In the words of George, Prince of Whales in Blackadder III, "Ah, school, school..."
We're three weeks into the semester and I'm already completely drained. Three years into being an elementary school teacher, I finally feel fit to do well, like I really know what I can and should be doing, but no matter how much I put into it, it never feels like it's enough. I spend hours on weekends scouring the internet and my own book collection for creative, stimulating supplementary material, and still the weeks churn by, and the tests keep coming, and I'm out of breath.
I haven't been on here in a while due to China. China, it seems, hates technology. Earlier this year during the Xinjiang uprising, China decided it was best to ban all social networking sites, quickly rebutting with several press statements to the effect of "China isn't afraid of the internet." This has led the several thousand expats virtually (pun! har!) stranded as pictures, blogs, and video are nearly impossible to get out of the country via anything but email.
But there are ways around it. I've recently set up Witopia., a VPN that works via what I can only assume is magic, on my home computer. Apparently it does some internet voodoo with words like "routing" and "encryption," and ta-da! I'm able to tweet.
So I'm back-ish. Like I said, I'm insanely busy this year, and I'm just getting over a knock-out head cold that set me back over the weekend. I do, however, in an awesome and fortuitous turn of events, have some pretty amazing creative projects hovering in the background of my professional life, if I can just get the energy and time to work on them. For example:
1. Da Ren and the Brothers Cong
This is my fabulous children's book idea that I plan on developing and then marketing to Disney in several years. The main character is Da Ren, an old wise man that goes around helping people. The cleverness of the concept is in the illustration--Da Ren is shaped like the Chinese character "da," for "big," and as such, Da Ren is an enormous fellow. In his first adventure, he helps out the Brothers Cong ("Cong" meaning "follow"), a pair of brothers who cannot do anything independantly of each other. Eventually, though some wisdom and a long walk, Da Ren teaches them how to be their own person. (The character "cong" is made up of two "ren" characters, "ren" meaning "person.") Clever, huh? And the illustrations are even better. The major plan is to develop the character well enough that Disney will, in the footsteps of Dora the Explorer and Ni Hao, Kai Lan, buy it from me and turn it into a multicultural learning/money sucking machine.
2. The Starving Artists
Jesse and I are trying to write a screenplay in between long boughts of being really flakey about it. Still, the premise is fun, and we have a great time writing it. Basically the movie is about a man who rigs an art contest to gain an inheritance from his father, with some hilarious jokes and a wonderful, wonderful painting thrown into the mix. I really hope we can get around to actually making this happen, but truth be told, we're both fairly pressed for time as far as the present is concerned. So far we've mapped out the scenes in the first act, but no actual writing has been done for the hard copy screenplay yet. More details to follow, you know, when they come up.
3. Various cartoony things
So as you can see at the top of my blog, I've been learning how to make cartoons with Photoshop. This is a grand hobby and hugely fun for me to do, and as it turns out, people like my stuff. I've been contacted to make lots of different t-shirts as well as promotional posters for my friends, and I'm the official Rainbow Danger Club resident artist (Rainbow Danger Club being my boyfriend's SWEET ass band). So yeah, nothing huge, but I'm having a great time and getting a bit of recognition for my work from the people I love most, and that's what count, right?
Anyway, I'm off to spend the precious little time I have left this weekend doing what I love most of all--having a very difficult time completing very easy crossword puzzles. But regardless of my ability to know English words, things are looking up in the creativity department.