Saturday, July 31, 2010

Against the Wall Outline

Scene 1:  Trouble Begins
Hannah (MC) is angrily trying to find an outfit for secnod day of museum hopping.  Sent on trip by parents against her wishes.  Paired up with museum/art geek.  She rants  about the hot weather, walking and being paired up with Ian before meeting everyone in the lobby of the hotel.

Scene 2:  Walk to Museum
Walks 10 blocks to museum and converses with Ian.  He can't understand why she is there and she can't understand why he would want to be there.  She  explains situation at home that landed her in NYC.  She is hateful enough that Ian shuts up

Scene 3:  Entrance to Museum
Ian starts spounting off info about the Intrepid Museum and the piece of the Berlin Wall outside the entrance.  hannah stops in front of the wall while Ian walks on.  Hannah swipes her hand against the grafitti covered piece of wall and comments on its ugliness.  Suddenly she is gone.  Ian looks back and can't find Hannah so he assumes she went back to the hotel.

Scene 4:  Hannah meets Ivonne
Hanna just appears on doorstep of shop.  Old lady yells at Hannah about outfit.  Ivonne hears the comment and pulls Hannah inside where she gives her clothing.  They have a discussion about time and place.  Ivonne expresses fear of being reported because of what has happened to her family.

I've had the outline for quite some time.  These are just the first four scenes that I am currently working on.  Will update my progress in a day or two.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Realism in writing

I think the best compliment I've had about my writing came in an email from my cousin the other day.  We recently re-connected and I told her about my reading and writing blogs.  She went to the writing blog and then emailed me.  She was trying to give me some advice on my "family situation".  She had read a couple of the character profiles and thought I was writing about problems in my family and so she was trying to advise me.  I contacted her and she seemed relieved to find out that what she was reading was part of my book.  I told her it must have been pretty realistic for her to believe it and she told me it was.  Writing is great.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Small Town Secrets

Took out my half finished manuscript.  This was one I started right after I finished my first manuscript.  This is the story of a young boy who is killed.  As a ghost he must help the other ghost boys find and expose the person who is running young boys off the road.  This is one my mom doesn't like because it is a ghost story.  My students loved it because of the detail.  Can't wait to do more work on it tomorrow.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Against the Wall

Spent a large part of the day doing background research on my historical fiction book.  It is a time travel story.  A teen visiting New York touches a piece of the Berlin Wall and finds herself transported back into East Berlin. I have finally gotten my research all organized and my outline completed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Steps To Courage

I have spent the last 2 days working on my first manuscript.  I finally finished the 2nd edit of this book.  I hope to send it out again in the next week or two.  I want to re-do all of my queries.  They were not quite up to a standard they needed to be.  I am very pleased.  I managed to add an additional 1,460 words to it today.  I am pleased to be making progress.    I also pulled out Small Town Secrets and started re-working the beginning.  It had a sticking point.  I reached a point where I was not sure how to resolve a problem.  I have since thought of a solution.  It feels so good to be writing again.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Steps to Courage

I started re-editing my first book and managed to get the prologue worked out and two pages of the first chapter.  Most people would think that this would be nothing.  However,  I had to add a prologue to set the story up properly.  The first chapter really needed a good hook.  My first three chapters introduce the three main characters, a chapter for each.  From there we get into the meat and potatoes of the story. 

Premise:  Three teens working on  community service hours for school find themselves in the Twin Towers on 9/11 where they are forced to face their past if they are to survive the present.

Please respond and tell me what you think of this premise?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Preacher's Kid entry #8

Rosa Bonita - Mother of Frankie and Tanya, wife to Jose

The happiest memory I have is when both of my children were born.  They filled a void in my life.
My saddest memory was when Jose found out Frankie had been suspended.  He went ballistic.  He wouldn't let anyone explain.  he knew what he'd been told and he didn't need to hear Frankie's side.  After all Frankie was just a teen.

I don't want anyone to find out that my family is falling apart.

