FREE HARPY COMIN’ AT YA

TODAY’S BREW: Ohhhhhh Fudge by Bones Coffee 

By Julie 

WHAT DO THESE THINGS HAVE IN COMMON?

Well go on! Get your FREE book and preorder HARPY 2: EVOLUTION for TOMORROW!

Julie’s Long-Awaited Thoughts on Hollywood, Sexual Abuse, Mainstream Comic Movies and Other Stuff to Get Me Crucified

TODAY’S BREW: Cinnamon Hazelnut times 70

By Julie

Lots and lots of people visited my post https://juliehutchings.net/2020/06/27/harassment-in-sff-my-long-awaited-opinion/ yesterday. Someone must have gotten caught doing something to spark it that I missed while I was pushing the new HARPY sequel (up for preorder right now: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08PVYPMX8?notRedirectToSDP=1&ref_=dbs_mng_calw_1&storeType=ebooks). It got me thinking about that book and people and sexual impropriety and Hollywood.

THE HARPY is represented for film and tv by agents that I have complete faith in and that have great belief in this story. We think this is the right time for it. HARPY was completed long before the #MeToo movement began, it was not a response to it, but it sure as hell is in support of it. Charity Blake is a sexual abuse survivor who never came forth. She ran away from the abuse, but it didn’t stop her self-worth and lifestyle choices from being determined by it. Those feelings festering inside her are what turn her into the Harpy, a hideous form that doles out her own justice. She’s Batman but with worse-than-Joker methods, and less friendly than both. But she’s definitely not Harley Quinn, with her generic craziness and idealism of her abuse at Joker’s hands.

*the screams of DC fans puncture the night*

Harley’s immense popularity had her headlining the Birds of Prey movie. This was around the same time that the Black Widow movie was getting publicized, not long after Captain Marvel came out and the question about those movies I often heard wasn’t the age-old Mary Jane one but its new friend, Can a female superhero carry her own movie? (left out of this equation are Wonder Woman ’84 and Dark Phoenix for different reasons that don’t contribute.)

Now, if Harley Quinn, who’s edgy for her clothing choices and generic lunacy, and has no superpowers can headline a movie, why did Black Widow, who took forever to get her own movie, and Captain Marvel, who I’ve loved in comic and movie form, get the occasional eye roll? Black Widow, who I’ve heard accused of being one-dimensional, and Captain Marvel, seemingly without flaw aside from her lack of emotion (which is part of her character, by the way.) Perhaps they needed more ass showing. But I digress.

This timeframe is when THE HARPY was making its first rounds being pitched for tv and film. My agents, my publisher, we all thought it would be well-received in the aspect of Charity’s very clear take on sexual abuse and her rocky rise from it. In light of women coming forth about the injustices they’d suffered in Hollywood, conventions, everyday life, at the hands of the goddamn POTUS, without consistent belief or consequences, we thought THE HARPY was a story that needed to be heard. While we continue to get a lot of great response, the consensus has been that the industry won’t be touching anything with sexual abuse for a while. So why IS that? It’s got us a bit stumped. I’ve half-heartedly offered to tone it down, but the agency is firm in the book staying as-is–and I really agree. Quite a bit of the book is shocking, but I was careful not to make it about shock value. It’s certainly worthy of a trigger warning, but what I wrote is intrinsic to understanding why Charity sees the world the way she does, why she dresses the way she does, why she makes the choices she does, why she is who she is, and why she both does and doesn’t want to change. It has reason.

THE HARPY definitely is a success in its own rite, and championed by my team at WME, Inked Entertainment, and Audible, and I’m thrilled with the support it’s continuously getting, this is not a woe-is-me post at all. Never in my wildest dreams did I foresee the height this book has gone to. Every “rejection” to me sends my heart aflutter. “I was told my book was too much for both X actor/producer AND X horror guys today!” is a claim to fame that I love to throw around. I love it. I wonder if I’m being let down easy because I’m completely unknown and/or that I’ve been an impostor all along, or if there truly is a point at which we as a society don’t want to see this level of darkness associated with sexual abuse and an antihero.

