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Friday, May 24, 2013

Round the Bend

Okay-- first of all, I must have gone around the bend, because I signed up to go to RWA in July.  I figure of all the cons, this one is the least invasive to the family.  The kids are out of school, and Big T will be home for child care, and all Mate has to do is make sure there's food in the fridge and a play pool in the back yard.

Of course once I signed up for it I went, "Why did I do that again?  What's in this for me?"

Honestly, not much.  I think I mostly signed up so I could be there for my publisher.  She's the sort of person you want to do for.

And speaking of "Round the Bend"-- summer is almost here.  Squish has a birthday party tomorrow that involves her at the pool.  I'm planning on hanging out and watching her and bringing my knitting.  I'm sort of head-buried in my WIP right now (uhm, Ethan, for those of you who are curious and might recognize that name!) so pulling my head out is going to count as a major parental moment for me right there.  So is going up to Tahoe with the family.  I know that sounds selfish-- and believe me I feel it-- but I could have stayed up all night, completely, and done about 15 K last night-- I was on a roll.  I stopped at 1:30 and came to bed, and I'm ready to go today, but when the dragon is riding-- well, I've done this long enough to know that sometimes, that fucker just does not feeling like getting out of his cave.  Sometimes you have to poke and prod and kick and shout, and then he'll up and take you for a ride.  So if he's raring to go, I'm reluctant to put him back in the cave.  What if he goes to sleep in there and gets comfy?

But then, Squish and Zoomboy aren't going to be Squish and Zoomboy forever, so sometimes that fucker has to work to the bell like the rest of us, right?

Anyway-- Mate took the kids to a King's Rally yesterday.  The entire city (okay, 10,000 people) were just psyched to have their team stay in Sacramento.  There was entertainment and food and a lot of joy and a sobbing Zoomboy (because heaven forbid it all be flowers) and eventually some celebration when he could see.

And an earthquake.

Now Mate and the kids did not feel the earthquake, but I didn't attend the celebration, and I did.

It went something like this.  I wiggled in my chair.  The entire table swayed.  I thought, "Did I do that?"  And then I spent the next ten minutes (dog in bosom, mind you, just like the picture shows) wiggling in my chair to get the table to do that really cool thing again.

So, as far as disasters go, it could have been worse.  (Have we all donated to Red Cross for Tornado Relief?  I know I have!)

And about that summer vacation thing?

I went to Squish's class to help donate some fruit and some time making fruit plates as the kids had a "book reading and tea".  They loved it, but afterwards, I talked to Squish's teacher about "Hey, summer's coming!"

The look she sent me was haggard.  "Yes," she said, obviously at the end of her proverbial rope.  "I've only got eight days teaching to go!"  (She's taking next Friday off--smart girl!)

If I had her class, I'd be haggard too.  Seriously-- the thing about first grade is that only the most obvious of disabilities and problems have been identified.  Next year, the first quarter is going to be spent evaluating and assessing the kids that have been giving her fits this year and getting them into a more appropriate place in the class.

But until that happens?  This year was a nightmare for her.  She had kids in this class I wouldn't wish on a scorpion--and she's a nice person!  And it's hard, too, because the kids are sweet.  They're really sweet.  They're huggers, and excited about school, and happy to learn-- but they're so needy.  They can not be in a class with thirty-one other students and thrive.  They can't.  It's not fair to anyone in that room, and I'm back where I was fifteen years ago, wanting to throw some shit-for-brains government pigfucker against a wall and scream in his face until I spit.  People wonder how kids can graduate without knowing how to read.  I don't.  These kids do more homework than I ever dreamed of as a kid-- Zoomboy, who is pretty damned smart, is falling out of his chair with frustration by the end of the day.  But I swear, if he was in a class with twenty kids instead of thirty-three, he'd need to do twenty minutes of homework instead of an hour, and the whole class would take a test score jump.  And my kids are the good ones.  My kids are the ones who get the "Oh, your child is such a joy, I wish we had a whole classroom of him/her!" reports.  What about the kids who are physically incapable of sitting still for an hour?  (And as adults, we should all remember that we feel the need to get up, get a drink of water, go pee, and pet the cat at least once every 45 minutes, right?  What must that be like for a little kid?)

Seriously-- my stance on this has not changed since taxes got painful (and they were, this year-- sayin'.)  This country will never succeed until it pulls its collective head out of it's money-tightened sphincter and educates its populace in a fair and effective manner.  Just sayin'.

But in twelve days total, that will be moot.  My kids are gonna be television watching, book reading, wading-pool playing slackers and we're going to encourage the holy hell out of that.  Sure, we'll take them to the ocean, and you bet your ass there will be trips to the zoo, but as soon as the kids are done with recital and on to Camp Grandmas, we want them to recharge.  We want them to get bored.  Kids who are chronically bored get into trouble.  Kids who are periodically bored play until their little noggins expand, and we want that kind of boredom.  It's good for them!

And, of course, I'm going to write my ass off.

