time to step it up a notch. In response to the Reading Challenge on Goodreads, I'm setting my sites at 46 books. I still think The Hobbit should count as two (it's gonna be a trilogy of films, hello?).

Health Resolutions

Okay, now it's time to get serious. I did accomplish most of my health goals last year. I completed the Couch to 5K, but I did not participate in the Zombie Run for Your Life, which was the reason I began training in the first place. While I may not be able to outrun zombies, I can outrun stalkers.

But as it always happens, once the school year begins, time for exercise shrinks to nothing and I wind up vegged on the couch (tumblr) and dormant for hours and hours (tumblr) and while I haven't gained any weight, I've seriously flabbed out (cough, hack, tumblr).

This year, I'm going to focus more on diet, and I've got to find some way to exercise.

So, here's the plan: Return to the Paleo diet, which I love, which the doctor prescribed, and which makes me feel fantastic. But, I'm not going to return all at once; no, no, I'm going to sneak up on it, as a good cave person should.

Each month, I'll eliminate one non-Paleo food:
January – Bye, bye bread
February – Hasta la pasta
March – No mo potato
April – Yellow cheese
May – White rice
June – Corn, specifically popcorn
July – None, it's birthday month
August – Peanuts and peanut butter
September – Tortillas
October – Beans
November and December are free holiday months; leave me alone with my pie.

Also, with the Paleo plan, I'll institute the 3 Splurges a Week. It's nice, because if I want a piece of chocolate (and when don't I?) I can still have it without going mad.

For exercise, Dear Universe, find me some way to exercise!

Career Resolutions

Last year, I wrote a ton. I'm still writing every day. I didn't submit a damn thing to a legitimate publisher, and I didn't attempt to write anything non-fanfiction. I did find an editor who has read Reprieve and provided feedback. This year, I'm going to take his notes, rewrite and revise, and then submit that sprawling chaos of a novel to agents again. If she gets picked up, yay! If she doesn't, well, I'll keep writing.

Another writing goal: For NaNoWriMo this year, I wrote a nonfiction titled Miss! Adventures from the Middle Grades, about teaching for my brilliant student teacher, Miss Kat. My goal is to get that edited and printed to give to her in May as a graduation gift.


Last year, I was not as fearless as all that. In fact, I took few risks if any, no more heeding Mr. Gaiman's advice than a dromedary practices yoga. This year, I really don't know that it'll be any different. That troubles me, yes. I'm entrenched in this comfort zone that is my life. My couch has a substantial butt groove. I've worn all the letters off my keyboard. I'm still agoraphobic, still a cat-marm, still neurotic. But I'm happy. Really happy.

That can't be bad.

So, here's my goals in summary (must I bullet it? Yes, I must.):

  1. Travel – Spain, Italy, Croatia, and France
  2. TV, nah. Tumblr, yay!
  3. Reading – 46 Books
  4. Fitness – Return to the Paleo life, find some exercise program
  5. Writing – Write on, ever on. Revise Reprieve and submit it. Finish Miss! For Kat.

Happy New Year, Everyone. May 2013 be blessed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Favorite Books for 2012

I managed to finish 42 books this year, making this the only New Year’s Resolution I kept to its fullest in 2012. Yay, reading!

Here are my favorite books, in particular order:

1. Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline (love, love, love this book)

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Michael Chbosky (I want to hug Charlie)

3. Bossypants, by Tina Fey (Laughing one page, crying the next)

4. The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World, by Edward Dolnick (I understand calculus now! Well, more than I did.)

5. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
(So much beauty and pain in one book.)

6. The Key to Creation (Book 3 of the Terra Incognita series), by Kevin Anderson
(Actually, I love the whole trilogy. It's high fantasy, a little like Roger Zelazny's Amber, but with more of a Tolkienesque eye for detail.)

7. Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld (also, love the whole series)

8. Room, by Emma Donoghue (just, wow)

9. The Light Fantastic, by Terry Pratchett (Yes)

10. Monument 14, by Emmy Laybourne (must… read… the next… book)

Books I did not like, but read anyway:

The Difference Engine, by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling (I wanted to like this book, really really, but it was so tedious…)

Hidden Riches, by Nora Roberts (Read this while researching romance… turns out, I dislike archetypal romance.)

Then there were many in between that I liked a lot. They’re all here on this list:
The Book List