2,000,000 And Beyond

Exceptional Delaware hit 2,000,000 hits this morning.  I predicted this would happen in early February.  I’m still proud of this little blog even though I don’t post with the regularity I used to.  A full-time Monday to Friday job will do that.

4,210 posts.  2,969 loyal followers.  9,710 comments.  Countless Facebook and Twitter conversations.  Many new friends.  Years of sweat and blood.  Trying to do the right thing for kids.  Fighting the fight.  Going through the motions of life.  How much is enough?  Am I doing enough?  It took years to find a balance.  It’s been a journey.

When I hit my first million in November of 2016, my life was completely different from how it is now.  I have to wonder if it will make it to three million and what my life will look like at that point in time.

Thanks for coming here.  This blog would be nothing without readers.  Whether we agree or not on things, I’ve always done my best to shed light where there was none.  It became more political over the years but that is, in large part, because politics and education have become so entwined.  Faces come and go in the education world.  Some remain.  Education is never going to be perfect.  But we need to be better and that starts with the adults in charge.

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The Movers And Shakers of 2018: Part 3

2018 had some colorful characters here in Delaware.  I covered some of them in Part 1 and Part 2.  As we close in on the final cast of players it is important to know that 2019 will continue some of these sagas.  Here there be heroes… and villains! Continue reading

The Movers And Shakers Of 2018: Part 2

2018 was a year of heroes and zeroes!  Shakers and movers!  The list here includes some well-known Delawareans and ones that came out of nowhere to shock us all.  One isn’t even a person.  Another is from out-of-state.  One is anonymous.  But they ALL made an impact in 2018! Continue reading

The Movers And Shakers Of 2018: Part 1

Who made waves in 2018?  Quite a few!  So many I’m gonna have to do this in multiple parts!  Instead of doing one article for each person (which I haven’t had time to do the past two years), it’s time to consolidate!  These people made 2018 a very interesting year.  Some were good things and some were… not so good. Continue reading

Christmas At Exceptional Delaware

This will be the 5th Christmas season I’ve posted on here.  I thought I would put up ALL the links to the crazy Christmas posts I’ve put up.  Some are from the heart and some are from left field.  Enjoy!

This year I plan to start a crazy adventure beginning today with 25 days of Christmas madness!

A Christmas Poem For Governor Markell, Warning Signs All Over! 12/1/2014

The Christmas Legend Of Jack & Paul: The Birth Of Common Core & Race To The Top 12/17/2014

The Exceptional Delaware Top 25 Christmas Songs Of All-Time 12/20/2014

Christmas Gifts For The Enemies Of Public Education Part 1 & A For-Real Contest! 12/21/2014

More Christmas Gifts For The Enemies Of Public Education Part 2 12/21/2014

How To Get Through The Holidays When Those You Love Are Gone 12/22/2014

Part 3 Of Christmas Presents For The Enemies Of Public Education 12/23/2014

Christmas Presents For The Enemies Of Public Education: The Publius Edition 12/24/2014

The Murphy’s Law Of Christmas Presents For The Enemies Of Public Education 12/24/2014

Merry Christmas To The All The Heroes Of Delaware Public Education! You Know Who You Are! 12/24/2014

Breaking News: Santa Claus Supports Opt-Out! 12/4/2015

What If Santa Claus And Governor Markell Had A Fight? Who Would Win? 12/15/2015

The Other Christmas Gift 12/18/2015

The Arne Grinch Who Stole Christmas And Promised To Punish School-ville 12/23/2015

Merry Christmas To The Heroes Of Education & My Christmas Wish For The Delaware General Assembly 12/25/2015

The Sound Of Angels 5/7/2016 (Not really a Christmas related story but perfect for that holiday spirit!)