A lot of people have been asking about Quickening. I had a sit-down with Mate, about income, and how much we can expect and what I want to do with the writing and various parts of it.  We decided that we will have a very concrete place in our finances where I can spend three months writing the book, and another month fluffing and dusting the rest of the series and re-releasing it, and when we get to that place, I can work on my Little Goddess.  So those of you who are waiting-- there will be a Quickening.  Believe me-- when I actually have to look at a spreadsheet and calculate income, I am damned serious about something.  We have a goal now, a place to aspire to, and I think I can make that happen--and maybe sooner than later.  So now you know.

P.S.-- I just got my author copies of Racing for the Sun.  Now, the last time I did this, the copy of Bolt Hole remained unclaimed, so that's still on the table.  I will run the randomizer on Tuesday morning for a paperback copy of Bolt Hole and one of Racing for the Sun to anyone who comments between now and then.  If you don't claim your prize and e-mail me your address w/in three days after I post the winners, the book goes back into the pot!

Oh yeah-- and anyone who wants a bookmark packet of Racing for the Sun, Bolt-Hole and my ubiquitous banner, contact me via my website and I'll set you up!







32 comments:

evainesaid said...

You know, you're a great mom. You get it. So many don't. I just wanted to tell you that. :) Summer is indeed in the air!

ad0ffae6-78f6-11e1-8cde-000bcdcb5194 said...

I'm glad the Kings are staying--that must have been fun! (Sacramento sounds cool with the Citizen Hotel and the good chocolate and coffee, but I haven't made it there yet.) Now, if the Sharks could just escape the weekend without any more trouble...sigh. The books sound amazing!

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

Kim Whaley said...

Cool. You go write. I know I will grab up whatever you produce. :)

Urb said...

Love the pictures! Thanks for sharing such a sweet slice if up your busy life. Go to RWA, and have fun!
Urb
brendurbanist at gmail dot com

Carolina said...

Tell me about schools. It's funny, because I'm not from the , but in my country we have the exact same problems concerning education, if not worse. How can it be that the entire world recognize the value of education, specially to children, but we are still rendered powerless in that subject by the guys upstairs? It just baffles me [ and irritates me to no end].

Looking forward to your new books, as always. And please consider me for the giveaway! My wallet always appreciate free books LOL

carolina.sbento@gmail.com

Posy Roberts said...

I'm so with you one the school thing. Mine was one of the kids who every teacher loved until her ADHD took over and she couldn't focus in class anymore. This year I put her in a private school with 22 kids in her class. She's done really well. Next year, it's middle school and huge classes again.

When I talked to people about my kid's summer plans—they had their kids overscheduled to the brink—and told them that Poppy was going to hang at home and read and make movies and play with neighbor kids, I was looked at as if I were daft.

Hello? Kids need to learn how to self entertain and deal with boredom, and be given times of boredom so they know how to be creative. That's my two cents, at least. I'm so with you.

SM Zeoanne said...

Thirty plus students in a classroom? WOW! How can anyone learn? There's only so much a teacher can do per student. I feel sorry for the teachers that are put in that kind of situation and for the kids, especially with the 'No kid left behind' shit! Your kids sound wonderful, BTW.

zeoanne @ gmail . com

Tracy Faul said...

My kids got out of school today for the summer, and I'm already ready to tear my hair out in frustration! I love giving them the chance to recharge their batteries, but I'm a bit hampered by the fact that there's really not a lot to do around here, and while there's stuff not too far away, a new fridge at the beginning of the month means that I really can't afford GAS to run to anywhere with fun stuff. Luckily my parents will be visiting a lot & they like to spoil us (by which I mean the kids) with trips to fun stuff (& they pay my gas so I can drive instead of them). :D

Also, BOOKS! ( tracykitn AT yahoo DOT com )

VThompson said...

The photo of your boobie hamster is wonderful! Hope you get to a point that Quickening is feasible, we'd all love to see it....

Jbst said...

Wishing you a great time at RWA, and lots of special Summertime fun with the family.

strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

Alex W. said...

I loved school, but I could never be a school teacher (though summers off would be nice). So major props to those who were and those who are.

Though your comments about the kids not being sorted out yet reminds me of "Oddly Normal" by John Schwartz, a memoir that I'd absolutely recommend (I actually wrote a review of it for a social work magazine). It deals with sexuality, the school system, and mental health. That's a big basket. A book I'd recommend (you can get it at the library if you want to test drive it)...you know, for all your massive amounts of free time...

Manxkity said...

I remember my summers consisting of absolutely no tv, outside all day, bare feet, skinned knees & stubbed toes. Eating oranges until we were covered in sticky mud and had to be hosed off before coming inside at dusk. Da telling us we could read any book we could reach on the floor to ceiling bookcases. One summer was all about Andre Norton & Ray Bradbbry.

I find kids that read are more polite and can actually talk to you.

Write on, my dear, write on

Huggles
ManxKity

Roxie said...

