Such fun I have been having! And thus, I have not been good at staying in touch, sorry.
The weeks have simply zoomed by since a lovely Christmas seeing and holding my adorable great (grand?) nephew in sunny California. Sweet, adorable, with tiny little hands and feet…Koen.
And I was so excited to give the adventure book I had written for Koen to his parents, my nephew Calvin and his great wife, Abbey.
Then a huge surprise, I was whisked away to NYC for a fabulous weekend with my sisters and mom – girls camp, as mom called it. So much fun.
It was seriously freezing and then the wind! But we had a ball. We checked out the Highline (converted, old, elevated rail track into a lovely walking promenade…if it hadn’t been so windy!). We hit the Chelsea Market, a bit of Greenwich village, uptown, midtown, soho, Ground Zero…The Whitney Museum… We survived the Blue Man Group and ended our wonderful weekend with Kinky Boots – an absolute must see if you’re in NYC – hysterically funny and so clever – Loved! It!
No idea what we were getting into – PRE – Blue Man Group
Post Blue Man – see, we survived!
Chillin’ on the Highline.
Ground Zero Memorial
Amazing Kinky Boots!
But don’t think the fun stopped when I left NYC – oh no! 🙂
Just last weekend I headed up into Utah to Canyonlands National Park for a fun, challenging trail run and great hikes.
Corona Arch which was really fun to get to; climbing over big rocks, using ladders to get up impassable areas and then arriving and feeling really, really small. If you look at the photo below, people are standing under the arch. Its huge.
I loved the colors – rich oranges, reds, greens and yellows. It was really beautiful.
In between all this gallivanting I have been practicing my illustration skills and continuing to write the second book in the Treasure Chest Mysteries series. Writing this second book has proved much more challenging. I think it is due to wanting to make it better, deeper, more robust. I am currently working my way through the book “The Plot Whisperer Workbook” by Martha Alderson. She is helping me understand how to build a character that has more emotion, more rise and fall and more empathy. I hope you’ll notice the difference in the next book.
I am also exited to say that my friend Ivy Newport, through her wonderful blog, has introduced me to my next exciting online adventure: A Storyteller’s Art. This class by Robin Laws looks like so much fun. I can’t wait to get started on March 14th.
Oh, and then of course, I have been teaching – the day-to-day job. It has continued to be fun, super frustrating, challenging, empowering, painful and eye-opening. My sixth graders are still my wonderful little stars, so eager to learn, curiosity abounds, full of smiles and giggles. My seventh graders are more moody, more tired, over-the-top fidgety and dead in their seats – Ahh the wonders of puberty! The eighth graders are a whole other ball of anger, apathy, rolling eyes, shy smiles, loud and aggressive chatter, more touchy or afraid to be even looked at. Every day these students walk into my classroom and I do not know what I am going to get. On a good day, it just doesn’t get better than teaching; Spirits are high, curiosity rules, high-level discussions, students wanting more, which translates into: I am challenged and excited to explore new avenues with them. On a bad day, its bad. Grumpy, won’t do anything, talking back, refuse to participate, angry at being forced to sit in a seat and learn… I rarely get a day that is strictly one or the other. My days are full of emotion, highs and lows, smiles and angry, teenage stares. Teaching is amazingly exhausting, but for the most part rewarding. I only have three months left here in Gallup, NM. I have learned a lot about what I need in life being here. It has been very interesting learning a small bit about the Navajo Nation and the life that many lead. But I am a tree and green person. I need to see diversity in color, texture and foliage. I didn’t realize how much I needed that until I came here. It is very monotone in color. Beautiful in its own right, but my eye needs color and diversity.
Where to next? Not sure yet. I have some irons in the fire that I am pursuing. I’ll let you know where life plans on taking me next as soon as I know. Until next time, Happy Spring!!!