Santa And John 12/1/2016

Secret Santa Does A Wonderful Thing For Stubbs Elementary School In Wilmington, DE 12/9/2016

A Christmas Poem For Governor Markell, Warning Signs All Over! 12/1/2014

The Christmas Legend Of Jack & Paul: The Birth Of Common Core & Race To The Top 12/17/2014

The Exceptional Delaware Top 25 Christmas Songs Of All-Time 12/20/2014

Christmas Gifts For The Enemies Of Public Education Part 1 & A For-Real Contest! 12/21/2014

More Christmas Gifts For The Enemies Of Public Education Part 2 12/21/2014

How To Get Through The Holidays When Those You Love Are Gone 12/22/2014

Part 3 Of Christmas Presents For The Enemies Of Public Education 12/23/2014

Christmas Presents For The Enemies Of Public Education: The Publius Edition 12/24/2014

The Murphy’s Law Of Christmas Presents For The Enemies Of Public Education 12/24/2014

Merry Christmas To The All The Heroes Of Delaware Public Education! You Know Who You Are! 12/24/2014

Breaking News: Santa Claus Supports Opt-Out! 12/4/2015

What If Santa Claus And Governor Markell Had A Fight? Who Would Win? 12/15/2015

The Other Christmas Gift 12/18/2015

The Arne Grinch Who Stole Christmas And Promised To Punish School-ville 12/23/2015

Merry Christmas To The Heroes Of Education & My Christmas Wish For The Delaware General Assembly 12/25/2015

The Sound Of Angels 5/7/2016 (Not really a Christmas related story but perfect for that holiday spirit!)

Santa And John 12/1/2016

Secret Santa Does A Wonderful Thing For Stubbs Elementary School In Wilmington, DE 12/9/2016

Christmas Shuffle 12/20/17

Woodburn Christmas Conspiracy 12/24/17

Christmas Day greeting 12/25/17

The Four Coins 12/25/17

 

 

 

Back To The Pretend World

I’m done.

This is the last article from Exceptional Delaware.  This is why. Continue reading

From “Jon’s Loving Father” To Absolute Insanity: The Exceptional Delaware Story

As I delve into year five on this blog, sometimes it is healthy to take a look back at my humble beginnings.  From the crazy legislation I proposed in 2014 to my modern-day attempt to get a Secretary of Education removed from power, it has been a crazy four plus years!  It started out with a plan and turned into so much more! Continue reading

From The Vault: Titles Of Draft Articles Never Revealed

I was going through my drafts folder on this blog and I found several articles I either started but never finished or ones where information changed drastically.  For some of them, I either got bored writing it, it was repetitive from other stuff I wrote, or it just didn’t make any sense.  Some of these wound up becoming part of other articles.

I’m deleting a ton of them, but I thought I would give the titles for some of them.  Some I am going to keep because there is information in them that is good to keep on the back burner.  And there are some I won’t even reveal the title of because they would give away something coming up.  Yes, I have many drafts with untold tales… Continue reading

Support Exceptional Delaware!

I’m stuck.  I want to help the citizens of Delaware.  I want FULL transparency, especially when it comes to education.  But we aren’t getting it.  That has become painfully obvious in the four years I’ve been blogging.  We have been lied to and manipulated.  It has to end.  I need YOUR help. Continue reading

Changes To Exceptional Delaware: Your One-Stop Delaware Search Engine!

I’ve been wanting to do this for years!  I’ve changed this blog to include links to every single Delaware school district and charter school.  As well, I’ve added all the Delaware media (newspaper and radio) websites.  I’ve included many State of Delaware websites: Delaware DOE, Governor Carney’s website, The General Assembly, Auditor of Accounts, Attorney General and more!  Various education support groups have been added: DSEA, Delaware Charter Schools Network, Delaware School Boards Association, Delaware Association of School Administrators and more!  You will still be able to find a list of current Delaware blogs as well as closed Delaware blogs.  I cleaned up those lists to take out ones that are not current anymore (nothing written in 2018) and those that are non-functional.  In addition, I’ve added some links to what I call “transparency” sites that folks ask me about all the time.  I’ve found a ton of information over the years at many of these links and so can you!

