I appreciate all of you animal-friend helpers out there, making sure that my dress is the best and most beautiful …. (Get the metaphor? Of course you do, I taught you!)
I have to give credit where credit is due this week, and that’s to MY STUDENTS. I love them. (Most of them.) Why, you ask? Well, first of all, if you’re reading this, there’s a really good chance that you’re probably either a current or former student, or the parent of one, or maybe even the teacher of other students, so thank you for being here.
Second of all, my student manager told me my blog has fallen behind, and I love that he’s paying attention, so thanks, Caleb, I’m here.
Third of all, my students have been a great audience this week, previewing sections of THE BOOK because they want to—in fact, they have begged me to read it to them, which is so crazy to me. Me, a writer?! Who people want to hear stories from?! So far, their feedback has been quite a confidence booster, AND reading aloud, of course, which I have encouraged before, REALLLLLLLLY helps to see where the problems in word choice, repetition, rhythm, humor, etc. are.
In addition, after four former students of mine asked to proof THE BOOK, it struck me that my intended audience for this book IS former students, current students, colleagues in education, possibly middle-aged women, but mainly students. THE BOOK is about teaching & my classroom and what it has given to me over the years, particularly after life got pretty rough for me (I actually refer to 2010 as The Trifecta of Shit year).
Now, onto recent writing-THE-BOOK-struggles: The order of this story has been killing me. I had been going to sleep thinking about it, waking up thinking about it, and all the times in between. How could I tell the linear story of the bad stuff happening and still weave in the humor and light heartedness of Ricky Martin, Cinderella, and the classroom? What about dates and did it matter to jump around in time? (I know, I know, same old struggles, Aimee—but this was a real worry, as I kept adding new pieces to it that felt so relevant, yet didn’t *quite* seem to fit!)
So my next idea was to do a little research, and by that I mean, I came to school with a few favorite memoirs pulled off my home shelves, rounded up some more from another English teacher down the hall (Thanks, Renee!), and looked at what those writers did. They definitely jumped around through time, but by using time markers so readers knew that’s what was happening (providing dates when moving away from the chronology), and I decided I might be able to do that, too.
So I tried *one more time* to use notecards with different sections on them, spread them out around me on the floor of my new office, and shuffle and move and think and move some more, and voila, a structure happened. (Great idea, Editor Erin! Thank you!) And then sections fell in place, and then the titles of those sections fell in place, and then the quotes I’d like to use as epigraphs fell in place, and pretty soon, I realized my potential title could work, too!
How would you like to help choose the potential title for my book, everyone?! If you’re still reading along, consider voting for one of the following options, or going to Twitter to do so (https://twitter.com/AimeeLRoss/status/822121481253638148):
Cinderella, Revised: My Version
Cinderella, Revised: The Disenchanted, Heroine-In-Crisis Version (I couldn’t fit this one on Twitter!)
And thank you!!