I'm a likable person.  I'm helpful but the thing that stands out is the way I listen to anyone who needs an ear.  I just don't seem to be good at being a peacemaker in my own family.  I'm not good at organizing things.  Come to think of it, according to my husband the only things I seem to be good at is keeping the house clean and putting a decent meal on the table.

My best friend would say I look young for my age.  I'm well dressed with just the slightest touch of gray framing my face.  My figure has always been trim.  I don't think I look like I'm 37 years old.

The thing that really bugs me is how my husband won't let anyone tell their side.  Once he sets his mind to something being the truth you can't change his mind.  For this reason I'm afraid my husband and son have gone beyond repairing their relationship.

When I look in the mirror I see someone who wants more security and understanding in the lives of her family.  I see someone who feels helpless to save her family as it is slowly sinking out of sight.

The most embarrassing thing was hearing the ladies of the church talk about Frankie's suspension.  It was so embarrassing because they had gotten their information from Jose.  They pitied me for my "problem child".  Jose had explained the problems we had been having with Frankie.  None of them asked my opinion or my side or my feelings.  It was decided that what my husband said was gospel so no need to question it.

One thing I want more than anything in the world is for my husband to stop being so judgemental about Frankie and to see who he is before it is too late.  I want him to take a good look at our marriage and see how we are no longer a couple we are just two people who live under his rule and his decisions.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Preacher's Kid entry #7

Jose Bonitas - Father of Frankie & Tanya

My happiest memory is the day I became a deacon in my church.  I felt like God was finally using me in the church to help others.  My saddest memory is when my son Frankie made the decision to let his life just fall apart.  I don't know what to do with him.  I guess there isn't much so I've just given up.  He'll change if he wants to.

I don't want anyone to find out that even though I can solve problems at church for other families, I can't solve problems in my own home.  The one thing I'm not very good at is solving my own problems.

My best friend is my wife. She would describe me as handsome, caring, a good provider and always ready to help.

One thing that bugs me is the excuses my son always makes.  He seems to have no respect for anyone in the family anymore.  I am afraid I'm losing my son to the dark side and I don't know how to help him.

When I look in the mirror, I see someone who is successful in what they've tried to accomplish.  I see someone who wants more out of their relationship with God.  I see someone who puts God first not matter what is happening in the family.

The most embarrassing thing to happen to me was getting a call from the principal of the school telling me my son was suspended.  It didn't help that the principal is a member of the church and I am his deacon.  I knew this would be all over the church before I could do any damage control.

The only talent I would want would be to serve God in any capacity.  to have the love for all people and be able to help them find a solution to their problems.

I really like where I live.  I grew up in Puerto Rico.  I have the best of all worlds.  I am close to the beach, yet live in a small farming community

I really want to have a good relationship with my whole family.  I work with people from the church yet can't reach or guide my own family.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Preachers Kid Entry #6

Frankie Bonita - Tanya's brother

My happiest memory is the day my dad took me fishing for the first time.  I was about 7 at the time and we got up real early.  Mom fixed us pancakes so we wouldn't be hungry.  Dad had taken  off work just so we could go fishing.  I had never fished before so dad showed me how to bait my hook.  I caught a small white fish.  It was so small I had to throw it back.  Dad took a picture of me holding that fish before I threw it back.  He just kept telling me how proud he was of me.  My saddest memory is the day I got suspended.  I saw the disappointment in my dad's eyes.  I hurt him so much that he stopped talking to me.  I don't think he'll ever be proud of me again.

Everyone thinks I'm a bad boy, party animal.  I'm not.  I'll drink the occasional beer with the guys I hang out with but I'm really not into the party scene.  I am a very outgoing person so I make friends easily.  I can easily talk people into doing what I want just because I'm "Mr. Sunshine".  However, I'm not very good at communicating with my parents.

My best friend would describe me as someone who has got it together.  I'm 5 ft. 10 with  black wavy hair.  I don't look anything like my sister.

