Yup… my 801’st post. Cool! Too bad I don’t have anything REALLY profound… but, you know, at least we can say I AM a veteran blogger–doesn’t 801 posts qualify for that?

I am actually taking a little break from my WIP today–Deacon and Declan broke my heart in the worst way yesterday, and as much as I love these guys, if they’re gonna keep fucking w/my emotions like this they’re going to have to expect a little time out. Seriously, though–I just got a second request (thanks, Needletart–I started mulling that around tonight during my walk) for a character lexicon at the beginning of RAMPANT, and I realized that Jack & Teague probably needs the same thing at the beginning of THAT book when I release the collection, and as much as I love these worlds and love these characters… well…

They’re getting complicated.

Bitter Moon II was the same way. I had to keep my people straight–in fact, that’s one of the first things I asked my editors for Rampant: I have a large cast, did I manage them responsibly?

I’ve got to say, that as much as I LOVE the Little Goddess series and as fun as it is to continue enlarging Green’s Hill and the outlying areas, there is a certain charm in a small cast. There is a certain loveliness in knowing that, after 70,000 or so words, these guys can go on to hot schmex and an HEA at the end and that’s it. That’s the end. Mission accomplished. There’s not a whole lot of potential for gay horse-ranchers in Northern California–I’m pretty sure these guys are a one shot deal, and they should be done breaking my heart at the end of September. By then, Jack and Teague will be ready for their final two stories and I’ll be MORE than ready to start the next Little Goddess book. (Yes. I do have it named. My editors will understand why I haven’t divulged the name of the next one– the name of the next one sort of gives away a little of what happens at the end of RAMPANT… and for the record, no. It’s not called FLACCID. )

And in other news?

Oh God. Poor Mate–he fielded the SADDEST soccer game of all time last night. We were short people for starters. All of our ‘big’ boys (5 & 6 yr olds) had just started first grade–this goes all day, and they were EXHAUSTED. All of our little boys (4 & 5) had just started Kindergarten–they too were tired. And the only ones left were three year old girls, being begged, bribed and threatened to go on the field and PLEASE help out our little boys, because they were getting their ASSES kicked. Three of the kids (including our own) had to be awakened from impromptu naps in order to play–one of them got knocked on his ass a couple of times (okay–he flopped. He was a first class flopper. He was the Vlade Divac of the U6 crowd,) but by the end of the game he just sat next to his mom (who was unsympathetically saying “What the hell’s wrong with you, why are you crying like a little girl?”) and sobbed his tired little heart out. Little BoneDaddy couldn’t get knocked over–in order to get knocked over, a player usually has to be SOMEWHERE near the ball. BoneDaddy was turning lazy airplane circles at the end of the field–until we threatened to revoke his ice cream, that is. And in the middle of all of this, the opposing team was three times our sized, and apparently made up with bloodthirsty little girls who gnawed on the bones of dizty 5 year old boys for breakfast. And their coach, who put a terrifying little girl-panther in front of the goal (when there are no goalies in U6) and had her just knock all our balls out of the endzone. And the thing is, you’d think a group of kids winning as huge as this team was winning would play some of their third stringers, you know? Nope. That little ringer was in for the WHOLE DAMNED GAME.

It didn’t matter. We were sort of doomed anyway. Mate was so depressed… it’s tough being coach.

And I had sort of a shitty week at school–I’ve got a toxic little shit (or big shit–she’s a big girl) in my 2nd period. The class is sort of a nightmare anyway… it’s another who’s who of 11th graders who have pissed people off in the past, but this kid… damn. She’s like walking drain cleaner. Insulting and mean–saying stuff out loud you’d normally wait until the teacher’s back is turned to say. Just being pretty damned awful. I finally just sent her out on general principle. (I’ve forgotten exactly what she said but I remember it was pretty rude.) You don’t get to be a total bitch to me in my own room–sorry. Not in my job description–go directly to hell, but stop at the vice principal’s office if you’re so inclined.

And my iPod got stolen. I don’t want to talk about it. It’s too painful, and I was being VERY careful of it–I had it out for an assignment (that I never got to give) and I REALLY didn’t want a repeat of last year. *sigh* It’s enough to make me lose my faith in the little fuckers, you know?