Thanks for listening to my self-indulgent rambling as always! Leave me your thoughts, and maybe you’ll get your very own copy of THE HARPY and/or THE HARPY 2: EVOLUTION to read and review!

 

And YOU Get an Excerpt! from Harpy 2

TODAY’S BREW: Salty Bones from Bones Coffee Co. (get the holiday sampler like I just did. Again. World’s Freshest Small Batch Coffee – Bones Coffee Company)

By Julie

I may have mentioned that the sequel to THE HARPY is up for preorder now. Available through Audible, Kindle, paperback and hardcover on JANUARY 14TH, BABIES. Guess what? I’m posting an excerpt for you! Charity finds herself a new little friend in HARPY 2: EVOLUTION, a character I’m just crazy about, I can’t kid you. Without further doo-doo, here’s your excerpt! Now, please bear with me because WordPress? Likes to change everything all the time. I’ve been trying to change the font of this excerpt for a half hour. Trust me, this is the excerpt:

“I’ve never been much of a planner,” I said through the door, “but this seems like a good time to get you out of here.”

Shaking, a sheen of sweat coating her hot pink cheeks, Rose gingerly lowered herself into the puffy white chair in the corner of the room—a thing put there to make her feel at home, like she was wanted, a person and not a thing. But she was still a prisoner behind a locked door, the shackles still lying limp on the bed, people in uniforms deciding her moment-to-moment existence when they got to go home at the end of the day to a life they chose.

Rose swiveled the chair my way. It had been two days. Two days since I’d been home to Robbie. Two days since I’d left the kid. Two days where I sat in that train station, immobile, too sick of myself to be afraid or care what happened to me next.

But freedom called to me in the form of a little girl, the heat of her anger a beacon that I could see through time and space. I had to come back. If I wanted to live at all, I had to help her to help myself.

“I’m not trapped here,” Rose said.

“Right, you must love being isolated and what? Running laps in your eighties gym shorts outside? Why are you so sweaty?”

“Eighties gym…” She smiled. I was amusing to her. “I um, just show them how I do things.”

“What, Jane Fonda aerobics? What things?”

She just swiveled back around in her chair. “You’re a mess,” she said when I couldn’t see her face.

Definitely. Two days in an abandoned train station rolling in viscera will do that to a girl. “That’s neither here nor there. I always wanted to say that. Anyway, whatever you’re in here for, whatever they make you do, I can help you escape.”

“There’s no escaping what I am.”

There’s no escaping what I am. There’s no escaping what I am.

I ran my fingers through my hair like Robbie always did, a habit I guess I’d picked up. My fingers got caught in there, though. Never an easy way out for me.

“You know, kid, I’m a complete fucking stranger to you, offering you a way out, a fresh start or a chance to go home, whatever you want, and you don’t give me an inch, do you?”

When do I get to go home? I thought, shook my head to get rid of it. When are my tests over, when do I get to stop sweating for everyone else, when do I get a fresh start that’s real? Any good I do is sucked up in the bad that I am. There’s no escaping what I am, Harpy or not.

No escape.

The thought brought into perspective what the Queen told me—time doesn’t exist for a Harpy. I slid down the door, felt the cold floor under me, solid. I’d never be different than this right now, never change.

Never heal. I wanted to try, for this kid. So she didn’t end up anything like me, and so that I could end up like someone else, too.

Impossible, probably. 

Leaning over, I threw up on the tile floor. Chicken bones and spaghetti and bile swimming in blood and half-digested flesh.

I heard a clicking noise over my head, the distinct sound of a lock being picked, and got to my feet fast no matter how shaky; you could never know what was coming through a locked door.

I fell back against the wall behind me, far from the door, vision of Carl Painter on the other side. It’s not his time now but time isn’t real and I was never safe. I came back to the now with every click of the lock. He is not real, not now, Charity, I told myself. Time might mean nothing, but reality was always there, promising some new surprise. And there was my surprise, clicking away.

The door lock popped open. The wide bolt, the size of a credit card, slipped to the left. Kid can pick locks.

Then her eyes at the window, the only part that could reach if she stood on tiptoe.

