Monthly Archives: February 2014

the trouble with trying to be good at everything–

–is that it’s impossible, so something’s gotta give.

What are my goals right now? To be good at teaching, writing, and wifeing (not a word, yeah yeah, but I’m a fan of parallelism).

Teaching pays the bills, and there are 175 students and probably their parents and possibly other teachers and administrators judging me; I want to do my best. My perfectionist tendencies mean I’ll rewrite a lesson until late into the night, trying to make sure it’s interesting, applicable, hitting Common Core objectives, going to fill all 54 minutes, and so on… it’s exhausting. It’s demanding.

And it’s effing up my writing and wifeing.

Writing takes up so much of my mental energy because I have to exist in that world. My mind has to be connected to my characters and plot, and dwelling on them in the background of my day so that when I sit down in the evening to work, I know what’s going on and can jump into the pages.

But with teaching–and this is probably worsened by being a first-year-teacher–I don’t have that extra mental space. It’s taken up by keeping track of what I should be collecting, saying, directing, assessing, plus I have to make constant decisions like “am I going to confiscate that phone that I see in Joe’s lap even though he isn’t currently texting with it?” or “should I let Vanessa go to the bathroom so she doesn’t pee her pants even though she shouldn’t leave without the hall pass, which Haoyan currently has?” or “this activity is taking longer than I planned; what can I cut or postpone?”

There’s no time for story planning.

Then, when I get home, the last thing I want to do is cook or clean or even talk. I usually need a full hour of veg time after I get home before I can do anything else (and then that “something else” is usually grading or lesson planning). I have not been very nice to Jeff during this time. I’ve also not been very conversational since my mind is so occupied.

How do I fix all this?

I think I need to get back into the habit of daily morning walks with Benny Dog. The thought of losing my already meager amount of sleep feels killer, but I know those walks were very good for me. I could daydream about my writing while getting exercise and helping to tire out the pooch. And maybe the actions will magically translate into more energy later on so I can interact more positively with my husband at the end of the day. Plus, as we all know from “Legally Blonde” that “endorphins make people happy, and happy people don’t shoot their husbands!’ Which… is important.

Other than that? I don’t know. I just need to keep hanging in there and plugging away at my lesson planning. I really hope that I get to teach the same courses next year, for just one year of relative calm before they start switching it all up on me again.
The plus side of all this is that despite how incredibly busy I constantly am, I’m not depressed like I became in the-office-of-hell!

Any other suggestions for anything, blog world? Help me live life. hahaha


aaaaahhh PLUS I still owe Jamie her critique notes… they exist and I shall finish them! :)


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Filed under Writing

happy blog-iversary to me

It’s been a year!

I set out to try to write two blogs posts a week. I did pretty well… and then I got a full-time teaching job. Who knew after 3 years of trying, this would the time I finally made it into the school system? I have loved it, but definitely made the conscious effort to focus more on teaching than writing–to the detriment of this blog. I have also been through ups and downs with Copper and my feelings about it. I have an amazing beta reader who found me through this blog and gave me a lot of advice (that I still haven’t read 100% of, ack), and I figured out that it is not, perhaps, a trilogy after all… which changes things.

I’ve been boning up on my Women’s Literature and American Literature–since I’m expected to teach it and all–and have therefore been thankful for being a quick reader. Then a Facebook friend posted a Staples reading-speed test, which I promptly took:

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So that’s fun.

I’ve also been taking breaks from the stress and responsibilities to go play with my camera:




And I caught up on the magnificent season 3 of Sherlock.

Meanwhile, I received “Writing Irresistible Kidlit” for Christmas from my brother and really want to read that. I’m sure I’ll do a full review with quotes here once I get into it; I’ve heard only good things about it.

There’s my update! Hurray! I still love you, blog-world. I’ll get back into the swing of things. I can’t WAIT until I don’t have to say “oh, I’m a first-year teacher” anymore. There are 17 more weeks until summer, when I can dive into Varankai again and exist in writing mode.

Unless I end up going on a mission trip to Malawi, Africa. But I guess I’ll update y’all on that when I have more news!!! ;)

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Filed under Life