The thriller genre

8bc792d8-2e75-41bb-8a92-fc3f2c745a67The thriller genre is a mashup of horror, action, and crime. Writing Excuses described the difference between a mystery and a thriller as whether or not the reader knows who the bad guy is and what they’re up to. In a mystery the driving force to turn the page is curiosity. In a thriller, it’s dread. You know what’s coming, the protagonist doesn’t. Like horror, thrillers often go beyond life and death to fates worse than. But a thriller also tends to be a bit more grounded than horror. The villains a bit less like Voldemort and more like Umbridge. He’s out of this world horrifying, she’s the evil you know. Thrillers tend to be more character driven than an action novel because when the stakes are personal (i.e not a bus full of screaming children) and worse than death, you have to care whether the protagonist lives or dies.

The protagonist of a thriller tends to be the heroic type who would throw themselves down in front of that bus of screaming children to slow it down as opposed to the everyman protagonist of most horror novels. The protagonist also tends to be deeply sympathetic, often because they are a victim of some kind.

There’s as many different flavors of thriller as crime, action, or horror. It’s the tone, the stakes, the characterization, and the reader’s knowledge that differ. You can plug in all the windows dressing of a espionage adventure and make it into a thriller. But next week, I’ll discuss a few of the old standbys.

 

The Western Genre

Book cover for The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, #amwriting, #amediting, book review, how to write, how to editAccording to the Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, the core value in a westerns concern the following: the individual within and out of society, strong vs. weak, and civilization vs. wilderness. The core piece of a western is the showdown between the hero and the villain. There are a few different kinds of westerns.

The Classic Western- A stranger comes to town that no one quite trusts, but it turns out they’ve got some sort of unique ability or skill set that makes them the perfect person to save the town from a big bad. In the end, the town sees the value in the stranger and welcomes them to stay, but alas, the stranger must move on. Besides all the classic westerns that fall into this genre, this arc pops up as a sub genre all over the place. Vampire Hunter D used it, so did Full Metal Alchemist.

Vengeance- is mine, sayeth the Lord. Sorry, knee-jerk quote finishing. Anyway, this time the stranger isn’t just passing through, s/he is there to right a specific wrong. This is more the overall arc of Firefly.

Transition- The hero starts in a society and ends outside society. You see a lot of echoes of this sub-genre in dystopian fiction.

Professional- This is really more of a cross-genre to the professional sub-genre in crime. The hero isn’t trying to save society, they’re just making their living outside the law.

Westerns have very successfully resurged through genre blending with science fiction. Firefly is possibly the most overt Western-Sci-Fi blend, but if you think about it, pretty much any story set on the outskirts of society in space, exploring and pushing further out of the comfortable bounds and dealing with the clash between the existing society and the encroaching society fits into the western story arcs. Ditto for post-apocolyptic or dystopian stories where the protagonists leave society or attempt to piece together one in a wild, lawless land. It’s really interesting seeing how the elements of what looked like a dead and dying genre came back to life.

The Crime Genre

  1. Book cover for The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, #amwriting, #amediting, book review, how to write, how to editLast week we talked about the biggest percentage of the crime genre. Murder mysteries. This week I’d like to go over some of the other types of crime genre you might see, as broken down by The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

Organized Crime- This is crime from the point of view of the criminal. Think Breaking Bad, Dexter, or The Godfather. The hook that keeps you reading is wondering whether or not the criminal will get caught. There are two offshoots within this genre. The Caper genre. That’s when your criminals are specifically thieves or master criminals doing something really awesome, like Oceans 11, or Mistborn. And the Prison genre, which is when your POV characters are prisoners trying to figure out who set them up or solve happenings around the prison.

Professional Crime- These are all so much alike, I’m combining them into one sub-genre. This is the crime from a professional that has to deal with the fall out’s POV. This includes the subgenera of Police Procedurals, like CSI;  the Courtroom Sub Genre, like 12 Angry Men or The Witness; the Newsroom Sub Genre, like I Love Trouble; or the Espionage Genre featuring spies like 007.

 

Murder Mysteries

Book cover for The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, #amwriting, #amediting, book review, how to write, how to edit

According to Sean Coyne in The Story Grid, the core value in a story set within a crime genre is justice vs. injustice with the core event being the exposure of a criminal. The inciting incident is generally some unjust occurrence that throws the protagonist out of his or her comfort zone and on a path to restore justice. There are several different categories within the crime genre.

