Stressing

I have been stressing lately…ok, not just lately. For the past two months or so I’ve been stressed out about work, about the fact that I’m looking for work closer to home and might have to go back to working outside of education to accomplish that, and about how in the world I’m going to take care of my daughter while doing all of that and stressing too! It’s been horrid…and I have allergies cropping up that are really not helping matters any. I have worried, stressed, chewed over, etc every possibility I can think of, every second I can think!

Today I realized something…I don’t care. I don’t need to stress or worry or any of those other things. I need to work and work it out. Whatever it is that I have to do, I’m going acetaminophento do it. The two things I HAVE to do in my life are take care of my daughter and write. I just want to write. Whatever I HAVE to do in order to make it possible to handle those two things, well that’s just what I am going to do. I don’t know if I am talented at either thing, I don’t know if other people see me as a good mother or a good author…or even a good teacher if it comes down to that. But the truly amazing and liberating thing is that I don’t have to know.

Knowing what they think is not a requirement for me to live or to be happy. I have to trust GOD, trust that my belief in HIM and my love of the things that matter to me will get me through whatever happens. I will survive, or I won’t. But my daughter will be taken care of and my words will propagate and the world will spin and none of that changes if I stress or if I don’t stress. The only thing that changes will, hopefully, be the amount of acetaminophen that I take in every day. And really, I think those companies can survive without me.

Thank you for reading what I write and for encouraging me, even if it has only been through your ‘follow’. I hope that you are blessed and that your coming week is amazing. May your inspiration be limitless and your heart full.

Hashtag Teacher Problems…

I have never, not once, felt that I should be doing this job. I know I do a decent job, I know I enjoy my job, and I know I love my students…but I am always concerned that I am not enough for my students. Somehow, I feel that I am a daily disappointment to them, even when I’m spot on and we’re all feeling the wave of knowledge soak us down.

Yesterday was worse. A student, one of the ones who I can’t say is my favorite because I don’t play favorites in my classroom thank you very much, got in trouble. Not just a little trouble, big randomly decided to tackle another student on the playground and I thought they would both be broken from the impact trouble. No one got hurt, but I still had to write people up and send them in to the Principal for excessive sassiness and rule breaking. I cried, not that the boys noticed.

That afternoon in ISD he wrote a two page almost legible essay about how everyone hates him and Ms. Tyree never comes to school (I missed 3 days last week due to illness). His final sentence begged to be sent to Middle School because he’s older than the rest of the kids in his class. Today he came in happy with me again but I can’t help but wonder what in the world is going on and if maybe, just maybe, I shouldn’t be the one in this position.

I’ve been told that this doubt makes me a good teacher That the doubt and stress I put on myself make me strive to do better and be better for my kids. I honestly doubt that as well because right now it is 10 am and I have already cried twice, had a major attitude attack about how a fellow teacher treated my student, and have a raging stress headache because I am suddenly not sure at all about our ability to pass the upcoming tests (writing test in less than a month…*cue hair pulling out!*)

Believe me, this post is nothing compared to my rants this morning. So please, keep me in your prayers and thoughts throughout the next few weeks. Compassion may kill me yet!

How I Became Indie

I didn’t wake up one day and think, ‘HEY! I should just be an indie (independent) writer.’ I have not carefully plotted and planned each move like a chess game of words. In fact, I am pretty much doing everything sideways and backwards but I guess it doesn’t matter as long I get to write. So, I’ve outlined my story here, in the hopes that it can encourage someone to keep pushing for their dreams.

I have always been a storyteller and, eventually, I began to write the stories down. Naturally, I followed that up with entering contests and challenges and online writing groups, surrounding myself with other people who enjoyed doing the things I love. One such short story contest led to the birth of my first full length young adult novel, finished during a mad attempt at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The next year brought the second novel, and two years later I followed up with a third novel (which kept me sane during my long and difficult pregnancy).

I began querying agents and publishers alike but if you’ve ever tried it, you know the difficulties we all face and, at that time, the middle grade/young adult market was flooded. No one had a need for my Stone Dragon Saga.

Then someone pointed toward Amazon and Createspace and their yearly contest: The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Like thousands of other hopefuls, I didn’t even make it through the first round. My initial pitch wasn’t as strong as it could have been, but the outcome wasn’t that important. You see, my piece had been primped and polished and made ready on Createspace and so I hit the final button and my life as an indie author began.

