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About this blog

Yea, Verily.

Entries in this blog

Hiatus Over. Here's a Teaser.

Lives in Periphery A new serial novel by EleCivil --- Manufacturing plants opened up on the outskirts – little metal pockmarks against the amber waves of grain. They didn’t last. Now, there were abandoned factories and junk heaps just sitting around. Chunks of broken machines rusted into the gravel lots in front of condemned buildings. He had always been drawn to them; the abandoned machines and the ruins of a failed empire. This one was fairly close to sch

EleCivil

EleCivil

Generations

My first year teaching, I taught 4th graders. I then followed them to 5th grade, then 6th. These same kids are now 7th graders. I'm not in the classroom anymore - most of my day is spent riding a desk - but I still make time to visit that class. Today, I noticed that about half of them were wearing mismatched socks. You can easilly tell that these particular kids have been mine for 3 years straight. I was wearing mismatched socks as well. When the higher-ups questioned me about it, I said tha

EleCivil

EleCivil

Back to School, Tony Danza Style.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1jSgODkRTsg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> School's back in session! This will be my first year as an administrator. Who's the boss? I'm the boss! Hahahaha! I'm going to make all the teachers wear mismatched socks and learn to juggle! I'm gonna kick down classroom doors and attack classes with Silly String! My reign of zany, zany terror begins now! ...Okay, not really. But I did just spend the past coup

EleCivil

EleCivil

Vampirism

True story: Student 1: "Mr. Civil, Student 2 just tried to bite me!" EC: (Turns and glares at Student 2) "I knew it!" Student 2: "What?" EC: "You're a vampire! I've been saying it for years, but does anyone ever listen to crazy old Mr. Civil? No. Well, now they'll see that crazy old Mr. Civil isn't really all that old. I mean, crazy." (Rolls up a newspaper into a cone.) Student 1: "What are you doing?" EC: "What must be done. Hold still, Student 2, you're going to feel a slight stakey sens

EleCivil

EleCivil

Reader Feedback and Personal Philosophy

This might be a long one. I'm going to preface this by saying that this is all the opinion of EleCivil, the eccentric weirdo whose advice you probably should not heed for any reason. It in no way represents the views of the site admins, etc. etc. legal stuff. I recently got an email from someone telling me that they enjoyed my short story, Fistfights with Flashlights - this was a short story that I wrote while in the middle of Leaves and Lunatics, when I was about 18 years old. To be honest, I

EleCivil

EleCivil

Halloween Costume Rorschach Test

So, I had this idea for a Halloween costume: I'd grow a goatee, and go as my own evil twin from a mirror dimension. But here's the thing - not that many people are nerdy enough to get it. (Blue, help me out. I know you've got my back on this one.) What I've noticed is that people seem to interpret my "costume" differently based on their own backgrounds. As a man with a shaved head and a goatee dressed all in black, people have mistaken my costume for the following: Wrestler Stone Cold Steve Au

EleCivil

EleCivil

Turnabout - or - Standardize This!

I got my first teaching job two years ago, right out of college. At the time, I posted this: "The school has no art, music, gym, recess, or extra-curriculars. These were all shut down because of low test scores. The school itself is on the verge of being shut down by the government (depending on this year's test scores)." Bruin Fisher replied with this: "Cool. You will hit the school like a tornado. Its grades will shoot through the roof, the kids will become well-motivated, the arts courses

EleCivil

EleCivil

Rivalry

Santa came to my school the other day to eat lunch with the kindergarten class. They borrowed one of my bases-of-operation (I don't have my own classroom, so my materials are hidden in various caches in three or four different buildings around campus) for this event without telling me. I walk in, looking to pick up some books I need for my next class and see Santa. I say hi. The kindergarten kids look over at me, gasp, and shout "HI, MR. CIVIL!!" then run over to hug me and ask me to do magic tr

EleCivil

EleCivil

The "H" Word

I'm on hiatus from writing. Well, not completely true - I'm writing stories for my remedial reading students. I hate, hate, hate the books provided by the school. They're either too high-level for the kids to understand or they are too kiddy and uninteresting, or they're all about rich, suburban white kids that my kids can't relate to, so I'm writing my own. In other words, work is kicking my ass all over the place, and I'm kicking it right back. My 8th graders read like 2nd graders, and I've

EleCivil

EleCivil

Eureka Moments in Writing

I was working on Leviathan Rusts earlier today, after watching The Big Lebowski and splitting a pot of coffee with a local DJ (Yes, it's always a wacky adventure!). So, amped up on caffeine and with a head full of surreal scenes and strange dialogue, I had one of those Eureka Moments. The entire plot became clear to me. The beginning, middle, and end all aligned before my eyes, and the characters' arcs all fell into place. I had some basic ideas and a first chapter written, but now it's all pie

EleCivil

EleCivil

A New Novel by EC? Sooner Than You'd Think.

Leviathan Rusts Everyday Adventures of a Social Misanthropologist ... ?I love you the way I love the efficient digestive system of the invasive zebra mussel." ... ?Rent?s due. I need it in my hand by sunset, or I kick your ass to the curb, then back in here, then back out to the curb, again. Why?? ?Because you?re just that hardcore." ... "A guy doesn?t get any?relief?for as long as you, and he ends up simultaneously mounting and head-butting a Coke machine out of sheer frustration. It'

EleCivil

EleCivil

Buried under the weight of words.

