Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Long Overdue Update

Hi everyone! It's been several months. I figured I should check in for those who may have been wondering whether I fell off the face of the earth. I have to be quick, though--the whole reason I've been so bad about posting is that I only get these short snippets of time when the younger boys are both napping and I use that time to write my novels--or, currently, to world build.

Anyway, I went into the summer with no job, after getting laid off from my teaching job. My husband
handled this by letting me take time almost every day to write. I finished the first draft of the third novel in the Raud Grima trilogy! It's 200K words! Yikes! I tackled 4 POVs at once, something I've never done before and decided I love to do. One beta has already gotten back to me (thank you, Rick!).

I got hired back to my old job, which is great! But they also piled on twice the work for no increase in time. Not so great. But I'm teaching English now in addition to social studies and it made me realize how much I actually do like to teach English. So that's really cool to know because I'd decided I didn't like it a while back and wasn't really looking for English jobs when I'd do searches in other areas. Now I will. I also continue to have a good relationship with my administrator, who is adding to my schedule with hourly assignments (meaning I'm paid hourly; it doesn't increase my FTE) and she says she wants to increase my percentage next year (which would increase my FTE) and that makes me want to stay. I'm also doing some awesome projects with my students and a professional film maker, involving a documentary about substance abuse in our county and another one concerning the deaf community in our county.

On a horrifying note, however, one of my former students and someone I considered a friend was murdered by her ex last week. I had just invited her to a writing group I started, too, and was waiting to hear back from her when I got the news. I've been thinking about her a lot.

But anyway. I started a writing group and the people involved are awesome and I'm so happy about that! I'm currently world building for a new novel. That's going to take me a long time, as I'm using Patricia Wrede's fabulous list of world building questions* (it's 30 pages long before you start answering them, folks). I plan to do them not just for one setting, but six, as the book will have stories starting in six different countries in this world I'm calling Temel. I started in August and am not done with the first country yet, to give you an idea.

I also discovered the Heroine's Journey which, I say without reservation, is the only thing I've ever encountered that seems to be an authentic and accessible cure for toxic masculinity. I will be using it in the Temel book and probably many times afterwards. It was created at first for use in therapy by one of Joseph Campbell (of Hero's Journey fame)'s students, and the link above takes you to the mythcreants site where they have explain it in terms that work for writing. I was galvanized by this discovery--I never considered that there might be a female counterpart to the Hero's Journey. I just thought it was applicable to both male and female characters (which I still assert that it is). But reading the Heroine's Journey (also applicable to any and all genders) made me realize what I've been missing. Check it out, seriously. And call everyone you know in Hollywood and TV and make them use it.

So anyway, I have to get back to the world building.

What's new with you?

Image courstey of Andreas Bogdain [GFDL 1.2 (], via Wikimedia Commons
* This link opens a Google Doc. You can also find Wrede's questions on her website.

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