Stating the Obvious

Is it just me, or do news stories and articles now mostly state the obvious? I see titles of articles all the time that to me shouldn’t even be subject matter. Who wrote these and why did anyone think it was something anyone would read? Are the younger generations not able to form such ideas in their own heads without having to read about it? Maybe it’s my age, but I often cringe when I read some titles and wonder who the target audience is?

Here’s an example from today’s offerings on an online site:

“Month after Harvey, debris piles show recovery takes time”

The wording is nice, but all it’s going to explain, if you take time to even read the article, is that it takes a long time to clean up after a hurricane. Do people not realize this? Are there actually people in the world who can watch the videos of sideways rain and howling winds and projectiles being blown about by the force of a hurricane, who could not figure out, for their own knowledge, that the clean-up from hurricanes takes a long time?

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This is Working

I’m rewriting the story that won an honorable mention in an international short story contest in the mid 1980’s. I was married then. Since that time, I’ve moved frequently and divorced and the story has gotten misplaced. Back in the 1980’s when I was writing, I used a typewriter and carbon paper to make copies. There was no copy on a computer file. The file holding this story must have gotten left behind or tossed away. But I do remember the plot. Right now I am taking time to jot down the story quickly. I can go back and edit it before I submit it to Glimmer Train at the end of the month.

What I’m finding is that because I do have a time limit, I am working on this story daily. I do other writing as well, but I start my writing day by working on this story. This technique is going quite well. It’s day 3 of my writing and I have over 1000 words so far.

This was one of my favorite stories. I enjoyed writing it. I’ve always liked O’Henry and this story has a “twist” in it that I found delightful.

I’m going to continue working on this story. When I get the words down, I’ll go back and edit it.

Once this story is completed (again!), I’ll start typing up Leaving Luther. That was another story I really liked as well.

 

Slogging Along

Two infected teeth have come between me and writing. I had a root canal on one of them last week. I feel better, but I have one more tooth to deal with.

I went to the oral surgeon and hey, let’s just get the second one out. He wants me to try to save it, but he didn’t offer any financial support.

My primary care doctor says I must do something about these teeth. I’ve suffered with them long enough and it is affecting my general health.

During all this time, I’ve done a little writing, but really felt too bad to do much.

This past weekend I got a notice from Glimmer Train. They are having a contest and the deadline is October 31 for entries. Years ago I wrote a story that won honorable mention in an international short story contest. Of course with all the moving I’ve done and the upheavals of my life, I have lost that particular story. I still remember it and am trying to rewrite it with the hopes of entering it.

If you have interest in this contest, I will include the details. There is an $18 entry fee. I think two times a year Glimmer Train accepts submissons with no entry fee. Not sure, but you can read as well as I can, so if you have any interest, go to their website and check it out.

http://www.glimmertrain.com/index.html

 

 

What’s Your Talent

I believe that each of us is gifted with a talent when we are born. By talent, I mean something we’re naturally good at that can be cultivated and used to make the world a better place.  It’s something that comes easy to us and we enjoy doing it. I’ve often wondered what the world would be like, if we each were able to pursue our own natural talent for all our lives?

I would say that my greatest talent is writing and perhaps more specific than that, it is writing poetry. I love to write poetry and when I’m inspired, the words come more quickly sometimes than I can put them down.

I like writing nonfiction. Whenever I find out something new, I usually end up sharing it with at least one other person. Sometimes what I’ve learned is so unusual or outrageous that they doubt I know what I’m talking about. This is frustrating when I’ve done the rsearch and know exactly what I’m saying.

Sometimes I can be funny. I have dry wit. Many people have told me I should be a comedian and I do enjoy making people laugh, but I can’t do it all the time. I can sit down and write any minute of any day.

If you are reading this, and have time, will you please leave what you think your major talent is? I’m sure we all have more than one, but which one, given the choice, would you do all your life as your life’s work and it not feel like work to you?

Thank you for your reply.

