February 24th, 2012


Moving on Up

I found out last night that my ballet teacher will also be teaching the adult intermediate/advanced class this summer, and possibly next fall. Now I have to decide if I want to promote myself. I've been staying in the beginning class, mostly because I like the teacher and the other students. It's as much a friendship/support group as it is a dance class, and we've all been through so much together. But also, the advanced class looks kind of scary. The people in it are mostly the ones who grew up in dance class -- some have even danced professionally -- and who are just keeping it going as adults. That's very different from people like me, where I've been doing it for nearly four years, but only had a little dance training as a child. I'm not really a beginner anymore, but I'm not sure I could keep up with those people. But with our teacher, it could still be fun, and more of our group will probably go with that class, since we've all been doing it a while. The beginning class is starting to fill up with real beginners, and I'm sure that's making it difficult to teach, with half the class knowing what they're doing, even if they're not particularly good at it, and half the class needing to learn the basics. Some people may use this as an opportunity to take both classes, and that would be great for staying in shape, but I don't really have the time or (right now) the money for two classes a week. I might try it for the summer session, but I don't think I could do it year-round, especially combined with choir stuff (I don't have children's choir or chorale in the summer).

What I need is the ability to make myself eighteen again. Then I could pursue all those things I discovered too late in life to be able to do anything with them. I'm not sure if I'd end up as a criminal profiler or an opera singer, though. Writing novels on the side, of course. It's really difficult to make a living as a novelist, and I mostly loathe doing all the things I'm capable of doing for a "day job."

I have edits from my agent on the early part of this book, before she decided it needed plot/character reworking, and it seems she has the same issue I do, where she starts off really editing, and then it trails off. I don't know if I was just that perfect or if she got caught up in the story and forgot to edit. I'm having to take frequent breaks so I stay focused and edit instead of just reading the book. This editing is even more interesting than the book I'm reading now, but I don't know if it's because my book is so great or the book I'm reading is kind of weak. It's a mystery, and I'm nearing the halfway point, but I still don't really care. I can read one (very short) chapter and then put it aside. If I weren't reading for market and genre research, I'd just skip to the end to see who the killer is. But I'm studying the paranormal element and how it's integrated.

Speaking of switching to mysteries, if I do this, I may be in good company. JK Rowling has sold an adult novel, and rumor has it she was writing a mystery. I've been trying to think of what the elements that made the Harry Potter series so successful were and whether they'd transfer to another kind of book. I liked the characters and I liked the wry humor. Some of her pacing could be iffy, but a lot of that had to do with the fact that she mapped her plots to the school calendar -- kick things off at back to school, a minor incident at Halloween, a major midpoint incident at Christmas, another rising action incident at Easter and then the big showdown around finals. That sometimes meant a lot of killing time to hold back the big showdown. That pacing could be deadly in a mystery (as I'm seeing in the one I'm reading), but the characters and wry humor are necessary to get me into a mystery (as I'm also seeing in the one I'm reading). I'll probably read it, but I doubt I'll be in line at the bookstore at midnight. I may not even buy it in hardcover. Since it's a new book, it's not like I'm dying to find out what happens next.

Now I need to get ready for my workday. I'm also baking some bread, as I spent a good part of yesterday looking for the honey wheat bread recipe I'd thought for a moment that I'd lost and that I couldn't find anywhere online.