Monday, June 24, 2013

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime!

Yes, I graded my final essay for my online classes and e-mailed all the graded essays and transcript forms to the high school students in my Shakespeare Literary Analysis course on Friday, and now I have time to WRITE!!

Since January, my schedule has been crazy. Besides home schooling three teen boys in grades 7, 10, and 12, I've taught two co-op writing classes for high school students with a total of 16 students since September. Meeting on average twice each month for a total of 18 classes, the students basically turn in ten expository essays each plus an MLA style research essay which takes eight weeks from start to finish (not counting my grading time) and also do an informal oral presentation on their research project for the class.

Then since January, I've taught quite a few online classes: a 4-week grammar family workshop, a 4-week intensive literary analysis course on Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, a 4-week poetry writing family workshop, a 4-week Shakespeare family workshop, and a 4-week intensive literary analysis course on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. During this same time, I also put together most of a grammar e-book based on the grammar familyworkshop course and helped to proofread/edit a 10-month language arts curriculum textbook on "partnership writing" written by my boss.

But now it's summertime!!! And I'll have more time to write!! I still can't believe that since January I've only written a prologue and three chapters on my new story, Only by Moonlight. The good news is that I'm 2500-words into Chapter 4 and hope to complete the rough draft in the next day or two before sending it off to my two amazing pre-readers, ladylibre on FFn and EmmyDana on Wattpad. I'm really hoping to return to my weekly chapter postings so that I can move this story along. It's been difficult writing it because with so much on my mind and so much time between writing chapters, I'm not keeping it simmering on the backburner of my mind like the rest of my stories.

I hope also to pick up a few of my already-started but unfinished stories, excerpts of a few of which I've posted here on this blog. We'll see; I'd love to have a writing-intensive summer!! However, I am teaching one summer class: Fan Fiction!! I taught it for the first time last summer, but since I was designing and writing the class as I was teaching it, the class was quite time-intensive. But with the class all prepared and ready to go, I shouldn't have to use too much of my time on it this summer.

The Fan Fiction class is designed for students ages 12-18, and we'll define and discuss the genre of fan fiction, study and critique a few fan fiction stories, then write three chapters/stories (not necessarily all from the same fandom): a 500-1000 word flash fan fiction chapter/story, a 1000-2500 word chapter/story, and then a 2500-5000 word chapter/story. We'll also discuss how to deal with writer's block and how to finish one's story. With two completed novel-length stories under my belt plus several shorter stories (one shots), coming up on 3 million reads/hits on my works between and, and teaching writing for over 20 years at the elementary, junior high, high school, and university levels, I feel confident in teaching a fun and productive course. Here's the link to the registration page if anyone's interested in signing up; the class is 4 weeks long and begins July 8: Brave Writer Online Fan Fiction Class.   

But I am planning to work on Only by Moonlight as much as possible during this summer, especially before September comes when I'll be teaching two overlapping classes: a 4-week intensive literary analysis class on American poetry and the 6-week MLA research essay course. After I return the final research essays, I'll be teaching another intensive 4-week literary analysis course on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (and hoping the new movie will be out on DVD in time for us to watch and discuss it for our class).  So I will definitely have a busy fall ahead of me, but perhaps I can write ahead enough to keep the chapters coming even while I'm teaching in the fall.

I am planning to join Camp NaNoWriMo and write a lot of chapters during July, perhaps enough to keep me posting well into the fall despite my busy teaching schedule. I guess we;ll have to see. ;) I got a great deal of Pinned but Fluttering done during NaNoWriMo 2012 and I completed Evening Star during NaNoWriMo 2011, so I do plan to keep going with NaNoWriMo in November. There's nothing like writing 50,000 words in one month to keep a writer on her toes. ;)

So these are my summer plans, and I hope that I get a lot accomplished so that you may all enjoy Only by Moonlight; I'm so excited about the plot, and I hope that you'll all like it, too. :)

Writing with you, my friends,

~Cassandra :)