Thursday, March 3, 2022

Teachers on the brink

 It's kinda amazing. 

People are wondering why is there a teacher shortage? 

Why are over 50% of current teachers considering leaving the profession? 


Maybe because they get no respect. Parents who tell their kids that "those who can't do--teach" somehow expect that these kids will respect the teachers? 


But since the pandemic it has been hell. 

People are blaming the teachers for everything. 

"Why isn't teaching an essential job? Why aren't the kids in schools? I don't want my kid to wear a mask! HOW DARE YOU MAKE MY KID WEAR A MASK!!!"

--That entitled shout?  Has now become-- I want my child to eat peanut butter and I don't care if someone else's child DIES!!!!! HOW DARE YOU NOT ALLOW MY KID TO EAT PEANUT BUTTER!

I WANT MY KID TO BE ABLE TO CARRY A GUN TO SCHOOL! (I haven't really heard about this--but it wouldn't surprise me.)

The parents are worse than the kids. 

Schools should remain open. OPEN I tell you-- no matter what! I don't care if there's a bomb threat. 

 Then there are those who are markedly kind.  "My kid had a rough time during the pandemic."

Guess what--so did your kid's teacher.

Your kid's teacher thinks about them all the time.  Am I good enough to teach them? Why aren't I getting through to them?  What's going on at home? Is someone hurting them? Am I doing something wrong? 

Teachers are suffering. 

And when a teacher suffers so does their family. Because we want to help. 

And the teachers--they want to teach. They missed your kids. 

What they don't miss is all the bullshit. And they are leaving. 

My sweet husband is an exceptional teacher--and he's considered leaving the profession. A Profession that he was born to do--and he's just so fricking good at. 

Congrats--people have made a passion driven job so hellish that people just can't deal. 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Pages and listents

 So when I was dusting off the furniture of the blog, I gave some thought as to whether or not I wanted to change the name. 

I decided against it. 

For one, even though things have been crazy, I still feel the need to talk about pages, stages and rages.  

So now-- The Pages. 

I work in Publishing again.  For a big publishing company.  I work in audiobooks.  There was big transition, and I felt like I would be fired at many points. Maybe more on that later. 

The thing I wanted to talk about is audiobooks. 

They are great. There are some (Andy Weir novels especially) that are actually better as an audiobook than as a print book. More often (the In Death series--the Harry Potter series) they are equal. I get incredibly angry when people (like one of Lotus' teachers ) say that they are not the same and that if she wants her reading to count she has to do it with the eyes. 

First, it's so fucking ablelist. There are people who can't see, can't read, have severe learning disabilities that make reading a chore. Audiobooks even the playing field. And now, audiobooks have been coming into their own. We have full-cast versions of books, sound effects and audio only titles. 

Lotus--not unsurprisingly has started listening to audiobooks.  When I first started this job, she called them "listents" (pronounced list-tent) so sometimes I do say that when I mean that I haven't even picked up the print version. 

More often, I do simultaneous reading.  I get the audiobook (if it is one that we publish I can download it) and the print from the library and go between them. 

But in the past two years--I kinda went back to rereads. Not that there's anything wrong with that--but I just haven't found enough new books to grab me. 

Well, so far in 2022, that seems to be at an end. 

On my goodreads account I did the reading challenge for 100 books for 2022.  I'm at 7. 

One I put down unfinished--mainly because I started to want to slap the hero across the face. But my rule is if I have finished over a third of the book--It goes in my goodreads as read. 

So here's  some what I've been reading and listening to. 

Blind Tiger by Sandra Brown --Four Stars (out of 5)

Both Audio and Print.

I either like Ms. Brown's books or I REALLY don't. This was the former. She really should do more historical fiction as she has the knack of making me forget where I am when she builds the setting historically.  This one, set in the height of prohibition is wonderful. 

The audio, well, if I didn't work in the business, I'd say was great, but since I do there were some production details that could be seen to. 

Becoming by Nora Roberts -- Three Stars

Print only

I LOVED the first book in this trilogy--Awakening.  The only reason I didn't make it a 5 star book was because it ended on a cliffhanger and I hate that in books.  This book was--okay. Granted I hold Ms. Roberts to a much higher standard but I was so looking forward to it and it just didn't live up to my hopes. Which isn't to say I can't wait to see how it ends in the next book.

Forgotten in Death by JD Robb --Four Stars Reread

Audio only

So after a disappointing Nora Roberts, I went back to In Death, and enjoyed the listen.

Untitled book - put down unfinished. 

I might go back to this book so I'm not listing the title here


and more to come


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Well--I am back


The last time I wrote a word on this was 2018. 


So, What's been going on? 

New Job. 

I work in publishing. I work with audiobooks.  After a longer than should be adjustment time, I am starting to feel competent at my job. I like my boss and my coworkers. 


Oh yeah-- is there still a Pandemic? 

Fuck yes. I work from home now. And I shepherded my beautiful daughter through remote learning. And oh yeah--we're remote learning.  But my teacher husband is expected to go in and work with the high school kids.  

It sucks. 


I like 9 years old. 


I still love him. He loves me. But the pandemic was not good for our marriage. We're working it out. 


And We're working out. We started Zoom.  I've so far lost 15 lbs. So has my husband. Yeah he started a month ago and I've been on since October. But that is men and women's different body chemistry. Does that bother me. Oh you bet your ASS!

Well I'm dusting off the furniture of this blog. Maybe I will post a lot. Maybe a little.  But. I'm back. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Hmm. Now why don't she write?

Yeah. It's been a bit.

