October 26, 2020

Your Update Link: Not Knowing When – Part 8

I’m happy to say that today almost went perfectly — except when I heated up the mushroom penne I was avoiding last week and it turns out I still really hate creamy pasta, LOL. So I had to ditch that and heat up leftover pizza instead. I got a bit of a late start on Flash Fiction, but it all worked out. And this was the first weekend since I went back to work that I completed my entire week on schedule, so yay!

I’m looking forward to this week since it’s just refining content that already exists, so I feel so much more relaxed and in control. Next week will be a bit more dodgy — we’re spending two days on remote, then five off, and I still have to finish my Africa material. But making great strides forward and I’m really enjoying my students this cycle.

October 25, 2020

Your Update Link: A Shot in the Dark – Part 8

Oof, I managed to get just about everything done today, but I am so tired, LOL. This is the worst part of adulting — everything gets shoved to the weekend when you’re supposed to be able to relax, and next weekend is Halloween, so probably not relaxing then. Anyway — wrote a chapter of Fool Me Twice today but didn’t manage one yesterday for reasons that even I don’t understand, LOL. Feeling a bit less stressed going into this week so that’s good. We’ll see how that works out once I’m in work.

October 24, 2020

Your Update Link: Signs of Life – Part 5

Trying something different today with updating flash fiction first, then grabbing dinner, and writing FMT afterwards. I’ll let you know tomorrow how it works. I know I have to update the Recent Updates page. It’s on the list 🙂

The ending might be a bit wonky. My dad LITERALLY called me as I was writing the final kiss and broke my concentration, then I was out of time and can’t fix anything, so I didn’t reread it yet, LOL.

October 23, 2020

Your Update Link: A King’s Command – Part 8

I warned you guys, LOL, that this was going to be the most insane week.

I basically start my entire class over once a month, and my first time coincided with getting the flu shot, not sleeping, and SGOs being due (administrative bullshit). Oh, and also, there’s this election happening, and one of my students was exposed and put into quarantine but I didn’t find out until Thursday, so you know, that’s how it’s going. BUT, the last time I saw this student was three weeks ago and I’m fine and she hasn’t tested positive yet, so I’m just not going to think about it. I wear a mask and rarely leave the house unless I have to.

Also, I got the lump sum of unemployment funds from my state this morning (which I did not know was happening) and I’m so relieved. I paid my property taxes on time and I can fix my car a month earlier than I thought I could. The check engine line has been on and I have a decent commute to work, so I’ve been nervous. It’s getting fixed tomorrow, so that’s a huge weight off my mind.

All of that anxiety explains that Tuesday’s Flash Fiction was the only writing I did all week. I’m mostly okay with that. I made a lot of progress last weekend, and I knew this last week was going to be insane so I just let go of the idea I was going to work on FMT at all. I do think next week will be better because I’ve already written most of the content I’m teaching, and now I’m just refining the delivery to the students. That’s so much easier than what I’ve been doing this last month. Thanks so much for your patience and understanding. I love my new job, but it’s a huge task to walk into a course that doesn’t even have a textbook or a program set in place for resources. I’ve had to create it completely from scratch (which I say all the time, I know, LOL).

Hopefully next week I’ll be able to write an hour or so each night, particularly Tues-Thursday. I’ll keep you guys in the loop!

October 20, 2020

Your Update Link: Not Knowing When – Part 7

Hey! Sorry about the postponing yesterday. Things got away from me a bit and this is kind of a crazy week. I think I mentioned that I teach in 15 day cycles, and this is the first time I’m turning over and getting a brand new class. This means I have to create new Google Classrooms, invite all the students, and wrap up the old class. Plus, I misread my calendar and thought I had another week so I wasn’t quite ready with everything I’d need for tomorrow.  I also had to get a TB test for my employment and ended up being talked into a flu shot — it was just an ugh of a day. I could have managed 20 minutes, but I honestly wanted to spend more time on it than that.

I am excited to start over my 15 day cycle because I have a much better handle on what I’m teaching — I’m doing a 15 day crash course of French speaking countries around the world — so the kids are learning about the history and people in Canada, Haiti, Algeria, Madagascar, Tahiti, Cambodia — just like everywhere I could find that has French speakers. It’s kind of crazy, lol, because I’ve been creating an interactive digital textbook at the same time, and I have grades 6-8.  I’m about halfway through the amount of content I need to create to really say the course is “done” but after this week, I’ll be so much more relaxed.

This is your last update until Friday, so I’ll see you guys then!

October 18, 2020

Your Update Link: A Shot in the Dark – Part 7

Hey! This will be shorter than usual because my schedule got crunched today and I honestly don’t want to miss another week for this story. There are definitely going to be days when I can manage 20 minute sprints, so I’ll do the hour as often as possible, but I think I’d rather just update whenever I can. So 20 minutes it is!

October 17, 2020

Your Update Link: Signs of Life – Part 4

I got most of my babble out in yesterday’s update, so we’ll just get right to the update and news. I crossed the 20k mark in Fool Me Twice and wrote Chapter 4 today. Make sure to check out my Twitter feed with the hashtag #CGFoolMeTwice. I try to update every time I write and lately I’ve been sharing lines from new scenes. I’ll be back tomorrow with Shot in the Dark on its new day.


