“Play is just as important as reading a good book.”

As someone who works with children, it irritates me when I hear adults say things like, “A child couldn’t understand this.” Especially when it comes to books. I have always been an avid reader. I read comedies, tragedies, histories, whatever there was to be read I would read it. Happy or sad, it didn’t matter as long as it was well written. The words resonated me, and even if there were some words that I didn’t fully understand, the feelings stayed with me. Children are very empathetic. They are capable of understanding emotions, and are able to place themselves into other people’s positions quite easily.

I think the reason for this is because children play pretend. When we play pretend we enter into a life that is not our own. It’s a lot like reading a book, honestly. Only adults think that books are more sophisticated and, grown up. I’ve always felt it was the same thing. Writing, and playing. What do actors do? They play at being someone else. Writers imagine many lives, and feel many emotions, think many thoughts. Is this not what children do when they play pretend?

I have played games with my five-year old niece. In one of her games the king died. I was surprised while watching this little girl play as the queen, who was saddened by her husbands passing. The queen was too upset to leave her bed. She was lonely. If a five year old, can understand this without having any idea of what death really means, then why do adults think children are incapable of understand the notion of death?

My niece knows that when someone dies we don’t see them anymore. This is all she knows, and yet, this little girl can take the scenario of not seeing a person you love anymore, and associate it with loneliness. How does one feel when they are lonely? Sad? Depressed?

Even in some of my classrooms I have read aloud to my students and listened to them rant about how rude the characters are in the story. I’ve had children say, “They need a spank on the butt!” My niece will say it as well, when I read her Cat in the Hat.

Children are not given enough credit. They are observant and their world is complex, much like our own. A child’s world is much like a puzzle. They slowly put the pieces together as they grow. The figure out where things belong over time. They are not incompetent. Children are extremely capable of grasping tough subjects such as war, and death, and loneliness. Do not underestimate a child’s abilities. Play is just as important as reading a good book.

–R.

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Sticky Notes

Ten. Ten sticky notes piled on top of each other, looking like a game of Tetris. Each one a reminder.

Read this. Password for this. Pick up this.

The list goes on. A boring list that no one really cares for, especially not a person who procrastinates. So, why does the procrastinator strategically place these different coloured notes along the wall? Well, they need to know how long they can put off their work for. To procrastinate successfully, one must of course induce a sense of anxiety. They must watch as time shrinks away. Meaningless numbers seem to have meaning when they’re written out on paper. Deadlines and due dates and appointments. Just numbers. Who could have guessed that a small, yellow square could become so significant. Of course, once the task is complete there will be no reason to keep the note on the wall. No, it’ll be crumpled up and tossed into the trash, along with other useless things. Like old symbols on an ancient ruin, it will have lost its meaning. Then there will be another to take its place, and it will linger on the wall until it too is tossed away. Insignificant numbers, on insignificant pieces of paper.

Thinking and Moving

I’m slowly getting settled in to my new apartment. My room is slightly larger than the one I had at the old place…however there are pesky little bugs everywhere. It’s disgusting really. We were promised that this place would be cleaned out properly over the summer, however that obviously never happened. The first two days were spent cleaning. I had to re-wash all of my clothing, towels and such that had been kept here over the summer. Everything is coming together though. I’m sure by the end of the week it’ll feel a little more like home.

As for my editing progress, I haven’t had a chance to do anything this week. However, I have two days a week off this semester, so I’ll be dedicating those days to working on my personal projects, at least until I have assignments and such to do. Then of course I’ll need to use that time for other things.

I still have a lot of things that I need to get done today. Seems I’ve lost my water filter…and a few other dishes which is bizarre. I know that they were packed away together but I have yet to find them. Honestly, I don’t think I can afford to buy a new one. They’re between $15-$30, but I still need to purchase my books for school, and pay my bills. I suppose in the long run having the filter is better than spending money on large water bottles an jugs every week.