If you are not on these list of links and would like to be added, please let me know.  I try to get everything but I’m not perfect!

I hope these changes will allow Delaware citizens, parents, students, teachers and more be able to navigate through our state easier.  These are just the first of many changes coming to Exceptional Delaware!

Happy Birthday Exceptional Delaware! Moving Into Season 5!

I honestly didn’t think it would last this long.  Here we are, June 13th 2018, and my screaming toddler is moving into the school years!  It’s been a long journey filled with ups and downs, tosses and turns, and joy and anger.

As I head into Year 5 on here, I’m not going to make any promises.  One, I never keep them, and two, why spoil the fun?  I can’t commit to what I’m eating for breakfast tomorrow so why set myself up for failure?

I always get asked “why don’t you put more happy stuff on here”.  I do, but it is few and far between.  Whatever.  I’ll put up what I see fit.  And if I don’t think it is good for kids, you will probably see it.  Since teachers are the caretakers of those kids in our schools, I’ll look out for you to the best of my ability.  Deal?

Happy 4th Birthday Exceptional Delaware!

 

The Permanent Ban

I’ve been blogging for almost four years.  In all those years, I have never blocked anyone from ever commenting again on this blog.  In reaction to the post about the Delaware Spa Party and State Rep. Mike Ramone, one commenter crossed the line in a major way.  I’ve developed thick skin over the years but what I will NEVER tolerate is someone going after my family.  Especially my son.  This person wrote “Do you even have a kid who has special needs !! You are con -artist !!”.  I initially left the post up because I know this person and believe her to have good intentions but bad judgment.  But as her comments continued, including out-and-out lies, I had to take them down.  It is not something I like doing at all.

While many in Delaware seem to be angry at me over the Nudist Party post and the ramifications of that post, this blog is primarily about education.  I will fully admit this post was out of my usual realm.  It was not mean-spirited in nature or meant to be some personal attack against Rep. Ramone.  When I received the tip, and saw the accompanying verbiage on the website and Twitter account, it suggested something entirely different than what Ramone talked about on WDEL.  Had it been completely innocent in appearance the way Ramone made it out to be, I wouldn’t have touched it.  But obviously, Ramone agreed with that sentiment and the nudist party was shut down.  While some described my post as “Puritanical” in nature and that I pre-emptively judged Ramone, I tend to use some humor and sarcasm in posts at times.  Most of what I write is about bad things so for my own sanity I try to inject some levity in posts.  And let’s face it, a post about a state legislator that owns a business that hosts nudist parties is not something you read about every day.

Ramone suggested in his interview with Dan Gaffney that he questioned the motives behind this.  He mentioned it was done in an election year.  If I truly wanted to crush Ramone in an election year, I would have put this post out right before a primary if he faced one or closer to the General Election.  As I mentioned in a comment, I don’t have a beef against Ramone.  I don’t always agree with his bills but there are some I’ve liked.  I’ve joked with Ramone at Legislative Hall at times.  I am not a diehard Republican nor am I a staunch Liberal.  I’ve said this a million times but the banned commenter seems to think I am working for some Liberal agenda here.  One commenter demanded I apologize to Ramone.  I thought about it all morning, and yes, I will apologize to Mike Ramone publicly.  I’m sorry my post led to a decision that destroyed a 25 year tradition at your place of business.  If this was truly an innocent and “kind” gesture (as Ramone repeatedly said in his radio interview) it is certainly a shame it is now gone.  But that was not my decision.  It was my decision to write about it.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine WDEL would pick up on it and talk about it to the extent they have in the past few days.  I’ve seen other Delaware political blogs write about very outlandish and crazy stuff without that kind of attention drawn to it.  But I understand this blog resonates with many parents, teachers, legislators, students, and Delaware citizens because the heart of it is about education.

