Friday, December 22, 2017

Want a sample?

I have the first chapter of Detritus.  If you want to read it, it's posted below the break, and over at The Godshead Tavern blog. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

That time of year...

When the weather is whiplashing around (65 degrees today, 35 and wintery mix forecast for tomorrow, then cold, then warmer, then colder again, and on and off precip for the next ten days), you're scrambling to do last minute shopping for groceries not gifts, amongst the ignoratti that wait until four days before Christmas, and the kids get to stay home, so are constantly underfoot.

Yes, we have everything.  No, we don't have anything wrapped.

Can I just go to sleep and wake up after the kids go back to school in January?

I have the kids out for two weeks plus two days (they have tomorrow off, and don't go back until the 9th).  I'm going to have Odysseus reset the time permitted for them to play with their Kindle Fires, since the weather's going to be truly terrible for a lot of their break, and we don't have the garage cleared out yet. 

I'm planning on working on editing the two pieces I have finished (Detritus and Normalcy Bias) while the kids are out, with a little writing when and as I can.  I should have the first chapter of Detritus edited and posted tomorrow.  I'm hoping to get it done and polished up (and put up for sale) by New Year's Day.

Kinda depends on the kids' behavior, and how much wrangling and referee-ing I have to do.

I'm already feeling the weather shift.  I think I'm going to dig out my gloves, and not climb out of my sweats at all tomorrow. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

End of an era

Monday was the final exam time* for my 8:00 class; yesterday held the same for my 9:30 class.  Yesterday, I turned in my final grades for both classes, my gradebooks for both classes, and the extra assessment paperwork for departmental accreditation for both classes. 

All there is now is the wait for my final paycheck, the last working day of December. 

Well.  Twelve years (and a half) of teaching for the same university is finally done.  It is such a huge weight off that I can't really articulate it. 

(And yes, I had a student pestering me if there wasn't something they could do to boost their grade, and didn't I see their last blogs that they didn't tell me they'd done when they turned in their late paper?  Well, why not?  And does that boost them up to an A?  No?  Well, is there anything they can do? 

In a word: No.  No, I didn't see the blog, and even when I added the extra points in for that, it didn't bring the grade up to an A.  For fuck's sake, they'd brought a D to a B just by turning in that one late paper.  And no, there is nothing they can do at this point.)

I am so done. 

And I am so ready to write full-time. 

Speaking of which...'scuse me.  Gotta go build word count. 

*I don't do final exam.  I do a last chance for late work that isn't a discussion board forum for class participation. 

Friday, December 8, 2017



I've been teaching college for fourteen years, twelve of those at my current institution.  Same classes: Composition 1 or 2.  I've seen brilliant classes, and I've seen horrid classes.  Mostly, I've seen preparation dropping incrementally--not necessarily being prepared for the level of writing, but preparation for life in general, and due dates in specific.  I've enjoyed helping those that need the extra help find it, or figure things out.  I will miss that.  

I'll miss the classroom.  I'll miss interacting with students, and watching them learn things.  I'll miss challenging assumptions, and having mine challenged intelligently.  I'll miss reading their ideas.

I won't miss grading.  I won't miss the idea that there are certain things that Shall Not Be Said, certain ideas that Shall Not Be Challenged.  I won't miss knowing that some demographics must be handed a grade, and a good one, that they didn't work for.  I won't miss the idiots who don't want to be there, refuse to engage, and sometimes won't do even the minimum to pass. 

I won't miss the department. It is not what it once was. 

I won't miss how awful I felt after teaching only two classes. 

I won't miss being unable to take care of my home and family. 

Yesterday was my last day.  Tomorrow is the last day I spend grading things turned in on time.  Monday and Tuesday, I grade last-chance work and revisions, and I turn in final grades.  Monday and Tuesday, I fill out the Research Paper rubric for the department for my two classes.  And Tuesday, I turn my gradebooks and the rubrics in to the department via email.

After that, it's just waiting for December's paycheck to come in on the last working day on campus, and I'm finished with academia. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Warning: nerd reference...

I feel like shaking a bat'leth over my head, screaming "Qapla'!"

Five years or so ago, we decided to retire our big Christmas tree.  We packed it away in storage, in more than one box (do NOT ask me why--I've forgotten what passed for reasoning), when we packed away our baby-proof fencing.  We got a 3' tree that stood atop the stereo for the Christmas after we removed the fencing, and got the kittens. 

Partially because we didn't trust the kittens, but mostly because there simply wasn't room for the tree. 

Well, with the new house, we have room.  More than enough room, even.  So we went hunting for the tree.  Odysseus found one part of it on Wednesday (I think--don't quote me on that; it was a long day), I found another part yesterday, and had the imp haul both pieces in from the garage, and put them in the corner behind Odysseus's recliner. 

We'd found the bottom and the middle.  I had high hopes of finding the top and feet in one of the boxes still in the garage. 

And so we did. 

And so the tree is put together, and standing, and plugged in. 

Tomorrow, we have to go buy more things to add to the decorations we have.  Because we absolutely do not have enough, not of garland, and not of baubles. 

But for tonight, I'm just going to bask in the success of simply finding the whole thing.