One thing that really bugs me is the way my father won't talk to me.  If I bring friends over he'll chat with them like they are his best friend and act like I'm not even there.  Sometimes I think he wishes I wasn't.

The only thing I'm really afraid of is that I'll screw up so bad my parents will hate me.  it's bad enough now.  I'm not sure I could take much more.  Often I think of suicide.

When I look in the mirror I see someone who tries to act cool and carefree on the outside.  I see someone that has a different face and persona for each of the groups he's with.  But I also see someone who deep down is screaming out to be loved.

The most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me was when I got caught cheating.  I wasn't asking for the answer, I was asking for a formula to help me solve the problem.  I had left my formula sheet at home.  It didn't matter I was talking during a test.  When the teacher started yelling at me I was so embarrassed I just reacted.  I dumped my desk over trying to get up real quick so I could leave the room.  He told the principal that I got violent and threw my desk.  he's the teacher so everyone believed him.  I couldn't believe that none of my friends stood up for me.  Some friends huh?

I really don't have an ideal home or place to live.  I don't want any pets.  That's something else for me to take care of an my plate is full right now.

If I could have any talent, it would be the gift of art.  I sketch sometimes, especially when I'm upset.  I used to like to paint, but that was when my dad encouraged me.  Not much reason to paint now.

I think the one thing I want more than anything else is to feel forgiven and loved.  I don't think I'm ever going to find that.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Preacher's Kid Entry #5

Tanya Bonita - 15 years old

My happiest moment was when Jacob asked me to the Christmas dance at school.  I know he and my brother are friends but I think he is so hot.  More importantly I love the way he's not afraid to show his relationship with God.  My saddest memory is the day my brother got suspended.  He and I used to be so close.  He would tell me everything.  Whe he got suspended mom and dad came down on him so hard that he just shut down.  Now they act like they're afraid of him. 

I don't want anyone to know that I have OCD.  I wash my hands with water or hand sanitizer constantly.  They just think that I want to make sure my hands are clean.  I'm a very shy person.  I think this suits my personality because I can sit back and really look at people instead of joining the crowd making snap judgements.  This is how I know what's really going on with my brother when everyone else thinks they have him figured out.

One thing I'm not real good at is making friends.   I have a small group of friends that I am real tight with.  I am easy to get to know.  I just am not aggressive when it comes to making new friends.  If I am with a friend and someone introduces me to someone else I am good to go.  I just can't walk up and make a cold contact.

My best friend Julie say's she's envious of my honey colored hair.  She said it's not fair that I have this golden brown skin from my Puerto Rican side and then have the blue eyes and honey colored hair from my dad's Cuban heritage.  My dad's mom was Cuban and I get it from her.

Something that really irritates me is the way my parents act like everything in our lives are perfect when they are around anyone from church, but then they act totally different at home.  This must bug my brother too because he becomes even more rebellious.  I'm afraid I'm going to lose my brother.  I see him changing so much and no one is doing anything about it.

If you were to look in my bedroom you'd get a pretty good idea about me.  Everything is super organized and minimal.  I have a couple of pictures of mountain scenes on my wall but not much else.  My colors are cream and periwinkle with a splash of pink and yellow thrown in.  My desk is organized like a little mini office.  I have trays for papers and a complete desk set to hold pens, pencils, stapler, tape dispenser and sticky notes.  I don't know if this is a condition of my OCD or not.  I make lists for everything and actually check them off.  When I see myself in the mirror I see someone who is neat and organized and ready for anything.  Okay maybe I go overboard a little bit. 

The most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me was when my family went to welcome the new preacher and his family.  It was raining out and we were running up to the porch.  I slipped, tripped over Jacob's foot  and then actually landed right in his lap.  At that point I just wanted to be at home curled up in my room with my kitten.  I have this kitten I named Snickerdoodle.  She's a golden calico.  I named her after my favorite cookie.