The most famous is the murder mystery. It is in fact so predominant that it gets subgenres of its very own.The inciting incident is nearly always a dead body and the story often concludes with the reveal of the murderer. (If the murderer is known to the audience it moves more into thriller category than mystery). Conventions of the genre include red herrings, interviews with characters who have their own secrets and agendas, a slow reveal of clues, and a demonstration at the end of how the clues fit together. Within the murder mystery are even more sub genres.

The Master Detective- Think Sherlock Holmes. It’s pretty much the trope setter. Well… it might as well be.

Cozy Mystery- A non-detective with skills in seemingly unrelated areas (like writing novels, for instance) finds their skills and experiences make them surprisingly and uniquely qualified to solve the case. A good example of this is Aphrodite where I more than dabbled with the cozy mystery sub genre within my paranormal romance.

The Cat Mystery- Cats solve crimes. Enough said. Diane Duane has a great series set in the same universe as the Young Wizards Series that pulls in this sub genre perfectly in The Book of Night with Moon and To Visit the Queen.

Historical Murder Mystery- A mystery set in a historical time period or featuring a historical figure. But Kaitlin, you might be saying, wouldn’t it have to be set in a historical period if it featured a historical figure? To which I say Sleepy Hollow.

Noir– Noir is as much a style as it is a genre. It features hardboiled detectives and/or lawyers and/or vigilantes, lots of dark backgrounds (though the reverse has been done successfully), femme fatales. It’s often told in flashback “(There I was, sitting in my office, when a dame walked in. She was trouble.”

I actually took a class on Noir Fiction in College for my Topics in American Literature elective, it was fun. My favorite was the one about a guy who goes to a police station to report a murder. Who’s the victim, they asked. “Me,” he replied. He’d been poisoned and the rest of the movie was him telling them who-done-it. Batman is stylized after Noir mysteries, and a lot of popular TV shows have done at least an episode in the Noir style.

 Paranormal- This is really more a cross-genre between paranormal (often romance)  fiction and crime fiction. It can crossover with any of the above categories and magic users of some kind. The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison is one example of just straight paranormal romance mixed with crime fiction. There’s also a lot of historical fantasy crime fiction that sets magical people back in time solving mysteries (to some degree, the His Infernal Devices fits into this). Paranormal pairs well with everything.

Police Procedural- This is your Law and Order/CSI/Dexter type stuff. This one also pairs well with paranormal.

The Action Genre

Book cover for The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, #amwriting, #amediting, book review, how to write, how to editAction stories tend to have big stakes and often (but not always) include explosions. That the protagonist’s life is on the line is a given. Generally so are the lives of other people and monuments. The mind-hack, as Howard Taylor would say, that you are trying to achieve in an action story is an adrenaline rush. A sense of breathlessness that keeps you turning the page. There are tons of great YA action stories. James Dashner, James Patterson, and Scott Westerfeld in particular have done very, very well in YA action.

The most pivotal moment in an action story according to Coyne is the “hero at the mercy of the villain scene.” But more on that later.

These days, very few stories are just one genre, but a carefully crafted blend. You can have a pure action story pretending to be another genre, or you can have elements of action in another genre. So as you read the following list of sub-genres of action, keep in mind you could have easily seen these elements before in a romance or a mystery or a horror novel.