As for the commenter, I sent that person a private message indicating why I blocked her.  I truly hope she understands but that is her own conscience she needs to grapple with and I certainly hope she has a moment with herself and the way she projects herself.  Others have expressed the same thoughts about her to me.  I don’t believe she is a bad person but terribly misguided.  This is what modern politics has done to many people.  It is a true shame.  So many people in this country have morphed into one side and one side only.  There are ALWAYS gray areas.

Meanwhile, I will continue to write…

Exceptional Delaware Conquers The World!

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A Look Back At 2017 And Leaping Into 2018!!!!

2017 will go down in the record books.  As what remains to be determined.  It had it’s highs and, for me, it had some unbelievable lows.  For those who know me “outside of the blog”, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  I’ve danced around on it several times on here this year.  For my faithful readers, you can probably figure it out.  Those “events” cast a shadow on this blog resulting in periods where I didn’t write anything.  Sometimes for weeks at a time.  Compare that to 2015 when I wrote a blog post every single day and very close to it in 2016!

I like to take a look back at the “best” of the blog at the end of each year.  Instead of just doing a top ten list or whatever of the top articles, I want to try something different.

January: Thom Labarbera, Brandywine Social Studies Teacher Passes Away 

This was probably one of the fastest articles I ever wrote.  I saw something on Facebook about this teacher passing so I thought I would make a post about it.  The fact it was the most-read article of the month shows a great deal about how loved this teacher was.

February: Delaware Racism: It Is Reality And It Isn’t Going Away

I wrote this in the wake of allegations that Delaware Military Academy’s basketball team was shouting racial stuff at a Red Clay basketball team during a game.  It was never proven definitively if it did happen, but it got a lot of us thinking.  It made me write about how widespread I believe racism is in Delaware.

March: Don’t Let Your Special Needs Child Fall Victim To “New” Federal And State Voucher/Choice Policies

This was actually a guest post by Steve Newton.  He posts some amazing and insightful words on Facebook.  When I read this, I immediately reached out to him and asked if I could publish it.  I would love to continue sharing Steve’s well-written words on here, but that is certainly up to him.

April: Silence Is Complicity: Human Sex Trafficking In Delaware And How I-95, Craigslist, Backpage & Kik Make It Thrive

The day I wrote this I attended a seminar on human sex trafficking up in Red Clay.  It struck a chord with me.  It should with everyone living in this state.  I went way out of my comfort zone with this article but I was happy to do it.  The Delaware General Assembly passed a couple of new laws about this type of thing not long after this article.  They would have passed them whether or not I wrote about it, but this post opened some eyes in Delaware.  Every time I look at my stats, I see this article continue to get hits just about every day.

May: Newark Charter School Doesn’t Want Wilmington Black Kids Or Wilmington Special Needs Kids Going To Their Private School

This was the most-read article of 2017.  It was based on a House Bill that aimed to get rid of the 5-mile radius that a few charter schools have as an enrollment preference.  Once Senator David Sokola got wind of it, he demanded the bill had something added to it.  Something that would only benefit one school in the entire state… Newark Charter School.  Eventually, Governor Carney vetoed the bill because of the NCS exclusion.  Most likely it was planned that way the entire time in Sokola’s mind.

June: Pray For New Mexico! Surfer Boy Is In Charge Now!

Give a former Delaware DOE employee the keys to the New Mexico Secretary of Education car and watch heads start shaking both in Delaware and New Mexico.  Once New Mexico teachers caught wind of this, they immediately wanted to know what Christopher Ruszkowski did for good old Delaware.  He recently pulled a priority schools fiasco in Albuquerque pissing off pretty much everyone.

July: The Hidden Secrets Behind Providence Creek Academy’s Bomb Threat & Audit Investigation

The jury isn’t out on this one.  It never got to that point but it should have.  Nothing happened because of this article which really pisses me off.  I’m hoping that changes one day.  If it doesn’t, it just goes to show how corrupt this state really is.

