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    More Work In Progress

    2015 - 07.15

    I haven’t updated in over a month, I know, but I’ve been so focused on composing my novel that I haven’t really focused on posting anything to this blog.

    So far, the book is coming along. I’m halfway through Chapter 5, but I had hoped to be much farther along in the book by the end of the summer. I’m behind schedule (at least in my mind), and school begins in one month. It’s been really nice having Rachel around to help me edit my chapters, and I’ve been so excited and honored to give her a hand with her book as well. I don’t have many close friends, but it’s nice having one who is a writer and can help me brainstorm through some tough spots. I have most of the exposition planned, and if I’m not writing, I’m researching and taking notes. When I go back to school, I plan to attack our library for some books about the Age of Sail if they have any, and Rachel and I have decided that we may have to meet on Saturdays to brainstorm/write. Below is a snippet from Chapter 2:

    By the first light of dawn, the storm calmed enough so that James wasn’t tumbling so violently and aimlessly in the sea. Instead, his looking-glass prison rode the underwater current and the tide until he could see land. Reefs were a common hazard for ships, and instinctively, James surveyed his underwater surroundings to be sure that he would not crash into one. He was unsure what would happen to him were the precious glass of his confinement were to crack, or worse, shatter entirely.

                He was fortunate. There was only sand to buffer him as the high tide carried him toward the shore of a white sand beach. But now he faced a new problem; how would he get off this beach? There was the eminent possibility that he could be buried completely in the sand and then what would he do?

    I have pretty much my entire exposition planned out. The tough thing is going back and re-reading the chapters from the original fan fiction and deciding which parts to save and which to cut. Some chapters are even rewrites entirely, and I have a couple of added chapters I will have to write from scratch. I also have a pirate crew to create, name, and characterize, although I have decided on the pirate ship’s name and type.

    Aside from my novel, I have a couple of side projects that I’ve been jotting notes for, including a Canterbury Tales style story involving an old cemetery that has fallen into forgotten disrepair and residents with stories to tell. My other project is — you guessed it — a fan fiction. Of course, those are in the brainstorming stages, and I probably won’t do any work on either of these things until I’m done with my novel. With the school year looming like a thunderstorm on the horizon, I will likely have little time between grading and my novel to pay attention to those hopeful projects.

    Stay tuned for more updates, and if you want, leave some ideas for pirate names in the comments below.


    Work In Progress

    2015 - 05.28

    I’m sort of “borrowing” an idea from my bestie, Rachel, but now that school is out, I can now focus on writing my story! Rachel and I have been having weekly lunches since the end of the school year, and we are quite content to choose a table in the back corner of the restaurant and brainstorm one another’s stories. Rachel has been a valuable help in getting me started on the rewrite of Mirror, Mirror. Below is a snippet of the first chapter, which I have completed this past week.

    James decided to choose the lesser of the two evils. His eyes were open, and the sea salt filled them as he gazed up toward the waning sunlight. Never again would he feel its warmth against his skin. Instead, he welcomed the peaceful calm that filled him along with the water filling his lungs. It was not as though he had reason to live anyway.

    James closed his eyes and began to succumb to the calming weightlessness of the water in which he was suspended. It was eerily quiet and tranquil as he resigned himself to the peace that death would bring. There would be no more suffering for him. Perhaps there would be redemption for him in the afterlife.

    As James slipped into unconsciousness, he felt, or thought he felt a pair of arms wrap around him.

    “An angel,” he thought to himself as he slowly slipped away…

    I can’t really reveal much else than this because there is a lot that happens in this chapter that sets up the rest of the entire story. However, I can say that the story will be a historical fiction/fantasy, and it will encompass many elements of fairy tale and reference mythology and possibly maritime lore.

    The School Year Has Ended

    2015 - 05.17

    Well, Friday was my last day of school, and I have to say it’s always so bittersweet to see my students leave for the summer and then come back next year as sophomores. I always miss them at the end of the year, but I know some of them will stop and visit me next year. However, I do have a few keepsakes that I would like to post here from my class periods. At our school, I have my students bring in quotes that I use as “launches.” The purpose of the launch is to end the class period with a positive note. I keep a small fish bowl on the bookshelf of my room, and students contribute thoughts and quotes throughout the school year. The quotes can be one that is found or one that the student makes up. I draw a new launch at the end of the day and write up on the board for the next day’s use. Since I was not able to get through all the quotes contributed, I decided that I would post the rest of them here and dedicate this post to my awesome 9th grade students. Have a great summer, my minions, and I will see you next year!

    From 2nd Hour:

    “Cry havoc and unleash the dogs of war.” – Julius Caesar
    -brought by Kyle

    “I was dying to finish high school and
    start college.
    I was dying to finish college and
    start working.
    And then I was dying to marry and
    have children.
    And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could
    return to work.
    And then I was dying to retire.
    And now, I am dying…and suddenly I realize
    I forgot to live.” – Anonymous
    -brought by Maddi

    “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
    -brought by Maddi

    “Every morning we get a chance to be different, a chance to change, a chance to be better. Your past is your past. Leave it there. Get on with the future part.”
    -brought by Maddi

    “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” – Helen Keller
    -brought by McKenzie

    “It’s better to make friends than enemies.”
    – brought by Kaitlyn

    “Sometimes you gotta fall before you fly.” – Kellin Quinn
    -brought by LaRae

    “When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sandpaper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.” – Andy Biersack
    -brought by LaRae

    “There’s always an escape. Mine happened to be music.” – Kellin Quinn
    -brought by LaRae

    “The girl you just called ugly has self-esteem issues. The boy you just called stupid has autism. Think about the people you bully. Think about how they feel, how they are. Now put yourself in their shoes. How do you feel?”
    -brought by Jada

    “Outsmart the ignorance. Look at them, smile, be nice, and walk away. The face they make will make them look dumber than usual.”
    -brought by Jada

    “The best and brightest minds always have a touch of madness.”
    -brought by Jada

    “You call me crazy because I am fun. You call me weird because I’m creative. Well, you’re boring because you’re normal.”
    -brought by Jada

    “When you say something mean, the person might smile, but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less.”
    -brought by Jada

    From 3rd Hour:

    “Life is very complicated. Don’t try to find answers. Life changes the questions.”
    -brought by Easton

    “Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way.” – Doctor Who
    -brought by Caleb

    “What they couldn’t do has less to do with what you can. Never let people plant their impossibilities on your life. Just because they failed doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. It’s always possible.” – Trent Shelton
    -brought by Nashaldae

    “If you really want to be a rebel, read your Bible ’cause no one’s doing that. That’s rebellion. That’s the only rebellion left.” -Lecrae
    -brought by Nashaldae

    From 5th Hour:

    “The test of success is not what you do when you are at the top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” – General George S. Patton
    -brought by Dakota

    “When you feel like giving up, when they say, ‘It can’t be done,’ it’s up to you to show them why they’re wrong.” – Memphis Mayfire
    -brought by Dakota

    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings – always darker, emptier, and simpler.” – Friedrich Nietzche
    -brought by Dakota

    “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12:18
    -brought by Dakota

    “If Plan A didn’t work,, the alphabet has 25 more letters!”
    -brought by Jacob

    From 6th Hour:

    “If you ever feel like you’re too big or too slow or not good enough, remember, as long as you’re happy, you’re invincible.”
    -brought by Moses

    From 7th Hour:

    “The past may be the past, but it can still affect the future.”
    -brought by Riley

    “I came to win, to fignt, to conquer, to thrive, to prosper, to rise, to fly.” – Rhianna
    -brought by Tomiesha