Janis is an author and teacher trying to navigate the world around her through writing. She is currently working on her latest novel while trying to figure out how to get more people to read this one than the last one.
The Stories That Inspired Me
If you're not writing, you should be reading. When I first started taking writing fiction really seriously, that was the message trumpeted across all of my research as I learned about editors and querying and getting an agent. You've always got to be trying to improve your craft; what better way than by reading the work of others?
What I've Learned From Teaching In a Pandemic
When I started teaching 6 years ago, I never would have believed you if you had told me that I was going to be teaching 5th graders from my house.
Others Have It Worse...
Teachers are trained to recognize the signs of mental health issues. We may not be able to formally diagnose them, but we can see the signs and refer them to the experts. Often, we're right. An overly fidgety child may have ADHD. A child who struggles with basic academic tasks might have a processing disorder. And there are many signs of the Autism spectrum that we are trained to notice as well.
Timing Is Everything
Nearly 30 years ago, I was born on an Air Force Base in Misawa, Japan. I became the first of four children; as such, I think I can safely say that there were many expectations placed on me. Some of them I placed on myself as I got older. But the one that has eluded me thus far, the one that I want the most, is becoming a published author.
The pounding of her feet was nearly as furious as the rain that tried to blind her as she ran. She stumbled over rocks and roots, splashing mud on herself and sometimes tumbling head over heels over the rocky terrain. But she couldn't stop. Stopping would mean failing. Failing would mean death.
An Ode to the School Mom
Moms. We all have them. Those of us who were privileged enough to have our mothers in our lives know the immense support and comfort in a mother's presence; the advice, the late-night phone calls, the money sent here and there without being requested.
Some parts of it you get used to. Low numbers, few voices, unspoken demands. The darkness. But when it goes completely silent, it allows your mind to go to dark places.
Whenever I'm beginning a new school year, am in a new group of people, or are participating in a teambuilding activity, I always have an ace up my sleeve for an interesting fact about myself.