Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Book

I'm working on some revisions for chapter 4.  The working title for the book is Back and Forth:  Teacher Editors and Student Authors.  Though this title will probably change, it's fairly descriptive of what's going on right now.  Lots of backing and forthing as we hash out changes.  It's more fun than in the past because there's more frequent feedback and the revisions are more specific, so I don't have to spend as much time pondering and putzing around.  I have a Skype conference set up with the Heinemann production team in a couple of weeks.  I'm also gathering parent permissions for all the photos and writing samples.  You guys, I'm publishing a book.  It's starting to sink in.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Marchers

I love and thank all the marchers from the bottom of my heart.

I couldn't march today because I am in the hospital with a broken hip and fractured femur.  I lost my footing when walking in my driveway and fell in an odd way resulting in a BROKEN HIP and BROKEN FEMUR!  Also, I'm in a body cast.  And one of my eyes needs some kind of surgical procedure because my vision's all messed up because a stick went into my eye.  I'll keep you posted on that.   But  the good news is that you marchers are making me proud and happy and a little bit guilty.  I think anyone in their right mind can understand why I am not with you at this point in time.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Lack of Trust

The Thirdlanders came back to school cheerful and ready to take 2017 by storm.  Some highlights from the week involved comparing two news articles about Fidel Castro, researching Marian Anderson, and acting out some key scenes from First Day in Grapes, a book about farm worker families.  We also used the Indy Zoo web page to plan an imaginary field trip, an activity that allows us to create and solve our own elapsed time math problems.

The Thirdlanders are an amazing crew of kiddos.  If they have one drawback, it's probably a general inability to believe what I'm telling them.  Let me illustrate this point by sharing the following conversation as evidence:

Thirdlander:  Can I go to the library?
Me:  Did you sign up for library today?
Thirdlander:  Yes.
Me:  Are you next on the list?
Thirdlander:  Yes.
Me:  Well, you know you don't have to ask.  You just go to the library when your turn comes.
Thirdlander:  So I can go?
Me:  Yes.
Thirdlander:  I can go to the library?
Me:  Yes.
Thirdlander:  I can go right now?
Me:  Yes.

This type of conversation takes place about 50,000 times a day and it can get a little annoying, I'm not going to lie. I wonder why the Thirdlanders don't trust me.  I need to work on earning their trust before this school year ends. I'm going to do my best, and forget the rest.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The Scurry

It's back to the scurry my friends.  I want to see the Thirdlanders, but I don't really want to do the lesson plans or the report cards.  I wish we could just hang out together tomorrow and talk about vacation.  Maybe work in our notebooks and read some books quietly.  We could talk a little math, walk down next to the creek, play some mancala, put on some jazz music and lay on the floor, humming along while we imagine the possible and the impossible.

Husbandman is going to help with xeroxing their zines this afternoon.  As usual, he wants me to choose a time for him to come in. I can't believe he really tried to pressure me into nailing down a time. I glared at him and told him, "You know I can't choose a time right now!  I'm obviously in a funk.  Why do you have to ask me these things?"

He ignored my funkiness and answered, "How about I pick up some burritos and meet you at school around 1?  We can have lunch together and then I can xerox?"

Husbandman really cheered me up with this comment.  And now I'm ready to follow my sankalpa goal: "I take small actions to make things better."  I'm heading in people.

Friday, January 06, 2017

The Photo

We visited the Atlanta Aquarium recently.  When we exited through the gift shop, I spied this awesome rubber whale shark.  I wanted it so much, but I hesitated to buy it because a.) I felt the buying season was over.  And secondly, there was a long line at the cashier, and I hate standing in lines.

 I walked around the gift shop for a long time, cradling the whale shark in my arms.  Eventually, I put it back on the shelf and left.

Not a day has gone by that I don't miss that whale shark.  I think about how it felt in my arms and wish I could hold it again.

 Let this be a lesson to all of us.  If you want a whale shark, just get one.  Take the time.  Spend the money.  But if you absolutely can't get a whale shark, take a photo and stare at it every day for the rest of your life. Remember the good times.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The Minutiae

This is a good week.  Busy, but good.  Husbandman and I are working on our projects, Every day we eat lunch at a local eatery.  Every evening we see a film.

Last night we saw Why Him?  Not good but go ahead and see it if you want. Tonight it will be Fences.  Tomorrow Moonlight.

I went in to the compound for an hour or so today.  I have to collect a ton of work samples for the book.  I wish I had been more organized as I worked on the book, but there's no point looking back.  I'm just going to take the next right action tomorrow and hunt through hundreds of pieces of paper to find the originals of the work samples I need to send to the publisher.  I've told you before that I'm a big picture kind of person and can't be bothered getting bogged down in minutiae.  I wish my publisher could understand this about me. Minutiae puts me in kind of a bad mood.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The Lion

Last night we saw a fabulous movie called LION.  It's about a kid in India who gets horribly lost and ends up being adopted by Nicole Kidman in Australia.  I found the story of Saroo Brierley fascinating.  Dev Patel does a great job in the lead role.  Well done, all involved!  If you feel like seeing LION, you should.

I'm still working on my sankalpa for 2017.  It could be something like, "I keep my desk clean," or I may use something like, "I take the next right action," or maybe "I fit some fun into every day." I've considered borrowing KC's old one, "I'm a creative risk taker," because working with the editorial team to publish this book is going to require some forceful fortitude.  I don't know why I get so anxious about this book o'mine.  I love it, and I also worry about it constantly.   There's just so much worrying that can happen each day.  That's why the next right action sankalpa might be best.  Worry diminishes when I kick it into gear and try to do some small thing to get my life in shape. But my desk really needs to be cleaned up on a regular basis.  So I'm not sure what I want to do.

Monday, January 02, 2017

The Year

So now we're in 2017.  So far it's going well.  We went on a walk with Nancer and Kev at Lake Monroe.  Nancer found a rock that looked exactly like a big toe sticking out of the ground.  She was delighted because come to find out she has a collection of oddly shaped rocks.  Rocks shaped like fingers, rocks shaped like hot dogs.  Quite a few rocks shaped like hearts.  If you ever find a rock shaped like a heart or a body part, please save it for Nancer.

Yesterday I read a graphic novel called PATIENCE.  Husbandman gave it to me for Xmas.  Quite good.  You should read it if you want.  It's about this guy whose wife dies and then he finds out how to go back in time to try to prevent her murder.

My editor wants me to fix a few things in the introduction and in chapter one.  This might be the day to do it, my friends.  By following Poincare's formula for creativity, all I need to do is:  prepare, incubate, illuminate and execute.  Blogging is part of the incubation stage where I dream and honor the unknowns.  Moving in to illuminate, where maybe some new ideas will appear.

It's January and that's when I think of a new sankalpa.  Not sure what I want to focus on this year.  I'm going to pick something super easy peasy lemon squeezey.  I want to feel fine every day without excessive effort or struggle.