4.27.2006

Considering the odds on publishing, anyway . . .

I left my last class last night at the break, which was the middle of class. I felt liberated and almost euphoric that I'd be home before my bedtime. I had this planned out; if I was so enthralled with class that my eyes were continually trying to snap closed, then I'd leave at break. If class were so exciting that I'd be perky and write down every word this instructor said, then I'd hold out to the end. This was supposed to be the Week of Interest for me: Publishing. She lectured about the publishing world for about 15 minutes and then spent 25 minutes on joining--or NOT joining--critique groups. All well and good, I suppose, but give me a break. Obviously, she didn't believe we could be published, either, and spent most of the session on that topic rather than what we really wanted to know. Of course, since I left early, who knows what nuggets of wisdom I could have gathered at my feet.

But I had had enough. I left my evaluation on the table, hoping my partner would turn it in. It doesn't really matter either way. I stated that I would pay more money to WSU if they would get a published author/editor/agent in to do hands-on training. The instructor was very knowledgeable, but I just don't agree with the teaching style in a writing class.

I didn't say goodbye to my tablemate, either, but figured if we ran in the same writing circles, we may meet up again. Her name is Elizabeth, and she has a beautiful two-year-old boy, and I know the critique group I could find her if I wanted to talk. Elizabeth has quite a bit of talent, and I think that she will be published if she keeps writing the way she is.

I think there's hope yet for me--even if it is e-publishing and getting those run-ons figured out--(Calling on Hannaaaaaaah--I'm dying to know what you think!) :)

Nugget of humor I gathered last night:

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me straight a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rarely ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in it’s weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

--Sauce Unknown

4.22.2006

Quick Pacing-Copyright T. Catlin 2006

After Set, you have ten, she read before destroying the note.

Jaycee passed the vending machines. Passed the group who she befriended only two weeks ago. They would be dead by five-thirty—five minutes had already passed since she set the plan in motion.

And if she didn’t get out now, she’d be among the body count, if the authorities could find them all.

A thin layer of perspiration broke out on her face and her heart raced. She turned around, running back to her office. The heels of her shoes made mild thud-thud noises on the berber carpeting. Pushing open her door, she stepped inside and rifled through the papers on her desk.

The key, the key? She thought.

A paper sliced through the skin of her index finger. Blood etched graphs and charts she’d never see again. A cup of coffee toppled over onto the floor right in front of her desk. She glared at the clock on her computer desktop.

Three minutes to explosion.

Forget the key. Forget the damn gun.

Her fingers brushed the cool metal of a small key. Her hands shook.

Two minutes; three flights of stairs to go.

She unlocked the drawer, pulled out the gun from a hidden case deep inside. Grabbed a file. Jaycee didn’t close the drawer.

She listened to the clomping of her heels on the way out and tried to match her heart-rate to her quick and sure steps.

One minute to go.

“Diana, we really need to—“

“Not now, Tom, I have to be downtown,” she said, waving the file at Tom. She hid her guilt behind her fake name the CIA gave her. Jaycee ignored his scowl.

It took her thirty seconds to reach the first floor taking the stairs.

Thirty seconds.

The bank was abuzz with raucous activity. From the stairwell to the front seemed a lifetime away, and she sprang into a trot to the golden revolving doors.

“Diana!”

She dared not turn around.

“Diana!” the voice called, more insistent. The voice followed her closely.
The giant bank clock ticked seconds.

Ten seconds.

Jaycee’s left heel slipped on the slick floor. She would have been down, but she caught herself. The contents of the file flew around her as she bolted for the door. Jaycee’s hands first reached out and then shoved against the glass of the doors, wedging between, then running to the air and light of dusk.

She heard the rumbling deep below where she had planted the device. Jaycee picked up her pace, driving her feet into the ground, knees high up and lengthening her stride.

Then the whole world shifted.

4.20.2006

I don't write no stinkin' run-on sentences.

My instructor for this writer's "workshop" wrote that I had a run-on in the paragraph I turned in to show description. I did not have a run-on in the whole thing--it may be long. It may be awkward, but it is no run-on.