Subgenres

  • Man VS Nature – The natural (or unnatural) world is working against your protagonist. This is often a one-sided struggle. The volcano neither knows nor cares about the people getting roasted to the bone.
    •  Straight Environment. This is your natural disaster movies featuring volcanoes going off or earthquakes or asteroids hitting the earth, or couples getting abandoned on a ski-slope or left out in the middle of the ocean scuba diving.
    • Monsters. As long as the monsters aren’t consciously thinking and plotting against the protagonist, monsters count as a Man Vs. Nature. Zombies and Pod People are great examples of this. They just exist. Yes, they want to eat your protagonist, but it’s not personal. There’s no reasoning with them. Monsters also include non-supernatural animals, like sharks, bears, or birds.
    • Mazes. If your protagonist is stuck somewhere/must retrieve something from a place, then the place itself can loom as an antagonist for a time. There’s generally a bigger bad (whoever put the item/protagonist in the maze). Think Saw 2. Saw 2 is Man Vs. Man without question. But the house of horrors he set up was a labyrinth the characters had to work their way through. That was a very tense blend of the two types of conflict.
    • Time. Coyne puts this in a separate category all by itself, but I disagree. Time is absolutely nature, even if it’s imposed by another man. (Then it’s just cross-genre). Time is often used to raise the stakes in pretty much every other conflict story. Want to ratchet up the tension in your Man V. Man story, introduce a ticking time bomb or a random deadline. Or put time on your side, if your characters can just stall long enough, reinforcements will arrive. You can make time an actual antagonist, like in 11.22.63, or Back to the Future erasing people if anything changes.
    • Doomsday. Coyne adds another sub-genre he calls the doomsday plot, where the victim is the environment. He references Independence Day as “the hero must save the environment from disaster.” I disagree with this sub-genre. By my definitions (which do not have to meet yours),  the environment as a victim is a stake, not a point of conflict. The conflict in Independence Day was with the Aliens, not the bits of Earth they blew up. And even then, the character’s concerns weren’t really with the monuments that got blasted, but the people who were left buried in the rubble.
  • Man VS. Society – These are stories in which the protagonist fights against a social structure, not just an individual person. Most dystopian fiction falls into this category.
    • Rebellion. In this plot the hero or group of heroes openly rebel against their society, but most often they rebel against a specific figurehead in that society. The Hunger Games was against the entire system, but it got personal between Katniss and President Snow.
    • Conspiracy. In this plot, the hero or group of heroes fights an enemy that other’s don’t see, but are absolutely a product (and most of the time the price) of the society. There’s generally a sense that if they had just never found out the dirty secret, if they could just forget, they could go back to a perfect life. And unlike in a  rebellion plot, where most often the heroes are driven to rebellion by an evil force, it is arguably a perfect life in conspiracy plots. Uglies is a great example of this.
    • Vigilante. One person is, for one reason or another, the only bastion of goodness left in a society that is so corrupt it cannot fight crime through normal measures. There’s often a hefty bit of Man V. Man in this as well, but society is also to blame for allowing this to brew. Batman and Daredevil are both good examples of this.
    • Savior. Again, I disagree with this definition. “The hero is against someone who wants to destroy society.” That’s a stake, not a conflict. And if the thing that wants to destroy society is society, then it probably fits better into one of these other genres.
  • Man VS Man. Your character VS. Another character. Most stories eventually personify the villain in the shape of a person (think President Snow in an arguably Man V. Society plot arch). But they tend to stand in as a symbol for all that’s wrong. In straight Man V. Man, they aren’t the symbol of what’s wrong, they are the thing wrong.
    • Rivalry. This is your Man V. Man played straight. One can be good, one can be evil, or they can both be ambivalent. Man V. Man applies just as much to Batman and the Joker as it does to Suitor A Vs. Suitor B in a love story. Suitor B doesn’t have to be evil, just working against you.
    • Revenge. The hero chases the villain to right some wrong. “You killed my father, prepare to die.”
    • Hunted. The villain chases the hero to right some perceived wrong. “You were somehow inadvertently and sympathetically responsible for killing my father. Prepare to die.”
    • Machiavellian. Two villains duke it out while all the little people run for cover (Freddy V. Jason).
    • Collision Plot. Two sympathetic, heroic characters duke it out while all the little people run for cover. (Batman V. Superman).

Enjoy action stories? Action is definitely a subplot in the Aphrodite Trilogy. Now that Venus Rising is live and Aphrodite is on sale for .99 cents, you can get the whole trilogy for under $10! So if you haven’t caught up on Aphrodite’s trilogy, now is the time to do so.

Release Day for Venus Rising!

9781611947526

It’s release day for Venus Rising, and now I can share my super secret news! Persephone is returning as a POV character! She won’t have as many chapters as Aphrodite (it is her story), but you’ll get to see her plenty in the thrilling conclusion of Aphrodite’s trilogy. Enjoy this sample of a Persephone POV chapter below  (if you haven’t seen the chapters leading up to this, head on over to my wattpad page to check them out) and then go get your copy of Venus Rising!

Not caught up on Aphrodite’s trilogy? No problem! Aphrodite is on sale for .99 cents! That means you can get the whole trilogy for eight dollars. 

Aphrodite, sale, Daughters of Zeus, Kaitlin Bevis, Greek mythology retelling, Ares, Adonis

You can also enter to win this awesome tote bag from my publisher.

To enter, please click this link: http://bit.ly/2rpu0bP and sign up for the Venus Rising Giveaway. The winner will be chosen 6/12/17. After the giveaway, new signups will be added to the official Kaitlin Bevis mailing list. If you have any questions, please email us at nikiflowers@bellebooks.com!
Good luck, and enjoy!

