July 2020 Progress Report

Mindful Spending: Despite the triumphant feeling of paying off the mortgage, the month ended with a “dog ate my homework” moment when I realized I shredded July’s  purchase list and receipts instead of June’s.

However, I know the biggest lapse in Mindful Spending: about $40 for costume jewelry. Perhaps it displays a terrible shallowness, but I successfully combatted the Shutdown Funk by forcing myself to dress up every morning. Call it “Slob Prevention,” if you will, or “Getting Dolled Up,” in the lingo of my grandmothers. By any name, it helped – and revealed the sorry state of my jewelry box. (Some people have Sock Gremlins taking one of a pair; I have an Earring Gremlin.)

Writing: After revising and printing eight chapters, I vowed to leave them alone until I finish the second draft to the very end. The current problem is the scene in which the villain’s henchmen confront the male protagonist. I wrote two versions. One is full of grownups talking. The other is fun but nonsensical because the henchmen are too smart and too cowardly to crash a goblin-party. A third version is needed.

While procrastinating brainstorming, I read sometimes-embarrassing, often-amusing drafts from my pre-teen through young-adult years. I scanned a few interesting-but-unusable excerpts, saved them as old-fashioned PDF, and named them according to general subject and decade.  

Other pages are pure gold. Being in the throes of grade-school life, I authored a more realistic school than Earthsea’s magic school on Roke or Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! My female protagonist worked like Cinderella to pay for her magician brother’s education, the headmaster disliked children but enjoyed the privileges of his appointment, and my male protagonist and his classmates did everything but blow themselves up (hence the school’s location in an otherwise undeveloped grassland). 

The Young Human Factory: The start of the academic year was pushed back by two weeks. Officially I begin working the first week of September; unofficial work has already begun. Because children must have a choice between in-person and online classes, our district contracted with our usual partner, an online academy that specializes in credit-recovery classes. Not all courses are covered. Therefore, my colleagues and I are creating advanced online classes from scratch while simultaneously creating in-class lessons.

Postscript: I usually appreciate and enjoy updates to software and systems that have grown stale. However, WordPress’ Block “improvement” is craptastic on both tablet and phone. Between the text disappearing behind the screen keyboard and the cursor appearing at random locations, I’ve been forced to compose on the laptop.