Archive | November 2011

My Life Updated

Here’s a post for folks who actually want to know how I am doing (one of the two of you must!). So why don’t you pull up a seat, grab a mug of something warm, and let me fill you in on the latest.

Ready? Here’s what’s going on…

… not much.

I mean, stuff happens, the day to day continues, I certainly find stuff to say on Twitter and Facebook everyday, but as to details, well… *shrug*.

Work-wise, the year is slowly grinding down. My 6th grade classes are almost entirely in open rebellion at this point, and once December gets here I expect to be guillotined in the playground, along with the rest of the faculty, by a mob of 12-year-olds. Some crazy stuff happened where one of the kids “disappeared” for four days after stealing some money from his dad. When he came back to school his teacher sat him down and the kid poured out a heart-wrenching tale involving the suicide of both his mom and his older sister. Sad shit–and it made the running away part sound like the best thing that ever happened to him. (He spent all the cash eating junk food, playing video games, and buying hoodies with skulls on them while camping out on the roof of his apartment building.)

Despite this (well, the fact that I teach at a “bad” school in a “poor” neighborhood) I’ve decided to renew my contract with my current school. It’s been an improvement over my previous school, and I’m looking forward to teaching some of the same kids next year. Maybe consistency will have a benefit, if only in the fact that I already know the troublemakers and can crush them on Day 1.

Other less harrowing stuff…

Yesterday was Pepero Day, a corporate manufactured holiday that succeeded in transforming my workplace into Wonka Land.

Last Monday Jin and I celebrated our 9th anniversary. Craziness. I’m still surprised when I wake up in the morning and find out she hasn’t murdered me in my sleep. Naw. I’m kidding. Besides she told me she’d likely murder me while I’m awake so she could see the look in my eyes.

Writing-wise, I sold a story to Beneath Ceaseless Skies. I’m quite happy about that, since it’s a magazine I love, and the story, “Shadows Under Hexmouth Street”, is one I’m really pleased with. It’s my Joe Mitchell in “Lankhmar” story. Work also continues on Clusterfuck: The Novel, but that’s all I’ll say about that.

Reading-wise, same old same old. I’ve got my nose in five different books at once and can’t help but download/order more when I hear about them. Two of the books are writing books, David Morrell’s The Successful Novelist and Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer, one book is 19th century police blotter junk, Felix Feneon’s Novels in Three Lines, one book is short fiction, Maureen McHugh’s After the Apocalypse, and the last is Jane Austen’s Persuasion, since I never read Austen and I feel like I’ve been going through life without having done my homework. What I’m really saying is it’s certainly a chore deciding what to read when I go to the can most mornings.

Sheesh, hasn’t this been the most boring blog-post ever?

A Picture With a Side of Links

One of my students goofing around with a mask I made for an after school class. I don’t normally post pictures of people since it seems invasive, but the kid’s masked–so pretend he’s Batman.

Anyway, this post is written at work, which means the operating system defaults to Korean, which means no fancy redline shows up under my misspelled words, which means the potential for seeing what a lousy speller I am has climbed through the roof.

Here’s the greatest thing I’ve read in the past 15 minutes: Self-Publishing Doesn’t Mean You Have To Be A Raging Fuckwad. 

Here’s the creepiest: Russian ‘Genius’ Lived With 26 Female Bodies, Some Skeletal Remains Were Reportedly Dressed as a Doll and a Teddy Bear.

That last one comes from Quigley’s Cabinet, an amazing site for Ripley’s-Believe-It-or-Not style news of the weird.

Being Offended Is the Natural Consequence of Leaving One’s Home

“Being offended is the natural consequence of leaving one’s home. I do not like aftershave lotion, adults who roller-skate, children who speak French, or anyone who is unduly tan. I do not, however, go around enacting legislation and putting up signs. In private I avoid such people; in public they have the run of the place. I stay at home as much as possible, and so should they. When it is necessary, however, to go out of the house, they must be prepared, as I am, to deal with the unpleasant personal habits of others. That is what “public” means.”

– Fran Lebowitz

NaNoWriMo Tip

Here’s a tip for everyone doing NaNoWriMo.

Say while you’re working on your book you get an idea for a decent 2-4K short story, but are uncertain whether you should take a break long enough to write it.

Now this isn’t an instance of “I think this’ll make a good story”. No, this is the story has more or less bubbled forth fully formed out of the froth of your NaNoWriMo-fevered brain, and since you’ve been putting in long hours pounding the keys you KNOW you can write this story, polish it, and get it out the door in 24 to 48 hours.

Well, if that’s the case, and you’re at all interested in actually completing some decent fiction this month, then take the break and write the story.

Your novel draft can wait. Inspiration won’t.

Our 10 Bad Internet Habits

Is that the royal “we”?

  1.  Narcissism and the abuse of the word narcissism.
  2.  People taking a “break” from the Internet only to return 12 hours later to tweet what flavor pop tart they had for breakfast. Cousin to this habit is “I have awesome news but I can’t tell you about it right now” tweets.
  3.  Writing advice from everyone who ever so much as received a C- or higher on an English assignment.
  4.  Blog stats, circles, Facebook friends, and twitter followers allow us to quantify our attention seeking.
  5.  Websites and the will to power.
  6.  Pop culture references as social capital.
  7.  Remember when you’d get angry at your boss or the service at a restaurant and go home and forget about it? Now, you’re likely to tweet it and write a blog post.
  8.  The Pringilization of Everything and the intrusion of market values even deeper into our personal relationships.
  9.  Limbic brain twitching masquerading as discourse.
  10.  Lists used in place of actual content.