Chapter IV

Persephone

IT HURT COMING back to my old home in Athens, Georgia. Nothing had changed in the past year. I hadn’t let it. Even though I didn’t spend much time here, I couldn’t bring myself to sell it. Mom’s priestesses maintained the property, and somehow, they’d made sure it still smelled the same. Floral, of course. My mother and I had always been strong on theme. The house worked well as an emergency meeting place for the Pantheon. There was even an entrance to the Underworld in the backyard.

I ran my hand along the familiar kitchen counter, flicking on the warm yellow lights. Rose-print wallpaper adorned the walls of the bright, open space, and white cabinets lined the room. Mom’s kitchen had been the heart of our home. If I didn’t turn around, I could almost pretend she still sat at the table behind me, flipping through one of her gardening magazines.

Salt and water burned at my eyes as I hunched over the pine countertop, my breathing jagged. Almost twenty years ago, my mother got disgustingly close to the biggest jerk in the entire Greek Pantheon—Zeus. And she’d done it for one reason.

Me. She knew that Zeus always passed on a power that gave his children a fighting chance in a world that didn’t believe they existed—charm. Basically, divine mind control. Gods lived off worship, which was increasingly hard to come by unless you had the ability to look a human in the eyes and brainwash them into doing whatever you wanted.

My mother raised me human without any knowledge of the Pantheon outside what little mythology I learned in school. Her deception had far-reaching consequences on my psyche. But she’d done it for the same reasons she’d chosen Zeus to be my father. Most of the gods had failed to blend into human society, becoming more and more isolated from a world they understood less and less as time went by. And for beings who needed worship to survive, isolation was death, charm or not.

Everything she’d done, every choice she’d made, had been with my best interests at heart. She’d given me the best of her powers: rebirth, renewal, spring—all super-poetical ways of saying I made pretty flowers grow— with none of the responsibilities. Mom had this entire life envisioned for me. One where I got to grow into adulthood as a “human” with all the experiences and rites of passage the upper-middle class had to offer. Then, once she deemed me ready, she’d sit me down and show me all the wonderful gifts she’d given me.

I slid to the distressed wooden floor in a rustle of fabric, clutching my knees against my chest. The faint smell of laundry detergent filled my lungs as I took a sharp breath. It would have been a great life.

Mom couldn’t have known that an old enemy would try to rip us apart. She couldn’t have anticipated that Hades would rescue me. That we’d fall in love. Or through a strange twist of fate, I’d become queen of his realm. She couldn’t have known that Zeus would try to suck the very powers she’d given to me from my cold shell of a corpse to help him take over the world.

But even when her best-laid plans went to hell, she protected me. She’d pushed every iota of power she had into my being, shredding her soul, to give me a chance against Zeus. And now she was gone.

A sob tore through my throat.

Take a breath, she would say if she could see how upset I was now. The kitchen would fill with the comforting smell of hot chocolate brewing on the stove. Her green eyes would meet mine with that look that seemed to pierce through my soul and lay it bare. Sit with me for a little bit. Tell me what happened.

Gods, I would do it in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t even roll my eyes or sigh or run upstairs to call my best friend, Melissa, and complain instead. I’d spent so much time angry with her for not telling me what I was, so much time fighting or outright avoiding her, and now I’d give anything to get her back.

My breath hitched when I lifted my gaze to the empty table. Power hummed beneath my skin, like tiny bolts of static, searching for a way out. I kept my breathing even, trying to maintain some semblance of control. Otherwise, I was going to spin out thinking about the fact that Mom was dead, Hades was gone, Aphrodite was still in danger, everything was breaking apart, and for some reason, the gods kept looking to me for answers.

In defeating Zeus, I’d become one of the most powerful goddesses there had ever been or likely would be again. Back in the days of the Primordials or even the Titans, the next deity would have only been a step or so down the ladder, but since the power of the Pantheon was at an all-time low, it just meant I had further to fall.

The gods really valued power and hierarchy. A triple realm ruler with near limitless power stood high on both totems, so now, I had a bunch of ancient, powerful beings looking to me for leadership. They didn’t care that I didn’t want it. Power and hierarchy trumped all.

But I’d stepped up to the plate, hadn’t I? I banged my head against the hard cabinet, my gaze settling on the roughhewn elm beams running along the ceiling. I’d been a handy pawn to fight their battles, to win their war, so now they’d elevated me to the frickin’ (unofficial) queen of the Pantheon.