If I could have one talent it would be singing.  I like to sing and actually I'm quite good.  My shyness makes it difficult to sing solos in front of people.  I guess if I could have any one talent it would be the gift of music with the confidence to go with it.  I would also live in the Great Smoky Mountains if I could.  I'd love to live back in the hills and live off of the land.  I'd sit outside in the morning with a cup of coffee and watch the sun burn the haze away.  I feel closer to God in the mountains.

The thing I want more than anything in the world is my parents to stop what they are doing and take a good look at my brother and see how he is hurting.  I would want them to try to save their relationship with him before it is too late.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Preacher's Kid entry #4

Betsy Wingate - wife to Pastor Wingate

My happiest memory is the day Jacob was born.  He lit up the room and filled an empty space in my heart.
The saddest memory is when my mother died.  She had been my friend and my confidant.  When I was feeling stressed in my marriage she could help me see things clearly.  Now I have no one.  At times I feel so alone.  I know Jacob sees this and tries to help but that usually gets him in trouble with his father.

One thing I don't want anyone to know is that at times I actually fear my husband.  He's never hit me.  Verbally at times he is awful and I sometimes fear he will go too far when disciplining Jacob.

The best part of my personality is my ability to be a peace maker.  Except in my own home.  However this is also a disability as I often get walked on by others.

I'm not very mechanically inclined.  I can't make simple repairs around the house.  This is good because Dan doesn't want me to do anything like that.  He sees it as a "mans" job and is afraid of what his congregation will say if they find out I fixed something instead of him.

For someone who is 38 I think they would say I look young and stylish, well fit.  Part of this is because my husband expects me to be that way.  He constantly complains if I have a wrinkle in my clothes or gain a couple of pounds.

The only thing that really bugs me is that everyone comes before Jacob and myself.  I believe in serving God, but I don't think that means putting everyone elses family before ours.

I am afraid of being alone.  I'm afraid of losing my son and at times, I'm afraid of my husband.

I am proud of my house.  You could say it looks like something out of one of those women's magazines.  It is simple, neat and clean.  Danile let me decorate it so I did it in blues and yellows to brighten up the white walls.  My furniture is simple and functional.  Nothing fancy because Daniel doesn't want people to get the wrong idea.  Our living room has a couch and three chairs and a coffee table with a wall of book shelves that are full of books.  There is no T.V. in that room.  Daniel wants us to read.d We do have a T.V. in the den.  The den has a small loveseat and two small chairs with a 19" TV.  I think he got a small one to discourage watching it.  Our bedrooms are small and functional with a bed, dresser and a chair for laying clothes out on.  Jacobs room has no posters or anything.  His father discourages it saying it is placing people in the position of idols.  I think that is why he doesn't bring anyone home.

When I look in the mirror I see someone who feels trapped in a marriage that could be so good but has gone so wrong.  I'm not saying I want out, I want it fixed.

The most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me was learning my husband yanked Jacob away from his friends and verbally lashed him because he'd been with a group of kids who'd stolen cigarettes.  Someone told Danile that Jacob had done it.  Daniel denied it, the other boys stood up for him and took the blame for all of it and it didn't matter.  In Daniel's eyes, Jacob had been accused by a member of the church and guilty or not he was guilty by association, end of story.

I think I would like to live in the country with a wrap around porch way out away from the church  I would want to decorate it the way I wanted with no one to judge me.  I'd have a Persian cat for a pet because I love cats.  The only thing that I would want more than anything else in the world, would be a happy family life where Jacob and I feel like we fit in and are welcome.  Right now we feel like we are eye candy for the preacher.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Preachers Kid Entry #3

Reverend Daniel Wingate – Pastor of Covenant Community Church

My happiest memory is having my wife bring our son home from the hospital.  I felt like God was blessing me for my faithfulness.

My saddest memory is when Bob Wilson passed away.  He was my friend and mentor when I was coming up in the ministry.  His was an unnecessary death caused by a rebellious kid out joyriding one night.

