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Been Busy

Been busy! Working on making the book better. I think I might have figured out the problem. Chapter one, paragraph one sucks! I revamped it, and it is now a rockin' great opening...worthy of the rest of the book. PRAISE GOD!

Hope you're all finding inspiration in interesting places.

Write on!

Holding Emery



McKeelan holding his niece. It's weird to think of myself as a step granny, and it's even weirder to think that McKeelan is an uncle, again...and he's just 11. Anyway, school begins tomorrow, if FAY allows. Looking forward to school starting, as I have become too relaxed.

Had a great Italian night of music, food and fun at my friend Suzanne's house. I ate "Made from scrath" spaghetti for the first time. It's was fantastico!!!

I'm finding out that I do more writing when I am under strict time restraints. Sent the family off to the Miami Science Museum today so I can write. JUST IN: I am VERY glad I didn't go to the museum, as it is BRING YOUR PET SNAKE Day!!!! Holy Crap I hate snakes! Kyle called to inform me that I had chosen a great day to skip the Science Musuem...whewwwwww!

Happy School Openings to all of my teacher friends and students.

Writer's Block: Your Username

Why did you choose your user name? Is there any special meaning or story behind it?
I chose: DJWARRIOR because it's the initials of my name and my last name. D=Darla J=Jean Warrior is my last name...for real.

Emery's Mom Knows How to Measure Formula



Meet, Emery. My stepdaughter's new bundle. It's been awhile since I've had a baby in the house (11 years) Hmmmmm. Funny how we forget something that we never thought we could forget. Remember the late nights? The wails? The constant wondering if you're doing the right things? When I brought home my first child (1987), I couldn't believe how much I did NOT know! I brought my little son home. I made the wise choice to use those bottles with the platic bags (brand shall remain nameless).

But, nobody told me that I had to PREMEASURE the formula. I was putting the liquid straight into the bags and feeding him--yummy. Little did I know, he was being starved! When I actually measured the liquid, only after I called home to my very wise mother, did I realize the right amount of liquid actually filled the bag to within bursting. So, my new baby was getting half the formula and wanting to eat every 90 minutes--needless to say, I didn't get any sleep that first 3 days. Yes, it took me three days to call home to Montana and admit that I was lost!

My stepdaughter is wayyyyyy more comfortable than I was. There's something pretty amazing about a relaxed mommy.

Writing Spaces

I'm also reading a book titled A WRITER'S SPACE by Eric Maisel, PH.D.. Now this is another great book for writers. In chapter 1 the author asks me to describe my ideal writing space. How impossible is this!!!???

Hmmmm.....

Five hours later....

It's a space that sounds like the bottom of a pool. I can breath in this space because the air is exactly the right temperature 72 degrees. The room is void of: washers or a dryers, telephones, computers that access email, windows, vacuums, televisions, or other people (that know me anyway). There's a comfy chair for my back. I don't really like to write in a tablet, so a laptop would do nicely. I'm thinking that the only place that fits this model would be in the bowels of a library. No windows, no people, no other books to temp me with thoughts of investing or gardening: what's a bull/bear market anyway?

There must not be any pictures on the walls. I would order a long, long chalk board or freezer wrap paper to be installed on the walls. And I would have buckets of colored markers strewn about. In a far corner a record player or CD player plays music in other languages so I don't know what's being said. I need this room for a morning at least five days per week, that's all.

Here's a snap shot of my current writing space!




Check out the green electric monster in the foreground and the distracting window to the left. My view from this window is magical; it's even stupendous at night because the neighbors have small lights at the base of their magical trees making their yard more inviting in the night. I can't help but laugh and shake my head because I know that the office isn't the reason for my writer's block or paralysis, but I sure wish I could blame it on that stuff. One thing is for sure: when I am in my writing space my mind wanders, wonders, and tries to organize the mess.

Anyway, what's your ideal writing space? If you have one already, share with me.

May the muse of inspiration and imagery dance on your finger tips.

Passion


This is one view from the lighthouse at Bill Baggs State Park, south of Miami. Taken this summer by my son, McKeelan.

Although I didn't climb to the top of the lighthouse, McKeelan took this picture for me. I am on the beach under a very pink umbrella. Can you see me?

I will climb up the 90 feet...but not until the weather cools. I'm thinking that there's a story at this old lighthouse. I need to visit it at night....ooooohh, spooky.

I'm reading Joyce Carol Oates' book on writing....it's so inpiring. She says that a writer must write what she is passionate about. That really got me to thinking: what am I passionate about. What are you passionate about? What exactly does it mean to be passionate about something in the first place? It's a topic that seems so simple, yet when I try to put my finger on something substantial....my mind bends and won't wrap around it. It's kind of like trying to define Justice.

What r u passionate about?

Writer's Block: Carrying the Cultural Torch

What traditions do you carry on during your day, consciously or otherwise?

