Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We face the dark 'til we see the light

I told myself that June 1 would be a good day to dust off the blog, give it a fresh new look, and start posting again. So here I am!

We have survived the end of the school year, I am now the mother of a high school freshman and a 7th grade student who has less than a year left before he becomes a full-fledged teen, too, and all the assorted men in my life are off together on a week-long fishing trip. This has left me with Avie and a whole lot of peace, quiet, and privacy in which to find my center and reassess the state of my writing career, such as it is.

My stint with Extended Care is over. I have enjoyed working with preschool and kindergarten kids, and I do not regret having taken on that job over the past year. However, I also think I made a good call in deciding to not continue with that job in the future. As I may have mentioned previously, I am a serious introvert. As in, I score at or close to 100% on the introvert side of the scale anytime I've tested for it. And since an introvert's energy is drained by being around other people, and young children tend to be the drainingest drainers that walk the earth, that particular job on a day to day basis is probably not healthy for me in the long run.

I also enjoyed the time I spent teaching the creative writing elective at the middle school. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to stand at the center of attention in the front of a classroom for 45 minutes a week and think of interesting, educational things to say to a bunch of 6th-8th grade students without shriveling up and dying. I am, however, still kicking. Not everything went as I'd hoped, but I learned a lot about teaching in general and about how to draw and hold the interest of that age group. I've put together a general plan for next year's elective that hopefully successfully incorporates all those things I learned. I also have tentative plans to start an after school writing club or two, but I'd like to wait until after the school year starts before making decisions or seeking school approval for that. And I have all summer to think through the details.

On the writing front, I have not done a whole awful lot of actual writing since my last post here. I have, however, done a lot of reading, because reading counts as writing work but requires less mental effort than coming up with my own words. Crowmaker is... something. A longer draft than I had previously, but still not coming together in quite the way I'd envisioned. I'm going to let it sit a while longer, I believe, let it breathe and ferment and not try to force it. If it takes me years more before I manage to figure out what it takes to make that story work, then so be it. In the meantime, I have a handful of flash and short stories in assorted stages of development, including some really rough drafts I've scribbled down as they've come at me. I'm not forcing myself to do anything this week, because it is my vacation, damn it, and I've earned it. I can feel all the little pieces of my brain and creative energy settling back into a comfortable pattern, so I'm going to let it settle. But I think those short pieces will be at the top of my list of writing stuff to work on over the summer.

So, in summary: Vacation. To be followed by The Return of the Children and Decisions About What We're Doing This Summer, in conjunction with Big Plans for Writing Classes and Finishing Some Short Fiction. Sounds like enough of a plan to be comfortable, but not so much plan that it threatens to overwhelm.


Rigs said...

Hi, Lori! Glad to see you around again. And until your big "Return and Decisions" plan starts... enjoy your vacation! (Lord knows, it sounds like you need it. :) )

Lori Erickson said...

Hi, Rigs! Thanks for the good wishes. Sounds like you had a great vacation yourself. Guess it's time for us to take our well-rested selves and do some writing, huh?