And she opened the door.

Rose Preston glanced at the puddle of puke on the floor, back at me. She pulled on a green tracksuit jacket. “You’ll be okay,” she said with a little smile. “I feel sick sometimes, too.”

Thanks for reading! I hope you’ll love the new book!

THE HARPY 2 IS READY FOR YOU!

TODAY’S BREW: Gingerbread something because I will hold onto Christmas with my cold, dead heart and hands

By Julie

I shall not bore with you with the IT’S BEEN A YEAR garbage. You were there. You know.

But hot dang, I wrote a fantastic book! I mean, not to toot my own tooter, but the sequel to THE HARPY is one I’m really proud of. I got really weird with it, you guys. We’re talking time travel, multiple points of view, a super-freak kid, I go all over the place and it works. It actually works. Wanna see the cover?

The Harpy 2: Evolution by [Julie Hutchings]

Amazon.com: The Harpy 2: Evolution eBook: Hutchings, Julie: Kindle Store

Charity Blake became a nightmare. But there are far more dangerous monsters out there than her.

Train-wreck antihero Charity Blake thrives at being a winged avenger, but exacting vengeance takes as much from her as it gives. To retain the humanity she’s fought tooth and claw to keep, she tries to walk away from her monstrous side for good.

With no sense of purpose and a lifetime of failures haunting her, Charity struggles not to fall back into old, murderous habits. Until she meets a little girl who is more broken than herself. Rose presents a new direction for Charity. One where they can combine their carnal abilities to rewrite a horrendous history of wrongs that have impacted so many like themselves.

While Charity revels in the idea of following a new path, Rose drowns in her own power as she tries to piece together parts of her life her mind has buried deep. As Rose unearths hidden truths about her past, her catastrophic abilities spiral out of control, threatening everyone’s future. Overcome with debilitating grief and a world-altering rage, Rose becomes a danger beyond anyone’s control. A colossal threat that Charity must stop.

THE HARPY 2: EVOLUTION is the second book in the twisted and unsettling world of the Harpyverse, where victims become villains, and power is a thing to be picked apart.

PREORDER THE SEQUEL RIGHT HERE: Amazon.com: The Harpy 2: Evolution eBook: Hutchings, Julie: Kindle Store.

Get a little ugly with me, it’ll be fun!

Julie On MIDNIGHT SUN and Your Attitude

TODAY’S BREW: Hot coffee that will add to my Sweat Level: Midnight

By Julie 

I go off on this tangent pretty often, but it’s all about timing, so here we are. Enjoy my ranting list of things I’d like to shout from my roof if the sun weren’t so scorchingly evil.

IF YOU THINK I’M NOT PSYCHED FOR THE RELEASE OF STEPHANIE MEYERS’ MIDNIGHT SUN, THEN YOU DON’T KNOW ME.

If you think a reader is vapid for loving the series, perhaps you should think about what makes you so fucking special.

READ WHAT YOU WANT. BE WHO YOU WANT. LIKE WHAT YOU LIKE, UNAPOLOGETICALLY. YOU CAN WEAR A MASK AND NOT BE A SHEEP, AND YOU CAN READ A HISTORICALLY WORLDWIDE-SELLING BOOK SERIES THAT APPARENTLY NOBODY LIKES AND STILL BE AN INDIVIDUAL.

Reading “bad” books does not create “bad writers.” Being sucked into a vacuum of a world despite what could be considered “bad writing” by “experts” could be argued is the epitome of great writing. A writer who analyzes why a story sucked them in regardless of the poor writing is a writer who works. 

ANY READING IS WORTHWHILE READING.

GIRL BOOKS DON’T EXIST.

ART CAN’T BE WRONG.

WHO ARE YOU TO CRITICIZE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE FIND JOY IN?

Stephanie Meyer has changed the face and significance of Young Adult books. What did you do today?

A) Read what the fuck you want. B) Who even are you C) Thinking you’re too good for someone else’s hard work makes you a dick. D) She’s doing something right, ain’t she, folks?

