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358 Ferring


About Snakenaps

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    I Need a Nap
  • Birthday February 17

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    Northern California
  • Interests
    Reading fantasy/sci-fi/historical fiction, writing fantasy, worldbuilding, painting and drawing, DnD, dragons, horses, snakes, Breyer model horses

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  1. *gasp* Noooo, not yooooou. You don't go on rants any more than I write essays about horses. Never.
  2. I'm as guilty as it as you XD I don't have the life experience to be able to write an awesome forth year old woman kicking butt yet. I'm still just trying to learn how to write!
  3. I think that you should definitely bring this up, for three reasons: 1) Unfortunately, there's a thing called white defaulting, which @kais introduced me to. They can correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I understand it, it's when the writer and/or the reader assumes everyone is white unless something is mentioned. I got pinged on it because I didn't describe the skin colors of any characters except T and his children (although, granted, it's not like I'm writing an all-white book when most of the characters are animals). Unless something is hinted (like the hair texture), many people will automatically default to white since literature historically tends to be white-centric. I'm not the expert on this in any way, shape, or form, so please take this with a grain of salt and do your own research. 2) It's tough to change your visual image of what a character looks like once you get too far into a book. Not an issue in the beginning when reader's are good at adapting, but it can be jarring once they become settled. Imagine if you had thought for an entire book a character was a redhead when it turns out they were brunette, but you were used to visualizing epic fight scenes with a feisty redhead. Some people can make the switch. Others are like, "I like redhead better. I'm going to continue to picture red hair anyway." 3) Representation is incredibly important and seeing that early on can make a book really exciting for many people. There's a growing call for it in literature. If you subscribe to Publisher's Daily/Weekly, you can see the big push right now (which will hopefully continue even after it is no longer "fashionable" to today's news).
  4. Hello hello hello! Thoughts as I go: A better have hair as white as her name, otherwise I am going to be disappointed. Pg 1, "Tonight that meant going to a party and smiling and shaking hands." Ah, the exhausting life of a pretty-much figurehead. As an introvert, that sounds like hell. Pg 1, "The interior of the autocarriage" Steampunk or a similar subgenre? I am down. Pg 1, " his hair was thick and pure white, not unlike wool, but less curly." Question: is this character black? White people don't generally have textured hair. To me, dark skin and white hair is incredibly striking, so I lean towards this. Pg 1, "Her hair—white with age, not heritage" I am happy. Also, you wouldn't know this, but I love not-20-year-olds MCs, despite the fact that I'm writing a book with one. Pg 2, "Especially ones with extensive telekinetic powers. " I pity his parents. Hey! I've noticed that you fall into a bad habit I myself do, or at least with J's section (haven't read farther yet). As @Robinski is excellent at reminding me, cut down on how often you say a character's name and instead switch it out for their pronoun. It helps the reader to become more immersed! Pg 5, "Cause everything was better with obelisks." Heartily agree. I like this kid. Introducing the worldbuilding through J's eyes was smart and smooth. Much better than a dry wall of information. Pg 8, "each creature was brought to life with the spirits of the dead" Dude, great magic system straight out of the gate. Pg 9, " A small icicle grew from the hem of her dress" Only one? Odd decor choice. Pg 13, "BADBADBADBADBAD." Gods are not particularly eloquent. Got to say, I thought you were going to start the book straight out by killing J. I'm glad you didn't. I was trying to figure out if I was thinking that because I was tired or if it was an actual valid response. Apparently I'm not the only one with that thought process. I admit that I am sad that this is a prologue. Characters are an important part for me, and if I like a character in a prologue (such as J), then I get disappointed when they disappear immediately. It's like smelling brownies, tasting brownies, and then having it yanked away from me and I'm given cake. Like, I'm sure the cake is great, but now brownies are what I want. Now, if you were to suddenly jump from this to ten years into the future with an older J, I'd be like, cool, now my brownies have nuts in them. Pity, because I'm going to critique your map. Your map is rad. Critique over. I don't really have anything more to add that hasn't already been said. I look forward to reading more! Keep submitting