I really don’t want people to know I’m a control freak, especially when it comes to my family.  I’ve never hit my wife yet I know I border on being verbally abusive at times and sometimes almost physically abusive to my son.  If they would just do what they are supposed to do in God’s eyes I wouldn’t have to be this way with them.  I know at times I am very judgemental, jumping to conclusions.  I have to protect the ministry.    I pray about this flaw in my character all the time.

The best part of my personality is my likeability.  I’m easy going, friendly and people seem to really like me.  I’m the genuine article when it comes to my faith and people know this.  This is very important in my line of work.

I’m extremely good at speaking.  What most people don’t know is that I’m good at fixing cars and not to bad at doing fix-me-up things around the house.  Since the house is owned by the church it is their job to keep things fixed for me and I don’t want to step on their toes.

If my best friend had to describe me, that would be my wife.  She would probably describe me as a 40 year old with a trim and fit build.  After all my body is God’s temple.  I’m about 5’10” tall with wavy brown hair and hazel eyes.  My skins is real white since I don’t get out in the sun.  Not even here in Florida.  I have too many things to do for God to be frivolous and play in the sun.

Something that really bugs me is telling my son to do something more than once.  It also bugs me when his mom sticks up for him when I correct him.  It is so bad it is almost as if she is babying him.

I couldn’t really describe our house.  I don’t spend much time there.  I do spend a lot of time in my office at the church.  I am a very organized person.  I have my own office furniture that was passed down from my grandfather, who was a preacher.  My desk is made of mahogany.  I have my pictures of my family on the upper right hand side of my desk.  In the other corner I have a try for business I need to take care of regarding church finances, etc.  I have a note pad to the left of my family pictures to write down prayer requests and the phone sits to the left of it.  In the center of my desk Is my notepad, Bible and reference books for working on my sermons.  All office supplies are kept neatly in my desk.  Behind my desk is a bookcase full of books I loan out, read or give away.  To the left of my desk is a seating area with a couch and four easy chairs for discussions or counseling sessions.    My office is very neat, organized and efficient.

When I look in a mirror I see a man of God.  I’m ordinary in every way but called to do his bidding, whatever it may be and whatever the costs.

The most embarrassing thing that happened to me was when a member of my church came to tell me he had heard that my son and a couple of his friends had stolen a pack of cigarettes from the local convenience store and got caught smoking them.  His friends said he had nothing to do with the theft and he wasn’t smoking.  Like I told him he was guilty by association.  He yelled back that Jesus was always in the presence of sinners did that make him guilty by association?  I was so embarrassed that my church member had to see this.  He knew right away I didn’t have control of my family.  How could I expect them to trust me with the church if I couldn’t handle my own family?

I love my family and want them to be happy.  I could not describe the perfect house.  It doesn’t matter if my family and I live in a shack down here on earth.  All that matters is that I am doing what God wants and he is building me a mansion in heaven.  That is why I don’t have a pet.  We don’t need one.  When we get to heaven we can play with the animals up there.

The only talent I would want is the ability to lead everyone to Christ.

The one thing I really want is for my family and I to go to heaven.  I’d give up everything I have including my family if that is what it took.  I want to be like Job in my faithfulness no matter what it costs.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Preachers Kid 2

Jacob Wingate age 16

My happiest memory was the day I became a Christian.  My parents were there.  They were so happy for me.  They'd waited a long time for it to happen.  I was twelve at the time.  People think I did it because my dad's a preacher but that's not true.  I did it because I felt God calling me.  Some how I seem to have messed all of that up now.

My saddest memory is when I had to leave my best friend Bret to move to Florida.  I mean we'd grown up together.  We had both joined the youth group together.  Then one day my dad comes home and says, "We're moving to Florida."  It was some little place called Strawberry Ridge.  There wasn't any ridge there just lots of flat land.

