Thursday, May 30, 2013

Feel Good Video Thursday

Apparently I got a little busy last week and forgot to post a video.  It has been a busy couple of weeks. But I'm back with yet another video to celebrate today. Which was the last day of teaching! My munchkins still have exams next week, but I'm done with lesson plans, duties, and basically done with grading (1 class to mark!)

So in honour of surviving a year filled with sports, a championship win, 2 bomb threats, hundreds of lesson plans, and so so so much more.  Here's a video I know all my kids would love to be hearing right now. And to make it even better, it's done by some giant muppets :)



Happy Summer!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Feel Good Video Thursday!

I've actually remembered about my weekly blog post. Even though this has been a tiring, exhausting, and exciting week.

I picked this video because while the media pushes so much negativity on us, it's easy to forget that the average person really does want to help others and really wants to be a good person.

With that in mind, I picked a video that highlights a bunch of people going out of their way to help others. It's in Russian, but I'm sure you'll see that kindness doesn't have a language barrier.

 

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Feel Good Video Thursday

I've decided to start a new weekly post on my blog. Actually, my first weekly post. Let's hope I can keep this up ;)

With Thursdays being the beginning of my weekend, I wanted to pick something that would help kick off my weekend right. Something that would put me in a good mood.

There's so much negativity in the world, and in everyone's everyday life, that I wanted to focus on videos that make me feel good. Things that inspire me and pick me up when all I feel is frustrated.

And without (much) further ado, here is the first video that I chose.

This is a video I go through and watch anytime I get frustrated with teaching.  I love teaching, but sometimes I just need a good reminder as to why. This video always does it for me.

It's Taylor Mali's What Teachers Make




You can find more awesome videos at his website here: http://taylormali.com/

Friday, May 3, 2013

And Finally Back Up


It's been a while. I've been pretty busy with school, coaching, and life and have let my blog fall a bit to the side.

But I'm back.

And I'm back to talk about the post I made two months ago, about getting back up. I'm happy to say that I did it. I got back up. Even more important, I think it was worth it.

So let's backtrack. Two months ago I posted the beginning of my novel on two critique forums. At one place, it was really praised. At the second...well torn to shreds would be a good way to put it.

Saying it was a huge blow to my ego would be an understatement. I do believe there were some tears. And some second guessing about my choice to be a writer.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Kids Say...


A couple of things from teaching today. :)

First!

Today, in class, I was prompting my students to write a scene that showed what their character was like. This was the result.

Me: Tell me the four things I want to see in your scene.

Student 1: Dialogue

Me: Good

Student 2: Action

Me: Yes, what else?

Student 3: Thoughts and Feelings.

Me: And what's the last one?

Them: ...

Me: Starts with a D

Student 4: Dinosaurs!

-_-  Yes.  All of your scenes need to have a dinosaur. At least we're working on historical fiction, so we can almost fit it in.


Second!

I was with my homeroom class for the five minutes before the next class starts. They asked to play silent ball (teachers, if you don't know this game our students are like addicted. It's weird).

I said no (we play hangman on Tuesdays)

Student: Miss, what time did you go to sleep last night?

Me: Why?

Student: You seem tired...and grumpy.

Me:  Bah. Go to class.

Well, at least they feel they can be honest with me.


Friday, March 1, 2013

On Getting Back Up

When I first moved to Kuwait, 6 years ago, I started coaching soccer. In one season, I coached two different teams. Both of those teams went on to the finals. Both lost, but just barely. In one year, I'd established a reputation.

Not only with the other coaches, but with myself. After that first season, I expected to always be successful.

And then year two came around. I went to my first game of the season for my U-14 team. We were playing a weaker team, one we'd easily beaten the year before. I even sat some of my stronger players because I thought it wouldn't be a problem.

It was a problem. We got our butts kicked. Badly.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Quick Video Link Update


It's about time I posted an update. And I have stuff to talk about, I promise. But I've gotten into a bit of a rut with school seriously kicking my butt and needed some time to myself.

So those updates that I planned to write are not written, but should get written soon.

Instead, today I wanted to share another video that I found online. I can only describe it as beautiful. And touching. And truthful.

Ok, so I have a lot of words to describe it.  It is well worth watching, especially if you are a fan of spoken word.

Enjoy and let me know what you thought in the comments!

