Welcome to the new and (hopefully) improved Just Add Tea! For those of you who are new, this might be your introduction to who I am, so let me apologize: that title might not be the best representation of who I am, but bare with me. For those of you who’ve been around for a while, thanks for sticking around; I know you’ve been waiting for this post for quite some time.
So let me introduce you to the new me, brought to you by the CoronaVirus and the soul-searching that has become a dominating part of most of our existences in this strange time.
Jokes aside, the last couple of months have given me time to really look at what I want from this blog, which I started over eight years ago.
Eight years ago, I was in a very different place. I lived in rural East Texas, and I knew that my time at the school where I was teaching was coming to an end. The signs were there. The signs were all over the place!
I will never forget the day that, on my way to work, a coyote sprinted out in front of my car and stopped at a stop sign to look at me before going on its way. If you know anything about Native American folklore, you know that Coyote is the Trickster in stories from several tribes. His tricks are designed to teach you a lesson, often by hitting you over the head with the message.
This was the same situation. I had seen several signs that suggested it was time to go, but instead of heeding the signs, I started this blog as a way to vent my frustrations in what was, at the time, an anonymous format. I refused to get the hint until that day, when I was politely told that I was “too progressive” for that school.
Either way, I had already started this blog, and I was determined to see it through.
Of course, as happens, things changed.
This blog, not unlike myself, began to sort of float. It just went with the flow while I struggled to make sense of a lot of my life. On here, I attempted to tackle the topics of romance and romance novels, Asperger Syndrome, the places where those things met up and conflicted, and many, many more topics.
But it always came back to writing and teaching. Those are two major factors in who I am, and, as I began to do that soul searching I spoke of earlier, I started to notice that they are almost intrinsically linked where I am concerned.
One of the things that I really started to notice was that there is some truth to the saying “Those who can’t, teach.”
I know, I know! It is a terribly insulting phrase!
And yet… for me, there is some truth to it.
Obviously, I can write: I’m here writing to you now, and some of my poetry has been published, both in magazines and in an anthology. Yet there are plenty of little nuances to writing a full length novel that manage to elude me.
My solution? I host a writing chat on Sunday mornings on Twitter with the hashtag #JustAddTea (I apologize for the semi shameless plug). I use the chat to look at the elements of writing a longer piece (i.e. a novel) that I don’t understand.
And it worked!
I’ve learned a ton, but the people who attend always say the same three things:
- I must be an amazing teacher! I ask questions that really get them thinking about (insert the topic of the week), and push them to a deeper understanding of their own stories.
- They can’t wait to read my novel… when it’s finished. *
- My chats are a much-needed healing/comfort for those who attend.
Side note: I’ve been working on this novel for going on 15 years. I write the same 40ish pages over and over in different ways and then outline some more. I’ve got tons of notes and I know where I want the story to go, but I’m not actually getting any further in the story.
Hence, while I can write, I’m not sure that I write well or that I’ll ever even finish a long piece… but I can teach and inspire people both in my classroom and through my chats.
And, more importantly, I’m learning as I’m teaching/guiding people with their own works, especially through our chat topics every Sunday.
As a teacher, this makes sense to me. After all…
Thus, we’ve come to the crux of the matter:
What is the purpose of this blog?
My goal is to take those three comments about my chats and use them to guide the content on this blog:
- I will use my innate teaching ability to teach writing skills, guided by the topic of our weekly writing chat. (This may also include reviews of books/movies from time to time)
- I will share snippets of my writing projects.
- I will share the things that bring ME comfort and healing on a Spiritual level.
I look forward to bringing you along with me for this journey. Any time you’re up for it, come on over and sit a spell with me.
Sometimes all you need is to Just Add Tea.