If I had to tell you one thing I don't want people to find out it is that I'm a preacher's kid.  When they find out they usually pre-judge me based on my dad's job.  It makes it hard to make friends.  Any friends I make are afraid my dad will judge anything they say or do.  He probably would too.  They find it easier to be friendly at school and stay away from my house.

I would have to say if there was one thing about my personality that stood out it would be my ability to make people laugh.  It doesn't matter what the situation is  they always laugh at my jokes or I can get them to laugh if they are in a bad mood.  If my best friend (the one I had in Beardstown) had to describe me he'd say I was the best looking kid in school.  Just kidding.  He would describe me as a shaggy headed or mop-top kind of guy.  I keep my hair like this to bug my dad.  It is the only thing I feel I have control over.

Very few things bug me.  My dad constantly yelling at me and putting me down.  I figure that is just my life being the kid of a preacher.  You know I have all of these high standards, his, I have to live up to.  My mom bugs me when she flits around treating me like I'm some little kid that has to be protected from my dad.  I know she loves me but she needs to just drop it.  It will all have to come to a head between us in the future anyway.

If I had to tell you one thing I'm afraid of it is doing something so wrong that God won't forgive me and I'll go to hell.  You thought I was going to say I was afraid of my dad didn't you?

You should see my bedroom.  It's just ordinary.  I don't have any sports trophies or anything because I got yanked from the football team to move down here.  I have have a guitar and a banjo on my wall across from my bed.  I also have one wall that is full of bookshelves and books.  I love to read.  It has always been the way I escaped from my dad and his harsh words.  I could open a book and be somewhere else for a little while.

When I look in the mirror I see someone who wants to be independent and yet they rely on their parents to make all of the tough decisions.  I think I'm that way because my dad has never let me make any decisions on my own.  It was always whatever he said.

I have to tell you about the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me.  I went on my first date with this girl I had liked for about two years.   My girlfriend and I  parked along the river and we were making out.  My dad had been invited by one of the church members to do a ride along with him.  He was a cop.  Well they saw this car parked along the river and two heads inside and decided to stop and tell the occupants to move along.  Who pops up at the window?  My dad.  Needless to say that was the last time the girl went out with me.  My dad made such a big deal about it.

I know none of us are perfect.  I would like to have a house that was out in the woods somewhere and not connected to the church in any way.  I'm not allowed to have a pet.  My dad doesn't see any reason for one.  I'd love to at least have a salt water tank full of fishes from the coral reef.  Then when my dad was being a jerk I could sit in my room and watch them swim.  It would be so calming.  The only other thing I do to calm me is play my guitar.  If I could have any talent I wanted I would want it to be the ability to play my guitar and banjo really well.  Lessons would probably help.  My dad says they are too expensive and if God wanted me to have the talent to play he'd give it to me.

I guess if I had to tell you what I really wanted out of life it would be to live my life for me.  Not live it for my dad or his church.  Not to be judged by his profession.  I want the opportunity to be me, whoever that is.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

WIP: Working title: "Preacher's Kid"

I have been reading several books about writing.  Since I was teaching an after school creative writing class and had several students who were working on books I thought it would be a good idea to find some student writer friendly books.  I am not sure who recommended this book to me as I have had so many wonderful people helping me on my writing journey.  The book I am talking about is called Spilling Ink  by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter.  It is a "young writer's handbook".  Don't let the title fool you.  This is probably one of my most valuable resources right bow.  The book is broken into three main parts.  The section I am going to use for this "work in progress" is in section two:  Crafting Your Story, Section 4:  Convincing Your Characters That They Are Alive.  When I described to my students what we were going to do they looked at me like I was nuts.  Basically the idea is you interview your characters.  The book has a set of questions to get you started and then I found that other questions came to mind.  I was interviewing my characters and learned so much about them.  I did this with my first book, "Steps to Courage" and it is helping me with the revision process.  I have found out more about my characters that has taken me down other avenues.  For right now I am going to start with the characters for this WIP.  I will interview one character a day to give you an idea of who they are.  Please feel free to jump in and give me your feedback. Let me give you a little background on my story line and then check back on Monday for the first interview.