Book Arrogance (BA) is a widespread disease affecting millions of jerks worldwide. If you  or someone you have to listen to prattle on about how stupid vampires are suffer from BA, seek help at Writers Reading Over Not Good (W.R.O.N.G.) or Most Energy-Negative (M.E.N.)

If you’ve been having a hard time finding a book you like, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you often tell people about the book you’ve been planning to write?
  2. Do friends often say, “I hear ya”?
  3. Are you “holding out for a management position”?
  4. When others succeed do you often say, “Whatever”?
  5. Do you consistently make money for someone else doing a job you hate?

Researching Illustrious Charismatic Humans (R.I.C.H.) can help.

If you like vampires, an iconic figure in literature and pop culture, do go ahead and buy MIDNIGHT SUN. I would personally love it if you’d pick up my very own vampire books, RUNNING HOME and RUNNING AWAY, and then also write your own because I’d like to read it.

 

Julie Writes a Death Waiver

Today’s Brew: Coffee beans crushed into a fine dust and put into a wind machine that I stand in the center of.

By Julie 

Like many, I’m increasingly slack-jawed at the “options” we have about going back to school. I am not irritated at the lack of solid information we’ve been given because NOBODY KNOWS. They don’t know. Right or wrong, nobody knows what’s going to happen next month except, “hey, it’s probably getting worse.”

What does irritate me is that we’re all up in arms about going back to school, how much it’s needed, and this is a system that has not worked for a lot of people for a very long time. Between bullying, racism, paying for the bus, adjusting to teachers, IEPs and adjustment counseling, let alone the horrendous curriculum, why are we fighting to get kids back into a death trap so quickly?

Some death waivers have been passed around for parents to sign to let their kids back into school in September, but I thought I’d write some quickie ones to make it more comprehensive.

“Would you like to learn somewhat false history written by old white dudes, about old white dudes with a rumbling terror for you life or without a rumbling terror for your life?”

“Would you like to memorize dates and names without any practical space in which to apply this knowledge in a death box or on your sofa?”

“Would you like to practice the many different core math methods in your own time, given that not all of them will agree with you, or would you like to dedicate the same time to all of them, thus defeating the purpose of having different methods to choose from, or would you like to breathe regularly?”

“Would you like to be removed from class on a number of occasions to meet with specialists who will help you ‘adjust’ while ignoring your schoolwork, to focus on what’s wrong with you, or would you like to be supported while living?”

“Would you like to put on clothes again to take part in an outdated system that pukes one-sided views at you or would you like to survive?”

“Would you like to learn on your own time, spending more time on one subject you’re having a hard time with and less on another that you understand or would you like to do it all the way I tell you to and also die?”

“Would you like to live comfortably or spend your days with people you have to cope with and maybe die?”

“Would you like to return to (not) having lunch with friends, (not) having recess with them, (not) working in groups and experiencing community or would you like to enter an unpredictable death race?”

“Would you like to stay in your underwear and not eat school food or would you like to possibly perish?”

“Would you like to be socialized with a group of your peers without actual interaction, but with an enormous death threat?”

“Would you like to return to the life of IEPs and being told you don’t even fit into the boxes of kids that don’t learn like everyone else, but can die like you, or would you like to learn in a way that makes sense?”

“Would you like to live under the ever-present shifting target of state testing with the grim specter of doom looking over your shoulder or learn virtually?”

“Would you mind wearing a mask all day to do work you don’t want to do so that you can die with friends?”

“Would you like to be graded upon an archaic system that doesn’t recognize effort or learning curve and have your weekly therapy include the cloud of your demise contained in your school walls or would you like to not do that?”

“Would you like to participate in dozens of fundraisers and maybe die or would you like to spend your money on other things?”

“Would you like to not learn life skills but also possibly give up your life?”

“Would you like to continue to miss your friends or be virtually encased in a bubble to make eye contact with them, while still risking that all of you could cough to death?”

“Would you like to learn stagnant information in conjunction with how to cope with inevitable loss?”

I’ve been thinking of sending one of these a day to the Board of Education. I’m sure the response would be startling.