  5. I don't have time to respond to everything right now but this made me laugh because just before I got the teaching gig and paused on writing, I used the Find ability to replace every "off of" to "off" in the book. I got tired of you harping on all of them and decided to fix it XD
  6. I'm sorry I didn't have the time to be able to read the first draft, but at least you'll be able to get a nice cold read from me on this one. Thoughts as I go: Pg 1, "Was the dragon a boy dragon or a girl dragon?" I am assuming S is a child both from name and the questions asked. Pg 2, "Its skin sparkled with the glow of captured stars and burning novas." Ooooh, pretty. There's a definite style to this writing. I like it. It is very definitive and recognizable. Was it a stylistic choice to switch "that" with "what" or do you do that unconsciously? Pg 5, "She’d paid passage for the the Oregon trail" Narrator has a stutter, apparently. Pg 6, "did not chase after her." In such a dangerous world, this seems like a death sentence for a child. Pg 8, "teeth jutting out from places where they weren’t supposed to." That sounds friendly. I think I preferred the rabbit. Pg 8, " taloned digit the size of a man’s arm away from its hand." Deadly but barely held together. Like a windego crossed with a zombie. Pg 8, " She could feel herself going." Oh gee, that explains that disturbing scream way too well. I wonder how long it takes for the blood to become poisonous? Pg 9, "he held a column of silent black flame" Flame which can't harm monsters, apparently, since he didn't whip out that party trick earlier. Pg 15, " They burst through the monster’s guts" Rather rude he hadn't done that for D, but did he not have that knowledge previously? Pg 17, "They piloted the meat to the invader" I'm not 100% sure what is going on here. Did the dragon take over S's body and then destroy the monster? I am really tired and my brain is more than a little muddled. Child sacrifice to restart the world. A brutal cycle. I wish I was more awake to enjoy this piece, as I think it is well written, with a definitive style. It certainly feels like something narrated, a strong contrast to the third person limited books I tend to read on my own time. I thought the monster horrific, especially once it was revealed what it had been originally. I pictured A with a tommy gun, which I don't know if that was what you were going for, but it gave a nice anachronism to add to his mystique, considering the Union lady earlier. I did struggle with this myself.
  7. Maybe 2-4. Getting hugged by 22 eager first graders at the end of the year was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. It would not take many to completely swamp you and push you off your feet. Legit thought I was going to get crushed as they squeeeeeezed. I am easily outran by kids and I have no muscle strength. I am the weak member you sacrifice to save yourself.
  8. During my first month of working retail years ago (I was working at a toy store with the world's largest wooden yo-yo), I had two college dudes come up to me. One says, "I have a weird question for you." I go, "Alright, whatchu got?" He says to me, "How many first graders do you think you could fight?" We proceeded to have an odd conversation about the weight of first graders and whether they could be used as clubs, scare tactics, and how infectious their bites would be. He was right. It was a weird question. But it was a fun one.
  9. @Robinski I see curiosity has won over, since I'm pretty sure you said that you weren't going to read this draft? Sorry I haven't replied back to your email. I want to talk more about NotK, I'm just trying to survive teaching first.
  10. I know I'm behind on critiques, but I'm not dead. I just got a job as a fine arts/first grade teacher and I'm vainly trying to get everything going since the district gave me nothing. Instead of writing and critiquing, I'm now learning how to make how-to-draw YouTube videos (geared towards kids but art is for any age) for the students who aren't able to come to my live class. I'm hoping everything will settle down soon. Please pray to the Crayola god that my markers and watercolors will come in soon so I can finally get my kids supplies...
  11. Glad to be of service. I hope you find happiness wherever life takes you.
  12. I actually very nearly went into equine business. Then, just before I began submitting applications to colleges, my Latin teacher of four years, an incredible teacher in his own right, sat me down and went, "What on earth are you thinking? Business? You'd hate it. Why not consider teaching?" He saw my potential before anyone else did. I own that man more than I can ever give him. It's my pleasure. There is so much to love about teaching. But I also think it is foolish to go in blind. I'm always willing to answer questions. What can I say? I love teaching, even if it is teaching about teaching. I forgot to mention, no matter what degree you go into, that doesn't mean you have to stop writing. I wrote my first book last fall during subbing, and I'm currently revising it to query to agents. Over at Reading Excuses, we have two published authors who are also college professors. So if writing or computers are things you love, you don't have to give them up just because they don't involve your degree.