Imagine what it would be like to be a PK, you know, a preacher's kid.  Now imagine you've been ripped away from all of your friends and your football team and moved twelve hundred miles away.  That is what has happened to Jacob Wingate.  His father has moved them from Beardstown, Illinois to a little back woods town called Strawberry Ridge, Florida.  As a sixteen year old Jacob has become somewhat rebellious.  His mother tries to intercede on his behalf.  His father is determined to make his family the pillar of the community at all cost.  What happens when Jacob becomes friends with the rebellious son of a member of his dad's church?  How does he get himself out of a mess that will definitely involve the law when he is being threatened by his new friend.

The Writer's Pledge

I have been writing for a little over two years now.  I have one completed and unpublished book, Steps to Courage.  I have a ghost story (that my mother hates), a historical fiction that is all planned out and the book I am working on right now.  I have been editing the first one and sending it out, with no luck as of yet.  My ghost story is on hold until sometime in the future.  My historical fiction is about a teen transported to the east side of the Berlin Wall.  I was taking a class and writing that book.  I hit a snag and have been hung up for about six months.  I stopped writing.  I finally decided I would start on this one which popped into my head the same time the Berlin Wall story did.  It has been working much better.  The funny thing is as I get to know my characters I bounce back to my Berlin story because something else has popped into my head to further it.

As a full time teacher I often lose time to write just for me.  Therefore I am taking this pledge that I have found at Writing Mommy's Blog.

I, Sandra Stiles, take the Aspiring Writers Pledge to write a book in 2010 with the intent of publishing.  I promise to update my progress weekly, ask when I need support and encourage others to complete the  task at hand.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Diversity in Poetry

I am not a person who can sit and just write poetry.  When it hits there is a reason.  I give to you two examples.  "I Can't Protect You", came about the night my baby sister called to tell me that she had lung cancer and it was advanced.  She and I  had just recently put some bad feelings and issues of trust between us away and were working on rebuilding our relationship.  I was angry at such a twist in life.  I am happy to say she is still with us five years after the diagnosis and I give the credit to God.  The second poem, "The Training", is one I sent to several teachers at my school after I had to sit through an extremely boring training session. The trainer is appropriately described below.  The person in charge of the room and setting up the training nodded off in the back as did my neighbor. My reading coach laughed and laughed when I returned with this "report" of my training, so enjoy it, and have a laugh. 

I Can't Protect You

Sandness envelops you like the darkest night.
You feel yourself sinking into the mire of despair.
Pain and fear are your constant companion.
Your lungs cry out - "give me air".

Anger follows you wherever you go.
You feel anger as hot as a dragon's breath.
It sucks the life from you.
This thing called death.

I shed my tears for you and me.
I can't protect you this time around.
If time would allow,
So much more you could be.

I know where you'll be.
I don't know when.
Just look ahead,
Not where you've been.

This isn't a punishment from God.
This is life's cruelest joke.
My spirit is crushed, my hear is brok.
By death!

The Training

Screechy, nasal and high pitched
We're not talking about a witch.
The Speaker here is our trainer
Will someone please try to contain her.

On and on the speaker drones
We look around with silent groans.
She starts to shout and walk around
And now my head is spinning round.

How much longer must we suffer
Sitting here is getting tougher.
Let me go back to my school
My students there are much more cool.

They tell me that I must be trained
I must improve my student's brains.
this class is boring as can be
Oh help me, help me, help me please!

The time has come that I may leave
I have learned nothing I believe.
They just kept going on and on
And now my brain's completely gone.

What's that you ask, what have I learned?
I must speak out, it's now my turn?
Well, I learned to sit and smile a lot.
What have I learne?   A lot of rot!

I learned to look like I am writing
Sit and act like it's exciting.
Nod my head and tap the keyboard
Was that my neighbor who just snored?

