Yucky book, my book

Yucky book: The theme is someone is “forced” to do something that eventually makes her very happy, but she doesn't want to be doing it at the time. It upset me so much that, even though I knew the ending was happy, I had to quit reading about chapter three and skip to the last two chapters in order to offset the tension. — I hate it when people “make” you do things. Even if it's for your own good. Even if it turns out well.

My book: I'm upstairs working out with my weights and I realize that my story is very much that sort of thing. Dielli is perfectly happy being a normal nine year old girl with a fanatic grandmother who loves her. She likes helping out with her little sister, even though sis is faster than she is. She likes learning things. In fact, she's just loving all the learning she's having to do. She's looking forward to learning to be a caravan merchant, when she's old enough to be apprenticed.

Then, she gets a true dream. She has to act on it to save her uncle and friends. She does. They're safe. Then her grama says “the priests might take you away” and scares the bejeezers out of the poor girl. She has another dream. This time she's sure she's going to get found out, but she acts on the dream anyway. Saves the local wheat crop. (Also a major religious symbol.)

Originally I wanted everyone to think she was a demon or something. You know, she's causing all this by dreaming it. I still think there will be a bit of that, but my husband hated it. “You fantasy people always want to throw in how people think the character's a demon.” (Now I've never read a fantasy novel like that, but maybe he did before he gave them up. But I fixed it anyway.)

Now one person and his family believe she's causing it. Some of the other city folk avoid her because she might know stuff about them. Others come up and ask her opinion on stuff she doesn't know anything about. They take her suggestions and when they don't turn out, then they turn against her.

She eventually has to “hide” by going into the temple as an apprentice priest. So, she starts out perfectly happy and ends up terrified and exactly where she was afraid the dreams would send her.

Things do get better, after someone almost gets killed, several people do get killed, the city thinks they're being invaded, and various small disasters like that.

Last line of this section: Dielli went home a prophet, determined to be a caravan merchant.

Feeling Bad? No, I refuse.

I read a book that upset me. Instead of feeling bad, I started thinking of words that made me happy.

sand castles

jumping jacks

leap frog

duck, duck, goose

laughter

falling stars

hot pink

royal purple

This is your Body, for life.

I am in my third week of my fourth (or is it fifth?) Body for Life twelve week challenge. I didn't actually take the challenge, as in send in my pictures, etc. I tried something else between my last BFL and this one. It helped in a lot of ways–gaining muscle and learning more about foods–and didn't help in others–losing fat, getting in shape.

So far this challenge, I have lost 3.4 pounds.

Homeschooling thoughts

About homeschooling? Well, I did it when the boys were little, preschool ages. We would have Bible lessons and number lessons. I even did my eldest's kindergarten. But then he didn't want to learn to read. He told me he didn't need to. We'd gone through the whole 100 lessons for teaching your child to read. I was very frustrated, so I put him in the best private school where we lived.

That was a disaster. Two weeks into the year he was reading, of course. Once he realized Mommy wasn't the only one who thought he should. But the teacher, though she had 20 years experience, was very strict, rude, and mean. She made you raise your hand to ask a question, but she wouldn't call on you to answer it. She made fun of the children's accents, even though they were in their home state of Texas and she was from Boston. She hated my son. But I was too chicken to pull him out, afraid I would not be able to homeschool him forever and feeling that was the only alternative to leaving him there.

After that I decided that nothing was worse than leaving him in that situation. So I started homeschooling him the next year again. My youngest never went to public or private school, even though he is an extrovert and might do quite well, because I wasn't willing to risk his sensitive heart to another vicious person.

I never really intended to do it forever. I meant to just get them far enough along that they were old enough to fend for themselves. However, my oldest is very young for his school group and he is now working at a full grade level above where he would be in normal school. I will never, unless I have to, put him into school like that again because he's just before the cut off for his regular grade (6th) and he ought to be in 7th grade based on his work. Would you want someone who just turned 12 going into public 8th grade? I sure wouldn't.

I think my youngest could go to public school now, because he is such an extrovert and I think he could handle being bored in school a bit better than my oldest. The youngest is working on schoolwork from grade 4 to grade 6. He should be a 4th grader. However, homeschooling has been a major blessing for him because he did not learn to read until he was 8. Had I put him in public school he would have been labeled special ed and I don't think anything I could have done would have fixed that.

In Texas the rules for homeschooling are that you must have a valid curriculum for spelling, reading, grammar, math, and citizenship. That's it. Most states are much more strict, but Texans are kind of “do it my way” folks.

I intend to keep teaching them until after they are 16. Then, if both of us think they can handle it, enroll them in the local community college to do their freshman year from home at that age. I am thinking 12 hours of school a semester and a job. That will give them time to be like other kids their ages and still have an academic challenge.

There is a homeschool alternative here where kids who are homeschooled can go to an academic program for classes in English, history, math, and science. They go for an hour and a half two days a week (just like a three hour class in college) with teachers who specialize in their areas. We might do some of that when both boys are age correct for junior high.

And of course there are the extracurricular classes they take on Fridays at the “co-op”. That used to be my one day off, which I loved. Now I teach there and I have found that I actually enjoy that more. I am interacting with people other than my kids which helps all three of us.

Driving test

I finished my driving course. In a horrible mood. I can only take one chapter at a time without getting frazzled, but hubby insisted I needed to finish tonight. Then the course wouldn't let me advance out of chapter ten. I took the final twice, getting all the answers correct each time, before I could get out. Then I was taking the last test, the test, the one you can only take three times. And my internet connection went down. Since you only have 24 minutes to answer the questions I immediately phone the people. Could I just give them my answers over the phone? No was their answer. That would fail me twice.

I did get internet back, obviously since I am writing this. And I passed the second time. They said I was wrong on one answer and then gave the right answer as the same one I gave. Also, they asked a question about whether it was a class A, B, or C misdemeanor to get a DWI. How would I know? I didn't get one. It's one class if you're over 21 and a different one if you're under 21. I guessed the letter for the under, that's the one I remembered. Apparently they wanted the other.

Anyway, next time (God forbid!) I am not taking a course online.

Another irritating thing was they asked for information that they shouldn't have as “authentication.” They asked me my father's name. I'm 41. They asked me in what state I got my ss#. What do they have my soc number for? They asked me who the car belonged to and then told me I was wrong when I said it belonged to me. (It does.) They asked me for the license number on my car. for the expiration date on my driver's license. (I ran down to look for one. I lied on the other. I don't carry my driver's license with me to the internet. Highway is a metaphor, for goodness sake.)

Scamming an editor

It is amazing to read about the lives of regular people who make their living writing. I am on a writing group and I have 72,000 words fo a novel done, but it seems a far away dream to be finished.

Thisarticle is by one of those real writersabout pulling a practical joke on his editor. It is pretty funny.

Obviously the guy is a “real” writer, not just because he's been published, but also because he knows enough other authors to get his work critiqued with glowing reviews for the scam.