 

Harassment in SFF, My Long-Awaited Opinion

TODAY’S BREW: Whatever came out of my red coffee can

By Julie 

I’m not one that goes to every con that comes my way. They’re expensive, they’re crowded, they’re hot, bright, and loud which are my Kryptonites. Cons where I’d be working to get my name out there, to make connections in the industry, to drink at hotel bars and get friendly, that’s WORK. Trouble is, the HR manager for Writing doesn’t hang out at these events, and that’s where the harassment comes in.

I’m a good friend.

That doesn’t mean I stand beside my friends’ wrongdoings but I stand beside their good nature. I call them friends if their morals agree with mine. Of the three dickheads who’ve been outed as serial harassers , I consider one to have been a friend. We knew each other’s names and work, he’d sent books my way for fundraisers and such, and I thought he was a good guy. Turns out, he wasn’t. We are no longer friends. This is a black and white with zero gray area. If multiple women come forward claiming harassment, I believe them. I side with them.

Myke Cole was a cop who claims he doesn’t remember his sexual misconduct–all of it–because he was drunk. All those times.

I’ve got little to say about Sam Sykes aside from that he’s a presence in the SFF world who always sorta seemed like a douche to me, but I’d follow and unfollow him because I loved his “buy my book” tweets. But also, douchey. So that’s over.

Chuck Wendig is an ally to women. This is not a trait a person is born with like some magical golden fucking hair that sings or something, it’s acquired by choices, experience, mistakes. He acts on it. I don’t like giving PROVE IT examples because to me it’s the equivalent of “I have a black friend so I’m not racist,” but FINE. From work on The Pixel Project to his standpoint on the widely criticized and condemned Girl Ghostbusters (Why Four Women Playing Ghostbusters is Not a Gimmick), Chuck cares about women’s rights and equality.

When I talked to Chuck, the first thing he said to me was, “I wish I’d seen it tho.”

I told Chuck I’d do whatever I could to help him through his association with these jackasses because I believe in him. He found out about the accusations and he handled it genuinely, saying that it’s important to be vigilantly on the lookout for this behavior. Read that right here: A Statement About Recent Harassers in SFF.

A lot of famousy folks are saying their pieces about him. I haven’t said much because (and the fucked-upedness of this says something), who’s listening to me? The point is, I’m not famous. Chuck and I have been friends for years, when he was only kinda famous and I was brand new in the writing community. He could have tried to use that to his advantage, but not once was I ever made uncomfortable or offered something in exchange for his friendship. In fact, he’s always offered up his help to me and never, ever implied I owe him a damn thing for it.

It matters that I’m not famous, because I’m the voice who can say I’m just a writer and he’s always treated me with respect and thoughtfulness because it’s his nature.  

I’m the person who can say Chuck did the right thing over and over again when no one was looking, in person or otherwise. That’s dignity. That’s not a one-off. That’s a person who has morals and stands by them. And a person who has those morals is always looking to do better, not make excuses. Like I said on Twitter, Myke Cole doesn’t get to say “I was drunk.” Sam Sykes doesn’t get to not quite recall. Paul Krueger does not get to say “my bad.” These are not mistakes. This is their lack of morality. Chuck Wendig shows that he’s not one of them.

Victims, survivors, those of you intimidated, I stand by you. Your voice matters to me. I’m here to amplify it.

Not Just Essential, But Preferred

TODAY’S BREW: Carrot Cake blend from Bones Coffee. Get it.

By Julie 

Social Distancing Captain’s Log, day 748

Sometimes I’m the social distancing captain. I mean, I’m ALWAYS socially distancing, mask, 6 feet, essentials only, to work and home, hand washing, an actual pandemic kit in my car. But it’s the nitty gritty of the emotional response that just plain fluctuates like the dickens, isn’t it! I mean one day I’m ready to help the world, delivering flour to people and whatnot, and the next day I want nothing more than to distance harder and faster. And at least I get to leave to do my essentials shopping, go to work every day–these two are stuck together forever.

sam and ben marshfield park
My children, smaller, and in sunshine

I don’t want to drone on about how trying my daily regiment is–right now. I’m just here frankly because I need to remind the world I’m here. HEY IT’S ME. I WRITE BOOKS AND THEY’RE OKAY I THINK. I am not just essential, I am PREFERRED.