Career Ideas

My family is getting more supportive of my writing career.

I raised three sons alone and it was not easy. From time to time I’d submit something I wrote to a magazine and 80% of the time it would get accepted. I knew I had some talent, but I also knew I had three sons to feed, clothe and take care of. A freelancer’s salary would not do during those years.

Now I’m retired from my day job and looking at writing and different ways to write and publish. My sons are encouraging me to do different projects. They know more technologically than I do what is available to writers today.

I think any writer with a family needs the support and encouragement they can get from their family. I think four heads are better than one and I am using my sons’ susggestions to improve my writing career.

Emotional Upheaval In America

I check stories in the news daily. I do most of this checking online.

I see stories with emotional tugs in many categories.

It is my belief that the media works hard to keep Americans so distracted and worried about world or local events that Americans are unable to focus properly on their lives and situations.

No matter how bad a citizen has it, the media can shout that someone else has it far worse! Are you worried about weather, pets, famous people, celebrities, what Melanie is wearing, what Trump tweeted, the cost of products, the lack of income increases, crimes and criminals, terrorists, diet, exercise, diseases . . . whatever is your “trigger” for worry and agitation, you can find a dose of it daily in “news” stories.

News stories now not only tell you what to worry about, but they tell you why to worry. They give opinions, not just facts.

Is it a conspiracy by the government to keep citizens in check? If you are too emotionally involved in worry about certain facets of life, you will not be able to worry about things near and dear to you that might need to be noticed.

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Retirement

It wasn’t planned. It wasn’t anticipated. It wasn’t welcomed.

I was working in 2015 for one of the two best principals I ever had when the school was shook up by my principal being transferred out and another principal being transferred in to her place.

At the time I was teaching Reading Intervention and I enjoyed it immensely!

I worked with struggling readers in Kindergarten and First Grade. I viewed each as potentially successful readers before I even began my instruction. I tailor made lessons with each child’s needs in mind.

I love puzzles and children who have problems learning to read usually have just missed one or two key concepts, and if I can figure out what it is, I have them reading on grade level within nine weeks.

My principal, who was transferred elsewhere, understood my methods, and I was free to work with the children using research based methods that were both from today and from years past.

The new principal came in and took an instant dislike to me. I understand she’s in her forties and doesn’t like “older” people. Everyone she hired was fresh out of college and eager to follow her lead.

She was eager to get rid of me.

I was working with 35 children a day in ten different groups. I walked up and down the hall collecting my groups all day long. I was happy. I was successful. I got results. As I’d bring a child up to grade level, I’d meet with the classroom teacher and we’d decide to leave that child in the classroom and replace his or her intervention lessons with another child who was below grade level in reading. I worked in a school with many needy children.

The new principal sent me an email her second day there and told me to “get with the kindergarten teachers and add 13 more children to my roster of students”. That meant I’d meet with 48 children a day. I could not make any more groups because my day was filled with ten groups. The size of the group does affect outcomes and for 5, 6, and 7 year olds, it’s best to have groups of 3 or 4 at the most.

I emailed her back and told her that was a very heavy workload. I suggested she look at my record on the children I had served. I told her the old principal had me bring children up to grade level and then switch them out for a child who needed help. It was only the beginning of March and I had time to get all the K/1 children up to grade level. Would she please reconsider the increase in my workload?

She emailed me back that she would discuss my workload when I discussed my absences with her. ???? Did she mean when I was out the December before having test after test for what the doctor feared was either blood clots in my lungs or lung cancer? Did she want to discuss that with me on her second day at the helm? I emailed her back and told her I had been out a lot the previous December, but I had discussed that with the previous principal and I was fine now. (It had turned out to be a very stubborn lung infection.)

I contacted my Reading Intervention supervisor who had been upset when I had four children in most groups and I told her about the sudden increase in workload. She said there was nothing she could do about it.

I kept coming to work and trying, trying, trying to see every child assigned to me. My health began to deteriorate and by the end of April, I had to go out on disability leave.