  13. *rant time whoop whoop* I graduated in 2018 with my credential in elementary education. Liberal studies with a minor in special education to be exact. This year I am a fine arts teacher Monday through Thursday and on Fridays I teach first grade. Last year I was a K-8th grade substitute teacher for general and special education classrooms. My student teaching was 1st then 4th grade, and before that I spent three years volunteering in my district. I've been an active part in classrooms since fall 2015. There are pro's and con's to teaching, but before I get into this, let me tell you a secret: you might begin college wanting to become a teacher and you may exit it deciding not to be. That's okay. It is okay to switch your mind on what you want your life to be at the age of twenty, at the age of forty, at the age of sixty. My mother went into college to become a math teacher, exited a business major, worked for a wine distributor as well as some very odd jobs before finally founding her own educational curriculum business. My dad sold his truck accessory business, moved to the middle of nowhere after buying a piece of property without a house on it, and happened to talk to this fellow to convinced him to become a financial advisor. That was 19 years ago and now my dad is one of the best in his region. You never know what opportunities life may throw at you that you never would have predicted. So many people think you have to know at eighteen what you want to do with your entire life. That isn't true. Onto teaching. Teaching of the most unique jobs out there, in my opinion. It will make you feel like a superhero who can do anything on amazing days. Those incredible days when something for a student just clicks and you see their entire self light up. I went on a four day camping trip with a fourth grade class, and watching their faces when some of them saw the ocean for the first time is not something I will ever forget. When that one student who has been a pill the entire year says something that makes you realize you are one of the few, if not the only good thing, in their life at that moment. When the entire class acts as one and you feel like a general who can command these children to do anything. When you meet one of those special kids and you know this one, this one right here is going to do incredible things one day. Teaching can make me feel like I am ten feet tall, like I can fly, like I am in heaven on earth. It is a drug, a highly addicting one. But it is not an easy job. The classroom management is honestly one of the easier parts, and that being said, I have worked in some very rough classes. Honestly, the hardest part is not the kids. It is not your coworkers. It is your administration, your district, who is your greatest enemy in most cases. The frustration when your textbooks are falling apart or your door doesn't close correctly or your students have ancient balls and the district decides to give the administration a raise but not you, or the district decides to build a new football field, or it decides everyone needs smartboards when most teachers can barely work Google Classroom. That you have to spend your own money on supplies because the district won't give you markers. When you can't get a sub because the district won't offer a competitive wage so the subs disappear. When your trainings are unpaid, or your don't get enough trainings at all, or the trainings don't involve what your really need. When you are forced to use curriculum that is crap just because it is fashionable that year. When the district says it has your back then continually pulls the rug under your feet. The paperwork and red tape you have to muddle through to get anything done. The eggshells you have to walk on because someone might get offended. I just got hired as a fine arts teacher, right? No instructions, no training, no keys, nothing. The only reason I have keys, a room to work, a computer and a document camera, and supplies is because I reached out and started bugging old coworkers. I love love love my coworkers, btw. Teaching is not unique when it comes to the problems with administration, let us be clear. But it is getting worse, not better, for most states, especially with Covid. It really all depends on where you live. Arizona? You should seriously reconsider. California, like me? Prepare for the constant paperwork. New York? I hear it is excellent, but depends on where you are. The pay also differs from state to state. Where do you want to live? Look up the salary scale for teachers. You can find it under the district page for HR (certificated, if it matters). Understand that you'll lose roughly 25% of that to taxes, and a couple thousand extra to unions if you decide to join. Look up the cost of living for your area. If you don't know how to budget, PM me, and I'll be happy to share my own Spreadsheets file for you to modify. Will that amount of money be enough for you? Will it be enough to pay off any student debt you may acquire? I just finished a year of subbing that barely paid the bills, and now I'm getting paid twice