I hate to leave the house a mess. It's part of the OCD issues. What would happen if something bad were to happen to me and my family had to clean up my mess. I also run through mental checklists just like a pilot. Drives my family crazy because I won't leave until I've done the "list".

Jul. 26th, 2008



Hung out with a bunch of turtles this week. They're a great bunch to hang with. The day was filled with fun, hiking up the 40 foot tower at Gumbo Limbo and taking cool photos. If you get a chance visit this great Nature Center in Boca Raton, do it right along A1A. It's free and has a lot to offer. If you plan to hike up the tower, bring something cool to pour over yourself 'cause it's flaming hot these days. While we were there, a female firefighter, in full firefighter garb, ran up it and probably back down....we left 'cause she was way too ambitious and was embarRassing us not-so-in-shape folks. Lordy, she looked hot and I don't mean in the MTV sense.

Laurie Halse Anderson's prompt: Write down the scariest dream you ever had. If you don't remember the details, make them up. Now figure out the metaphors/image systems and write another scene using those tools, i.e., the trees in SPEAK

Here goes. . .

She rounded the corner from her bedroom into the long hallway, under her feet she felt the gaps that separated the hardwood boards from one another and giving way with each step. Yet the boards didn't speak to her. She wasn't part of her own body anymore. Her hand landed on the alligatored door, nothing made noise. She knew darkness had spoken through the night and come to steal her breath away.

When the door would swing open, that which she has been seeing inside of her mind would be real. Nothing mattered to her, only the movement of her feet, the push of her hand against the old wood and getting there--in time. The house had never benn quiet like this. It talked to them in creaks and groans. It knew they were a good family. But it also knew that he was their broken china doll.

The house tried its best to protect him. Just as she had. That's why it woke only her with a whisper that only houses can make. She knew that once she opened the door, once she actually got into the room she could change things. She could rewind things and he'd be alive. no longer blue. Still her boy.

Still was he. Still like the house and still as the beat of her heart. Before she pulled him from the old bathtub, from the still water, she screamed for him.

Feeling a bit neutral myself

Recently, in an online friend's journal she quotes a young person saying that being neutral is lonely. What a profound remark. I've never given much thought to what it means to be neutral. For some it means one thing, others it means another. Right now (for me) it means that I am not going forward in my life or with my goals. And, it means that I am not going backward--either. YAHOO! So, being neutral can also be a good thing. Lately I am on this "pitty" party; I sit around and kick myself because I am a BIG chicken %#$!! regarding editors, agents and the upper crust of publishing, when I should remind myself that I gotta kiss a lot of frogs to get the prince.

Laurie Halse's word SPAM conjures up images of the uniquely shaped tin. Beneath the lid lurks a familiar slime oozing around, a gelatinous pink flesh. It's a familiar delicacy in our home. I hear dad click off the tin lid, with the funny shaped opener. He sniffs the contents. I turn down the "sniff" test, because I know this smell is kin to the smell of feet. He turns the tin upside down, the jelly holds tigthyly to the substance and the sides of the tin, providing no source of lubrication. I hear a familiar sucking sound and when he heaves downward, out plops the pink flesh. Perfectly shaped it is. It looks more apealing than it smells....not really. That's a lie. Dad's blue eyes smile. He wrinkles his brows like a mad man and tells me, "This is going to taste better than you think." Again, not telling the truth. I go along with his enthusiasm anyway, because I know how much he likes to impress me with his culinary feats. From the right, we smell the familar smell of burnt food escaping beneath a hot fry pan. Dad slices the pink flesh into 10 exact slices of meat and slaps them into the pan. The flesh sizzles, pops and cries to be turned. Flip. The smell of bologna fills the kitchen. "Slap some Miracle Whip on your bread and hand 'er here." http://www.writerlady.com/

SPAM reminds me of dad, of lunch and of how much I loved to see him smile. I miss you, dad!


A view from the inside of a lighthouse at Bill Baggs State Park, Florida 2008
www.floridastateparks.org

Cell Phones and Teaching

The BIG thing on my mind is this weird movement by students armed with their very hidden cell phones.

Story #1: The last week of school this year (2007-2008)a group of screaming high school girls caught our attention (picture a small group of teachers quietly enjoying lunch at a pic-nic table). At first, the screams didn't register or interuppt our conversations. When the screams did show up on our radar, we were shocked to find out that they were faking a fight, videotaping it to post to the internet. We reprimanded them, of course. They left and I didn't think anything more about it until tonight.

Story #2: So, tonight I'm checking my school email and there's a very short post from the NEA about teachers that are being video taped in class raising their voices in anger and the like. This prompted the memory of the girls and their fake fight, which prompted me to remember another incident in the middle school 2007-2008 school year. A sixth grader, brother of one of my eighth graders, told me that I had his sister in class. Naturally, I smiled and asked which girl. After he shared her name, he told me that she had been setting me up....trying to get me to blow my cool. My words, not his.

Are you an educator and have you noticed this kind of thing going on in your classes? If so, and you're not afraid of reprecussions, please post your comments.