August: Massive Teacher Exodus At Providence Creek Leaves Parents Shaking Their Heads

Shortly before school started, many teachers had left PCA.  Parents from the school accused me of beating up their school and I had no clue what I was talking about.

September: Breaking News: Governor Carney Signs Cursive Bill! Take That Kate Gladstone!

In the Spring, the Delaware General Assembly passed a bill mandating cursive writing be a part of English/Language Arts curriculum for students in lower grades.  It was controversial.  Some of my biggest allies loathed and hated this bill.  I still think it is very important.  Governor Carney signed the bill in September and I was able to get the exclusive on it.

October: Caesar Rodney District Staff & Admins Watched Disabled Kid Get Beat Up And Did Nothing

Shortly after the whole Caesar Rodney mascot thing exploded in the news, bigger news came out about a disabled student getting beat up in the cafeteria.  Another student filmed the whole thing.  When I found out that district staff and administrators were in the cafeteria that day and didn’t do a damn thing to stop the fight, it really ticked me off!

November: Delaware Politics Explodes With Regulation 225

Probably the biggest education news of the year.  A regulation about transgender students turned Delaware upside down.  11,000 public comments later, the Regulation is getting a second look which will cause it to come roaring back in 2018.  Parental rights are at the heart of the regulation.  It will be interesting to follow, that’s for sure!

December: The Exceptional Delaware Hero Of The Year 2017: Laurie Howard

Like the January article, this post was about a beloved teacher who passed away.  This one hit home for me though.  Laurie was a friend of mine.  I wrote this less than 24 hours after she passed away.  There will never be another like Laurie Howard.  I was glad nothing else I wrote this month came close to beating this article.  A fitting tribute to an awesome woman!  Even Diane Ravitch picked up on it!

While I didn’t come close to the number of hits I received in 2016, I wrote less articles.  So altogether, most of those articles on average did better than articles that came out in 2016.  The top search terms that brought readers here included the following: Exceptional Delaware, Backpage, Craigslist, Trinity Carr, Susan Bunting, Thomas Edison Charter School and John Marino.  Some of the oddest ones were: Chakeria sex video, omegle, abc reading eggs where children, and how do I join the illuminati if I live in New Castle Delaware.

I imagine I will continue to write less in 2018.  Just like I did this year.  But I do plan on writing next year’s articles with more facts.  I know, I’ve said this before.  I’ve said I will reach out and get more info before I just throw it up on here.  I think I break this New Year’s resolution every single year.  Will this be the year?  We shall see.  But I do know I will branch out more from education into other areas.  I will experiment where I can.  I will also be writing more personal stuff.  Not everyone’s cup of tea.  But I do that for me more than anyone else.  I find writing to be very cathartic.  I may have a few other tricks up my sleeve, but that will have to wait.  I’m sure I will piss off people like I do every year.  Can’t please everyone!

But I do want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year!  Be safe tonight.  Chances are pretty good if you don’t read this tonight you are having fun somewhere.  Just be safe in your travels and tell those you love how much they mean to you!  As for me, I can’t wait for 2018!  2017 sucked in a lot of ways for me.  But like anything in life, you have to take the bad with the good.  I learned a lot this year.  And sometimes those growing pains (even for a 47-year old man) are very important.  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring and the other 364 days in the year.  Bring it on!  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  I’m ready for it!

 

 

The Optics Of Politics

I came back from Star Wars: The Last Jedi last Friday night and saw a post from Steve Newton on Facebook.  I always read his posts because I know they are going to be interesting.  Once I read the second sentence, I knew somehow I was going to be a part of this post.  Since Steve specifically said at the end of it not to reply with reasons or justifications, I gave a brief reply acknowledging he was talking about me and fully owning my posts about one of the two people he was talking about in his post.  Since then, Steve has taken it upon himself to wage some bizarre one-man crusade against the validity of this blog.  See the comments section over on Blue Delaware.  You can read Steve’s opening salvo he posted on Facebook in that article.  I also posted an article mainly in reply to Steve’s post.  It was already in my drafts folder but I added to it due to the nature of Steve’s post.

