Friday, November 20, 2009

Class of 1990 Week 13

Monday I hit my head on the desk in English class and thus spent the rest of the day into Tuesday putting up with remarks about my head banging. The volleyball team started practicing during girl’s phy-ed. That’s the problem with having so many teams and only one gym. So those of us girls who did not play on the team—about five of us met with Mrs. Barker in the weight room next to the gym and lifted weights. I generally enjoyed any phy-ed activity that did not involve running or playing on a team. Being unathletic is bad enough. Having people mad at you because you are unathletic is just cruel.

With Thanksgiving it was a short week. Wednesday was odd in that I arrived home to an empty house after school. Next Bob, Sarah’s boyfriend showed up, then Mom and Dad and finally Sarah who got a ride home from UND with Kerry. Thursday morning we had church and then Pastor Allen and his wife and newly adopted son William joined us for dinner. The week had an odd feel, sort of like Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Sunday Saturday, Saturday, Sunday. I was already anticipating missing Mom and Dad when I would head off to Concordia University Wisconsin the next year. I spent my break reading, watching TV, playing on Dad’s computer, and starting to paint the posters for the volleyball team.


lhg edited and approved

Friday, November 13, 2009

Class of 1990 week 12

Most of my notes from that week are about trying to get my writing done for the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL) course and feeling stressed about school work. On Monday we did our first lab in Physics. I was partnered with Jr. Jennifer and managed to burn my hand while fire polishing a glass tube. Terry told me that he hoped I got blisters. I attended the yearbook meeting and spent time writing body copy. Most of the week I was fed up and frustrated, but Friday I was getting a grip on things including finishing a major rewrite of my ICL story.

I finished the small drawings for the volleyball posters. Mr. Kappel approved of them. The next step would be to trace them onto a transparency and then use an overhead projector to make a poster for each member of the team, each of the student managers and one for the coach. The basketball cheerleaders did the posters for those teams, but for the volleyball team it fell to me as part of my student manager duties. Generally Peggy and I did the posters and the guy managers put up the posters on our wall in the gym. I also made smaller signs for the team member’s locker. Those were easier, because you could just run them off on the copy machine. Then it was just a matter of coloring and cutting them.

Saturday I got up before 6:00 a.m. and drove to Niagara, ND and picked up Linda then we picked up Cari and Erich and we all headed to Carrington, ND to plan a joint District Lutheran Youth Fellowship gathering with South Dakota. The gathering would be in Aberdeen, SD. It was a productive, fun, but very long day. One the way home I got a terrible headache and was in no shape to drive the all the way home so I followed Linda to her home. Once there I started feeling really sick and threw up. Oddly after that I felt much better and was able to drive home. It was weird.


lhg edited and approved.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Class of 1990 week 11

It was a busy school week, homework-wise. The roads were very slick on Thursday. Friday we had off of school and Mom and I went shopping in Grand Forks. I did some Christmas shopping, including gifts for Sarah and Rebecca as Sarah was going to visit Rebecca in Hong Kong for Christmas that year. I continued to procrastinate on my Institute of Children’s Literature writing assignment that was due in the middle of October. I finally started putting a draft together in the middle of the week. The week before mom had cut off three inches of my hair and nobody at school noticed. On Veterans Day I wrote, "The walls are down and the people are crossing into West Berlin."

I did a lot of work on the yearbook that week. In class I traced numerous pictures of wrapped gumballs for the page numbers. After school I attended a yearbook meetings. Margo and I worked together to write copy for the grade school classes. We had sent survey questions to the rooms, but the problem was that the larger the class, the more material you had to play with, the less copy you needed to fill the page. The smaller classes had less quotes and more space to fill. We did a lot of laughing as we tried to stretch the comments into body copy. I’d come up with lines and Margo would write them down and count the characters to see how much more we needed to write. Occasionally I’d make notes on paper and Margo would try to read them and then get frustrated by my handwriting and spelling. A lot of times brain storming involved making exaggerated hand gestures. I would put my hands on my head and then extend my arms completely saying “ummm” and then bring my hands back to my head repeating this until I finally came up with another phrase for the copy. It was completely silly.

Monday, November 2, 2009

my first NaNoWriMo

I finally did it. Encouraged by a girlfriend from Alaska I'm spending November taking a stab at fiction. I'm doing my first NaNoWriMo As the website says it's 30 days and nights of literary abandon. In November you try to write a 50,000 word novel draft. Revising is for December. On day #2 I'm already 11% done. That is well ahead of the daily word output of 1667 to stay on track and right now I'm feeling really good.

Part of what helps is knowing that more than 100,000 other folks around the world are doing the same thing. I met about 20 of them last Friday at a regional party at the Milwaukee Area Technical College library in Oak Creek WI. By signing up for this I also get the pep talks and these are great. My favorite quote from a recent one has this:

You will also, however, write some flagrantly nonsensical chapters, create pages and pages of dialogue that make you cry (in a bad way), and endure a few shameful days where the only thing keeping your word-count afloat is the fact that your protagonist has a habit of reading the dictionary aloud whenever she gets nervous. And she's always nervous.

I have so far avoided any nervous characters but you never know--I could have my main character, who works at Milwaukee Public Library, do some long stints of shelf reading and if desperate fill a few pages with call number gibberish.


lhg edited and approved