Sunday, March 29, 2009

A few last bits on the writing.

Everyone's been very kind in the comments. Thank you. I'll try to cover questions asked, but first, I have to mention that I've got a merry band of writers I hang out with on-line, some published some not. We call ourselves the Hive Mind ('cause we all think alike) and call each other names when something good happens. The group first started getting together about eight, nine years ago, and we're still going strong. They're a fun bunch. I know some of 'em read over here, too. (Bitch!)

-Yes, I appear to be like this in person, though a little less organized due to a lack of proper editing in real life. People always find me (and the husbeast) utterly hilarious, both in writing and in person. I've never quite understood why, half the time, but whatever. Better than being considered mean or something.

-It took until I was in my thirties to realize I wanted to go into agriculture/botany, which I may not ever manage, having put it off forever, for one reason or other, but at least I KNOW. When I was in high school, deciding what I wanted to do with my life, I didn't even know the type of research I'd love to do EXISTED. So, for that among a million other reasons, I dislike society's habit of making seventeen year old kids decide the rest of their lives. Especially sheltered kids in rural areas. (Though the kids in towns and cities likely have no advantage; I just know what the rural experience was like.)

-One way or another my kid's going to be the same way I was in school, only with a rabid mother who makes the school administration appreciate her good points. OR. ELSE. hahaha. Won't that be fun for you guys to read about? First time they attack the critical thinking skills, all hell will break loose.

-Yes, it was also the idea of me teaching English that contributed to quitting college. Alwen, I'm betting we were horrified for different reasons; for me it was the idea of having to deal with school administrators EVERY DAY that made me scream in horror. (See above comments about the Goob and laugh in anticipation of the blog posts in a couple years.)

-My novels are what I call 'sarcastic suspense'. Romantic suspense, but with more attitude. And cussing. I like the relationship stuff - not just the obvious male/female romantic stuff, but all the rest. Parent/child, friendship of all forms, siblings, you name it. Which means a cast of thousands, so everyone can interact, and then we need some action to give them something to DO, and, well, you get the idea. The newest novel may involve gods and demigods (and the occasional mortal, I suppose) and the end of the world. You know, a minor little morality tale. At the moment I'm composing lists of demigods. (Which for me is fun. I'm such a geek.)

Thanks again for all the kind words about the writing. I shall endeavor to keep all of you entertained for some time to come. (Vogue Knitting review, next weekend! Eeee!)


amy said...

I also wanted to skip a year before college and got so much pressure not to. Everyone seemed to think if I didn't go right away I never would. I thought that was an incredibly insulting thing to say.

My second degree is in English, purely because I wanted to. By that point I'd been out in the world, working, and I figured I'd either get a job, or not, that used that degree, or not, but I still wanted to major in it. I seriously considered adding the coursework to get certified in secondary English education, as a backup, but my adviser said it was a lot of extra courses for a backup that I didn't actually want to do. I, too, thought the kids would be fine but I'd alternately want to explode over the administration or the parents. I had a friend who was an excellent teacher yet was always caught between the two. I recognized that I do not possess the tact necessary to deal with either group. (And it's not the concerned, involved parents I'm talking about; I'm talking about the ones who think their child deserves As simply for showing up and, you know, breathing or something.)

Jen Anderson said...

About knowing your options at 17: it's the same in cities. I grew up in Brooklyn and loved watching sitcoms and might have tried to get into writing them for a living if it had occurred to me that real people actually do that right over the river in Manhattan.

But it may also be generational. We didn't have the internet, which I think is a great resource for long distance networking/informational interviews, etc. There's even a guy who did a project (complete with blog, upcoming documentary and book deal) called One Week Job where he traveled around the country trying out different jobs. This was after college, not high school, but still, I think that now kids have a better view of their options.

Amy Lane said...

I. Want. To. Read. Your. Book.

Yup. The administration stuff is like blowing Atlas the god, the suckage is just that huge. #1 reason not to be a teacher--that and you get your iPods jacked on a regular basis.

I've always felt that, although I don't want to be Mormon, the idea of sending young people out on two years of public service and then helping them through college was a FANTASTIC idea--see more of the world, get the hell out of dodge, and then reward the young people for helping the world in general. *sigh* Too bad it's attached to a major parochial religion.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to negotiations with the schools there are those of us who have been that way before and can help.

birdmommy said...

Just wanted to add that I went to a small town high school in Ontario (Canada) in the mid 90s that was still discouraging girls from going on to university (American 'college'?)in favour of 'practical' community college courses. "you'll never use a degree, dear - go take a nice office administration course instead". And these were mostly female guidance counsellors!
It seemed like our school board's policy was 'those who can, do - those who can't, teach - those who can't teach - become guidance counsellors'.

NeedleTart said...

Seriously, birdmommy, I went to a small town school in the 70s and was so "bright" the only career anyone could figure for me was teacher. Now after $%^ years, what do I do with the liberal arts degree I insisted on? I substitute teach. Not a bad gig. The administrators are glad to see me (means they don't have to go into an actual classroom with *gasp* students) the parents aren't really sure I exist and I get to warp young minds. The ones like the Goob who are willing to follow the bouncing connections and throw away puns and jokes are my special favorites.

Alwen said...

My parents had just bought their first house when I reached college age, so I went to the local junior college for two years, then worked in a clothing factory for a year, and then transferred my credits to the university.

I learned a LOT from that 10-month stint of factory work, #1 of which was "I do not want to do this for the rest of my life!"

Good thing, too, as that industry moved to Honduras and Bangladesh within about a decade.

historicstitcher said...

So your book is like Sartre's Les Mouches, only modern and in English?

I laughed my ass off in French class when we read it, and nobody else (except the teacher) understood why I was laughing. It's hilarious!

I wanted to take a break between college and grad school, and my parents (no college) convinced me to go (or they would cut off my insurance, etc) Worst. Decision. Ever. So when my little brother didn't want to go to college right out of high school, guess who's side I was on?

Donna Lee said...

I am an English Major,too. Mostly because I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with my life (I was 18 go figure) and it was an easy out. My children did not rush into college right after high school. Partly economics, and partly they don't know what they want. I've encouraged them to work and figure out what they LOVE before they spend tens of thousands of dollars to be educated. It's amazing what you can learn by being out in the world and working.