VIPKID Vibes: 500 Classes and an Unexpected Problem

By the time this is posted, I will have taught 542 classes. It is day 160.

I am very fortunate. And I don’t take my numbers for granted. Everyone’s journey is different with this company, and while I started pretty slowly–by my own standards–these days I’m pretty much fully booked. And fully grateful.

So what is this unexpected problem?

Too many classes.

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Mocha’s New Video for Fall

Happy Caturday!

Watch as Mocha attempts to resist the most alluring of all leaves. I had fun with this one.

Have you subscribed to Mocha’s channel yet? What are you waiting for?

Do you have a YouTube channel? Let me know!

Adobe Spark (20)


Thanks for spending some time here. Cats rule.

Writing is Hard: A Random Writing Rant for Your Writing Wednesday

 

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Writing. Is. Hard. I don’t mean the actual writing. That’s hard too. But I mean everything that goes along with it.

There are two kinds of writers–and plenty of sub groups and variations, but we’ll stick with two. 1) The good ones. The ones who write lots of stuff. Whether successfully or unsuccessfully, they’re writing. All the time. Daily? Perhaps. They have a portfolio full of stories, poems, novels, scripts, all of the above. I don’t know. Some finished, some not. 2) The ones who were great that one time. These are the people who write very little, but what they write becomes super famous and sends them on this incredible journey–but without the talking animals.

And then there’s me. The ones who write one thing, obsess over it for a decade, and fail to move past it.

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Let me explain. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have written one novel. One. I started it in 2007…08? Crap. A long time ago. I don’t have drawers full of other stories. Partial stories. I don’t even have a second idea for a novel, let alone something worth reading. I just don’t know ifI could write another novel. So instead, I obsess over what I do have. Granted, I haven’t looked at my novel in months. Many months. I need to query. But I’m starting to think I’m running out of agents. Can you run out of agents? Can enough time pass when it’s acceptable to re-query agents in the hope they have forgotten you? My goal was is to see what shape this novel is in, now that some time has passed, and attempt to make it so amazing, people will lose their freaking minds when they read it. Dream big.

So there’s that.

Plus. I have one short story to my name. One. (I have this other thing…but it’s depressing and so NOT ME, and I would not feel comfortable sending it anywhere. At least, not with my name on it.) So I’ve spent the better part of not one but two afternoons scouring the net for a place to submit this story.

Yes, my story was recently published. ( Available here. :D) However, I would be forever living in the clouds if I could get the entire story published somewhere. Ideally get paid for it. Ideally something in print. But I’ve come to find that’s hard to come by. I’ll take what I can get. I have two roadblocks here. 1–the word count is hella long. Though I am considering a sizable trim. Lord help me. 2–no one wants published work.

But I decided to just go for it and email several places to ask if they would consider a story that has an excerpt published. I’m pretty sure published is published whether it be a sentence or 500 pages, but it can’t hurt to check, right? In fact, a few months ago, I emailed three magazines, and one of them said to send it in. Even though their guidelines specifically say “no published work.” So there. I had to try. Next week, I’ll let you know how I faired.

ETA: One said no.

Not to mention there’s this whole other part of the equation. Actually being accepted. But one thing at a time.

Why not write something else? I’ve come to realize something. Similar to having one novel and one short story, I have one voice. I know what you’re thinking. Everyone does. But no. Although one narrator is a 26-year-old woman and the other is a 12-year-old-boy, they have the same voice. A sarcastic one. A bit of a naive one.

Pretty much my voice.

So if I were to write something else–anything else–that person would have the same voice.

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You know what I just remembered? Of course you don’t. I’ll tell you. I, in fact, did start writing another “thing” a few years back. And if there were ever a sarcastic character, it’d be Susan. See what I mean? It’s just hard not to write me. Or some version of me.

Enough rambling for one post. I’ll leave you with this. I have a super awesome day calendar that you may or may not have seen in one of my popular posts: Motivational Word Wall, Anyone? I’m not one for signs/things-happen-for-a-reason, but having this quote pop up yesterday was not lost on me.

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If you’re still reading, know this. I’ve always seen this writing life as having peaks and valleys. Right now, I’m in a valley. But considering just last week, I was at a hella high peak, I have hope I won’t be in this valley too long.


Thanks for spending some time here. Happy writing!

Yes, I Used My Cat’s Cuteness to Show Off My Pub Credit

Here’s the thing. It is highly likely I will never again see my name in print–I’m still dreaming big, don’t worry–but in the meantime, I’m milking this for all its worth.