This is what I wrote in reply to Steve’s original post: Continue reading

Tonight

There is so much going on tonight.  First up is the first Town Hall meeting (which I filed a FOIA complaint against the Governor’s Office and Christina School District for a violation of the seven day notice) for the Governor Carney let’s screw with Christina School District one more time.  Second is the Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education meeting in which they pick up a new board member and tackle the resolution similar to the Christina resolution on sanctuary schools and all that.  Finally, it is the Capital School District Board of Education meeting.  My son goes to school there again so I have a vested interest in what goes on in their district.  I can’t possibly attend all of them.  So which one am I going to?  Who gets the honor? Continue reading

The Exceptional Delaware Memo

So I took a break over the last week and a half.  I did cheat last Monday and popped two articles up.  But whatever.  It’s my blog.  I’ll do what I please.  It was a hectic week.  Between work and the damn car.  But I did have fun on Facebook on many of those days.  Dug into an awesome collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman.  I discovered MY song of the summer, “One Of Us”, by New Politics.  I sold the last remaining vestiges of a forty-year old hobby, my comic collection.  They are all digital today.  I went for some walks with my music blaring.  It was hot as hell most of the week.  I tried to steer clear of education conversation.  On the first day of my “break”, God bless them, no less than six people contacted me in some way about education stuff within an hour after my announced break.

I did think about education stuff, mainly what is coming up.  Jotted some notes down…

Season Four On Exceptional Delaware Just Got Very Interesting, Time To Reboot The Mission

Every year, on June 13th, Exceptional Delaware celebrates its anniversary.  This year is, pardon the pun, no exception.  You won’t see what the mission is until you read about it.  But it is definitely time to reboot the mission and go back to basics.  It’s about the kids.  It’s about families.  It’s about what is covered up and hidden.  In ALL facets of education, people want quiet.  They didn’t want the dirty skeletons coming out of the closet.  But they are there.  Like an ostrich with a head buried in the sand, so it is with Delaware education.  Continue reading

2017 Stats To Date And What Is Coming

2017 has been an odd year for Exceptional Delaware.  There has been a ton of transition, between a new Governor, a new Delaware Secretary of Education, and very peculiar budget issues plaguing Delaware schools.  But the biggest post by far has been a recent one about a particular charter school in Newark and their 5 mile radius.

Top 17 Posts of 2017 So Far:

  1. Newark Charter School Doesn’t Want Wilmington Black Kids Or Wilmington Special Needs Kids Going To Their Private School
  2. Thom Labarbera, Brandywine Social Studies Teacher, Passes Away
  3. Delaware Racism: It Is Real And It Is Not Going Away
  4. Racial Slurs Appear To Go Unpunished For DE Military Academy While A.I. DuPont Basketball Team Suspended For Rest Of Season
  5. What To Make Of Bad News Betsy’s Letter About ESSA To Chief State School Officers
  6. Silence Is Complicity: Human Sex Trafficking In Delaware and How I-95, Craiglist, Backpage, & Kik Make It Thrive
  7. Delaware Joint Finance Committee Cuts State Board of Education From State Budget, DONE!!!
  8. Wahl v. Brandywine Case Settles! Justice For Joseph & An End To Zero Tolerance In Brandywine!
  9. Jack Markell Under Investigation By Ed Authorities ***DEBUNKED***APRIL FOOL’S DAY***
  10. 77 Teachers On The Chopping Block For Christina School District, Increased Classroom Sizes As Well!
  11. Not A Good Day For Christina
  12. **UPDATED**Christina Public Comment By Board Member Alleges Involvement Of Other Board Members In Hate Emails
  13. Final Delaware 2017 School Board Filings
  14. Exceptional Delaware Endorsements For 2017 School Board Elections
  15. Don’t let your special needs child fall victim to “new” Federal and State voucher/choice policies
  16. Cut The Admins In Districts & Schools? How Many Are There? TONS!
  17. Exceptional Delaware Endorses John Marino For The 10th Senate District

