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  • Summer Vacation Has Ended

    2015 - 08.24

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted to my blog, but I was quite busy over the last month of my summer break with writing and family stuff. That and I really couldn’t think of anything good to write about. One of my favorite uncles has permanently relocated to here to Southeast Missouri from Washington state, and I couldn’t be more excited. I drove my parents up to St. Louis Lambert International Airport (a first-time trip for me) to pick him up. Right now he is living with my parents until he gets a little more settled. But I’m sure glad to have him around.

    I also attended my very first St. Louis Cardinals baseball game at Busch Stadium earlier this month. My husband and I went with our friends, and we ate expensive ballpark food, stayed in a decent hotel, rode the MetroLink, and watched America’s favorite past time. Unfortunately, the Cardinals lost, but it was still a lot of fun. Baseball is one of the few sports I can actually follow, really. But the next day we went to the St. Louis Zoo and saw the new polar bear and the sea lion show. We saw the other animals, too, but that was one of my favorite parts.

    This month, after a half week of meetings, school officially began on August 13. Normally we start around August 15, but that fell on a weekend. However, I’ve always thought we started a bit too early. It seems when I was a kid, we always began school around the last week of August, usually on the 24th or 25th. Some schools in the country don’t even begin until after Labor Day until September and go until June. I was talking about this early beginning to some of my colleagues who have lived here for years; many of them tell me that they used to start after Labor Day and get out the last week of May, just before Memorial Day.

    With the beginning of a new school year comes setting up a classroom for a batch of brand new students. This group of freshman has been described as a bit of a difficult group, but I’m still optimistic that I’ll really like my students this year. I haven’t quite memorized the names of my students, yet, but most of them seem to be nice so far.

    Right now I think the most I will miss about summer vacation is getting to write whenever I want, no set schedule, lunch once a week with Rachel, and wearing comfortable clothes during the day. I was hoping to be much farther on my book than halfway through Chapter 6. When school begins, it’s always a bit of an adjustment to settle into a schedule, so I’ll likely be even slower on my writing and on updating this page. But it looks like it’ll be a good year.

    Pictures from the month of August:







    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.