Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This Blog

I am doing the following: dealing with pets, grading Scarlet Letter short answers (not bad), feeling woeful over not being asked to read at Litquake by Tim Foley for the magazine Farallon Review. Long story, but do not feel like going into it. Suffice it to say, he has according to him--"not done anything wrong." A version which I strongly disagree with. According to Litquake people--they leave it in the hands of the cocurators to invite who they want. They encouraged me to get to know other editors in the area and submit. Therefore, I am moving past it. On a personal note, I am loving my creative writing class. Ken Rodgers came by and taught a lesson on imagery and the kids, as always, loved it. Yeah, Ken. Thanks for the respect and commitment. You're a friendly face at a time when I needed to see one. As for writing--I gave myself permission not to write until my back feels better. I'm going to see a specialist at the end of the month--it's beyond Tylenol's help. Not doing too bad today, though. Hi, Jean Womack. I got your comments--your paintings of Yosemite are dynamite. I want to buy one. Are they expensive?

Sign up for my fiction class if you are a new time writer or experienced or even if you have taken the class before. I'll be mixing in new stuff with the old, so it won't be tired. This class is about working on your fiction. I do have novelists that take the class and work on chapters. That's okay with me. I am primarily a short story writer, but study the novel and teach it.

We had a lot of fun the last time I taught the Flash Fiction class, so join in and see what creative ideas you can come up with. The short short is an art form that deserves a second look.

More later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Online Journal

I have a few minutes and then it will be time to lie down with Jackey on her bed--read a little of The Longest Winter to her and then go to sleep. I didn't have time to read Period 1's essays about a turning point in their lives, although they are easy and enjoyable to read. I just need a moment to cleanse the palate of my mind. Today, I did not read a book. The students didn't read--it was picture day, which took almost all period. We did discuss the use of the hyphen, a rule I think will stand them in good stead. I could be reading one essay right now. My plate is too full, though. I need a break. Tomorrow night is my creativity class, so that'll be a refreshing break from American Literature. We are going to generate stories and a mind map. Hmmm. Stealing this idea from someone. In October, my friend Lewis Buzbee's book Steinbeck's Ghost is coming out. He's reading in the city somewhere...Oct. 9th I think at a bookstore. I'm looking forward to this book. All right all. Goodnight.

Monday, September 8, 2008

To sleep or not to sleep

Ayee, too much work. Reading the study guides for The Scarlet Letter that I thought I did not assign this summer. In class I forgot where the story takes place and got all owly with students when they called me on it. Boston or Salem? Oy. Boston, but Hawthorne lived in Salem--what a stupid trivia question. This absent-mindedness I am attributing to 1) my dad's side of the family--his undiagnosed dyslexia--I've got it when it comes to remembering people's names, street numbers, and numbers, period. Oh, you're saying, everyone has that. No!!! Not like me. I could forgot the name of a former best friend. It is like a huge hollow space in my head and then suddenly, three days later it pops into my mind. I could memorize a scene from Macbeth and then suddenly four whole sentences will be gone. I reverse order of words all the time. It's embarrassing to run into your former babysitter with the unusual name that you know starts with a V and not be able to remember that his name is V---I can't remember now--Ventura! I got it. It gets worse when I haven't had enough sleep. I don't get enough sleep when my back is acting up, which it did this weekend. MISERAble. I'm trying not to complain out loud, though. So I'll just do it in writing. What does this mean for my writing, though? I have to clear the air, get rid of the frustration with pain, find a quiet and pain-free space and a line that keeps repeating itself inside my mind--a line that wants to be a story or a poem. A sentence that someone uttered, a moment that sticks. What is it? I can remember those. I remember standing outside the French doors of our newly remodeled basement and not speaking to my husband. I remember seconds and flashes of moments, but not names. You could tell me the name and the number of the street and two, no one, second later, I will say where? This isn't Alzheimers, it's for life. Ahh, the brain. I hear exercise is good for it, so maybe I'll go work out, or else go lie down.