Like I said, this has been an odd year.  Because of so many changes, I’ve found that some folks I allied with on just about everything have shifted somewhat in their line of thinking.  We still agree on a lot of the old stuff (Common Core, Opt Out) but the lines have gotten very blurry in some areas.  I endorsed John Marino in the 10 Senate District Special Election and caught holy hell for it.  Issues involving racism filled up three of the top four articles.  My first foray into Human Sex Trafficking yielded a lot of reads.  The month of May has been the biggest month so far this year.  Between the school board elections, budget cuts, and the infamous HS1 for House Bill 85, over 50,000 people visited the blog this month.  7 out of 17 articles are from May.  An April Fool’s Day joke apparently fooled many people judging by Jack Markell’s place on this list.

Expect the unexpected in the month of June.  I can tell you now a lot of articles will be about the state budget, the effects it will have on Delaware schools, and the shenanigans down at Legislative Hall.  It will culminate on June 30th/July 1st as the legislators try to get it all done so they can have their long 4th of July weekend.

I’ve had more than my usual requests lately for writing about certain things.  I’m actually going to hold off on some of those until July.  The main reason for that is due to the state budget sucking up all the oxygen in the room.  I have a couple articles where people want to talk about new ideas for education but all any school district or charter really cares about now is the budget and what impact it is going to have on them.  If the State Board of Education is truly done, there are going to be a ton of legislation dealing with that.  The most controversial two words between now and the end of June: Epilogue Language.

If you want to help this blog, please go here and if you have the means and are able to help out, I would be forever grateful!  And a huge thank you to those who have chipped in.  I was talking to someone last night about how I am the last of the education bloggers in Delaware (without an agenda).  We were discussing if someone else is going to enter the rat race.  Who will be the next Delaware education blogger that churns stuff out?  Can’t wait to meet you!

 

New Beginnings From Yesteryears

Twelve years ago I had a big idea.  It was a monstrous and colossal idea.  So big I couldn’t begin it.  When I first had the big idea, I began to map it out.  I knew much of the who, what, when, where and why.  It was the how that was killing me.  It would be my magnum opus for the world or at least a few readers.  Either way, I knew I had to do it.  I would revisit my idea over the years, continuing the map.  Five years ago, I wrote the prologue and the first chapter.  I haven’t been back since.  This little thing called education got in the way.

The past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about my big idea.  I’m not getting any younger and if I’m ever going to do it, now would be an ideal time.  There are three main sources of inspiration for this, from three areas of my life I have enjoyed since a child: music, tv, and comic books.  For the musical inspiration, one line from a Wallflowers song planted the idea.  The television show Lost, which ran from 2004-2010, germinated the seed.  And finally, my literary muse, the one and only Neil Gaiman, was the one who showed me that even the most random of characters can hold great importance later.

I proudly present “1000 Lives”.  The prologue will give the theme of how this works.  And then… well, you will just have to wait.  It will be so epic that I can’t do it on this blog.  So I have to start a new one.  But Exceptional Delaware will continue as well.  Two blogs, at no price to you the reader.  Please follow “1000 Lives” as it will be completely separate from this blog.  If it isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry about it.  If it is, spread the word.  This is a fictional story with pieces of real life thrown in for good measure.  I’ve met many people in my forty-six years of life so don’t be surprised at many inspirations spread throughout this online novel.

I invite you on a journey like no other.  I’m not sure if this has ever been attempted before.  If not, look for something very original.  Most stories have a beginning, middle, and an ending.  This story’s beginning starts at the end of one story while opening up many more.

Here is the link to 1000 Lives.