Thursday, October 31, 2013

When you have to explain your Halloween costume…

Today is Halloween, one of my favorite holidays of the year! I love dressing in costume. As a matter of fact, I have more than one costume to wear today. It does bother me that, as a Texan (from Fort Worth, no less!), a woman, and an educator, I’ve actually had to explain my work costume…to other educated people. The pink shoes should have been a major give away to anyone who has paid attention to anything going on in this state for the last 5 months.

I feel like I need to wear a nametag that says, “Hello, My name is Wendy Davis, and I’m running for Governor.” Wendy, who is the most passionate cheerleader of public education the state has seen in a very long time, is not recognizable to educators. If “all politics is local,” then we need to make sure everyone can recognize their local politicians and know what they stand for (which is to say, more than just “Oh, she’s a Democrat,” or “Yep, he’s a Republican”). These are the people who make the decisions that most affect our lives, so to not know someone as influential as a state senator and gubernatorial candidate…well, it’s just sad to me.

She’s more than just a pair of pink shoes speaking for 11 hours about abortion and women’s health. She’s not a one-issue candidate. Take a look. Also, check out her competition. Know the issues…all of them…then decide. The fact that so many educated people are so uninformed leads me to believe that the rest of the state is either just as badly informed or…not at all!

We have a year, Texas. A long, long year.

If you don’t know Wendy, here’s her campaign video explaining who she is in less than 5 minutes.

Here’s what the Texas Observer has to say about her chances of winning in red state Texas:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Finding the Writing Time…

“Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.” ~E. L. Doctorow

I used to believe that I had no time to write. As a high school librarian, my day is busier than one might expect. It should be, really, if you’re doing a good job. I do have brief moments of downtime, though, and I finally learned to take advantage of this. I used to fill this time by reading random articles online. Unless they are about librarianship, though, that is definitely not a productive use of my time (although I do learn quite a bit of general information, so…I’ll still keep doing this every once in a while). Now, if I have time on my hands, I spare a few minutes here, a few minutes there and, eventually, I have sentences and paragraphs strung together into something that someone might want to read.

The point is, you can’t “plan” to write. You just have to do it. I’ve been telling myself this for years. I have so many synopsis and outlines for screenplays and stories (which, if more thought is put into it, could be novels!), but nothing has really, actually been finished. I have a screenplay that I’m working on right now, editing it to perfection, so that I can have a completed 1st draft. It’s not finished yet, though. It won’t be until I say it is. This novel that I plan…oops…that I’m going to write in November, may very well turn into a screenplay when I get down to it, but I have to get down to it!

In saying this, if you’re going to be a writer, you ultimately have to hold yourself accountable for your writing. If you have a busy life full of work, exercise (I personally practice yoga and Nia), take care of a home, and also try to have a fulfilling social life, you really have to make time to write. I used to say that I only had time to write when I had school breaks, but that simply isn’t true. I don’t even have the excuse of kids to distract me from my passion. I have time to write whenever possible, but I simply have to make myself do it. Sometimes it can be a chore. Sometimes I have to stop myself from just plain goofing off and direct that energy to putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. It’s a daily reminder, like taking vitamins or doing that exercise. You have to put it into your daily routine to make it a habit.

So, with that being said, if you are going to be a writer, like E.L. Doctorow says, you must write. Stop planning on someday and make it happen today. Yes, if you’ve made it this far in the post, you have found that I am really speaking to myself as much as anyone else out there. What are you waiting for? Get to it!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

To be a writer…

The Fearless Butterfly,
Spreading its wings,
Flits ever so close
To the flame
Dreaming of warmth,
But cautious of the burn.

I’ve always wanted to earn my living as a writer. I just assumed that I’d either have to live a life of poverty, or have a full-time “regular” job to actually take care of my day to day living. Stuff like food, shelter, transportation, and clothing don’t just pay for themselves!

As I approach 40 a few years from now, I’m still working towards that dream. I write short stories, social issue essays, poetry, screenplays, and…starting in November for NaNoWriMo…a novel! I’ve spent the past 15 years either working in publishing, teaching others how to write as an English teacher, and sharing the joy of reading as a librarian. The time as a writer for me is now.

I hope you enjoy my ramblings as well as the creative endeavors I hope to share here. I plan on posting frequently and look forward to your comments, questions, and praise!