So, yeah. I made an ever-popular unboxing video (why are these so popular?) of my anthology. With my cat as the star. #noshame

Self-Promotion Saturday: Click here to buy a copy of this book. That I just so happen to be in. Like, I’m in it. Page fifty-four. My name and everything. And a bio. A bio. #notanounceofshame

If I ever do get my novel published, I will most likely have to be institutionalized. There is no way I will be able to handle it, if this is any indication.

Have a good weekend!


Thanks for spending some time here. Isn’t Mocha the cutest?

You Need to Listen to Sick Puppies

Yeah, yeah. I’ve talked about this band in several other posts already. But. I’m choosing to feature them because they fit the unofficial criteria. Awesome. Bingeworthy. And tragically, unknown to many.

My Sick Puppies origin story is a simple one. No need for popcorn or anything. That awesome sauce local radio station–you know, the one they killed to make yet another oldies station–played Sick Puppies’ current, at the time, single, “There’s No Going Back.”  And what an appropriate title. A YouTube binge and Pandora playlist later, I was hooked.

Not so much to buy any of their albums, but anyway. The lead singer has left the band; I went with him. I don’t know what they’re up to now, but Shim’s voice is what I liked most. So…sorry, other puppies.

So here are my favorite tracks from Sick Puppies:

There’s No Going Back

This song is five years old. No way. These lyrics are everything.


All the Same

My favorite. By a gazillion and four.

This is the song on my novel playlist–because it’s freaking perfect for my characters/situation. I became obsessed with this song. Repeat, repeat, repeat. If I ever make a “My Favorite Songs Ever” list, this will be pretty high on the list.

I’ll post my favorite acoustic, live, etc. versions at the end. 🙂


Maybe

Summer of 2016. This was my jam. In case you were wondering, that’s when I quit my soul-sucking, rage-inducing, Lord-help-me middle school teaching job. This track was therapeutic. And motivating. And all-around awesome sauce.  Continue reading

VIPKID Vibes: After 400 classes, this is what I’ve learned…

This morning, I taught my 413th class with VIPKID. It’s hard to believe. Here are ten things I’ve learned along the way.

Some classes last 7 minutes. Some last about 70.

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I have a few students who I just love. I look forward to seeing them, and class is a blast. Or I meet a new student who is just all around awesome. Maybe they want to talk to you about their day. Maybe they want to show you something they made. These are the seven minute classes. Then, there are classes that feel never-ending. This could be for one of several reasons: the kid is misbehaving, the kid is mute, the lesson is super boring/difficult, the kid is super slow and you have another class to get to. Point being, rarely does a class actually feel like 25 minutes. (27-29 if you’re me. I can NEVER finish at 25.)

Completely opposite reactions to the same reward is totally normal.

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I love doing rewards! Some teacher don’t like them, or they don’t even bother with them. But I must say, I love matching rewards to the student’s interests–once you find out what they like–or matching to the lesson topic. I like creating rewards too. As it turns out, sometimes I am much more excited about the reward than the student. There are some students who just do not smile. They show no emotion despite the reward, whatever it may be. And that’s OK. Because the next kid you show that reward to is going to love it. I’m always curious to see the reactions. You never know what to expect.

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You Need to Listen to Josh Radin

Chances are you have no idea who this guy is. Well, good. I like introducing people to new music.

If you prefer your singers to pretty much whisper to you, Josh is your man.

I first heard Josh Radin’s music in the film Adam, a super awesome movie you should check out. (I’ll stick the trailer at the bottom of this post.) There were two songs in the movie, I think. A trip down the YouTube black hole, and I’d discovered more songs–all of which, equally awesome. That’s when I discovered some of his music has been used in other movies and shows.

I don’t listen to Josh Radin often, and until today, I can’t actually remember the last time I did. I do own one of this albums though. So you may be wondering why I chose him.

So am I. Well…for one thing, his voice is pleasant. It’s soothingly comforting. Is that a thing?

Plus, I guess I’m trying to feature bands/artists who aren’t in the mainstream, someone I think should have some recognition, even if it’s only this blog.

Here are my favorites. Enjoy. 🙂


Someone Else’s Life

First song of his I ever heard.


What If You

This song gives me the feels for no reason whatsoever.


Today

Ellen and Portia’s wedding song. I’d imagine many people were introduced to his music because of it. Continue reading