Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thank You, Friends

"What would you say if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me? Well, lend me your ear and I'll sing you a song, and I'll try to sing out of key."

Thanks to everyone who has been sending out positive thoughts. Your good vibes, positive energy, and delicious cupcakes are helpful and much appreciated. 

I know some of my recent blog posts (such as "Feeling Broken" and "Holding Patterns") have been vague and mysterious. Sometime soon, I'll probably go into more detail -- but for now I'll say that nothing tragic or earth shattering has happened. Sometimes the future is just a little scary -- but I think good things will be happening... gradually, at least.

So, thank you friends -- the ones in my life and the ones who quietly read this blog and send out good thoughts. I've always been incompetent at friendship, so any positivity that heads my way is a pleasant surprise, an undeserved gift, one that is graciously accepted.

"It's getting better all the time." -- The Beatles

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Holding Patterns

"This is Flight 045, piloted by Capt. Wade, reporting on the current situation: we are in a holding pattern. Repeat. A holding pattern."

This is how I've been feeling lately. We're waiting to see what happens. We're waiting for good news and bracing for bad news. We're crossing our fingers, saying a prayer to whoever might listen, holding onto a lucky charm, leaning forward into the crash position, just in case.

In the meantime, we're going about our business. Waiting in traffic.. Wading through essays. Revising. Rehearsing. Reviving my creative spirit... Or at least trying to avoid smashing into the proverbial writer's block.

Think happy thoughts people, and hope that we'll get through this turbulence together.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Coming Soon: Change the Station

The world premiere of our new play... 

Brought to you by The Big Sandwich Theatre Company!

If you live in Southern California, you don't want to miss this 
wonderful comedy about the golden age of Radio.

Opens November 4th, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Living in Grown-Up Land

I'm sitting in the middle of a meeting, nodding my head, feigning maturity. Do you ever feel like you are a ten year old who has been disguised as an adult for the last thirty five years?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Things Feel Broken


This hasn't been an easy Fall.

I'm good, but there's a lot of stuff going on with the people I love.

This really isn't the forum to expand on details and get uber-personal, but I'll just say that I hope everyone out there is doing their best and that we're all sharing love and compassion to help others get through the darkness.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Working Routine

This is the time of year when I get into a rut. And as I have said before, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Ruts are routines, and routines can be very comforting. Ruts feel a lot better than chaos, a lot better than the unknown, at least for those of us who prefer our comfort zone. (Hey, that rhymes!)

So, I have spent the last three weeks buried in essays. I just dug myself out -- though I still have some quizzes to grade. In addition to grading papers, I've also been juggling other work responsibilities. I was evaluated this semester, and I serve on a tenure committee, an evaluation committee, and of course the curriculum committee. Lots of work stuff going on -- and I feel proud to belong to a place like Moorpark College, it's truly a beautiful campus and a beautiful learning community.

My working routine, however, seems to have squeezed out my creative routine. Other than a few doodles here and there, I haven't been producing much. (I'm not keeping up with this blog, either!)

Part of it might be that I have been holding my breath, waiting for responses from Duck Town. (I believe I have received six rejections -- and there are still eight more places that have yet to decide.) I did send a new story to my agent, just to start thinking about what's next -- but I feel like my creative life is on hold until I carve out more free time (which seems very difficult right now) or until I become so super-inspired by a new project that I shove other stuff aside. (And then my working routine will be thrown out the window!)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Turning Reality Into Literary Magic

Just wanted to write a quick note about my English 1A students. They continue to amaze me. Usually the first essay I assign in class is a narrative essay about a person they respect (someone who embodies wisdom, compassion, or courage). I've read a lot of compelling essays based upon that assignment, but I noticed over the last few semesters that the students were becoming more focused on listening and recording the narratives of others, and not sharing their thoughts and opinions.

Years ago I use to assign autobiographical essays, but I stopped doing that because many students claimed they didn't have anything relevant to say. However, looking back I think it may have been that their teacher (yours truly) just didn't give them the right inspiration.

This semester I asked the students to write an essay inspired by this phrase:

"We can do this the hard way or the easy way." And I asked them, what life lesson did you learn the hard way.

Turns out, every student has a story about this. (At least they do in my classes.) And some of them have created something that's far beyond a typical homework assignment. I'm so grateful that so many of my students are already pushing themselves this semester. Hopefully, they'll take what they've learned about narratives and apply it to their argument essays.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October Begins

Yesterday was October 1st, and I am happy to report that temperatures have gone down into the high 80s -- which means it's time for us southern Californians to put on a sweater.

I'd like to return to blogging (or at least journaling) on a more regular basis. This blog doesn't really gain many followers or readers -- but I do like using it to record the days. I do this in an old fashioned journal too -- and in there I'm much more personal -- but I rather like this forum because I know that there's a slight chance I'll connect with others.

So, what did we do with our Saturday?

We had a matinee performance of "Around the World in 80 Days." (About 70 people in the audience, small but appreciative.)

Some of the cast and crew went to the Food Court at the mall. I devoured a Pepperoni Cheese Steak sandwich.

Aside from that, the rest of my day consisted of grading papers. It's the price I pay for having an otherwise awesome career.

How is your October going?