Identity takes a bit of a hit during the pandemic, does it not? Aside from being only half a face and the walking threat of death, most of my identity has become getting to work, homeschooling, making sure everyone is fed and clean, helping friends and neighbors, and more than any of this, playing psychiatrist. Trying to navigate a kid with an anxiety disorder and one with Bipolar Disorder and OCD with a side salad of now-neverending seasonal depression when they can only see each other? Yeah, that’s… Well, we’re all mad here.

Being identity-free and what felt like constantly being in the service of someone else led me to a total SCREW THIS moment where I launched Julie Appreciation Week. I have to say, it went swimmingly. Here’s what I did:

  • gave myself a prize every day. YEAH YOU HEARD ME. EVERY DAMN DAY. Small prizes, big prizes, food prizes, jewelry prizes…hell I even got prizes from friends just because they love me and were unaware that it was Julie Appreciation Week!
  • napped. a lot.
  • used it as an excuse at least once a day.
  • said no.
  • went to bed early.
  • continued to write what I’m thankful for every day.

Simple stuff! Made a HUGE difference and the more I look at it the more I realize that I could pretty much do this all the time, but then it wouldn’t have a title and I’d be more broke. But you guys should do this too! All the stuff that makes you feel BLECH say no to, and do the opposite. Boom, You Appreciation Week.

Okay readeroos, get back in your houses and do something for you. Remember you are more than a creature in a mask!

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Meltdown at 6pm

TODAY’S BREW: Xanax

By Julie 

Wow, pandemic, right?

What’s your average day looking like right now? Because let me tell you. I don’t know what to tell you.

I get up feeling pretty good! About 6:30 I wake up, alarm doesn’t go off until 7. I enjoy my coffee alone and sometimes attempt to write, other times just sit. With a game on my phone. Chess. Sudoku. Cookie Jam. I alternate. Just to ease into the day. But if I can write, I do. Today, I did! But there’s just the creative black hole most mornings, no matter how good I feel.

I go to work, because I am essential in shipping infant and NICU products. I try to keep up with the few commuters who go 90 on the highway past the state troopers who won’t pull them over for fear of exposure. I pass two COVID emergency stations. I wear my mask all day. It smells. I am conscious of every single thing I touch. I know what I’ve touched at the end of the work day because I of course, clean it all with bleach. My work station, my pen, my clipboard, my tape gun, the table, the light switch, the doorknobs. We lock the doors so anyone looking to come in has to knock first and try to come in despite seeing the sign that says they have to have a mask on and wash their hands immediately. My incredible boss has a meeting with us every week to tell us how proud of us he is for coming to work with such good attitudes every day. And I really am thrilled to be there! I love my job, am endlessly grateful for it. But after a few hours in the same warehouse with intermittent contact with my coworkers, I’m freaking out inside. What if she didn’t wash her hands as well the fifth time as she did the first time? What if that order that came from upstairs got coughed on? The longer I’m here the greater the breakdown of the air quality. If I have the virus the more I’m near people the greater the opportunity to give it to them. I need to make interactions short as hell. 

So then I go home after not filling out my timesheet because I didn’t bring my own pen again, and then it’s time to homeschool. I shovel food into my face as the kids run down where they are with their work. I help them with the remainder–mostly it’s Sam with his writing (sparse) and his reading (dull) and doublechecking all his assignments. I try to do science experiments, get them outside for exercise, feed them and also get them to brush their teeth as well as have quality time and down time and do virtual therapist appointments and doctor checkups that require no less than three apps to complete. I read aloud from the book that’s actually interesting. We do this at least three times a day.

It’s not until about 6 at night that I get really irritable and have a quick cry.

I remember that we’re stuck together, all with our own brain stuff, and it’s HARD. Sam is coming off seasonal depression. There’s been a surge in OCD that has him drained. It’s pretty goddamn draining on all of us, truth be told.