Here's why.


I had it.

I'm still recovering.

I spent a week sick. I went to the doctor who sent me to the hospital for nearly another week. I came home and was barely able to move for falling asleep.

It's hard to explain how it feels to be so weak. How it feels to tell my daughter that mommy can't right now and needs to nap. The fear in her eyes as she saw me in the hospital. I'm still not back at 100%, I'd say I was about back to 70%.

What else is going on.

My oldest niece got married.
The less said the better.
The ceremony was beautiful. The reception was not.
And I'm looking at my oldest niece and wondering what became of the little girl I adored. In her place is this bridezilla who managed to hand out emotional gut-punches at her wedding the way I handed out Milky-ways on halloween.

Since then I invited her to Thanksgiving to try to set a new tone to our relationship. I have since been ghosted. No answer. No response to my many queries. So I'm assuming she and her new husband won't be here. After a long talk with my husband I realized that I don't miss the person I just saw--I miss the one who I watched grow.  And to be honest, I'll be missing her father, mother, and sister--my youngest niece who has a good head on her shoulders, kindness in abundance, and a boyfriend who appreciates both--more than I will miss the older one. But family shifts are like earthquakes and they aren't fun.

More later--the 70% is almost up.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Where I rage

"They weren't killed with guns but with hate. Well now I have hate!"
--Maria, West Side Story.

I forgive the author of my #MeToo moment because he changed. He changed into someone who could never do that again. But the person has changed and this jerk didn't.

I was the same age as Dr. Ford.

So when Senator Collins said that she didn't believe her and voted this prick bastard onto the Supreme Court. I raged.

I am still raging.

An open letter to Senator Collins,

I hope they haunt you.
The women who will die because of your vote.
Not only the women who will die when Roe is overturned.
Not only them.

But the woman who was raped and was told, by you, by your vote that if she comes forward no one will believe her.
Some will die inside as they hide away from the world.
Some will die because you have given people the idea that rape is somehow a woman's fault and they will commit suicide.
Some will die because they don't go to the hospital because you told them they will not be believed.    You told them that they will be laughed at. Not only that but it is all right that they are laughed at. I hope those women haunt you.

I hope you see their faces, white, brown, Asian, when you try to fall asleep and you can't.
I hope you hear their screams in your nightmares.
I hope you don't sleep.

I hope you know that because of you, that part of them have died.
I hope you get that.
I hope you suffer with this choice.

Moreover I hope you do not retire in 2020 and you get voted out on your ass.

I hope you don't suffer alone.
I wish the same on Senators Flake, Graham, and Grassley. I would wish it on McConnell but I don't believe he has a soul to be tormented.

I believe you do. And I hope you do. I hope you live a long life so you see what your actions have wrought. I hope you feel remorse then.

Until then, I hope you suffer as we are suffering now.

Monday, October 1, 2018

I'm still here

Shit--not since August?

I've been writing.

A lot.

I got a new idea and I'm 10,000 words into the novel.

I'm revising the other novel.

And I don't always have time to do what I want to do with writing.

I'm also tutoring. More in another post. I'm job hunting and trying to find something full-time or at least part time to help us with the bills.

My daughter started first grade.
My father is 91.
My niece is getting married. Yep. To him. In a month.

I'm disgusted by what is going on in the senate and seriously considering looking for a job in another country to move us to that other country. Even as I meet new people as part of my child's school community and set down more roots. I am scared.

And that's about it. We're all caught up.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Writer's Digest Conference 2018--things that I learned


What a weekend I had!

I went to the Writer's Digest Conference.
I was surrounded by writers.
I was surrounded by people who create.
I saw someone having a spirited conversation with herself. She saw me staring at her and she said, "I'm having a disagreement with my main character." and walked off.
I totally understand this.

I learned that other writers are not my competition. Nor am I theirs.
I don't read just one writer in any genre. Why should I assume my readers will? There is room for all of us on the bookshelf. (and if there isn't--we just build more shelves.)

I learned that if you are a female writer, you are not given as many chances to succeed as a male writer. Not nice--but it seems to be true. Women are more likely to be told to stop writing where men are told to write something else. (It was a fantastic discussion after one of the breakout sessions.)

I learned that there are many different opinions about writing a character who is not your race and culture. All of the opinions are valid. For myself, I know I could never write a story like The Hate You Give or Children of Blood and Bone. I couldn't.

That being said, no one else could write the story I'm writing with Shawn, a young black man as one of the ensemble characters, because I know Shawn. I hear his voice in my head clearly and I can't change his race or one thing about him. I will be getting (more) sensitivity reads, but he is who he is.

If we limit ourselves to what we know, we don't grow. Not as authors, not as readers. That being said there is a fine line between admiration and appropriation. Staying on one side of the line is safer. But don't bust through the line like a winning runner breaking through the tape. That isn't winning. The best line about this came in one session--"You can do it--just don't fuck it up."

I learned that for every "rule" you can name a book that successfully breaks the same rule. Which means that I can do--as long as I do it incredibly well.

I learned that stillness is power. On the page between characters  and sitting with agents pitching them. Four out of six want to at least look at my work. Two of them want complete manuscripts. I attribute this to good pitches, and a good story. I also managed to quell my tendency to babble and be still after my pitches--that's when they said--I want to see more.

I also learned I have a lot to do. A lot of writing and growing--but I'm running towards the path--not trudging my way to it. And That has more to do with the people I met there!

Thanks Writers Digest for an amazing conference!

To all who have come here from my twitter link--welcome! So glad to see you! Let's write the next chapter, shall we?