Half the time, I thought they looked to me out of boredom. The rest of the time, I felt sure they’d just been so ready to get the world off their shoulders, they didn’t care who the burden fell to.

It hadn’t been so bad with Hades by my side. We’d split our powers with each other equally, which made our marriage bond super intense. Hades and I were in each other’s heads all the time; we could feel each other’s pain. It sounded like a nightmare, but it wasn’t. He was a piece of me, and I of him, but there were limits to even equilibrium.

We both had to be conscious.

My tears were getting ugly now. The sounds emitting from me with each sob didn’t sound human. Without Hades, I felt like I was missing a limb. I’d never wanted any of this, but it had been worth it with him.

The air rippled, stirring against the folds of my long skirt. I lurched to my feet, glamouring away any evidence of my tears as Poseidon appeared with a wave of salt-laced wind. Beside him, Ares dropped to the ground just in front of the kitchen table. He curled in on himself, crying out in pain.

“What happened?” I dropped to my knees beside him, reaching out to touch Ares’s shoulder. Heat seared my hand, and I jerked back in surprise.

“The poison’s still in his system,” Poseidon said quickly. “Teleportation takes a toll.”

That damn poison. Before we’d even realized the demigods were organizing against us, they’d managed to drug three of my people. Aphrodite got the worst of it, but Ares and Artemis had both been dosed. It affected their ability to use powers, so teleportation put them through a special kind of hell. And there was nothing I could do to make it better. Only dig my nails into my palms and watch helplessly as Ares rode out the pain. I dropped the glamour I’d kept on him and broke his bond of fealty to me just in case that helped.

I’d forgotten how intimidating he looked. Uneven, dark bangs hung over eyes that seemed to burn with rage as he recovered. When he struggled to his feet, the faint scent of burning cinnamon filled the air. He stood a head shorter than Poseidon, but his bulging muscles looked positively herculean in comparison.

A leather jacket appeared in his outstretched hand, and he shrugged it on, relaxing visibly when the folds of fabric touched his skin. His token, I remembered Aphrodite telling me.

Tokens were objects from a god’s home realm that could act as a kind of conduit. Instead of struggling to draw power while in a foreign realm, a god could channel their power through their token. Ares was back in his home realm, but his jacket must have still helped with the pain.

“You.” His eyes flared when they landed on Poseidon, and his voice darkened with the fires of rage. “You left her.”

“She’s still there?” My voice rose in panic, and the power clawing beneath my skin surged, seeking an outlet. A metallic taste filled my mouth, and I realized I’d clamped down on my tongue.

“I tried to get her!” Frustrated waves churned in miniature against the pupils of Poseidon’s sea-green eyes. “That demigoddess must have taken her when she teleported the whole island. I—”

“When she what?” The lights above my head flickered.

Poseidon’s fist clenched with irritation when the ground began to rumble. He drew in a breath, no doubt ready to say something scathing, but then he caught the look on my face.

I wasn’t doing this on purpose. My teeth ground together as I struggled to regain control, blood thick on my tongue. Aphrodite was gone. Trapped on an island with my husband while the demigods did gods knew what to them. An island we no longer knew the location of, because no one had stopped to ask if demigods could teleport. Including me!

How could I have been so stupid? The rest of the gods made their assumptions out of arrogance, refusing to believe anyone mortal could ever reach their level. I was supposed to be different.

“Easy.” Poseidon stretched his hands in a soothing gesture.

“Easy?” Ares surged toward Poseidon. “Easy! Do you have any idea what they’ll do to her? What you’ve left her to?” What—” He paused, seeming to notice the dishes rattling inside the white cabinets.

I sucked in deep breaths of rose-scented air. A lightbulb shattered above my head, glass raining down on the wooden floor.

“Persephone . . .” Poseidon was beside me in an instant, reaching out, but I jerked away before he could touch me.

I hated him. I hated him for hurting my mom all those centuries ago. For staying alive and strong when so many other gods died. For being one of the only people she could turn to for help during the final months of her life. For not stopping her dying. For looking at me the way he did. Like I was the only thing he had left of her. Like I meant something to him. He wasn’t allowed to grieve my mother.

Wood groaned and glass shattered as every door in the house flew open in a gust of damp wind. Oh, gods, I was ruining it. The one place I could still see her. Gasping for composure, I took my hatred for Poseidon and buried it. Like it or not, he was one of the only gods left, and I needed his help. “What do I do?”

