What if accepting yourself meant being rejected by everyone you knew?
The nation of Hadrian is close to breaking point. After fifty years as a relative oasis at the heart of a world polluted by disease and despair, the death of Todd Middleton — a 16-year-old who dared to disregard the laws prohibiting straight relationships and natural reproduction — has moved many of Hadrian's citizens to question the country’s rules governing sexual equality.
These draconian laws have played an important part in keeping Hadrian prosperous and secure for decades. In response to the Middleton incident, the government only furthers its anti-heterosexual laws to reassure conservatives who fear their lives are being threatened. The backlash is severe, plunging the country into violence as people attack those perceived to be abnormal and a threat to Hadrian's stability.
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A Day in the Life of Patricia Marie Budd
Wow, what I can I possibly say that won’t make my life sound mundane? Whose life is always exciting? We love to think that the lives of the rich and famous are always filled with excitement and daring but in the end their lives are no different than ours. And, yet, we all have our moments of beauty, exhilaration and of fun.
For me, moments of beauty come in the mundane. They come when I’m sitting at my computer writing. The thrill and exhilaration of creation rushes the blood and there are times when I simply have to leap out of my chair and jump up and down to calm myself enough to continue composing. They come when I am teaching and my mind buzzes along with my students as we come together intellectually with new understandings of life. They come when I return home and my husband hugs me and asks how my day was. But, no, this is not everyday, well; the hugging my husband is, but those other exhilarating moments, they come only after we work for them. They are earned, and only after much labor will they gratify those who try with the sublime reward of inner happiness.
An average day, is just that, average. I wake up, head for school, empty the dishwasher in the staffroom (an exchange I made to avoid supervision), begin my extra help time (45 minutes prior to the bell), teach, do one half hour extra help at lunch, stop briefly to eat and then teach again. After school there is more extra help time, extra curricular activities (my school’s GSA and when interest exists I run a writer’s guild) as well as (if I am lucky) time to mark and plan. Then I go home.
My husband and I always have supper together (with those rare exceptions life always throws one’s way). When he goes back to work building and repairing guitars (he works out of the house) I take a half hour to exercise followed by two intense hours of writing, revising, research, and the like. I also try to fit in an hour of reading for pleasure whenever possible, I am usually in bed between 9 and 10.
From the sounds of it, it would appear that I am able to write every single day. How I wish that were true. Teaching is not a job to run from 9 to 5. I start my workday at 7:30am. On Mondays I leave work at 4:00pm, my one day to get home at a decent hour and relax. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I seldom leave the building before 5:00pm. Fridays, like Mondays, when possible, are my ‘go home early’ days. Even with these extended work hours I find there are many nights when I am spending my desired exercise, writing and reading time marking, reading classroom materials and planning.
So I write whenever I can write. Usually in the evenings, almost always on the weekends, indulging excessively during Christmas, Spring and Summer breaks, and no day is the same as the next when it comes time for me to sit down and work as a writer. One does what one can to survive and be happy in this world. To quote Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” I have what I need in this life: a lover, a vocation, and a profession. I live knowing that as long as I continue to try I will continue to get what I need.
About the Author
Patricia Marie Budd was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada. In her early twenties she studied mime in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1983/84) and then later renewed her interest in physical theatre by studying with Phillip Gaulier in London, England (1996/97). As a result of her extensive training in drama much of Patricia Marie Budd’s writing is theatrical in nature. Patricia has self-published three novels thus far: A New Dawn Rising; Hell Hounds of High School and the highly acclaimed Hadrian’s Lover. Patricia’s fourth novel Hadrian’s Rage, will be released May 3, 2016. Her current residence is in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada where she has been teaching high school English since 1991.