Thursday, September 15, 2016

Back to Kindergarten

I had my first session of children's choir last night, and boy, is this going to be an interesting year. I moved up with last year's preschoolers to kindergarten, and all my regular attendees came back, plus I had four new kids, two of them twins (though fortunately not identical). One of the new kids is a real handful. I lost count of the number of times we had to take him out into the hall for a timeout, and they were all for aggressions against other people, not just general high spirits. He was hitting, tackling and even licking people. His parents said, "Oh, he has so much energy!" but there's more than that going on. Fortunately, we have three adults and two youth helpers. One of my youth helpers was in my first kindergarten choir, so I'm feeling rather old.

It looks like I'm going to have to plan lots of active games because I still have mostly boys. I did feel good in that one of the new kids was really reluctant to come in and very shy, but he was participating with everyone else by the end.

And now that I've paid my quarterly taxes and got my flu shot, I don't have to go anywhere until Saturday morning. That's good because I have to fine-tune and rehearse a video script, work on a presentation, work on some positioning/branding stuff, and do some research. I have a lot to get done between now and next Thursday.

I'll be giving a workshop on using the Hero's Journey in plotting without getting cookie-cutter results at FenCon, and I've proposed it for another writers conference. The idea for it actually came to me in a dream in which I was giving this presentation, probably after reading yet another agent talking about how they can tell when someone used the Hero's Journey in a submission, and they wished writers would stop. My thought was that if you can tell, the writers had missed the point, and then I started dreaming the real points, woke up, wrote it down, and then suggested it for programming -- and they took it. So now I have to finalize it and practice it to make sure it fits the time slot. I really had no idea how to plot a book until I started reading about this stuff, and it was like a light bulb went off for me. I was good at coming up with characters and situations, but not stories. You can't take a fill-in-the-blanks, cookie-cutter approach to it, though. You have to understand why each of the stages matters, and once you understand that, you can hit the core of that universal story without being obvious about it.

So that's what I'll be doing while waiting for copyedits.

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