Don stared at his wife when she flowed into the room, and he almost poured the milk on the countertop rather than over his cereal. He fought the urge to physically soak her in to his own skin--from her red-painted toes, up her slim muscular legs to her flat stomach and across her lips that he thought tasted like cherries. He sighed and shook his head, grabbed his spoon and dunked it into his full bowl. A splash of milk landed on the back of his spoon hand. Don turned away, instead, imagining her as she grabbed her keys from the entry table where she left them last night, how she let her long fingers spread wide, letting those wonderful scratching nails barely brush the entryway table. He dragged his fingers through his hair, pausing at the crown of his head as if to hold himself down. The door clicked closed and a hum of the garage door filled their tiny house, then the gentle purr of her Mercedes Cabriolet. Don closed his eyes, bringing his milk-splattered hand to his mouth and drinking it before he jaunted up the stairs for a shower.

4.18.2006

Good grief!

For my original New Year's Day Non-Resolution, I said that I was going to not resolve to do something: write in my blog every day. Well, blew that non-resolution! But if I didn't resolve in the first place, am I really blowing anything? I don't think I am, but oh the guilt! Guilt for a non-resolution...how pathetic.

The updated news is that I have accepted a regular education Language Arts position at my school. It took practically an Act of GOD to get out of special education, but it happened. I'm wondering if I made the right decision, but as long as I'm on the good side of the department chair and the principal, and I can hide myself and my students in my own classroom, I can hide from the other English teachers who Know Everything There Is To Know About English--Much More Than The Rest Of Us. I plan on telling them at some point that I taught kids IN special education, and I am not special ed. myself. There seems to be some misconception that I am not as bright as the regular teacher due to that fact.

I need to practice my response to the following: "How are you?"
It is not: "Good, thanks!" (A normal person's response).
It is: "Well; thank you for asking." (The English Teacher's response)

:)

BTW, I'm taking a writing class on Wednesday evenings--something I'm finding difficult since it's lecture. LECTURE, for pete's sake. I do have my assignments that I sometimes complete. I've paid for the course and it's a non-credit course, so what are they going to do to me? Give me a non-F? Anyway, one of the exercises that I decided to complete was to describe a fearful scene. Here it is:

Angela's eyes widened when she turned the corner. Her first instinct was to run, but legs of lead would not let her move, let alone run. Not since this happened five years ago had she felt her heart thrash as it did, as if someone were using it for a punching bag. Angela's eyes darted to the hallway, then to the door just three feet down the hall, hoping to see a light peeking beneath the one-inch space between carpet and wood.

No one will be able to save me this time, she thought.

Angela stepped back, the muscles in her thighs burning from holding tight and to keep herself from toppling over. Beads of perspiration bubbled on her upper lip and she blinked away a strand of hair that had fallen over her right eye.

That's it. The instructor doesn't want a lot to read.

4.04.2006

Figured out the Parmesan Cheese Bottle

Ever close the parmesan tube closed only you (okay, me) aren't smart enough to get it closed the fast way, so you (me) end up turning the silly lid all the way around to line up the holes with the non-opening? It's taken me 30+ years to figure out the "shortcut" to this bottle. It just takes a village.

For those of you who are keeping track: I am officially off to the regular education department to teach English and out of special ed on May 26th. It's a little scary after reading the first cheese paragraph that I'm in charge of a room full of kids, isn't it? I need to stop being sped myself and learn to talk real English. <----------that was a joke. It's amazing how this job process just whipped me to pieces. I should have done this last year, but I don't think the opportunity would have presented itself last year. Getting out of special ed. pretty much took an act of God, and God sent word down right before spring break and I signed the paperwork the day we returned from spring break. Apparently English teachers are no longer a dime a dozen but hot commodities--almost as hot as sped teachers are now. The rock from my shoulders has fallen off and it's like I'm 30 pounds lighter.

Made some new goals:
HIIT training three times a week to shred the last of this fat (lose 5 lbs a month for two months).
Split my weights routine to 3 times a week.
Increase bench press to 100 pounds by May 31st.