Bullies Called Him Porkchop 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wordle

Yesterday I was spending my day using my favourite procrastination tool...Absolute Write. (it's a little sad that the site I've used to gain so much knowledge has now become where I waste time).

And then I came across another way to procrastinate (though it is also a helpful revision tool). One of the members posted a link to the website Wordle. A lot of you who read this have probably heard of it before. For those who haven't, it's a site where you can go and paste in a text sample and it'll show you the most common words from your text.

In my case,  I pasted my manuscript into the box and clicked submit. It then gave me an image of all my common words (after I downloaded a Java plug in-that was a bit of a pain in the butt). The bigger the word is, the more I've used it in my manuscript.

Follow the jump if you want to see.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

13!


Hey guys!

I signed up for my first ever blog chain via Absolute Write. Nothing like trying something new for the new year.

The topic was fairly open.  All we had to do was write about something related to the number 13. Easy, right? I figured I'd sign up and worry about the topic later. (I'm sure we can all agree that's not always the best plan, but I think it worked out this time).

I had lots of ideas, but none of them seemed quite right. I could talk about what I was like at 13 (way too scary), 13 things about the Middle East (meh, love it, but wasn't quite right), 13 books that inspired me (again not quite showing off me).

And then I figured out what I wanted to do. I wanted to combine my topic with something else I'd been trying to figure out how to write about.

For Christmas, my husband got me an awesome camera. It's a Fuji  HS30 EXR (for those of you who know anything about cameras). It's awesome. I've wanted a big camera for a while. But I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing with it.

And I don't want to be a person who has this big camera and no idea how to use it. So, I've been struggling my way through it. Taking pictures as often as I can and trying to read about things like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. (most of those still seem like foreign words).

So in honour of the number 13, I thought I'd show you 13 pictures that I've taken with my new camera. Some I like, some are so bad they make me laugh, but they all just make me happy that I'm trying to learn something new.

So without further ado, here are my 13 pictures (watch out, this is about to get pic heavy).

P.S Don't forget to check out all the links at the bottom of my page for other interesting takes on 13.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Marriage Problem

To start with, I debated with posting this topic for quite a while. This blog is supposed to be a reflection of my life and my writing journey, but more and more I'm posting about topics that are important to me-topics that aren't always writing.

Hence today's entry.

Still the debate about today's entry was more about if I wanted to get into something this personal and really share my opinion on a new law in Kuwait. It's a bit of a controversial topic, and I like my blog to reflect more happy, shiny things.

But it's hard to reflect on happy, shiny things when you have something weighing down on your shoulders. And all writers know that sometimes we just have to get it out.

So here it goes.

The Kuwait government could refuse to recognize my marriage.

Friday, January 11, 2013

My Dream Classroom


Starting off with a reminder: I'm a writing teacher at a school in the Middle East. I teach writing full time, to about 200 students. (But only 20 at a time).

There's been some changes at my school recently. I could bore you with all the set up of what our (K-12) school is like, but I don't want to be boring :)

Some of our classrooms are becoming empty for next year-actually, almost a whole floor is emptying out. And I've been offered the chance to move into a new classroom. My current classroom is nice. I like it, but it is small.  Actually, it's too small to have my grade 7s in it because they take up too much space.

So I was offered a new room.

Not just any new room. The best room. I'm pretty sure it's the biggest room in the entire school. It has a Smart Board, a projector, and basically enough space for me to put all my students in one area, and still have another area to do something else with (I have no idea what though!)

I've also been told to order anything I want for the room.

I get to plan my dream classroom.

And that's where my problem starts.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Query Writing

For those who don't know, a query is something writer's write (duh) to try to get an agent or a publisher interested in reading their books and taking them on as clients.

Basically,  it's supposed to be this tantalizing hook into what your book is about and make the agent/publisher say, "Gimme More!" Then, hopefully, they'll request pages and you'll be on your way to being rich and famous (or something like that).

Right now, I'm trying to write my first query.

My last entry? Not a lie. Queries are hard.

You're supposed to take your book and be able to entice someone to read more of it in about 250 words.

Doesn't sound so hard, does it? 250 words, we can write that in 10 minutes. So you try. And then you realize it's really hard to take your 50,000 word novel and pull out the really exciting, really intriguing parts and put them into 250 words.

And you decide screw it. I'm not doing this.

Except you have to. If you want to go the commercial publishing route (which I do).