No one told me that when, over the course of 23 years, you accumulate roughly eight metric assloads of books, you eventually have to MOVE eight metric assloads of books. To a third floor apartment. With no elevator. Sweet Fancy Moses, this is gonna take forever. Yes, those are all books. But on the plus side...I've got a lot of books. Also, I've got a new place that's fairly close to my new job. Best thing about the new place? I can finally get broadband access. Up until now, I've b

EleCivil

EleCivil

EC: The "E" is for "Employed"

I got a job. Just in time, too, with less than two weeks before school starts. I don't want to give too many details in a public post like this, because I wouldn't want to be recognized (hit me up on AIM or YIM if you're that curious about the details). Here's what I can tell you: I'm a reading teacher for a mix of elementary and middle school students (that's right - my designation is "EleMiddle." Heh.) It's an inner-city school with 99% of the population below the poverty line. Many of the

EleCivil

EleCivil

Euphemistic Edition

I'm trying to give up swearing. It's not that hard - it's not like I was a big fan of the profanity, anyway - but I figure that it'd cut down on my chances of saying something that could get me fired once I'm actually teaching. As such, I've been throwing around some rather colorful euphemisms, lately. They tend to make bystanders do double-takes (which, I'll admit, is true for a lot of the weird stuff that I do). Here are some stand-outs: "Matt Lauer!" and "Mothra Faulkner!" were both mentione

EleCivil

EleCivil

Grayfaces and Graduates

I passed student-teaching with an A, and I'll be getting my degree on Saturday. My students wrote me goodbye letters on my last day. Some of my favorite lines include... "Mr. EC the he has a cool hat." [sic] "The best thing Mr. EC did was freestyle rap with [X] in the computer lab, then drop his pencil on the floor like it was a mic." "I thought Mr. EC was really weird at first." [i find this one funny because I thought I was really weird the whole time.] "Mr. EC needs to keep being a strai

EleCivil

EleCivil

EC vs. The Forces of Exhaustion, Erosion, and Erudition

Wow, it's been a while since I've written anything in here, huh? Well, I've got a fairly good excuse, this time - with my commute added in, I'm working about 13 hours every day. For no money. In fact, I'm paying about 10k for the privilege of working 13 hour days. That's right - I'm student-teaching. I've already finished up with my stint as a language arts teacher. Right now, I'm teaching science. Starting on Monday, I'll be teaching not only general science, but for one hour a day I'll be te

EleCivil

EleCivil

Magical History Tour

I've been driving around to various historic locations, getting pictures for a travelogue I'm writing for an Ohio History course. It's a lot of fun. I'm seeing a bunch of towns, cities, and even parts of my own city that I never usually see. Here's a picture of me at Fort Meigs, watching suspiciously for the British Navy (Camy, I'm looking in your direction - you'd give me a heads up if you guys were going to give it another go and put us colonists in our place, right?). [image removed] Also

EleCivil

EleCivil

Ear-ly in the mornin'.

A friend of mine recently joined the Navy. He was in town the other day, so we (and a couple others) went out to a karaoke bar to hang out. Now, for as long as I've known him, he's always thought that it would be hilarious to get the whole group together and perform a boy band song on stage. The rest of us figured, hey, the dude's home from the Navy - we ought to indulge him. This was the day it was going to go down. So, we get a turn, and saunter up to the stage. He's already close to falling-

EleCivil

EleCivil

NaNoWriMo, Yo.

It's begun! I'm ahead of my daily word goal, so I'm happy. I'm hoping to hit 10,000 by midnight, tonight. I know I won't be getting nearly as much writing done during the school/work week, so I'm sneaking my laptop into work on the weekends to write during down time. If you'll direct your attention to the right of this post, you'll see that I've added a word-counter-ma-bob to the side of the blog. Feel free to berate and/or badger me if you don't see the number on that thing increase for a coup

EleCivil

EleCivil

White gold. Texas coffee.

Like I mentioned in an earlier blog, I've started writing again. It's rough going. I've never written this dark before, other than Fistfights With Flashlights (At least, I think - I wrote FWF all in one shot over the course of an hour or so, with no editing, no second draft, and I have yet to read it again). And, because of the nature of this new story, I keep putting way too much of myself into it. Every couple paragraphs, I've been stopping, thinking "Man, this is getting too personal. I've go

EleCivil

EleCivil

Meet the new boss; significantly different from the old boss

Last night, I dreamed that Michael Cera and a dude I knew in high school were fighting for my affections, after an especially well-played, small-scale prank of mine caught their attention. I ended up choosing the dude from school, which made Cera kind of jealous. Then terrorists took the building hostage, so we had to put our personal feelings aside, team up, and fight them off. Which we did. It was the best dream ever. So I wake up, realize it's a dream, and think "None of that was real. That'

EleCivil

EleCivil

Stages of Development

So, the other week, I called off work to take a six hour long standardized test. Three hours of Science, three hours of Pedagogical Theory. Fun. And I get to do it again for Language Arts in November. Here's the part that really sucks: I've been asked to play some classical guitar for my college's annual Arts Festival. However, since I'm taking all this time off of work to take these tests, I can't get off of work to go perform. Sonuvawench, right? Well, whatever. They told me I could come play

EleCivil

EleCivil

Jetset

I came to a clearing in the woods, a small sunlit patch of rabbit-bitten blades, over which the blue was struggling through the insatiable leaves. As a branch broke under my foot, there was an explosion of birds, feathery shrieking shrapnel sent flying across the canopy gap. Further up, jets from the nearby airfield scurried across the sky, bushy tails dragging behind them. Jets, surpassing the birds in speed, size, efficiency, capacity...every category but beauty. Whispered "Why are you migrat

EleCivil

EleCivil

Odometer +1

Yesterday was my birthday. I'm 22, now. Only a few more years until social security kicks in, right? I skipped class, half because it was my birthday and I wanted some time off and half because the class was going on a field trip to the zoo and I got lost on the way, and ended up spending 3+ hours driving around until I realized I had crossed state lines and was nowhere near the correct city, let alone the zoo. Yeah, my navigation skills are...non...good. On the plus side, though, I got a new m

EleCivil

EleCivil

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