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.

                                     ***************************************************************

Advertisements

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 . . .

*********************************************************************

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.

Substitution for Voice Blog

Good Morning, Writer Friends,

I came to my blog this morning and wrote 239 words about how to find your voice when writing.

As I edited it to make it more readable, and better phrased, I wondered if Writer’s Digest Magazine would be a place that might accept it as a submission? It was well-written, in my opinion, and might find a better home in a magazine than in a blog.

I immediately “googled” Writer’s Digest Magazine Submissions to find out how to submit an article to them online.

I decided to do that instead of publishing my blog on voice here today. If they reject it, I will come back and post it here. If they accept it, you will be the first to know and you can read it in their magazine.

If you are not familiar with Writer’s Digest Magazine,  I suggest you familiarize yourself with it. They offer very helpful advice to writers. I have read it for years and enjoy the whole magazine. I’ve learned much while reading it.

If you want to  submit online to any magazine, go to “google” search engine and type in the name of the magazine followed by the word submissions. They usually have whether or not they buy from new writers and how to submit. Please read all the information they list. It is all important. You want to find the name of the editor who buys submissions as well as the terms of sale. Some magazines, like Writers Digest, will tell you the upcoming themes or topics for their magazines.

Spend as much time researching your markets as you do writing your piece, and eventually you’ll find yourself published.

Write every day. Rewrite and be patient.

 

hi/lo Books

I am working on hi/lo books. They may be short stories. Maybe a book of hi/lo short stories?

Hi/lo books are books written for adults who may be learning to read. The interest level is high . . . things that adults like to read; the reading level is low, so adults learning to read can read them.

I have a friend who has started a school for senior adults – ages 60 to 90. I believe we can keep learning no matter how old we grow.

I think reading is a fundamental, necessary skill.

I would be very proud if the books/stories I am writing are read and enjoyed by those who are learning to read as adults.

******************************************************

 

Pet Stories?

I’m still working on the Pet Poetry book. I found a short story mixed in with the poems today. I shared it with a friend who really liked it, she said. I liked it. I wrote it almost two years ago. There is another short story in that folder as well that I’ve found.

I wonder, if after I publish the pet poetry book, if I could publish a book of short stories? My poems are very short stories themselves, but these short stories I’ve found are just that – real short stories . . . I guess the thing to do is research how long a short story book is and how many stories most contain? I know there are magazines that publish short stories as well. I’m just not sure this one is appropriate for the short story magazines I know.

It seems that the more I work, the more ideas I find.

**********************************

Pet Poetry

I have been working on a Pet Poetry book for years. I have a collection of poems I’ve written about various pets I’ve owned since the 1980’s. Some have been published in magazines; some have not.

I always thought I would put them in a book and publish them. I can’t remember how hard I’ve searched for a Poetry book publisher. I think I gave up awhile ago and decided to publish it on Createspace. I thought it would be a good first book to publish partly because it’s short and partly because it’s written. I just have to organize it.

I am trying to find pictures to go with the poems. I’ve moved so much that pictures have been lost or misplaced. I may be able to take pictures or even draw outlines of what the poem is about.

Right now I’m going through the poems and trying to make sure there’s some kind of picture to illustrate each one. Last night I debated having the picture on the opposite page from the poem, or putting it under the poem. I think having it first might give away some of the endings, so I went with putting an illustration under the poem.

In checking to see if Createspace publishes chapbooks, I read about a poet who has published nine of them there, and she says they sell quite well.

My poems tell a little story and they rhyme. They have meter. I took (or started taking) a poetry course at UNCW when I was getting my Masters degree and ended up dropping it. The poets in that course wrote in free verse. I didn’t feel like I fit in.

When I was in school we studied poets and were even required to memorize certain poems. These verses have come in handy over my lifetime. When stressed, sometimes a line or two will pop into my head. When searching for a reply to someone I have at times quoted a line from a poem.

Much as some things people say trigger a song memory, so too do some things trigger a poem memory for me.

I love poetry and love writing poems. I hope when my book is published, that people will enjoy reading it. I may also put it in the kindle version.

All this is still in development, but I am amazed that I already have so many poems that I can put in the book.

I did some research last night and learned that a chapbook has 40 or less poems and is around one theme. Well, good.

When I get the book published, I will list the link to it here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Thinking Part of Writing

I have been keeping a schedule of the time I’ve spent writing, and I’m disappointed in myself.

However, this morning, as I mentally designed a page/picture for my poetry book that I hope to finally publish this year!, I realized that I spend a lot of time thinking about writing, and not just “I want to be a writer”, but “how can I make this work in the book?”.

I think the thinking part of writing is as important and the act of writing itself.

Often when I sit down to write, I have worked out the words and the flow in my mind before my fingers ever touch the keyboard.

So yes, yesterday was an “off” day for me as far as writing, but while I was “off”, I figured out a couple of ways to illustrate two of my poems and when I sit down today to enter those pictures/drawings, I will know exactly what to do.

I’ve heard of writer’s block where folks sit and stare at the blank page (screen?). I’ve never had it because my mind sorts things out before I ever sit down and start writing.

Also, all these many, many years, as I’ve had writing ideas, I’ve jotted them down, or started this or that project and I know where each one is headed. All I need to do is get to that file/project and continue.

I’ve felt like I’ve wasted so many years not being published, but perhaps they were not as wasted as I think?

*************************************************

Writers Market Versus Web Search

I’ve always been a big fan of the Writers Market. I have sat down and read it page by page in an effort to educate myself in the best way to use it. It has symbols and tips and then the listings themselves. . .

Recently, when I had an article (two, so far) ready to market, I got my Writers Market out and looked for a place to submit. I found little or no markets using my scan of categories of magazines that publish what I have to sell. This is strange. I’ve always used the Writers Market to find publishers.

I came to this computer after that disappointment and googled the title of what I am trying to sell and added “magazines” to the end of those words and pressed enter. My most recent search (about my raised plant bed article) has yielded 19 possibilities. I’ll do them like I did the other article and check Writers Market for their listing and also go to the magazine’s online website to see if they will be a good candidate for my article. I am very selective to whom I submit manuscripts because there’s no need to waste their time or mine submitting to places that don’t publish the kinds of things I think they do, or who don’t buy from un-agented writers.

Anyway, since this has happened with my last two submissions, I may start going to the internet first and then check the Writers Market.

Everyone else may already do it this way, but I’ve been writing since the 1980’s (for possible publication) plus going through a lot in life and also raising three children while working full time. This is finally my time to pursue a writing career, and I may be behind the times. I am very grateful that most places accept online submissions and I no longer have to use snail mail to reach editors. Perhaps the internet is an easier way to find publishers? It’s proven to be quicker so far.

****************************************