The Horror Genre

Book cover for The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, #amwriting, #amediting, book review, how to write, how to editThe horror genre goes beyond life and death and explores the fates worse than. The mind-hack, as Dan Wells would say, that you are trying to evoke in your reader is a sense of fear and dread. According to Shawn Coyne, the key scene in any horror story is “the victim at the mercy of the monster” moment, and the thing that set the story in motion is the attack of that monster, real or otherwise, that forces the protagonist out of their safe zone.

The object of desire in horror tends to be survival, both in the literal sense and the coming back from the edge of sanity sense. When the protagonist doesn’t care about their own life, a small child, woman, or dog tends to be thrown into danger to spur the protagonist into action.

That antagonism between the forces of good (or neutral) and evil are king, and the antagonist must, according to Coyne, always be evil. An evil that can’t be reasoned with. The horror subgenres tend to be broken down by the way the story explains the monster. Reminder, these subgenres can mix and match within or out of the horror genre. You can have a romance with a horror subplot, and you can have a horror with a romance subplot. It’s all in how the writer divides it.

Subgenres

  • Uncanny – The forces of evil in the story cannot be reasoned with, but they can be explained. Think serial killer plots.
  • Supernatural – These are stories in which the monster isn’t “real” or explainable. Possessions, hauntings, vampires, werewolves, those kinds of monsters fall under the Supernatural category, but in my opinion, this is where the most genre bending occurs. If you have a supernatural villain in a fantasy setting where werewolves are totally a thing and everyone knows it, then the werewolf if uncanny, not inexplicable.
  • Ambiguous-  The reader can never be quite sure if it is the supernatural at work or not. These stories tend to question the protagonists sanity on a deeper level than the outsider looking in a supernatural story. The Babadook is a good example of this. Was there really a monster, or was the monster symbolic of the mother’s depression?

External Conflicts and Goals

Book cover for The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, #amwriting, #amediting, book review, how to write, how to editExternal conflicts deal with conflict outside of your protagonist. That’s the villain, the earth quake, the monster. Your character may grapple internally with how to handle the conflict, but the object of conflict itself is not happening in your character’s head.

External goals are the obvious goals that drive the story forward from the inciting incident on. Ralph’s medal, destroying the one ring, ect. It’s a tangible item or other person that’s easy to identify, and while it drives the plot, it’s ultimately secondary to the intangible changes made within the protagonist along the way.

That tangible object and conflict is going to vary genre by genre. In an action story, it’s going to be the villain and the thing central to the villain’s plan. In a love story, it’s going to be the character of desire, in a crime story, it’s going to be the criminal, often with the object being sought a victim whose time hasn’t yet run out.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll get into the external conflicts from several different genres that are outlined in Shawn Coyne’s The Story Grid, along with some examples of my own.

Things that I do when I should be writing

I am working through my page proofs for Venus Rising. Theoretically, this is the easiest part of the publication process. All I’m supposed to do is read through and make sure there are no formatting glitches. It’s too late to change content, the copy edits are finished, this is just a last look through.

But it’s the last look through! If I  miss something now there’s no going back. Everyone will see the mistake in print.

So…I’m procrastinating. It’s amazing the things that feel like they must be done right now when you have work you’re nervous about doing. Here’s the last few things that my brain has demanded must be accomplished now.

  1. Writing this blog.
  2. Getting organized for girl scouts next year by researching all the possible brownie badges, figuring out how many meetings to dedicate to each, and setting a calendar complete with lesson plans for each troop meeting for the 2017/2018 school year. (OMG, I am officially crazy)
  3. Send long, rambling emails detailing my plans to the poor, unfortunate adults from my daughter’s brownie troop.
  4. Consider ways to improve my daughter’s school. Do they know there’s an eclipse coming on a school day in August? Maybe I should connect them with this business that sells really cute, cheap, eclipse glasses. Maybe the eclipse should be a PTA event.
  5. Write up detailed plans and send them to the unfortunate members of administration and PTA
  6. Consider all that’s wrong in the world and how it could be fixed. Write long, rambling letters filled with ideas and plans to all the appropriate politicians.
  7. My house should probably be clean.
  8. Groceries would also be good.
  9. You know, Bella’s room should be reorganized. When was the last time she played with this? Let’s list everything for sale on craigslist.
  10. Realize a lot of these toys are educational and could be used in fun learning activities. Come up with a detailed summer curriculum and schedule for my daughter by researching all the fun events happening in Athens, all the camps we’re considering, travel plans, and academic skills.

Someone send help….