Sunday, August 28, 2011


Oh, my poor, sad, neglected blog. I will be back. Soon. But first I must:

  • Write lesson plans for my English and Honors English classes
  • Design a semester-long curriculum for my new class
  • Put all my tests, quizzes, projects, and worksheets online
  • Write reviews for my book review blog so I won't get behind (again)
  • Attempt to eliminate much of the dog hair from my house (seriously? It's summer, dogs! You're supposed to be done with most of your shedding, not acting like exploding hair balls. Gah.)
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Laundry
  • Work on second draft of untitled WIP
  • Figure out how to get all this done plus exercise when I'm supposed to be in meetings and/or holding after-school detention this week
  • Grade a boat-load of papers, including a big ole writing assignment (at times I wish I were a math teacher. So much easier to grade those papers.)

Hope all is going well with you--I'm off to work on lesson plans!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Squirreling it away for a rainy day

Whenever I leave the house, I have to put up my little trash cans and lock the cabinet where the trash and dog food is stored. Why? Well, Finnegan, my boy dog, entertains himself by knocking over the trash and eating the kleenex (Eew. Dogs are gross). And what he doesn't nosh on, he scatters around the living room. Or he paws open the under-sink cabinet, rummaging through the trash for goodies or stuffing himself silly on kibble. But he's never gotten into anything else. 

Until today. After going through the normal procedure of securing the kleenex, trash and kibbles, I left to run some errands. When I came back, the dogs ran in to see me as usual and hung out in the kitchen with me while I unpacked. But when I headed towards the living room, I spotted some plastic. Then some more. And there it was. Ripped open by eager teeth. The rawhide chewy bag. I looked back at Finnegan, who wagged at me. (Fiona was nowhere to be seen, probably hiding in the kitchen.)

Not my dog. But he does get the same psycho
expression when food comes his way.
Surprisingly, it looked like most of the chewies were still there, so I gathered the remains of the bag and stowed it in a high cabinet. Fiona appeared and proceeded to nibble on her illegal treat. Finn watched for a while then dug around in the couch and pulled his out. Once done, he disappeared into the bedroom. There was some scratching then he trotted in with another chewy and proceeded to down it before I could get it from him. (These are the small wrapped sticks of chewy, not big pieces. Still, too much rawhide is never good for dogs.) Then he disappeared again.

I found him in the office, going through a bag of books I'd set aside to take to school with me. He'd hidden another one in there. And two more stuffed under the pillows on the trundle bed. And another in the couch. Two more under my bed. One more behind his dog dish. And another in the brown chair. 

Poor guy watched me with huge eyes as I went around the house uncovering his stash. He'd worked so hard, squirreling away all those lovely chewies for when he really needed a snack, and his mean alpha was taking them all away. He then spent much of the next hour going to each of his hiding spots just to make sure I hadn't missed any.

As writers, we're much like Finn, squirreling all our lovely ideas away for the days when we can actually explore them in depth. Personally, I keep a writing journal where I jot down ideas, paste in pictures of places and people that capture my fancy, and make little doodles. Like Finn's chewies, they're hidden gems that I can take out when I'm looking for something to nosh on. It's one way I can keep track of my ideas and get them out of my sight as I focus on my current project. If I don't compartmentalize them, I'll lose them in my jumble of a brain or they'll take over and shove whatever I'm working on at the time out of the way and I'll lose my forward progress.

Still. I'm filing this one under "Crazy Finn Stories". That dog just cracks me up. I hope he didn't eat too many chewies before I got home or he's going to be out eating grass in the heat. Stupid dog.