Stupid school budgets? You mean like in Moore OK where they get about one force 4 tornado a year and they can't afford to build a safe room in the schools?

Hugs to all of your family! Write on!

Keela_1221 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keela_1221 said...

30 kids a class?! There is no way a kid can learn like that!! That is a terrible situation, those poor kids and teachers! I hope you and yours have a wonderful summer!

keela_1221@yahoo.com

Blaine D. Arden said...

My boys LOVED school when they were still in primary school. One summer holiday they spent the first week on a week-long korfball camp (you'd expect them to be knackered... yeah... as if!). When they returned they were so eager to go back to school, that they stared at me in shock when I told them they still had 5 more weeks of summer holidays.

Those are the precious moments I save :) (of course, they don't believe me when I tell them... *shakes head* kids!) LOL

blaine at blainedarden dot come

Blaine D. Arden said...

My boys LOVED school when they were still in primary school. One summer holiday they spent the first week on a week-long korfball camp (you'd expect them to be knackered... yeah... as if!). When they returned they were so eager to go back to school, that they stared at me in shock when I told them they still had 5 more weeks of summer holidays.

Those are the precious moments I save :) (of course, they don't believe me when I tell them... *shakes head* kids!) LOL

blaine at blainedarden dot come

a03dc980-9900-11e2-b72b-000bcdcb471e said...

Railing against the education system could be a full-time 24/7 job, just because you'd be constantly saying things to people in power who don't listen. Ugh. Just reading that and typing this response is putting me in a bad mood.

Soooo, summmer? Fun? Yeah, that's the stuff. I hope you have a most marvelous time in Tahoe and that the kids will be sufficiently bored in no time at all.

Thanks for being such a doll and offering up some books. Even if I own them in e, paper will always be my true love.

Carolyn
caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com

pointycat said...

I'm pretty sure I was in classes of ~30 many, many years back when I was at school (in the UK).
But our school also had a 'special needs' section where those children that couldn't cope in a normal classroom were taught separately - two classes, granted it was a mix of ages (maybe 11-13 & 14-16 I think), but each class had it's own teacher. And the headmaster was actually more proud when they got passes in their GCSEs than when 'gifted' children got a string of 'A' grades.
And it wasn't until much later that I realised quite how unusual it was for a school to have those kind of classes, never-mind a village school.
One of my friends teaches in a relatively rough school and has said the classes include children with behavioural problems - there's no other option. And that's rough on the children and the teachers :(

Book give-aways always go down well - please count me in!
pointycat69(at)googlemail.com

Millionmph said...

So, I read thorough the entire post, like usual, though I shamefully, rarely comment. But as soon as I got to the last part ”there will be Quickening” I couldn't remember a damn thing else! SQUEEPLOSION! So excited doughboys, no matter house long I must wait!

parkerwilliamsauthorblog said...

You have way too much free time on your hands. ;)

Susan said...

I still love paperbacks, even though I have over 2 gigs of e-books! I'd love to win one.

skadlec1@yahoo.com

Amy Lane said...

This one's from Lladdie:-)

Tina said...

You are my absolute favorite M/M writer. I don't have many paperbacks that I keep to collect. Some Stephen King, the Black Dagger Brotherhood (don't judge me!), the Fever series from Karen Moning. And you!

I don't know how you manage it all, but I couldn't do it. Thanks for being so open with your fans and letting us see the real-life you. I hope to someday get to a GRL and meet you so I can scream and go all drooling fan-girl on you!

Side note, My hair looked just like your daughter's at that age. Not so much any more, but, ya know. Age and stuff.

tmadamski(at)msn(dot)com

Aniko Laczko said...

I loved both those books. Loved. Them! However, I'm international and postage from the US to Australia is ridiculously expensive, so don't worry about entering me in the draw, just wanted to let you know that I loved the books :-)

Juliana said...

Ugh, class sizes are insane, bad since I'm hoping to start teaching... I was going to say something witty but i seem to have forgotten what it was! O.O Oh, well, I hope you guys have a good vacation!
OceanAkers @ aol.com

Amber Stripling said...

My son has been on summer break for a couple of days now. It has been really nice to have my peaceful mornings back. I hope you and your family have a wonderful summer.
tnastrip @ yahoo.com

Melanie said...

If it's not too late, please include me in the giveaway! I already have "Bolt Hole" on my Kindle, but would love to have both books in paperback.

Thank you!

melaniej_evans AT yahoo DOT com

Joanne said...

Did you say Ethan? Hee hee

Skargasm Adams said...

Is the randomiser open to those in the UK???

Money means I AM my kid's entertainment and this summer I want to teach my little monster to swim (wish me luck as I swim like a brick mysef!)

Skargasm Adams said...

Due to money, I AM my kid's entertainment. I am hoping to teach her to swim this summer (wish me luck as I swim like a brick!)

Is the randomiser open to the UK???

Galad said...

All I remember out of this post was Quickening!!!!!!!!!! Just a little excited so will keep my fingers crossed for sooner rather than later :-)