My “SMART” Goal – September Update

It is my pleasure to announce that on July 31st, I finished the first draft of my novel, The Hunter and the Horned Serpent. The manuscript stands at a strong 425 pages.

Two parts. 26 Chapters. Plus one Prologue.

It is one of my proudest achievements. However, the work has only begun. Now I enter the editing stage, with my red pen in hand.

While I’ve finished the SMART goal I set out to accomplish in a time much later than I projected, it is nonetheless a success to have written a novel. This is but the first step in a miles long journey, and I cannot wait to update you all on the journey I’ve begun.

~Tharonhianente

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My “SMART” Goal – July Update: The Ending of the Beginning

I write this update while taking a break from writing the final chapter of my first novel.

It has been a long and solitary road. Several months have come and gone, each filled with moments where I’ve told my friends and family: “I’m so excited! The main character is facing X problem.”

“What’s happening?” They would ask.

“Sorry. Can’t tell,” I would reply.

Instead, I pushed through months and thousands of words, keeping my protagonist’s story to myself. Keeping her struggles, her anxieties, her failures, to myself. And now, as I reach the final pages, I simply cannot help but look forward to new stories. Whatever will my heroes face next?

This is the ending of the beginning.

U1 – Finished

U1.

The first of my four-year B.Ed. Program is complete.

It was a rough journey at times, and to quote The Simpsons‘ Mr. Burns:

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.”

While my recount of my First Field Experience back in November-December will be explored in a future post, this one is to simply reflect on my first year as a whole. The friends and peers I’ve worked with these long months may very well be my friends for life. The work has been hard at times, and simple at other times. But overall, this year has been very fulfilling. Much has been learned, and there is still much more knowledge to attain.

Knowing what I know now, I will be more prepared for what is to come in U2.

But for now, I shall take the time to write my book, to get some well-deserved rest, and enjoy this Summer.

 

My “SMART” Goal – May Update

Right.

So a few things to say.

First, I really need to update more often.

Second, I’m nearing the finish line for my first novel!

It truly is a grand adventure, and just a few nights ago I actually had a dream that I was in the same world as my protagonists. Allow me to tell you all this, you haven’t lived until you dream in the world that your heroes live in. To be able to see and interact with the very characters you created is a feeling that transcends bewilderment.

So, on to the update.

At present, I’m writing Chapter Seven of Part Two, which means I’ve passed the halfway point of the latter half of The Hunter and the Horned Serpent. As I previously mentioned, each Part has 13 Chapters. But worry not, when all is said and done, it will all be part of a single novel. I have two reasons on why I chose to divide this one story into two narratives. Firstly, to give readers a definitive “intermission” where they can set the book down, process their thoughts, and then return to see how the heroes finish their journey. And secondly, because the second Part is structured differently than Part One. The former is very episodic, with some chapters telling their own self-contained story; whereas the latter is a single story that is broken into 13 pieces. But fret not, I assure my readers that there will be a self-contained chapter or two peppered into Part Two.

Further, Chapter Seven of Part Two is smack dab in the middle of Act Two. This section of the story really picks up the pace and it becomes a race against time for our protagonists–and antagonists–as they race into Act Three. The final six chapters may very well be my favourite parts of the story; they are fast paced, terrifying, and beautiful. I look forward to one day showing you all this adventure, and hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have.

My “SMART” Goal – March Update

Work on my novel, The Hunter and the Horned Serpent, is slowly coming along. While I haven’t had a lot of time to work on Part Two as I had writing Part One, I am satisfied that there is progress nonetheless. Luckily, Reading Week at McGill just passed by, and I used that time to get a lot of work done for The Age of Antlers; the second part of the greater story of The Hunter and the Horned Serpent. 

Presently, I am in the midst of developing the fourth chapter of The Age of Antlers. Similar to Part One: The Rise, the second half of the story will follow the thirteen chapter formula.

Having begun my writing career as a scriptwriter, the manner in which The Hunter and the Horned Serpent‘s plot unravels is very similar to a season of a cable television series. Each chapter sticks with a specific theme, and while it possesses its own self-contained plot, it adds to the overall arc of the story. I’ve done this for two reasons, the first being that this was how I learned to write stories, and second, that hopefully some day I can put The Hunter and the Horned Serpent to series. The story of Horned Serpent would span two, 13-episode seasons.

And while nothing is set in stone, I intend to continue the stories of my characters in two more novels. The novels would hopefully be divided into two seasons each, resulting in a six season series. That all said, I’m mainly focusing on the writing of this specific novel. However, there’s no harm in having a greater goal for the future!

My “SMART” Goal – December Update

An update on my goal to write a book.

After being stuck in a writer’s block at Chapter 14, I have decided to break The Hunter & the Horned Serpent into two parts, since so much has happened in the first half of the story.

13 Chapters for Part One, titled The Hunter & the Horned Serpent: The Rise, and 13 Chapters for Part Two, The Hunter & the Horned Serpent: The Age of Antlers. 

The first half of the story will be written and published as an eBook, followed by Part Two sometime in late 2017.

For Part One, I had been writing the story by hand, using up two notebooks so far. However, I’ve now begun typing it in Pages with the intent of sending it to iBooks later on. With typing it, I now have the opportunity to look at the earlier Chapters with fresh eyes. This has allowed me to make minor edits and revisions as I make the second sweep over Part One. Many silly mistakes and plot holes have been corrected.

I am very excited and am optimistic for the future of this story, and incredibly relieved that I have the opportunity to get back into writing now that my first semester at McGill has finished.

Field Experience 1

School: Lasalle Community Comprehensive High School

For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

~Rudyard Kipling

My first week at my host school was exciting and also terrifying, to say the least. However, upon arrival, my cohorts and I were met with a warm welcome by the administration and our supervisor. Prior to being immersed into the classroom climate, we were first debriefed on everything we needed to know about the school itself.

The first week comprised mainly of observation within classrooms that were not part of our focus subject at McGill. This offered a unique opportunity to get a sense of the different methods and dynamics of classes such as Math, Science and Biology.

Something worth noting was the encouragement of cellphone and technology use in the classrooms. Each student is assigned their own email to Google Drive at the beginning of the school year. From here, students may access resources such as class notes, homework assignments and schedules. Parents also have access to the Drive so as to keep up to date with what their children need to be submitting.

One example would be the math game, “Kahoot!”. The game, which is shown on the SMART Board (which are featured in all classrooms), allows students to use their cellphones to submit their answers to mathematical questions. The one who answers correctly in the shortest amount of time earns more points. This appeared to be a unique and fun way to get students to not only strengthen their mental math skills, but to also boost their enthusiasm of the subject.

Another main point to this is how responsible the students act when they are allowed to have their cellular devices. It shows a shift in the tradition power dynamic typically seen in schools. Now, both teacher and student are on the same level, having access to the same information and therefore learning together.

This was a pleasant surprise, and definitely affected me as a pre-service teacher. Initially, I would have disallowed the use of mobile devices in my classroom. But now, seeing how technology now has a strong foothold in our society, I have changed my view on it.

In closing, I would like to also touch on the great sense of community within the school environment. Over the week, I saw several murals and messages on the walls of the hallways that promoted peace and unity. The school’s slogan also promoted the same sentiment: “For the strength of the pack is the wolf; the strength of the wolf is the pack.” While a quote from The Jungle Book, what I took away from the slogan was that students, teachers and administration are all part of a single pack. The thought promotes an idea of inclusion and family, which certainly may boost the esteem and moral of students and administration alike. It certainly made myself feel better, as right away the school community treated my cohorts and myself as part of the pack.