I’ve considered getting a part-time job, but I just finished working two jobs and on top of that it’s my final year. I need to focus on my grades and I have to begin applying for graduate school. There’s a lot that I need to think about right now, which if I could I’d put it all off and forget the fact that I have responsibilities at all. Sadly, I’m one of those people who spend hours upon hours thinking about life, planning my next move, daydreaming about when and where. I’m always thinking about something. Unless I’m really engaged in a project or I’m captivated by a good book…I’m thinking about nothing and everything.

Well, I still have to eat my breakfast so I’d better get started on that. I’m pretty tired out right now. I’m surprised that I crawled out of bed at 8 o’clock this morning. Yesterday I was in bed until 11…which never happens. I’m an early riser. Id like to spent a few hours relaxing before I get rolling…I really don’t feel like doing much at all today. I’ll try to keep my spirits high. Try not to stress myself out over money like I did all summer.

Novel Update

This morning I made some more progress with my editing. I’m happy to say that I’m almost finished! Only four chapters left. My goal to finish by the end of the month is completely possible. I was worried there for a bit, working two jobs and trying to complete this at the same time seemed very difficult. I only had one day a week to myself, and even then I felt as though there was work that needed to be done.

After this stage, I’ll be able to complete my read through. I want to do this as soon as possible so that I can make any of the necessary corrections before handing it over to my “test” readers and editors. An extra pair of eyes never hurts. I also want to make sure that I’ve been consistent throughout the novel.

If I work hard enough I can probably get those last few chapters edited by Monday. However, I’ve got a wedding to go to tomorrow, so I’m not sure how much time I’ll have before and afterwards. Still, Monday night seems to be a reasonable amount of time.

–R.

Book Update!

The illustrations have been reviewed, and approved. I’m extremely satisfied with the way that they turned out.

As for my novel, I’ve made a lot of progress and I’m almost ready to print and do a read through. My goal is to read the entire book in one sitting, however with my schedule I’m not sure if that’s possible. I’ve also selected a handful of people to read it over as well…which I’m very grateful for. I could really use the extra eyes.

Anyway, it’s 1 in the morning now and I have to go to work at 6…so I’d better get some sleep.

–R.

Novel Update/Other Projects

I’m still editing. I really thought that I’d get more done before the beginning of August but because I work two jobs I’ve fallen behind on all of my projects. Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to get out of the house for a couple of hours. I did so as well today. I bought a CD, hung out with my folks and used my Chapters gift card. Scored myself two books. I try to read before I fall asleep at night. Helps me to clear my head.

Anyway, despite falling behind in my editing I’m still pleased with the progress I’ve made. Ness is doing final touches on the illustrations for my book, which she has so kindly offered to do. Hopefully it’ll be ready before the end of the month. Depending on how my editing goes with my novel, I’m expecting that book to be on the market sooner.

I’ve decided to spend a portion of my afternoon editing. I want to do a couple of chapters at least. It’s not hard to type it up but I find that there are days when I don’t want to turn my computer on at all. I’ve had a fairly stressful year and thankfully my fulltime job is fantastic because the part-time one was really starting to add to the amount of stress I’d been feeling. Writing helps me deal with my stress. Occasionally my mood has an effect on the story. It was more common in my earlier works.

Well, I’d better get started. I’d really like to get as much done as I possibly can before dinners ready. I have to prepare some other things for my full-time job as well.

Till next time,

–R.

Falling Asleep

Although I enjoy my new job, balancing my fulltime and part-time jobs is tiring. I find myself falling asleep at the end of the day, and wishing that I had more energy. I haven’t had much time for editing either. It doesn’t help that I’m driving into the city for work everyday. It’s three hours of my life in the car. I don’t know if I’ve ever spent over three hours sleeping before. I’m one of those people that wakes up a few times in the night. Strangely, I’m able to nap during the day no problem.

The good thing about my job is that my students are wonderful. They’ve been having a lot of fun, and they make every single day worth it.

Hopefully now that I’ve finished up some of my lesson plans I can get some rest.