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Shannanigan's Search for More...


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These Great Returns of mine are turning out to not be so Great after all, so I'm just gonna be honest and say, "Hey, I'm here, but I'm a big bad busy teacher now, and I may not be around every day."

But here I am! I survived Hurricane Omar (which decided to become a Category 3 just before hitting us) and have recieved a few days off of school in return, which I have decided to use to get back into my much-missed writing.

So much blog-worthy stuff has been going through my head lately. First off, there is the fact that, well, I have attempted to write quite a few novels in the past couple of years. What always winds up happening, though, is that my impatience gets the best of me, and I drop it.

I remember reading once that a novelist should always have the ending of their novel in their head as they begin to write it, so that they know what direction they are going in. I've never, ever, had an ending in my head for any of my prospective novels. I don't know, I hate ending things, or maybe I just didn't have a strong enough message to know where I was going with the story, who knows? I am, after all, an amateur.

This current project though, I feel good about. I came up with the ending FIRST, and am building the book around it. To solve my issue with impatience, I am instead making the book a collection of short stories which are related to each other, and which will all tie in at the end for the ending I have come up with.

That sounds confusing. Basically, I'm writing a collection of short stories about kids living in the Virgin Islands; stories which show how while the problems they face are similar to those American kids face (we are an American territory), they are a different breed of problems because of the culture they are living in. In the end, all of the stories will tied together as a parent-teacher conference reveals that only parents, teachers, and the community at large can help these kids overcome their problems. Not all problems can be solved, but many can be overcome with the support of the role models around us.

Anyway, uber-excited about that one. So excited, in fact, that I'm thinking I'm going to start applying for the Stegner Fellowship at Stanford. I say "start applying" rather than just "apply" because I don't expect to get in this year, so I'll re-apply every year and just keep my fingers crossed. It's a two-year fellowship at $26,000 a year to attend weekly writing workshops, listen to guest speakers, and write, write, write. I think it would be extremely good for me.

Today the thought occured to me that I could collect a lot of my past blog entries from high school and college, turn them into short stories, and self-publish a book of non-fiction stories from a Virgin Islands student. It would be humorous, mostly, because that is what I would blog about - the stupid things that happened to me, but I think it would provide great entertainmet for someone interested...maybe?

I don't know. The fact that being away from school has instilled this much motivation and inspiration into me makes me wonder if I was really meant to be a teacher and not a writer. Maybe I needed to be a teacher, though, and inspire my students first in order to come to this point. Maybe I'm meant to be both.

We shall see.

I refuse to settle!