I don’t make much money at all, but writing is a passion of mine that continues defiant of the price tag. The books and, more recently, the blog are my outlet, my voice. As Frank Kafka once said, “The non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.” So I write to stave off my crazy. It’s what we all do, really.

No, I am not famous. Yes, I did have to get a ‘day’ job (if you can call teaching that!), but there is someone in at least 24 different countries that has read my words, and many who continue to do so. That keeps a smile on my face, a pen in my hand, and stories in my heart.

What’s your story? Are you a traditionalist, an indie, a struggler, or just a reader? How are you following dreams and branding the world? Inquiring minds want to hear the tale!

The Next Generation

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My Monkey setting up for another day of arduous creating. Apparently this story was about Tinkerbell and the dog who sniffed flowers with butter.

My almost 2 year old daughter loves to draw and scribble in her Tinkerbell notebook. If you ask her about it she will go on and on about her work, usually yelling Bell Bell or talking about George and Minions in the few words you can understand. And at some point she will say ‘Like Momma’.

Like Momma, she carries a notebook just about everywhere she goes.(In fact, since her Happy Meals started handing out notebooks she may have MORE than I do). Like Momma, she sometimes only needs to scribble for a moment and sometimes she’s bent over the book for hours. Like Momma, she babbles somewhat incoherently at people if they interrupt her flow or she seems ‘stuck’ in her story.

A BIG part of me is proud that my daughter looks up to me, even though I’m sure that its mostly because she sees me all day everyday. I am proud of her creativity and interest in reading and writing. She isn’t quite 2 (we’re 3 months out from her birthday) but she is already fairly advanced (the hazards of her parent and grandparents all being teachers I suppose). I hope and pray that she keeps this curiosity and zeal as she grows up. That she retains the ‘weird’ and ‘quirk’ that makes up her joy right now and doesn’t let anyone tell her otherwise.

But do I want her to be a writer?

That is a tough question. I love writing. I adore putting my colored inks on blank paper and making the designs that pull a story from the air and my brain (same thing, right) and coalescing it in a form many will read. Most of the time I even enjoy the late night inability to sleep because I’m writing, or the jerking from a dead sleep at 3am because my subconscious finally figured out a piece of the story. I also make no money, have a tendency to block out people for days or weeks at a time while I write, get super mean if I can’t just sit and write when the mood hits me (not as much any more…toddlers tend to line out your schedule for you), and am usually tired from working on pieces when I should be asleep.

It has been said that writing is a lonely profession, except for the characters you make for yourself. Do I want my daughter to be lonely and listening to voices in her own head? Do I want her to wake up from a writing stupor and realize that she may have gotten fifteen thousand words written in a day and half, but she hasn’t eaten and hasn’t seen her friends in days? In the mind of a mother, do the pros outweigh the cons? I honestly don’t know at the moment.

The pros are worth more than any amount of cons in my life. If I don’t write I become irrational, erratic, and difficult to live with. Depression, anxiety, dark moods…they set in pretty quickly if I don’t have projects to think on and scribble out. My books and notebooks are some of my greatest joys, right up there with my kid and my flute. The lack of feedback and reviews on both my blog and my Amazon pages frustrates me to no end, but I wouldn’t stop writing for anything; I couldn’t. Do I want that kind of drive for my daughter….YES, YES I DO.

Do I want her to wind up a writer…probably not. But I suppose that’s going to be up to her to decide. Isn’t it?

 

 

The Mermaid Librarian

Her long, slightly limp hair hung from a middle part on her pearlescently gleaming pale head and ran down to mingle with the similarly colored green tail below. Wearing wire rims and a jacket made of brown seaweed, she quietly drifted through the undersea caverns, keeping track of the collections, both human and otherwise, the books (written on pressed stones and the rare ancient kelp scrolls), and the ever present giggling horde of irrepressible university students.

In her work force mandated off time she and her sword fish companion (pet, he’s a pet!) watched mortal sit-coms and wrote humorous plot twists to them. (Just imagine if the world of fairy tales was under water instead of in Maine, or what if Dr. Kuthrapali really was AquaMAN?!)

She didn’t take much time off. The librarian was nothing if not loyal to her duty, however much she may have believed the call to have been a wrong number.