OMG I’M BACK. LOL.
I’m re-entering civilization after going on a massive writing binge over the past few days. I got through about 20,000 words between late Thursday and just before midnight Saturday. Oh, and yes, I finished my novella~~ The rough draft ended at 28k words, though that will fluctuate during the editing process so I’m not sure what the final count will be. Suffice it to say that I’m extremely excited to have finished it, especially with all the hard work I put in. I’m now taking a break from this piece before I start editing, since I think my brain might short circuit if I read it again. (This is after I read the whole thing through about three times in a row. Possibly in disbelief that I’d actually finished…)
When I wasn’t writing during those last three days I had off work, I was trolling clearance racks, sort of cleaning the apartment, watching The Pioneer Woman, and being forced to buy groceries. Among other things, I got myself this fedora hat for no reason other than I think it might be fun to wear one. Well, not having the hateful desert sun shining right into my face at all hours of the day might be nice. That could be a useful thing about wearing this hat, other than looking accessorized and awesome. Ha!
Bad news though: David isn’t coming home this week after all :( Of all the times for a storm to pop up in New Mexico, it ended up being THIS week when he was supposed to be wrapping things up down there. Since the weather suddenly decided to be rotten, one of his flights got canceled and it set him back for an even longer stay there. Seriously, what gives?! For four months, there’s nothing but heat, heat, heat, and more heat. Then, out of the blue, there’s a storm and the weather turns cloudy?? I’m taking this as a personal insult.
So yeah. LAME.
Went back to work this morning after being off for five days… just imagine the fun that was. Hahaha. *cries* My boss opened for me though so I didn’t have to get up at 5am. Of course, by the time I got there at 8:00 there was chalk everywhere and at least two were crying because so and so wouldn’t let them be Peter Pan and they DID NOT want to be Captain Hook and NO ONE was listening. That was just the beginning of the crankiest Monday ever. I had one kid growl at me, for crying out loud. I have never seen such grouchy children in all my life. It was one of those days when we had to take frequent breaks to do yoga breathing exercises. I was sooooo glad when nap time came around; it was fairly evident that every last one of them needed to sleep it off. And I was right, cause all of them fell asleep within minutes of each other. Being pissed at the entire universe can be really draining.
That being said, I have multiple tricks for taming small children, including the aforementioned yoga breathing exercises. It also works if you tell them how sad they’re making you — I’m not kidding, this is spot on almost every time. (And no, I am so not above using minor guilt-tripping strategies on preschoolers. I grew up with two Asian parents, this is the cornerstone of Asian parenting. Hello.) Certain books are also very effective for redirecting them. They especially like books featuring similar small children who are being extremely bad. They like to scold these fictional children and point out the rules that are being broken. (Never mind that they just spent ten minutes piling up all the foam blocks and diving into them with wild abandon…)
A perennial favorite is a little known Dr. Seuss book called Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now! As you might surmise, this book is about a certain young lad named Marvin K. Mooney who refuses to leave the room, and all the various ways in which the narrator suggests he might leave the room, i.e. by stamping himself and going by mail, riding a cow, shooting himself out of a cannon, etc.
Um, the kids love this. Not only is there an obstinate child who refuses to listen, but there are also bizarre methods of transportation involved. They get to shout GO, GO, GO in an enthusiastic chorus, and the words are short and sweet so they feel like they’re really “reading.” It’s a fun book for me to read as well, which is good because we end up going back to this one like 12 times a day. We basically rotate between this, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (I’ll tell you where they are — in my classroom) and No David! by David Shannon. The last one is always a crowd pleaser. David tracks mud into the house, plays with his food, runs into the street sans clothing, plays baseball with mom’s favorite vase, floods the bath tub, AND gets put in time out. This is the kind of drama that preschoolers live for, guys. There is really no experience quite like a roomful of them all yelling “NO, DAVID!!!” at the top of their lungs. (It’s especially funny for me because my husband’s name is David and it’s possible the book was written about him…)
Now you should have three books you MUST buy for the children in your life. Or just for you, so you can use them to subdue small children the way I do. On that note, if you ever need to amuse a toddler for half an hour or more, ask me how to turn an empty Pringles can and some pipe cleaners into the most fascinating, riveting toy on earth. #TrueStory
Oh, and I’ve been tweeting about it all weekend, but there’s a giveaway going on at One Parade (which belongs to my lovely friend Marjorie, whom I shamelessly promote whenever possible) and you need to go enter even though the odds are clearly in MY favor. (Eew, that was a little too Hunger Games for me.) Click here to enter, but please note that only cheerful losers need apply~ Cause I’m going to win~~~
Heading out now to get some reading done before bedtime. For those of you who are curious about the novella, I’m hoping to release it in the fall and aiming for Book 1 to be completely finished by December something or other. I’m not going to get specific because I’m not sure, these are just projected dates. My writing has a tendency to run away from me down paths of its own choosing, so I’m not holding my breath haha. The novella will be FREE, and will be available on Amazon, BN.com, Smashwords, Kobo, et al etc but also from my website. I plan to include an excerpt from Book 1 in the back of the novella, of course.