Masochism, graveyards and werewolves

The first (and only previous) time I taught Creative Writing at the high school I had about 12 students. They were required to write a short story, collection of poems or a play. Some didn’t. Some of those still managed to pass the class because of the weight of our benchmark test, and the fact they get to retake that if they fail. (Yes, it’s asinine, but there it is.) This time, I vowed no one would pass the class without completing that major project. And, of course, it would have to go through various drafts.

Had I known I’d have 30 students in the class I would have rethunk that idea.

I spent all freaking day reading those stories. And cursing. Everything I told them about creative writing was tossed out the window. A list of events is not a story! Paragraphs? Hello? I was most disappointed in some of my seniors, students I’ve had in core English classes … students who still cannot string together a coherent sentence. Gah! In two weeks I have to read a "final" draft of all this stuff again.

Unless somebody shoots me first. (There are guns in my closet!)

In other news, Bad Moon Books publisher Roy Robbins told me this evening that Little Graveyard on the Prairie has been officially announced. He didn’t send a link, though, and I can’t find it on the BMB site. Maybe the announcement was in a newsletter I missed. Anyway, I’ll post the exact link as soon as I get it, along with the prices for the trade and lettered editions. I also got the galleys for the lettered edition to read today.

And finally, Greg Lamberson posted an excerpt of Ulrik over at Fear Zone. This is a different excerpt than what’s posted at The Werewolf Saga Online. Be sure to check out Greg’s review of the book while you’re over there.

Speaking of Greg, he sent me some Johnny Gruesome tattoos a while back. Now my 14-year-old daughter has a Johnny Gruesome tramp stamp. Yeah, I’m so proud. My 6-year-old son has Johnny on his belly.

16 responses to “Masochism, graveyards and werewolves”

  1. It’s stories such as these that remind me as to why I wouldn’t like teaching high school.
    I will now refer to you as St. Steven.
    (People who take a creative writing course that don’t like to write…should be gathered up with the sucktastic morons that are in my lit courses and don’t like to read…and shoved off of a cliff.)

    1. Saint Steven?

      1. Careful there! Don’t make me put my saintly foot in any unsaintly places. 😉

    2. Most of our students are so apathetic that they don’t even choose their electives. They just leave them blank and get what the counselors give them. And yeah, they actually whine, “Why do we have to write so much in this class?”
      I will wear my sainthood with humility, no matter what Ms. Jones has to say about it. 😉

      1. Shhh Agent Jones is actually a political operative “posing” as a YA author… ;P

    1. Umm. No. Maybe of Jake’s belly, but not of my daughter’s backside.
      … and people call ME the perv …

  2. Are you calling all tattoos “tramp stamps”? Or just the Gruesome ones? 😉

    1. Johnny is pretty trampy, but I was talking about the tattoos on the lower back, just above the butt crack. You know, the one that gives the guy something to look at while he’s … umm … pushin’ cushion.

      1. Who comes up with these names?!?!?!

        1. I dunno. I learned it from a student last year.

  3. You know it was my high school creative writing teacher who really taught me how to write. I have no idea if he knew that then.
    I had some issues with commas….
    Congratulations on the announcement and the review!

    1. Ditto. My creative writing teacher was, by far, the most inspiring person I encountered in all my years at school. Wilda Walker started the first day of class by climbing on top of her desk and ringing a cow bell to emphasize how we have to get the readers’ attention.

  4. I can’t imagine how frustrating that must be to not only read that many crappy stories, but knowing you have to read them all again soon… Yikes! Maybe next time you should make all of them read other people’s crappy stories so they can learn why they suck so bad in the first place.
    And where did you stick your tramp stamp?

    1. We tried peer editing. To put it bluntly, one piece of crap can’t look at another and say, “You stink.” There were a couple who did good critiques, and not surprisingly they are the same people who wrote decent stories to begin with.

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