Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mood writing

I'm a mood writer. I knew it but it's really been brought home to me this week.

On Friday I spoke to a Staffing Officer about my position at my school because I still hadn't heard anything. Apparently I've just been transferred to the school I've spent the last three years at. I'm not holding my breath that that will stay that way because I don't have a timetable - no classes; nothing to do. I'll probably get transferred somewhere else in the next couple of weeks. One positive thing is that they confirmed that I've been place on a full-time load, up from the part-time I've been doing for the last four years. I'd requested the part-time position because I wanted time to study and it worked really well but I've wanted to return to full-time for 12 months now. At least that much has worked.

And what has this to do with mood writing? I've done more writing or working on writing this weekend since I've had that small thing settled, than I've done in the whole six weeks beforehand. If that isn't mood writing, I don't know what is. It annoys me that I let something like job security affect my writing. Writing is hugely important to me. I don't feel truly happy unless I'm writing and if something stops me writing my whole world collapses. Logically, it's silly. Emotionally, it's devastating.

This weekend I've been working on Warrior Pledge. What started as a sub-plot has become the main plot, the motivation for one main character. What was the main plot has become the motivation for one race and a twist and slightly humourous for another. I've added (or re-added) 12000 words in the edits and picked up little things that need tweeking to make it work better. I'm 110 pages in and it's a much stronger story - as well as being closer to my target word-length. I'm excited about it again. The ending doesn't feel so weak now so I'll probably actually write the last few chapters when I get back to that stage.

Apart from my shoulders and neck burning and seizing up because I've been at the computer all weekend, I feel great.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jobs and imbalance

I'm a teacher. It's not just something I do, it's something I am. I can't help myself. If someone asks a question and I have even half an idea about the topic I force them to endure a long-winded and involved explanation of how everything works and why it should be so. If I don't know something, I find out and then tell them. Of course the story-teller in me usually makes it interesting too. Teaching is such an integral part of who I am that when it isn't working right everything in my life feels off balance.

At the end of every year we're given a timetable that tells us which classes we'll be teaching the next year. Last year I didn't get one. They had no classes for me to teach, nothing for me to do. It's not really a big deal. I'm still employed and still getting paid. The department has to find something for me to do. I keep telling myself that, but I don't really believe it. For me, it is a big deal. I've proven that by sitting around for five weeks doing absolutely nothing, simply because I don't know what direction my job is going in.

Today was the first day back at work after the summer holiday. I've felt flat all day because there's still no word on where I'll be or what I'll be doing. This afternoon I rang staffing to query my position and finished the phone call laughing so much I was almost in tears. I've been put back on full time after four years part time (my request so I would have time to study). That's terrific, just what I wanted. The thing that had me laughing is that, according to the staffing officer, I've been transferred to my school as from today. I've been there for three years now and hadn't realised I hadn't been transferred already.

In all that, there's no guarantee I'll be spending this year there. I still have no classes. I still feel unsettled and out of balance because of that.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Job requirements and discrimination

I keep an eye on different jobs available around the area. A lot of it's for my students so I can tell them what they need to know when preparing for work, but it's also for me. I'd like a job as a teacher-librarian in a school so I have specific searches for those positions.

I read of a job position this morning at a local Christian school. It sounded perfect, just what I'm looking for, so I pulled up the application forms and started reading. Within a very short period of time I was so angry I shut everything down and walked away. There is no way I'm going to apply for a position at any place like that.

I'm sure the school itself is fine but one of the criteria I would have to make a statement about hit every anti-discrimination button I have. They want me to state that I believe the only 'proper' relationship is a "monogomous heterosexual marriage"! What utter rubbish. How do they get away with this sort of discrimination? I thought we had laws against it but they're hiding behind the religion banner.

Of course Australian law doesn't recognise homosexual marriages because some narrow-minded bigots in Canberra decided the only reason anyone gets married is to have children. Some moron even said same-sex marriages end in divorce half the time. I thought that was a bit odd because we don't have any recognised same-sex marriages in Australia. Where did he get his figures from? My aunt married at 84. I sure she never intended to have children from that union! But she was allowed to get married because she married a man. I know a lot of couples who are totally committed to each other but can't get married simply because they're the same sex. It's ridiculous. And have they checked out the divorce rate lately? Nearly half of those married, get divorced. And, as only heterosexual marriages are recognised, those statistics show only those figures.

Why do so many people shut their brains down when they're confronted with something outside their own experience? All I can think of is they must be terribly insecure within themselves and feel threatened by anything different.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Becoming tiny

I think I've finally managed to relax after finishing work just before Christmas. I spent two weeks preserving every type of food I looked at - at least that's what it felt like. I made twelve different preserves this year: three chutneys, two pickles, three jams, two jellies, two butters. I impressed myself, but the main result of the preserving obsession was to give me time to avoid everything else, even thinking.

Today was the most productive day I've had since the middle of December too. I've washed and cleaned and shopped and, in between it all, I've written 1500 words. That's the best I've done since NaNo finished. I finally started work on the sub-plot I've been thinking about for about four months. It's slow going. I can't just write it all. I have to keep thinking about when things are happening and how it fits in with the bits I've already written. I don't want the other characters to suddenly be in the way - they can't meet each other for a while yet.

After all that, I needed a break, so I put my favourite Fleetwood Mac on to play (I don't know anyone else who can layer rhythms like that. Absolute magic.) and decided to learn how to make a URL tiny. It's one of those little, simple things that I've been meaning to do for a long while, knowing it'll make my work much easier, but I never got around to it. So along came Father Google to help out and now I know what to do. It'll be great when I go back to work and need to send links to people.

Also on the topic of becoming tiny: I started dieting again and have managed to stick to it for two whole days. I don't do fad diets; I like my food too much. I usually eat very healthy, lots of fresh fruit and veg and homemade stuff. I just eat too much and don't exercise enough. Cutting down the volume of food and exercising regularly is a trial. If I stick to it, by March I should be 10kg lighter. I know that sounds a lot but according to all the medical texts I should lose 30kg. I won't though. I don't like myself too thin; it's too hard to maintain and I like curves on women. The 10kg is just enough for me to fit into my comfy clothes and move without my knees protesting.