Last year I became a driving teacher. Our family uses the popular Driver Ed in a Box method because graduates of this program have over 80% reduction in collisions. (Disclaimer: IF they follow the program. I made an error in teaching things out of order and you'll see below what happened to me....) After months of listening to audio, watching video, scanning the road for hazards, and practicing parking on hot summer afternoons, I started to see spots before my eyes. Spots of anxiety, of trying to prepare for any possible error, of worry that someone is going to back into my car. I’m endlessly afraid of a collision because as the teacher, I am responsible. But situations come up through the actions of other drivers, actions I can’t control, and I still have to be the responsible adult.
Actually, this has been a fantastic experience. I’ve loved spending more time with my sister working as a team on something and it was amazing to see how much knowledge I had that I could pass on to her. Now you might wonder, if this was so great, WHY I was paranoid all the time. That’s easy. 😊 It’s because our second day together in the car, I introduced some material too early and soon we smashed through a pillar on the porch and bent the side of the lawnmower like a plastic plate. It’s a good thing the lawnmower was there otherwise she would have driven through the house! That was a terrifying afternoon. We got very lucky, of course. The pillar was easily replaced and the lawnmower could be bent back into shape. The car was not damaged. This picture is of our driveway, the lawnmower (see on the right), and our neighbor’s dogs who happen to be there. But I show you this picture because we didn’t take one right after the collision. We were too busy and I was thinking “got to take responsibility for this” the whole time. But it made me a much better teacher in the end and I think a smarter person too.
Any of you ever tried to do something you haven’t done before? New, for the first time? Learning or teaching can both be scary and nobody out there can say they nailed them right away. They might act like they were flawless. But actually they simply don’t remember the past very clearly and are lumping their since acquired skills with the memories of first learning as if the two had existed side by side. There is a rule (always applied with a bit of a sarcastic smile) that hindsight is 20/20. But with every rule you’ll find an exception and it's those who pretend they had no trouble along the journey. Their hindsight is frankly myopic and inaccurate. We all make mistakes starting out--especially if we are busy and juggling several things at once. And everyone I know is always proud to say they've been busy and have had too much going on.
This Merry Summertime was a charming example of a flop when I released it a couple of years ago. That was my fault since I was very busy when I published it--apparently too busy to notice what really links the book is not humor, but young women because it says so in the subtitle. It's "An Anthology Celebrating Family, Fantasy, and Young Women," not "A Collection of Satirical Short Stories." Like when I taught my sister driving techniques out of order though they were clearly delineated in front of me, I was just being stupid and I wrote a description for the book as a set of satires when that's not even what's in it. (The result of stress, is my theory. 2020 was a hard year.) True there is a lot of comedy in the book, but it only serves to lighten the mood around some pretty serious ideas. Each story features women and girls who dictate the plots even when the men and boys think they have all the power. Naturally, since 85% of the anthology deals with bygone eras of history. And with last Monday being Valentine's Day, it's neatly appropriate to talk selling points on a book that praises the power of women in their relationships, since every short in it has a romantic plot too. 😊
A book for princesses of every age . . .
Young or old, are you a Princess? Rich or poor, it doesn’t matter at all. Powerful or commonplace, it isn’t important. Girls are princesses and women are princesses at heart. This set of seven comedy stories about royals and royalty celebrates the princess in everyone. Here are the names of the protagonists—the very royal young ladies.
Meet Arangiphaten: A haughty Egyptian queen whose romance with a vampire puts a lot of teenagers into sometimes slapstick danger—and eventually love triumphs over all.
Meet Helena and Nora: Two ordinary young women who get tangled up in Shakespeare’s magical world of romance—one as an actress playing Ophelia and one as a character in a comedy revision of All’s Well That Ends Well.
Meet Ella: A Cinderella in a land filled with fairies who think they’re better than people—until one of them takes a lot of interest in her.
Meet AnnaRuth and Everwynne: Teenage girls filled with all the angst and self-importance of growing up, as well as all its beauty.
Meet The Heroine: True to her name, a lovely young woman who comes like a princess to a befuddled western town and eventually restores it to sanity.
Light-hearted with just enough snark to be true to human nature, wit adds depth to these classic tales of love and friendship. In their families, their friendships, and their romances, girls bring a special touch to the world.
And there will be more updates.
Young Adult Fiction Writer
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