I’d been contemplating retirement in June, but really had hoped to work one more year. I needed five more months to qualfiy for the retirement program. I never made it.

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Had to Buy a New Wider Binder

Title just about sums it up. I’ve printed out more pages of the Blindman book and they will not fit in the binder I’ve been putting the paper version of my book in. I went out today and bought a binder that’s twice as wide. I probably should have bought more printer ink. Mine will surely run out soon.

The new binder is bright orange and trimmed in gold foil. It’s certainly eye-catching and I’ll notice it daily. I certainly noticed it in the store. I realized this week that I needed a wider binder. As I passed by the school supplies in Walmart, this binder called out to me, “Hey, haven’t you been looking for me?”

I also got a Planner. It’s for July 2017 to June 2018. I know I’ve missed two months of this thing, but I will probably use it backwards anyway – charting my daily progress on all my writing projects.

I also started something called a “Capture Book” this week. Mine is just a red composition book I bought to use for that purpose. Stephanie Winston writes about it in her book, Organized for Success. A Capture Book is explained in Part II, Chapter 5 of her book.  I found her book in Goodwill last week. I’m always trying to find better ways to do things and looking at other’s ideas and how they accomplish their goals. I looked that book up and it also is selling on Amazon.com. Copyright date is 2004. I could beat myself up for not finding it sooner, or I could be happy I did notice it last week. I think I’ll do the latter.

I’m tired of the Blindman book. I’ve worked on it for years. I’m ready to see it in print and hope people buy it. I’m skimming it as I print it out. Serious editing will happen when I get the whole book printed out. I think it’s well-written. I think the story will hold the reader’s interest. I hope it will change things. That’s why I wrote it. Pen mightier than the sword and all that kind of thinking . . .

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Well Written Piece about Charlottesville Va Events

There was a demonstration at Charlottesville, VA sometime recently, and it has brought out strong feelings from nearly everyone I have seen comment or write on it. I am aware there were people who openly identify as white supremacists in attendance. While I disagree with their defining viewpoints, I do not want to see their […]

via Political Silencing — What Is Wrong with This Country

Managing My Time

I am having problems managing my time lately. I’ve joined a couple groups and have found that if I go to all the fun things they do that I don’t have the energy or time to work on my writing.  I also have a teaching youtube channel and would like to make and publish a video each week on that. My son has a youtube channel and he makes a five minute video weekly no matter what else is going on. I’ve made that my goal.

I made this week’s video on Tuesday. I have worked on editing it off and on all week. I have it down to just under ten minutes. That’s twice as long as I wanted, but I’m not making it over. It’s not perfect, but if I wait for it to be perfect, I’ll publish a video every two months like I’ve been doing, and that’s not working well for me.

I’m uploading the video right now on my youtube channel, which is called Readingbymscorbett       . . .   I’m keeping the notes and monologue speeches I’m writing for the videos with the idea of publishing them as a book sometime in the future.

I have many dreams and ideas.

I have one book I really want to get published. I need to set aside specific time to work on that during the week.

I’m not a good budgeter of my time.

I’m trying to get better.

I’ve decided to socialize twice a week so I have time for my writing and video projects.

I’ve set the goal for making my video by Tuesday of each week and for publishing it by Sunday of each week.

I need to set a goal for how much I work on my blindman book and how much I work on my pet poetry book. I want both of those published by year’s end and August is almost half over.

I’ve finished feeling disappointed with Writers Digest for not buying the article I sent. I’m ready to seek a new market to send that to. All writers receive rejections. I cannot let it stop me from continuing to write and continuing to submit what I write.

For the time being, I’ve decided to self-publish because I’ve tried to sell a book to a publisher or even interest an agent in it, and it takes time for them to consider a submission. I don’t have time to wait for someone to approve my ideas. It takes time for publishers and agents to get back to you. If I succeed, good; if I don’t . . . well, I didn’t waste a publisher’s or an agent’s time, and I didn’t waste my own.