Posts Tagged With: To Kill A Mockingbird

Being Torn

I’m torn. I’m torn about a number of things.

I’m torn about my status as a writer. I get this way from time to time.

calendar-on-waterDecember seems to be a throw away month for me in the area of my writing. The past two years I was treading water from my experience with NaNoWriMo and didn’t have the will or the strength to pull myself up on a lifeboat to write. In a way January has turned into a recovery from December. Just like the past two Decembers, I did not write a thing worth keeping in either January. But I wasn’t drowning. It was more like I was floating around on my back enjoying the quiet of the water around my ears and just how prune-y my fingers could get.

Now it is February and I will have a guilty conscience if I don’t put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). February is the swift kick in the rear that flings me into the new year. January is nothing.

I’m also torn about some news.

Yesterday I heard that a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee will be published this summer. When I first read that my heart leaped into my throat. That one book single-handedly introduced me to a world outside of my own and one, as a small town Southern female, I knew so well it was like looking in a mirror. It is THE book of all books I hold up as my favorite (yes, even above Pride & Prejudice).

For a long time I have known that the public life was not something Harper Lee enjoyed. She did not write that book to become famous or to have people like me pour over the story in an obsessive way. It was too much for her. I also remember her saying she wouldn’t publish anything else. So, the report that a new book was coming from her camp surprised me.

Now I am wondering if, as a woman in her eighties, is it really her wish to have this book put out for the world to see. A great part of me doubts it. As much as I WANT to read it, I wonder if I should.

Are you torn about anything today? How is your writing or other goals for this year going? Are YOU going to read the new Harper Lee book?


This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) blog hop where writers work to support and encourage each other on the first Wednesday of each month. You can click the image or link above to find more musings from other writers.InsecureWritersSupportGroup

The group was founded and is led by our captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh and his merry co-hosts. This month they are: Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, Sarah Foster, and M. Pax!

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Ode To A Ninth Grade English Teacher

Dear Mrs. Pogado* (yes, you will always be Mrs. Pogado to me),

I’ve been meaning to reach out to you for so long. My year in your English class was an entire adult lifetime ago. Time slips away fast and I’ve not done everything I meant to do.

I also taught school for years. Trust me when I say that I know how easy it is to blur the line from one kid to the next. I hope you won’t feel bad that you don’t remember me particularly. I’m sure I was one of many students you encouraged along the way.

thankyouchalkboardWhen I started the ninth grade I believe there were four class phases. I was on the second one from the bottom. There aren’t any feelings I remember about where I was placed. I assumed that’s where I was meant to be.

You didn’t see it that way.

We weren’t far into the first six weeks of school when you pushed me to move up a level. On that subject I do remember feelings. Strong ones. There was a bit of fear, disbelief…pride.

After some jostling of my schedule, I landed in an upper phase. There was some struggle to keep pace. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do the work. I think I’d grown lazy. School had been easy up until then.

But I wanted to make you proud. I wanted you not to be wrong about me. I wanted to belong there.

So I did the work.

I learned some things about myself that year. I found out that being challenged is a good thing. My brain had been coated in rust from years of being good enough. It also occurred to me that I didn’t have to accept what I was given. I can be an obstinate, headstrong girl (nod to Miss Austen) if that’s what it takes. I don’t have to accept that things are meant to be.

I also realized that I am intelligent. Mrs. Vogado, you were the first teacher to make me feel value for my brain. Not that I could draw well, not that I can sing, not that I’m a nice person or that I am tall enough to reach things off a high shelf. No. You made me feel smart. You made me proud of what I can know.

I’ve never let that go.

And as if that wasn’t enough, I also fell in love. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is still my favorite book. I read it again and again year after year (GREAT EXPECTATIONS? Eh. Not so much, though I still get chills thinking about Miss Haversham).

Reading and writing are such a part of me now. I can’t go a day without a book under my nose. Plus, I’m currently in revisions on my third novel (Young Adult, of course). Part of that is because of you (another part belongs to my mom because she bought me a boxed set of Judy Blume books when I was a kid).