As I write this, I have just botched logging the kids onto an Outschool class that we were pumped about, and I did it wrong so they missed half of it, while I tear up. They were there for a few minutes but just could not deal with it. Goodbye, Outschool fee. It’s 6:45 and I’ve reached and surpassed that melting point of the day.

So you’ve got me at my low point.

I get better.

I don’t know why I’ve written this except that I needed to SAY STUFF. Most of the day I’m happy! Happy that I have a job that matters, happy that my boss is understanding enough to be flexible and generous, happy to have the kids home where they’re comfortable and can learn at their own paces, happy that my husband’s hours are cut shorter and so we’re together every single night. Happy that we’re making good choices for our protection. Happy to try to run a book fair online for the elementary school kids, even though it failed. Happy to be healthy.

But it’s okay not to be happy all the time. All the feelings matter.

And it matters that I have this spot to speak about it. I hope it does something for someone out there.

Sneak-Teach! I Gift You a Lesson Plan

TODAY’S BREW: My daily ration of Cinnamon Hazelnut

By Julie 

So any of us with kids are homeschool teachers now, right? Pandemic Parenting Class is not a real thing, and schools are doing their best to give us a lot of resources to teach at home–but weeding through them all takes about six hours per day. I mean, it’s like walking into Market Basket (or your version of the most Thunderdome-like supermarket in your area) on the day before Thanksgiving: you went in for the ONE THING, but with everyone around and all the noise and bright lights and is Christmas in 4 weeks? you end up leaving with six things you didn’t go there for and not the thing you did need, as well as the strange urge to cry and take a nap.

A GIFT FOR YOU, PARENTS.

I put together a couple of these resources, sprinkled it with Pretty Scary Magic, and made an actually interesting lesson plan you can throw at your child for Less Than 20 Minute Learning AND you’ll feel like a good parent. Maybe even get a minute for a shower. The majority of this one is from one of my favorite resources so far, SCHOLASTIC LEARN-AT-HOME.

NUMBER A) Probably Science and Social Studies and Emotional Awareness 

Follow the link and read this super quick, interactive and visually pleasing article about an incredible kid: Nothing Can Stop HerSN4020419_Jordan-Medium-1B

SECTION B) I Made Up Well-Rounded Questions Like A Smarty Pants

Mine were:

Sammy pandemic lesson age 9

**I’ve also asked him to draw his dream prosthetic limb for “art class” but that hasn’t happened yet. It might not. These are uncertain times.

NEXT) Every Kid Likes A Video And I Learned Something Too

The “Dream It, Print It” 2 minute video at the bottom of the article. (I did NOT know they could 3D print food.)

SORTA FOURTH) Throw In A Superhero/Hot Celebrity 

In this ABC News Link, Robert Downy Jr. presents 7-year-old Alex with a prosthetic Iron Man arm. Basically a dream come true for anyone, whether you need a prosthetic arm or not.

 

If you want to add a second lesson I HAVE THAT TOO.

OTHER PART) Follow up on Jordan’s Story And How She Became a Marvel Girl

The kid not only made a shirt with her personal slogan on it, DON’T STARE. JUST ASK, but went on to be part of Marvel’s Hero Project to help kids feel strength like she did when she wore her shirt–even though it didn’t work the first time and didn’t help her. She went on to help design a Barbie with a prosthetic limb. I love this kid.

KEEP IT UP) Create Your Own Marvel Comic Hero of Your Own. 

The site even provides a graphic novel template. Here’s Bennett’s though, and I might cry every time I look at it.

Bennett's heroes age 13

Bennett's heroes part two

And then for happy fun times, we’ll find a movie that I can like, tie into it. Which means watching Iron Man again, probably. But if you say WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED after watching, it’s teaching.

OKAY, folks, give yourselves a break. Don’t expect too much of yourselves. We are living in a historic time, and as horrible as it is, observations of it are important. Talking about it, writing it down, saving the memes, all of it matters. Don’t think that you aren’t DOING anything because you’re not the most productive creature that exists right now. BEING is learning. EXISTING is prodcutive. You are not what you do, you are who you are. Ghandi said that, I’m sure of it, or at least he thought it maybe.

Stay safe, stay home, flatten the curve, my friends.