It's finally over and I may go
Back to my students where I will show.
The knowledge that today I gained
That left me breathless and entertained.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Been a while

I have figured out I can't work 12 - 14 hours come home and do another 2 - 3 hours of classes and then write for an hour or two and then post something.  So, until school is out posting will not be as regular as I wanted when I started this blog.

I found a great book, recommended by another site, (don't remember which one, sorry).  It is called "Spilling Ink" by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter.  It is by far one of the best books I have found, especially for teens, on writing. 
For Monday's Creative Writing class I had my students "Invite their character's to a sit down, heart to heart talk.   I took some of the questions from the book and made up some of my own to ask your character.  The first thing my students did was fill out a sheet about themselves and traded with each other.  They wrote down answers that they liked that they may be able to use in future books.  The second thing they did was start their conversation with their characters.  I too did this and found that due to their answers, My first story has taken a couple of side trips that actually enhance the story.
My second book was kind of in a funk.  This exercise helped me out.  I no longer have 'writer's block when it comes to it.  This exercise gave me the information I needed to move ahead.
I have only written  4,328  words since I last posted.  But with the way my schedule has been and working on Saturdays as well for the next few weeks.  Not bad at all.  I am at least moving forward.  That is a nice direction to go.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Caught Up and Moving ON

Tuesday is a great writing day for me.  My students are in the computer lab and their program requires no assistance from me.  I sit and stare at them.  So I decided to make Tuesday's a day where I will push myself real hard with my writing.    Yesterday, during school hours I wrote a staggering 3,751 words.   This puts my total words at 35,679.  I am so glad I am back in my writing zone.  It is depressing when you want to write non-stop and then life gets in the way.  Our media specialist looked at me yesterday and said, "Don't you just wish you could spend all of your time writing?"  Oh how I wish that.  My evening classes start today so I won't know how much time that will take up.  Selfishly I hope not much time.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Great start to the day

Got up at 7 a.m. this morning and started writing.  I had spent last evening getting everything set up for this morning.  I have written 2,089 words.  Woo-hoo.  Not a lot but for me getting back into the story has taken a while.  I didn't seem as passionate about this one as I had my first.  Must  go recharge the battery to the computer.  It helped I was outside writing so was inspired by the nature around me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day one of 50,000 in 50

I managed to start my Spring Break with barely 1001 words.  Most of that was written at school while I waited for my grades to be checked out.    Rest of the afternoon was spent at doctors office.  Knee problems.  I am off my feet for a while so should get lots of writing done.  Since I am two weeks behind I have a lot of catching up to do.  I will be able to write all day tomorrow if I want

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sandra's Writing Quest Begins

This will be where I will start updating the things that are going on with my writing.  I currently have a finished novel that needs a total make over.  I have sent it out and I have listened to all of the advice.  I have thought long and hard about how to fix the problem and the only way that will happen is to take the information and the book and move things around and add some more.
Steps to Courage came about after watching the events of 9/11 unfold with my middle school students.  We were ordered to keep our TVs on all day.  I had to try to calm my students and assure them that everything was okay and that they were safe.  Inside I was not so sure about that.  I had heard over the following years about schools in the vicinity that were affected and wondered how three teens would handle the situation if they found themselves in the twin towers on 9/11.  In addition to that problem they were each dealing with other problems that were in themselves directing their lives.

My second book, the one I was writing through a two year novel course through Forward Motion for Writers  is way behind.  I am playing catch up.  This has been a stressful school year full of changes.  I got behind on my writing and am determined to play catch up.  So I have joined Confessions of the Un-Published in the quest to finish this book in 50 days.  I am getting a late start.  My Spring Break starts the evening of the 26th so I plan on hitting my writing hard and catching up.  So far I have my outline completed, my character sketches completed so I have a good start.  That first paragraph is always the hardest.  Once I get that down it seems to just flow.  I will try to do a daily update.  My goal after I get caught up is at least 1,000 words a day
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