Strictly Prohibited

Inspired by my yearly responsibility of proctoring the ACT test.

Welcome to test room 3B.

Please note that the following actions are strictly prohibited:

Eating, drinking, or the use of tobacco are not permitted in the test room.
Neither is talking, smiling, thinking, or breathing.
If you are caught doing any of these things, your test materials will be confiscated and scored with the incorrect answer key.

You may not have a cell phone, media player, or other electronic, steam-powered, or psycho-kinetic device with you in the test room.
All such items will be confiscated, used by the test room proctor to keep them awake during testing, and then smashed to pieces in front of you after you have finished testing.

You may not fill in or alter ovals on a test section after time has been called.
Ovals are very sensitive and only like being touched at the specified times.

Do not look back at a previous test, forward to the next test, or into the pit of your soul.
It is dark there and full of repressed memories.

No giving or receiving assistance by any means, including but not limited to the following:
Passing notes, looking at another’s answer sheet, sending messages via carrier pigeon or smoke signal—smoking, as we have already discussed, is strictly prohibited—or via psychic or supernatural means.

You must not use your calculator on any test other than the mathematics or quantum physics test.
Doing so will cause your immortal soul to be trapped forever within the device.
Calculators are not a thing to be trifled with.

You will be provided a break between hours 12 and 13 of testing.
All testing materials must remain in the test room during this time.
Attempts to remove test materials, personal effects or your shell of a human form will result in becoming lost within the labyrinth of hallways outside Room 3B.

You may only leave when told to do so.
Testing facilitators and the test company itself are not responsible for loss of property, limbs, or sanity.

Please do not exhibit confrontational, threatening, or unruly behavior.
Save such behavior for the combat proficiency portion of today’s testing.

You may wear a wrist or neck watch.
However, be sure to turn off all alarms or carbon monoxide detection functions.
If an alarm sounds, you will be instantly encased in The Zone of Silence, where your carbon monoxide alarm will suit only as an annoyance during your final, peaceful moments of life.

Above all else, please follow the directions for each test very carefully.
Test booklets are known to provide directions in the form of riddles and sometimes include ancient summoning rituals.

If there are no questions, we wish you the best of luck during today’s tests!
Please turn your answer booklet to page 2 and fill out boxes 4-12.
Include all contact information of your loved ones and your preferred method of bodily disposal.

Fill in all corresponding ovals very carefully.

Horror/Sci-Fi/Suspense Writing Contest

I know that many of my followers are writers, so I thought I’d toss this out there.

As some of you know, I’ve been writing and producing a horror radio drama, and we’re looking for entries for a contest!

The entire rules are on the link that follows.  All stories or scripts need to be no longer than 4,000 words, and they must fit the theme of the podcast, which would include horror, science fiction, or general suspense stories.

Pass this along to anyone that might be interested!  The deadline is March 31st!

The Shadowvane Podcast Fiction Contest

32 Years (poem rough draft)

I recently turned 32 years,
an age at once young and old.
Enough time to look back upon
and celebrate and mourn days gone by,
yet search amongst an indefinite time ahead—
a number of days, months, years
set in place by whatever future to be.

Within the span of 32 years
(11,680 days—give or take a few leap days),
I have lived and loved, loved and lost,
lost love, lived loss, loved lost, lived love;
I have seen far too many sunrises with a frown
and far too few sunsets with a sense of accomplishment;
I have heard the cries of many I love
and feel the warm streaks on my own face
from the loss of those that mattered most;
I have worked until my body and brain ached;
I have thought things and done things
that I will forever regret
and some I will always cherish.

Whether 32 years from now I’m enjoying my days on Earth
or plotted beneath the busy feet of those living,
I know I will have loved more, lost more,
made more mistakes, shaped more lives,
and lived the life meant for me to its fullest.

Projects, Planning, and Surviving Burn Out

It’s been quite some time since my last post.  My apologies for neglecting my blog, folks.  As I’m sure all teachers end up saying each year, this year has been even busier than any other year.  Since I have a moment to breathe, I figured I’d talk education and writing for a little bit.

Continue reading

Creative Progress

Things have been going well here creatively over the last few weeks.  If only I could gather the mental strength to do the same in preparation of my 8th year of teaching high school and second year of college.

I’m currently drafting the third episode of what should hopefully be a 10-12 episode series for my upcoming podcast, Shadowvane.  If you want more information on the project or to be kept up to date, please visit Shadowvane.net and follow @Shadowvanecast on Twitter.

The goal is to have at least four or five episodes completed and edited by the middle of August.  From there, we’ll be starting the process of holding casting for the various roles.  As it stands right now, there are three recurring major characters in this story as well as several smaller parts.  We will be searching for reliable voice actors to send us high quality recordings throughout the next several months.  We cannot offer anything in the way of compensation since the project is free to the public, but if things go well, it can serve as a valuable production to add to any resume.

More information on the upcoming casting will be available later this month.

Aside from that, it’s that time of year when teachers all around the world are gearing up to go back to the profession that they have put their hearts and souls into.  Whether you are a novice or a long-time teacher, I offer nothing but encouragement.  Let’s make this the best year yet for our profession and our students.

And now I leave you all with a bit of wisdom:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Lonely Diver (poem rough draft)

Another poem written while on vacation in Rockport, MA.

Walking along the rocky shores of Back Beach,
a solitary diver decked in full diving gear
makes her way toward the open ocean.
From so far away, it’s hard to tell
whether it is a woman or a man
braving the cold morning waters.
What matters most is that they are alone,
and they are far braver than me.
My view of the sea suits me just fine:
sitting on a patio of a small beach cottage,
keyboard and a glass of Diet Pepsi at my fingers.
I’m content to sit and watch her deliberate movements,
and I wonder what her name is
or what she hopes to find in those depths.
Solitude is only solitude if you ignore your companion,
the companion all around us—Nature.
I see my good friend in the form of two butterflies
circling around one another over a patch of yellow flowers.
I observe my companion the seagull
swooping past the watery explorer in black.
She finds her friend amongst the cool morning waves,
the mysteries hidden beneath its silvery surface.
Afraid of those mysteries, I sit at a distance
and try to discover my own.

Chasing Distant Horizons now available on Amazon

It’s a big day!  My chapbook, Chasing Distant Horizons, is now available on Amazon.com’s Kindle Store!

To celebrate this day, I’ve lowered the price of the book to $1.99 on Amazon as well as on Gumroad.com.  I’ll provide links for both below.  I do get more money when you buy it at Gumroad, but if you are one of those “One-Click” on your iPad sort of people, you now have the option for some good poetry!

Go check it out and tell your friends!

Buy Chasing Distant Horizons for Kindle on Amazon

Buy Chasing Distant Horizons PDF on Gumroad.com

And as usual, I leave you with a quote:

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” -Henry David Thoreau