that and I can buy ham again and not just eat rice and beans. How frugal are you willing to be? Are you like me, and willing to go to the library for books, and the thrift store for clothes? Or do you think you want to live a higher end lifestyle? I live incredibly happily, with good clothes, home-made, delicious food, with a cat and a snake by myself in a two room apartment filled with used books. I make sacrifices and don't drink Dutch Bros. I very rarely eat out. But I am happy, and I am satisfied. If I ever want to vacation, organizations like Workaway exist. Live within your means. One of my dad's coworkers make nearly a half a million dollars a year and he is about to apply for bankruptcy because he can't afford his lifestyle. My friend is a teacher of 30 years, married to a teacher of 30 years, and they own a massive, gorgeous house they refurbished and filled with a zoo of animals, with two amazing children, they take vacations (although not to Europe), and have amazing friends. Understand that there are few ways to move up as a teacher unless you are willing to switch to the political bloodbath that is administration. If you are okay with this, and are perfectly happy to continue to rise up the payscale for the next thirty years, awesome. I know some very happy teachers who have been teaching for 30+ years. Maybe you'll only teach for five years and then change careers. There's no harm in that either. Ignore the "shame" of the burn out rates. Other teachers understand. Teachers are much like emergency workers in the fact that we are supposed to be okay with the amount we sacrifice because we "love it." We're supposed to swallow the abuse, the disrespect, the unpaid overtime, the low pay, and the decreasing benefits because we "do it for the children." If there is a shooter, we are supposed to be the martyr who jumps in front of a bullet. Teachers are not just teachers, but parents, babysitters, guidance counselors, therapists, coaches, guardians, and more. More and more, teaching is for the addicts who can't leave the kids. The ones who are willing to be the sacrificial lambs that our society and our government throws away. I cannot say I will stay in education. It gets harder and harder to justify it. I very nearly left before the district called me for a fine arts position I never applied to. But will I ever regret the time I have spent in the classroom? The lives I have changed? The lives that have changed me? The tears I shed? The laughter I shared? Those beautiful days where you look at your students and you realize you wouldn't change this for the world? No, absolutely not. Teaching is a part of me, a part that has sung to me since I was a Latin TA and helped teach horseback lessons to younger children. I have never done anything else that makes my blood sing the way it does. God, I love it. I absolutely do. If I ever leave teaching, it will never be because of the children. Let me leave you with few pieces of advice: 1) Never light yourself on fire to keep someone else warm. I suck at this, but I'm getting better. 2) Learn the value of money early on and start saving for retirement pronto, even now. Whatever the government promises you for retirement, consider it icing on top of the cake. Don't expect it to be there in the next fifty years. Budgeting exists for a reason. 3) Learn how to be professional. How to dress professionally, be punctual, be dependable, follow directions. These skills will take you far in life, and are sadly lacking in our age group. It's why most people thought I was 27 when I was 21. 4) If you are serious about thinking of becoming a teacher, read Educating Esme by Esme Raji Cordell. It is the diary of a first year fifth grade teacher in inner city Chicago, and highlights the beauty and frustration of teaching. 5) Earn a flexible degree, something that will allow you to chase other opportunities in the future. If I ever leave teaching, I have a degree that proves I can manage paperwork, I can manage people, I can work well in teams, I am awesome in diverse populations, and I understand legalise. 6) Make use of your future college or trade school's free stuff. LinkedIn Learning, if offered, is a powerful way to build your resume before you have job experience. Take free adulting classes if they are offered. 7) Listen or read Everyone is Free (to Wear Sunscreen). It has a lot of wisdom that I wish I had carried with me when I had gone to college. If you ever need advice, let me know. I've very recently gone through what you will soon jump into. And let me tell you what: I thought that nothing could be better than my amazing high school experience. Boy, was I wrong. I know life can really suck right now, but you would not believe the good things that are going to come your way. Fight the good fight, and you are going to thrive. Best of luck, my dude.
  14. I'm tapping out for this next week. The next chapter needs a complete overhaul and I just don't have the time yet with the new job.
  15. I mean, the whole reason these updates sound interesting is because you and @Mandamon ripped it apart.