Day 8: Connecting

My high school English teacher read the Day 7 post, the one in which I wrote that she told students we had important and relevant things to say.

That is the problem with blogging. At some point, you make a remark, a perfectly innocent remark, and the person you remarked about happens across it and reads it and calls you on it. Especially if you link the post to Facebook, and that person is one of your friends.

Anyway, said English teacher (who taught me in grades 8, 10, 11, and 12, so you see what we were both up against) asked whether she really said relevant and important, or whether she said, “Hush up and write.”

I admit it. “Hush up and write” was more her style.

And I really went overboard with relevant. I don’t think anyone I knew said relevant. It was one of those television words, ubiquitous and meaningless. The curriculum wasn’t relevant. School wasn’t relevant.

Relevant isn’t complete in itself. It needs something more. Relevant to what? And in whose opinion?

The 60s didn’t get to my part of Texas until late. And being as contrary then as I am now, I rebelled against the rebellion.

According to my husband, people should never send e-mails they wouldn’t want Ted Koppel to read on the air. David is correct. That goes for Facebook and blogs and all media, I’m sure.

Although I agree with his policy, however, I don’t follow it. Anyone who has read this blog knows that.

My one hope is that any potential employer who googles me and reads my work understands self-deprecating humor.

In other words, I’m neither as dumb nor as ditsy as I portray myself. Fiction is fiction and fact is fact, and in between there is irony.

If hired, I will be on time, work through breaks and lunch and do overtime, meet deadlines, take a personal interest in my work, and play well with others. I will spell correctly and use the serial comma. And I will not write about you on my blog.

I’ve been thinking about starting every post with that paragraph. Especially the post about my hereditary tendency to burn toast.

Although I write about my flaws, or pseudo-flaws, I am a private person. I want to choose what I tell and when and to whom. I don’t appreciate Facebook’s rabid desire to help me extend my social circle. I really really don’t appreciate Facebook’s sharing my information and not telling me, or making it difficult for me to lock down information I don’t want to share with people I don’t know.

There are days when I would like to close the account completely–as if that were possible, given FB’s determination not to delete it–but I’m in too deep. Closing out of FB would be like disconnecting both the telephone and the television. I don’t use either appliance very often, but giving them up would put me completely out of the loop.

No more pictures of Kenna wearing her little pink hat and grinning.

No more surprise messages from students I haven’t seen in years.

I’ve had the good fortune to “connect” with two women I first knew when they students. They were back-to-back winners of the Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest, Young Adult Division. One has signed a book contract with a publisher. The other recently signed with an agent.

When their books come out, I’ll be jumping up and down.

I hope the high school from which they graduated will honor them by inviting them back to speak to current students. I hope the elementary and middle schools do the same.

I hope the school district makes a BIG DEAL of their accomplishments.

Let me say that again.

I hope the school district makes a BIG DEAL of their accomplishments.

Not for the writers’ sake, but for the sake of children who need to see that telling stories is important, that publishing a book is an event to be celebrated, that kids who once sat in those same classrooms grew  up to be writers.

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11 thoughts on “Day 8: Connecting

    1. The writing is fun. The being me is at times problematic, but I stick with it.

      Thanks for making time to visit and comment during this busy NaNo season.


    2. Both the writing and the being appear to be mandatory. I’d sometimes like to be somebody else, but no one wants to trade.

      Thanks for making time to visit and comment during this busy NaNo season.

      (I enjoyed your post about NaNo and the Poetry Challenge, but my comment went straight to tech support–some kind of error. If the techs can’t fix it, I’ll try again.)


  1. Schools making a big deal of scholars that make good–what a concept! Where you live and where I live, in schools, athletic programs are king and the athletes the royalty. So when I heard our new governor Susana Martinez being hailed as a role model at all of her childhood schools, I loved it. It was said that it’s more than OK to be a good student and to set goals–and anyone can do it. That message needs to be repeated over & over again.


    1. There’s always so much talk about producing “well-rounded” students–I wish someone would mention that well-rounded starts in the classroom.

      Congratulations on your new governor. I’m hoping for that kind here. Someday.


  2. Facebook is like the telephone and television — yes! I could live without television at all, but you got me with the phone. Seldom used, but potentially a life saver. I wonder though — how would Facebook ever save my life?


    1. Thank you, SE, I’m also glad we’re getting to know each other as adults. That relationship is more fun than our previous one, for both parties.

      Seriously, the school should take note of what you and MP have done. I’m going to keep tabs on that. (Sound tough, don’t I?)


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