So, for me and all those other students that participated in your class, thank you. You are the teacher we remember. Fondly.

Still Fondly & Hoping You Won’t Grade My Grammar,

Leanne Ross

 

*Names were changed to protect the innocent.
 

Did I mention that I can be found on Twitter, Pinterest,  Google+, Tumblr, & through Email?

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Leibster Award PART I

liebster-award

The wonderfully MAD females over at We’re All Mad Here recently nominated me for the Liebster Award. Much appreciation going your way ladies.

For those of you who have no idea what the Liebster Award is, don’t fret. You’re in good company. I had no idea either. I just thanked my nominators (nominators doesn’t seem like it should be a real word) and filed the thought away until I could research it further.

After a bit of digging online I found that the Liebster Award is a chain mail type of acknowledgement from fellow bloggers. It’s meant to promote the blogger sending the award, the blogger receiving the award & the bloggers yet to be nominated for the award. One person whose blog had been nominated over five times decided to track down the origins. The earliest recipient she could find was from 2010. That means that this piece of charm has been roaming around the web for at least three years. Pretty impressive, I must say. As Newton said, “An object in motion tends to stay in motion.” Who am I to stop this speeding locomotive? Granted, an online chain mail award isn’t a REAL object (or locomotive) but when I saw the comment from the Red Queen at We’re All Mad Here, if felt real. In fact, it felt REALLY NICE.

So, I’m going to follow the rules of acceptance set forth by the Queen and do my part.

Here’s what she said:

The Liebster Award is a way to help blogs with under 200 followers gain attention and expand their audience.

Rules:

  • Link back the blogger that tagged you.
  • Answer the questions of the one who tagged you.
  • Nominate 10 others and ask 10 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  • Let you nominees know of their award.

Yes, this does seem like a LOT of work. It reminds me of Junior High (okay, I’m old enough that we called it Junior High instead of Middle School) when kids would pass out chain mail letters. These would say that you had to write out the letter five time and pass them along or a tree might fall on you. I was always torn between wanting to be included in the game and dreading having to write out the page over and over and over and over and over…free hand. 

Since I’m lazy, I will tackle two parts of this today and save the rest for another moment.  “Why do today what you can put off as long as you possibly can (That’s the correct quote, right?)?” The parts I choose today are: Link back to the blogger (SEE ABOVE) and Answer the questions of the one who tagged you (SEE BELOW).

Here are the questions asked of me along with my answers: 

1. Why in the world did you start blogging? I’m a writer, so I write. This was just a way to let me explore my thoughts and find some people willing to listen.

2. Are you a part of any fandoms? I had to look up what was meant by “fandoms” since I figured it didn’t mean you just like certain types of music or a football team. So, I guess the answer is no.

3. What is your favorite genre? In books currently, YA Fantasy

4. Do you judge books based on their covers? Of course. Who EVER came up with that saying must have lived when books were just bound together pages. If we weren’t supposed to judge them by their covers the covers wouldn’t be so easy to JUDGE.

5. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done? I plead the 5th amendment.

6. What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a book blog? I’m afraid book reviews can be corrupt. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but being paid to say you love a book just seems wrong. Also, giving bad reviews because someone won’t pay you is just as wrong. With book reviews, there’s a chance someone could accuse you of being dishonest. Book bloggers who do reviews should really have a posted policy outlining how they do their reviews and under what circumstances free books are accepted. That’s why I only provide book recommendations. The books I submit are books I truly have read that I really enjoy. I’ll never post a book that I’m not 100% behind.

7. What book made you love reading? Anything by Judy Blume, but especially Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing.

8. What’s your favorite series/book? Easy. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

9. Would you rather never be able to read again or never be able to talk again? I’d guess I’d give up reading because I’m not one who can be shut up.

10. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring one thing what would it be? I would bring a boat. : )

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