Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writing For My Supper

I didn't sleep well last night. I'd lay in bed wondering what I can sell to help out. I thought of our granite outdoor dining set. I know, I know, it sounds pretty fancy. We bought it at the end of the summer season two years ago for 75% off. We paid $600 for it and it came with 6 chairs and a serving table. You should see it because it's pretty fancy. What a steal it was. We were amazed to get it so cheaply. It wasn't something we were even looking for but when we found it we new it would be perfect for this house. It was. Now what do I do with it? I told Darryl to see if he could put it up for sale on Craig's list. Maybe we can get $200 for it. It's just a possession.

I lay in bed staring up into the darkness and wondering "What now?" Certainly no one likes to feel that they are a statistic but that's certainly what we are. It's not that Darryl doesn't have skills, experience, or education. He has all of these. He will get another job. He might not make what he was making at Trinity but eventually he will get another job. Like Darryl said, companies will hire people at deep discounts because people are desperate for jobs. Where an engineer might make $80,000 in a better economy he might be lucky to get $40,000 now. It will also take awhile to get a job. In the meantime I lie in bed and the reality of our lives lies upon my chest weighing me down.

Recently I've submitted several essays for contest. I've done OK with them. It's certainly not like I'm a Nobel Laureate. I've won a few and lost far more. Now I'm scouring my OLS club for essay contest with cash prizes. It's as though I'm trying to write or my supper.

Yesterday, before I knew Darryl lost his job I entered this essay contest

Smucker's/Jif - Feed Your Need To Read Contest premium..:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

unlimited | home page · entry form | essay | 1 note · rate it · report · link

Prizes (6): Selection of Scholastic books of winner's choice and Sponsor will also donate a selection of Scholastic books to winner's local school (ARV $3,000).

Comments: Submit an essay in 200 words or less describing why you want to feed your family's need to read.

expires Sunday, November 30, 2008 @ 11:59pm ET Started 8/24/08 - Submitted 8/24/08

Search Relevancy Score: 2.53

I remember thinking, Wow if I won I can donate some books to my school and I could get some books for the grand kids for next Christmas. I was thrilled. Here is my entry.

While I might indulge my family with the great taste of a Jiff Peanut Butter and Smuckers Jelly sandwich, I realize we cannot live by peanut butter and jelly alone. The hunger of the mind can only be satiated by reading. Books can nourish your mind and soul. They can be brilliant, inspiring, insightful, and hilarious. Books open our minds to the possibilities.

Maybe I'm a little prejudice; you see I am a teacher. For the last seventeen years I have taught in poorly funded inner-city schools. My students often do not have the same access to books that students in more affluent areas might have.

I read to my boys before they were even born. Before they could speak I recited nursery rhymes and fairy tales. We made weekly trips to the library a family routine. I realized that reading was the pathway to knowledge.

I am more concerned about feeding my student's need to read. My goal is to place a book in every student's hand so they can overcome the obstacles that have been set in their path. I don't want to leave any child behind.

Now I'm thinking look for big money essays Cathy and write for something that's real in the line of money. Now it's about the money and not the love of writing. Not so altruistic of me is it?

Now I'm wondering how to squeeze out a story and sell it.

I have to write Dan and Mike an email in a few minutes and let them know what's going on. I wish I didn't have to do this. Darryl joked that it's hard to be on the downside of success. Yes I suppose it is. I won't be able to send the boys the money I normally send them. My sister will have a great time with this. After all she and the Amazing Randy (her husband) are doing quite well don't you know. Do I dare let her know that Darryl lost his job so she can gloat? Do I look past that and say, contact Mary, find out where Randy is working and see if he knows of any jobs? I have some pride but of course that doesn't put food on the table.

That's the thing about having been poor before. I've faced challenges like this and far worse. Somehow God has always come through and always put me where he wants me to be. I will probably write more later. Right now I have to check for essay contests an write for my supper

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