Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Letters from Marilyn - Update 19

Happy Wednesday, loves!

I have been having a simply fabulous week. Why, you ask? Let's take a little life stroll before we get into the latest update on Letters from Marilyn. First, all of my 500+ student papers were graded in time for conferences. On the theatre front, I have written the blocking for my entire musical, audition and callbacks material is ready to go, the set is designed, and I have my first two weeks of rehearsals mapped out. And with life: I've had opportunities to see family, celebrate my sister's birthday, and time to catch up with people. Lots of love to all of you for the conversations and your good vibes. I enjoy hearing from everyone. Thank you world, things can only continue to go up from here. I'm excited to see what you have in store for me in the days, weeks, and months to come.

I also have some exciting news to share regarding Letters from Marilyn. I have a prospective literary agent, and am now in the stages of writing sample chapters to send to the agency (along with other agencies, of course!). One thing I love about writing is the flexibility it gives me, so I can continue to write remotely from wherever I like and still do all of the other things that I love: theatre, music, education, etc. It's hard to focus on just one thing when you have many things you are passionate about! It also gives me the flexibility to be both an introvert and an extrovert. I get the time to write, to reflect, and yet still get the time to talk with you, my close family and friends. So those of you I have had many conversations with recently these past few weeks or so (whether it be in person or via social media!) know that I appreciate and value you. Just hearing how you are doing makes my extrovert-heart happy. Now that things have settled down for me, I hope to spend more time focused on you.

Put in the words of one of my students, I have apparently been living on "cloud nine" this past week as a result of all this news. Education sidebar (since I promised this story for my family following on Facebook!): every time I have had a student use this phrase, they also must ask if I have a boyfriend. That's middle schoolers for you - very interested in all aspects of my personal life. "No, children, I do not have a boyfriend yet. Yes, I realize you find that information clearly more fascinating than our textbook, but we still have 10 pages of reading to cover in the next 45 minutes, so please don't make me go all Severus Snape with the 'TURN TO PAGE 394!' okay?" Now that I have had a chance to come down from my writer's "cloud nine" a bit, let's shift our focus to Marilyn and her life.

The reason for today's life and education tidbits is two-fold: first, many of you following my Facebook & Twitter page have asked how I've been and how teaching has been going. Here you are: it is going well, much better than last year. I am flattered you want to hear about my life and silly ramblings, and I am more than happy to supply those here and on my Facebook page. I hope you don't get sick of my crazy stories too quickly!

The second piece of this is in connection to my last update. After all, you know I feel a close kinship with Marilyn and the fact that she was going into vocal music education. She was a pianist, a musician, a vocalist - all things that I am too. In my previous post, I mentioned struggling with the style of this novel. I've decided for now - with the help of the lit agencies - to write this with my infused life stories too. After all, I've already been doing that on some level when I've shared snippets of her letters. Think a la Julie and Julia.

The downside of this style (but not enough of one to discourage me!) is that I have had to do a lot of restructuring to my current drafts. I've had to review and pour over letters, pulling details that were not included in my first set of drafts. I had hoped to share some of this drafting with you today, but I need more time to complete it. Now that all the life things are caught up, I hope to have more time to write in the evenings with a clear mind (and hopefully, clear sinuses - thanks a lot October for all the seasonal allergies, it is not distracting at all).

We do not have school the next two days, and I do not have any plans for the first time in a while (which is a remarkable feeling, because it means I'm not set into a fixed schedule and can make whatever plans I desire for the next 4 days!). So look for another update soon, dear readers. On Facebook alone, so many of you offered congratulations on this next big step. I appreciate you. Your well-wishes are so thoughtful and kind. Within the last 4 weeks, Certainly Candid has received 1,307 views. I am floored at how far we have come since I started this project, so thank you again. More to come soon. 

Love always.

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