Author & Teacher

Frantic February – Glad to see the back of it

Once again, I am last-minute posting. Already my worst month of the year, this February held a lot of unexpected (and okay, expected) obstacles. I am going to sound a bit like a fuddy-duddy in this post, but, hey, I only have one hour and fifty-five minutes to make my deadline.

For some incredibly stupid reason I thought it would be a good idea to take an online writing course this month. I have three beginnings of non-fiction pieces, and that’s it. I am really happy with the content of what I’m learning, however, it’s report card time which has, once again, sucked every spare moment out of my evenings.

If I could tell parents anything, it’s to check on their kids’ assignments – nothing sets me further behind than playing catch up on late assignments tossed on my desk right before my report cards are due. I end up marking missing or late assignments instead of projects that should be assessed for the report card.

Even more than that, I want to tell parents to check their kids’ social media. As a teacher I hear teens talk, and I see some of their posts (they show me) and some of what’s out there is really disturbing. (Also disturbing, but no longer my issue, are the abusive right-wingers on Twitter. Nice to see so many people step up to knock these dudebros down a few pegs. Just gross.)

I am still fairly happy with my decision to go back to work full time. Finding a balance has been difficult, but I really like my students, and the staff I’m working with is great. And I speak French ALL THE TIME. Well, okay, that’s a lie. But I am speaking it more, and as usual, I am much more comfortable speaking it to students than the other teachers. I’ll get there.

I’ve started a poetry slam group at my school, and I am so impressed with my poets. They are so damn talented and brave. We will be competing at the Can You Hear Me Now poetry slam on April 28. I think we’re all just excited to have team shirts. It’s nice to have an admin that celebrates and supports sports teams and the school band, but also the purveyors of the fine(st) arts. The art teacher and I have some big plans for next year.

Which brings me to my (lack of) writing. I do have some new non-fiction started because of the class I’m taking with award-winning writer Nicole Breit. If you’re interested in learning from her, check out her website here. She’s great – really knows her stuff.

I’ve made a lot of planning progress with my new novel – the main character’s name is Bo — he’s twelve and has lost his mom — and there seem to be a lot of circles and rings and roundabouts showing up in the different themes. There’s a firefighter and a Starbucks-drinking-SUV-driving soccer mom. Politics. Geo-caching. Soon I’ll be ready to go back to my workshop group with another section. (Soon meaning…September?)

This spring, my essay Tributaries (loosely inspired by Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women) will be published by The New Quarterly. I shortlisted in the Edna Staebler CNF contest this year, and I’m really pleased TNQ decided to publish my piece.

Lots of travel coming up – looks like I may be off to Quebec (where I will HAVE to speak French) as well as a family trip to London where I will most-assuredly NOT be speaking French. We also have a more-than-tentative plan to spend time in Italy and France this summer, if everything falls into place.

I know an update post is kind of a scam, but it’s all I’ve got right now. I have been out of the game (all games) for the past year or so, and I have to play catch up. I miss my writerly friends, and I need to get down to the river more than I have been.

In other news, if anyone needs any kind of Netflix recommendations, I can probably help you out. 🙂

Song: Summer, Highland Falls, Billy Joel (going through his list since reading his biography)
Netflix Recommendation: Trapped
Book: Men We Reaped – beautiful descriptions


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