Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Green With Envy

It's March. For some it means going in like a lion and out like a lamb. For some it's time to start thinking about Spring. For others, it is time to think about St. Patrick's Day (making an obviously offensive Irish joke would be to easy so I'll say the following) and drinking Shamrock shakes. While others it means college basketball becomes the center of the universe. For me, March is a combination of the latter two with one other thing: it's the doldrums.

For those of you that don't understand what I mean, let me explain in an old fashioned SAT analogy: March:Teaching as August:Baseball.

March is the longest period of time between breaks for us in the educational world and if not for Good Friday and a screw up by the NYS department of Regents, it would've been even longer. It's the time when you tackle something long and time consuming that usually involves the students working independently.

March is also going to have to be a HUGE month for me as a writer. HUGE. And while I started off gangbusters, I haven't written a word in three days. THREE DAYS! Considering the roll I was on, that's a lifetime. Part of the hold up is my impending review observation that has consumed a massive amount of time. The other is something completely different that has me thinking if I'm beginning to doubt myself. Not in that fatalistic, staring up at the heavens as the dog is doing her business in the morning before school thinking "what the F**K was I thinking becoming a teacher?" kind of doubt. Well, not exactly, but close. I'm in the midst of reading two books that are messing with me a bit.

The first is one that I am just starting, Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon. I'm only about 30 pages in and I am really impressed. It's a great story and one that I almost feel like I could've written. And I mean that as a compliment. It's brilliant and fun (see prior post) so far and I'm jealous of it.

Myke Cole's Control Point is the other one. I'm just finishing it up and insanely jealous of what the book. His ability to write action and fight scenes has me angry at my own relative ineptness at writing such scenes. His world building is brilliant and his inside knowledge of military life isn't heavy handed.

Last time I felt like this? When I read Arthur Slade's The Hunchback Assignments. That was a book I should've written and I will always be jealous of him for writing it before me!

I consider these guys contemporaries and I hope to sit alongside them on panels at cons in the future. For now, I am grumbling and growling about how awesome these guys are and how good their books are. And it makes me wonder if this is the reason why I've been in a bit of a rut the last few days. Maybe I'm doubting my own ability. Maybe not.

1 comment:

Neil Richard said...

I've only just started reading Control Point and so far I like it. And yes, you are weak when it comes to action scenes. We've talked about that and I think you can improve, it's just something that will need to be learned. The rest of your writing is more natural so it's easier. Where I think Myke has a distinct advantage having lived in an action world so he knows what happens and it comes naturally. So hang in there. You'll get it down. Just keep writing.