Day 39 in Peace Corps Morocco

I went without decent internet for more than a month here in Morocco.  Now that I have a steady connection, I’m going to try to update on a daily process.  I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Fes (a pretty big tourist city) for training.  We got back yesterday evening.  Today, I went back to studying.  Our teacher decided to step things up in class because we now have only four weeks of training left before going to our final site.  After the first hour, all five of us were thinking the same thing: Oh shit.  It’s not like we don’t know the language…it’s that every question or phrase can be worded so many different ways…and it’s difficult to recognize what is being asked sometimes.

I decided to make it one of my personal goals to get to an advanced or better speaking level during my two years here.  I know that means a tutor later.  But right now, that means an hour or two of studying each night.  Since we do 4-6 hours of class, the amount of content we cover requires that of me.  I learn a bit differently than how I am taught…although the classes do give me a good overview of how the language works, I need to drill in order to memorize verbs and nouns and adjectives and everything else.  It is difficult, but I am getting there.  I want to prove myself in these four weeks before we get sworn in as Peace Corps volunteers.

In other news, having the internet is a strange change.  My relationships with everyone back home are changing now.  I can talk to my girl whenever we are both awake–which is difficult but great.  The distance is hard but I didn’t expect any less.  With regards to friends, it is much easier to keep in contact with several people.  I like being able to talk to everyone rather that figure out who I can talk to in my precious small amount of time on the internet.  One of the best parts about having the Internet has turned to out to be staying in contact with family.  With aging grandparents  parents who are nearing retirement, and a sister with three girls in school, I miss a lot if I’m out of touch for just a weeks.  It’s nice to be back in the loops.

Now that I’m in the Peace Corps, I’m going to alternate between uploading old writings and Peace Corps writing.  I’m starting with some old writing because I used most of today studying Moroccan Arabic.  Today’s update was an assignment from 11th grade.  We had to write a horror story that followed a few steps for the genre.  I really like what came out.  I don’t know if I’ll ever write more than short stories in this category, but it is fun.

Isabel’s Ballroom

 

CALLING ALL WRITERS!!!

When I was in high school, I didn’t know how to be anyone but me.  Looking back, that wasn’t the case for everyone.  Teenagers tend to fall into cliques, subcultures, or certain behaviors in order to feel that sense of belonging that we all yearn for.  Looking back, I am under the belief that the best way to experience high school is by being yourself.  I would love to share this idea with teenagers getting ready to enter high school or already in high school.

So here’s the plan.  I am looking for 15-25 people who are willing to share their high school story.  I want to know what kind of group(s) you fell in with.  I want to know how you stood out as an individual.  I want to know when you found it hard to be yourself.  I want to know when you found yourself conforming at times.  How did it affect your academic life?  How did this affect your social life?  How did this affect your romantic life?

The plan is to make an anthology of these stories.  I am looking for stories between 3,000 and 6,000 words (these aren’t set guidelines, but don’t go crazy).  If your story is among the best, I will contact you and let your know that it will be included.  Once the anthology is set, you will have an opportunity to buy a severely discounted copy of the book.  Also note that, should the book ever be professionally published (it’s incredibly difficult to do so, but who knows), the profits will be split evenly between all chosen contributors.

Send you story, information, or questions to FFman@comcast.net

Make sure to include your name, contact information and name/location of your high school.  I can only accept stories until Christmas Day 2012—so get started!

Feel free to reblog to spread the word.

 

Multiple Climaxes Revisited

I just finished the third draft of my latest novel.  I believe it is quite clean and ready for the eyes of family members and friends.  While reading it this time, I realized that I had organized the book in strange way.  I knew I gave it multiple climaxes.  That was on purpose.  What I didn’t realize was that each one was a different kind of climax.  First comes to the action climax.  Then comes the emotional climax.  Lastly comes to the story’s climax.  Each one has its own purpose.

I am very happy with the progress I have made on this novel–considering I’ve only really been working on it for three months or so.  I can’t wait to have someone else read it.  I’ll focus on something else tomorrow (probably the memory challenge).  After than, I am taking a road trip to see and old friend halfway across Colorado (I’m thinking about taking the long way past Colorado Springs to see how bad the fire is).  Until then!

Much Love,
Richard