Oh Snow You Didn’t!

Greetings from a basement out here in the middle of Minnesota! I hope this missive finds you hearty and hale!

A beast of a snowstorm took up residence in our neck of the woods for the first half of the week, becoming increasingly annoying with the amount of snow it dropped in such a short amount of time. School was supposed to resume on Tuesday, but in light of the adverse weather conditions, in-person learning was swapped out for e-learning, and the same thing happened on Wednesday. Ended up with only two in-person school days this week, which wasn’t the worst way to transition back from break for students and teachers alike. Unfortunately, because of the e-learning days, we did lose two more One Act practices, which puts us behind the proverbial 8-Ball a bit as our first performance is a scant three weeks away.

We’ll be fine. Besides, there’s often really good stuff that develops from the constraints of a shrunken deadline.

I’ll be helping out with the Christmas Sing at church this weekend, playing guitar and singing. Normally I run my guitar through my amp, and then plug the amp into the mixer. This has worked okay in the past, but getting the EQ dialed in can be a little finicky. For the first time, I plugged directly into the mixer, and getting my guitar to blend into the mix with the other instruments went a lot more smoothly, and it sounds great. We practiced on Monday and Friday evening, and the songs are really humming along. Looking forward to worshiping with everyone and celebrating the birth of Jesus, albeit a few days past the technical end of the Christmas season (our church didn’t get a chance to do a proper carol/hymn sing prior to the new year, which is why we’re doing it now).

My first finished book of 2023 was the audiobook of Eye of the World, the first in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I’d started the book before the end of the year, listening to a good chunk of it on the drive over to Door County for holidays, as well as at night after I’d fallen George to sleep. But it’s such a beefy story (clocking in at 29 hours), I couldn’t quite wrap it up until now.

I enjoyed the world and the characters quite a bit, and am looking forward to the subsequent books in the series (I’ve heard Jordan’s epic really starts to come into its own a few books in). I wasn’t completely wowed by the story in this first book, only because it read like a Lord of the Rings adjacent book. I got a sense of what it wanted to do, and what it will become, how it will carve out its own path in the realm of Fantasy, but this first foray (to me) clung rather closely to Mr. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. I’ve got a couple other irons in the book fires right now, but will look to pick up the second book once I’ve cleared the decks.

I’m nearly finished with Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. Prior to this one, I hadn’t read much in the steampunk genre, but I’ve dug this one, and will also look to pick up the next in the series.

It was a good week as far as SLIME goals go. I have written for at least five minutes every day (though more often than not, the writing time has pushed into the 20-30 minute range), and I did get going to a certain degree on my National Boards Maintenance of Certification.

It’ll be a small heap of work. Essentially I need to identify two professional growth experiences from the last ten years, write about how those experience impacted my teaching as well as student learning, and provide evidence to support my assertions; then, I need to select one of the PGEs, develop a lesson plan based on what I learned from that experience, teach that lesson to students, and write up a reflection. Again, it’s no short order, but I will be able to meet the late May deadline.

As far as daily writing goals go, tomorrow I’ll bump the daily minimum up to 10 minutes. I’m currently working on two projects: 1) the first draft of a middle grade novel, of which I’m still in first chapter territory, only because I’m stuck in tinker and revise mode…got to work on pushing past; and 2) a piece of flash fiction in response to a prompt offered by a friend’s son at the behest of another friend from our Augsburg crew. The prompt: Woody and Buzzy and a Big Boat. Inspired by BONESHAKER, I’m trying steampunk, and writing about Woodford & Buzzynski, and their hand pie airship business (I’m about 200 words into that one).

I’ll close for now. Take care of yourselves and each other. As always, thanks kindly for reading.

-Purdy

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