October 16, 2020

Your Update Link: A King’s Command – Part 7

Happy Friday! I, for one, am relieved it’s the weekend. This was a very long week, LOL, even though I had off on Monday and was remote teaching today. I had my nieces with me today because my sister is out of town, and I am so glad I didn’t have to juggle teaching and homeschooling these last six months. I was in meetings and in classes, and they kept trying to kill each other. They’re with my parents for the rest of the weekend, and I am LOCKING my door for the next two days.

Sorry for completely disappearing this week, both on the site and on Twitter. I really just kind of needed to clear my mind and concentrate on other things, particularly my job and my course content. I’m still writing the course content and creating the digital content which is fun and mentally exhausting. I really want to do the best job I can so that if there’s a place for me next year, they’ll keep me. Right now, it’s a one year contract, but it’d be great to be back.

Fool Me TwiceI was writing all week — I made time on Tuesday and Wednesday to write, and finished Chapter Three of Fool Me Twice. I’m definitely staying on track there — I’m at about 17k, and the Pacemaker Word Count plan suggests I be at 8900k this week — so I’ve nearly doubled my pace. This makes it easier for me to skip a day here or there when things get tough because I don’t lose any morale. I think I’ve said this before — but using the “start small and build to a finish” has been great for me. I don’t feel like a complete failure when I can’t write every day because when I do write, I typically go over the suggested word count.  I’m planning to dedicate large portions of this weekend to FMT actually, and hope to be at Chapter Five by the end of the weekend.

I’m finishing up my first cycle with my students on Tuesday and kicking off the next cycle of new kids which means I’m getting closer to having the bulk of the course written and I won’t have to exert so much mental energy on research. Not only that, but the cycle after this is my turn to do coverage which means I’ll be a sub in the building for 15 days. This is even better — I’ll time to refine the course after having taught it twice, plus I’ll have some break from running my own classes since I’ll be somewhere different and won’t have the usual work to take home.

I appreciate your patience as I got through this first month 🙂 The Flash Fiction schedule is going to change again when we get to November, which I want to talk about more when we get there. I don’t know yet how much until I get some more information about days that we’re off, the exact date of the next cycle, and whether our remote teaching days are in building or at home. I’ll see you guys tomorrow with Signs of Life.

October 12, 2020

Hey! I had my entire weekend planned down to the minute, but it feels like it’s been off track since I started, LOL. I spent my entire morning off working on digital content for my remote kids only to realize once I had worked for 3 hours that it was the completely wrong way to deliver this to the kids at home, and then had an anxiety attack about wasting all of that time and needing to start over. I forced myself to take a break and relax. Once I did that, I came up with a much better solution for my remote kids AND the kids in class and it actually ultimately makes my life easier in the long run. Plus, I have some great ideas for building on the changes to make the rest of the week easy.

But it’s 3:30 and my brain is beyond exhausted. I’m not even sure I’m up to writing Fool Me Twice today even for 25 minutes much less Flash Fiction. I’m trying hard not to be too mad at myself and I’m not going to apologize (much). I honestly did shoot myself in the foot a bit when I took on four hour long flash fiction sessions a week, LOL, but I am sure that once I get things sorted, it won’t be a big deal. It’s just harder than I thought it would be to not only create all my content from complete scratch (I don’t even have a textbook or digital resources). I spent all week putting together this Prezi so if you want to see why my brain is dead, you’re welcome to look: https://prezi.com/view/fXYyr2L2NwOzP2inWyUJ/ (Only Canada, U.S., Mexico, Caribbean, Middle East, Pacific Islands, and Southeast Asia are done)

I also have the added challenge of my kids being split into groups. I have one set on Mon/Tues, and another on Wed/Thurs, then all on Fri for remote Zooms. It’s smaller class sizes, but I have to create digital doubles of all my lessons because when Group A is in the classroom, I have to have lessons for Group B at home, and it turns out it’s just more time intensive than I thought it would be to do both. Like I said — I do think this method I developed this afternoon is going to save me so much time in the future. There’s just not enough hours in the day to do all the things I want — even when I have the day off.

October 10, 2020

Weeks ago, before I got the new job, my brother asked me to babysit from like 3-5. I was, like, sure, no problem! And then I got the job. And then suddenly it was 3-7 which was…a lot more time out of my day. Then I got the idea to grab my sister’s kids because the last time I brought them, they played together and I got some work done. That was the plan and then I figured I’d do Flash Fic when I got home around 8 or 9, late by on time.

Instead, today, they decided to try to kill each other. All day. The oldest is 9, almost ten, and she thinks she’s 15. Then it’s an eight-year-old and two six-year-olds, and a four-year-old. They fought over toys, over bikes, over slime, over movies, over food, over who got the purple plate and the blue plate, and then where to put the chairs, and then over who hit who in the face with the plastic tub, and then whether or not Shut up is a bad word. And my night still isn’t over.

My brain as officially given up. I’m sort of working on the Beta Draft for Book 4 because I’m still doing chapter breakdowns which doesn’t require a lot of energy but I mostly want to go go home and  get drunk.

I don’t have kids, and today is a good day for remembering why. I’ll double up if I can tomorrow, or catch up another day this week.

ETA: I also fixed a massive error in Chapter Seventy-Five where the Jason/Luke/Sonny scene was doubled up for some strange reason. I swear, I don’t know how that happened.