And then something happened to give me faith.

One of the loudest kids in my 2nd period–but not the meanest, by any stretch of the imagination–came shouting at me across the quad on Friday. I was standing next to my principal, cause we had some shit to discuss, and next to him was one of the smallest freshmen I have ever seen. He was maybe three inches taller than BoneDaddy, and even though BoneDaddy’s tall, that’s not high school tall, right? Anyway, ‘Rich’ came charging across the quad hollering ‘Ms. Lane, Ms. Lane–is that your kid?”

My principal and I regarded each other in horror. Oh. My. God. Poor freshman–he’ll never get over this! But Rich got closer and we said “No, dude–this is a fellow inmate–this is a freshman!” (Okay–I didn’t even know the freshman–it was the only name I had for him!) And Rich widened his eyes first, and you could see it–the same “Oh shit!” that Jimmy the Principal and I had gone through when we realized that this freshman would never live this down.

And then Rich did a wonderful thing. He turned to the kid, shook his hand, and said, “How do you do? I’m Rich. I’m security!”

Of course Jimmy and I blew him up! “Don’t listen to this joker, kid–he’s no such thing!”

But it was a good recovery–in one move, Rich made himself look like a fool and gave the kid a chance to know he wasn’t a bad guy. Rich may piss me off in the future, and I may even have to send him out–but I hope not. Because this week, especially after toxic-student’s little displays of nastiness, he totally restored my faith in mankind.

0 thoughts on “801”

  1. roxie says:

    Hooray for Rich! Somewhere, someone taught him to think about the other guy's feelings. Now if he could just learn to see YOU as "the other guy," . . .

    Console Mate. Kiddie soccer is not about winning. It's about playing. It's about running around, getting exercise, and learning to play nice with other kids. The ball and the rules provide a reference point. "They're not so much rules – more like – guidelines."

  2. DecRainK says:

    yeah.. iPods and school are a bad combo. mine got stolen last year while i was subbing

  3. Galad says:

    Being a soccer coach can be a tough gig, particularly if you are fair and play everyone like you are supposed to.

    My son's team always got beat but those teams that played the same kids every time. It sucks.

  4. Next time, by an ipod and a cheap-assed MP3 player. ONLY take MP3 player to work. I know defeats the purpose, but that make three?

  5. Louiz says:

    boo on the ipod, yay on the considerate kid.

    Poor mate. My brother plays soccer – in a tiny weeny little team, the Kew Green FC. It plays in a league that doesn't even make the local papers and is sponsored by the local pub. They can't practice if their main opposition is, because they both share the same sports centre as a home base.

    He also supports Brentford FC (which hardly anyone outside of the immediate area actually knows about unless they see the name on the tv) which seems to be an exercise in heartbreak.

    He's been playing since he was very small, and he has endless admiration for the man who first coached him – small league soccer seems to be a fairly thankless task – but tell mate someday he will meet one of his coachees who will tell him how Mate changed his life… even if it doesn't help now.

    Hope next week is better.

  6. Donna Lee says:

    Sorry to hear about the ipod. I'd miss mine terribly. I like people reading me stories as I go through my chores.

    What a good kid Rich is. And I'm really glad you got to experience his goodness so that when he gives you a hard time in the future, you'll have this memory to fall back on.

  7. vgannikki says:

    Wow, I LOVE your books and just discovered your blog. It's So weird to me that you're a teacher! only because I graduated high school last year and although I generally liked my teachers, as a student I always kind of figured they only existed during school hours. Reading your blog feels like sneaking into the teachers lounge (which even in high school is still the most mysterious place on school grounds.)

    I wish I had teachers who wrote awesome novels about elves and vampires! Mine always chastised me and rolled their eyes when they caught me reading fantasy novels under my desk.

    I wonder if any of my old teachers has a blog?!

    Anyway, don't worry too much about the mean girl. She's probably just like Cory and needs something to pull her out of her world hating. In my opinion the easiest way's to get on a class's good side are to either have a movie day or to teach class outside every once in a while. Being inside of a high school kind of sucks the joy out of a person, but who can be mean and snarky when in the sunshine?

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