Monday, September 10, 2012


I saw this on Kate Hart's blog, and I figured I would play along today

The new album from The xx. It's not out until tomorrow, but they've had it streaming for the past week. I haven't been able to stop listening to it! It's not as dynamic as their last album, but all of the songs are so perfect for my WIP right now. The more I listen, the more I fall in love.

Here's the streaming widget, so you can check it out. I'll be buying it for sure tomorrow.

An ARC of Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook. Thanks to my awesome friend Katy for sharing it with me. I'm only a few chapters in, but I am loving it so far!

Awkward on MTV. I can't get enough of this show! It's smart and funny and so real and I watched the entire first season in one night and now I'm doing a re-watch. There are just not enough episodes to satisfy me.

Guidance Counselor Valerie is my Spirit Amimal

It doesn't hurt that Beau Mirchoff, the actor who plays Matty McKibben, is super easy on the eyes.

Uh...was I saying something?

thinking about
My WIP. I was in a weird spot with it and with my writing. But then I got feedback on my first 13 chapters from my MFA mentor and she gave me so many compliments and made me feel so good about my story that it really got me all pumped up again. It was just what I needed to hear. She gave me lots to work on, too, but I am the kind of writer / person who needs constant cheerleading mixed in with the critique, otherwise I manage to convince myself I'm a big waste of space. So yesterday I dove in and wrote 2,500 new words, which I haven't done in a long time. I'm really just anxious to finish this draft, and I'm annoyed that so many life things have gotten in the way of the progress I want to make.

A finished draft. I want this more than almost anything at this point. (Well, it's second only to that gif above coming to life in my living room.)

That teaching middle school would start to get easier. I don't know if I'm cut out for this grade level. I'm having fun, but I really want to get to a place where the fun outweighs the part where I want to cry all the time. Hopefully soon.

making me happy
Little Gunner, as usual. He's the light of my life.

Happy Monday, friends!


  1. This is fun. :) Sorry middle school is hard. I don't envy you. I couldn't teach, and I really couldn't teach middle school. But I bet your kids love you already. What's your WIP about?

  2. Hang in there with those middles schoolers, Jess. Sounds crazy, but they're at an age where it takes some time to earn their respect/trust. I'd worked with the same teacher (in my tutoring program) for 3 years, kids loved her and would climb mountains for her. She left, and we 'broke in' a new teach last year. The kids really tested her for the first half of the year. (i.e. they weren't nice to her AT ALL) She was great, and pretty much ran things as before, but to the kids she was COMPLETELY different and not as 'good' as the previous teacher.

    It's weird, but they're still young enough to want to push boundaries, and old enough to be pretty skeptical of adults. They just don't trust as quickly as younger kids, and aren't confident enough as individuals to deal with "whatever" and changes like the older kids. They're out-growing, and growing-in--all at the same time. :-)

    Developmentally, their personalities, etc. mature so much from the beginning of 6th/7th grade to 8th/9th grade. And it can definitely drive you batty! In the same class you'll have someone eating glue or making fart noises (and other charming elementary school tactics), and then you'll have emotional pre-teen girls crying because they don't think they're pretty enough, or angry because their parents won't let them where a mini-skirt to the movies. Can give you whiplash working with 'em, for sure.

    In the end, you'll win them over with consistent discipline and love, you know?

    I'm sure you're dealing with new job/administrative stuff, too. Believe it or not, the kids aren't the only ones who can smell the new guy/gal. Teachers can be awfully cliquish at times, God bless them. Takes a bit of time to win their trust and support as well. :-)

    Now for happy stuff, MUSIC! I'll definitely check out the XX album. Have you heard the new Imagine Dragons album? They've had an LP out for a while, but released the full album last week (?). LOVE IT.

  3. I've gotten totally into Awkward too! It just felt like it was EVERYWHERE...and then MTV ran a marathon last week and I DVRd pretty much every episode in one day. Fate!

    And sending you good vibes for middle school...they're definitely a different ballgame than HS kids. But yeah, they can also be SO much fun. I did NaNoWriMo with mine two years ago (they loved it) and bet one kid that if he met his word count goal, I would let him "teach me how to Dougie" in front of the whole class. (Of course, he did. The whole class was rooting for him after that. I've never seen kids laugh so hard--my colleagues came running to see what was the matter!) The flip side is the giant spreadsheet of parent phone calls and all the time I spent making those calls. *Sigh.* Hang in there!

  4. Loved this when I saw it on Kate's blog last week, and I'm loving it on yours too. I think I might have to copy. :) Good look with your WiP. I've got a finished draft, but I'm anticipating an end to this crazy revision.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of NOBODY BUT US, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

  5. Good luck finishing that draft! *makes best personal attempt at cheerleading* Whooo you can do it!!! I get frustrated too when I don't have time to write--don't let it get you down. :)

  6. You are a good person for teaching middle school. And I'm sure the kids LOVE you, but I know that crying thing. I have days like that still in high school and I've been doing this for twenty years. But they're few and far between now. Hang in there.

    Also, I know the feeling about feedback on the WIP. I HAVE to have cheerleading or I do feel like trashing the whole thing. Nice to know I'm not the only one. :)

  7. Middle school is rough, for everyone involved-- not embarrassed to say I couldn't hack it on the teaching side, but you are tough, and it can only get easier from here.

    LOVE the XX and Nobody But Us!

  8. I'm exciting about the xx album too, and omg, your pup is adorable! I hope teaching middle school gets better soon. I can only imagine how both fulfilling and draining that is. Eep!

    But on the flip, great job on the word count! :) I saw someone else recommended the Imagine Dragons album and I totally have to agree. My sister bought it last week, but we've been into the EP for a while.