There are tradeoffs to everything. While I have loved my extra time at home over the last seven days, I am now preparing to return to school where we have to pick up the pieces.To review, last week Maryland began administering the PARCC exams, the Common Core-aligned testing that replacing the HSA tests in Math and English. They are more rigorous and being computer-based, they are far more engaging as students manipulate items on screen, listen to audio clips, write short essays, and answer some multiple choice. The content, at a glance, certainly looked more challenging than previous tests so we teachers were pleased.But, we had a bit of weather. Monday was a snow day (more of an ice day to be honest) plus we had an early dismissal Wednesday followed by two more snow days. Thankfully, that exhausts our school bank of snow days just as the weather warms up, seemingly for good.As a result of the weather, we now have to reschedule testing and it creates a wee bit of havoc for the 10th graders and their teachers. For example, I didn’t teach one of my two classes at all last week and will only have them once this week. The other class I had for an hour. This week, I get them both on Tuesday and will have one for an hour on Thursday so we really can’t get back to serious work until next Monday.Meantime, I’ve been at home and far from idle. Yes, I did lesson planning and rearranging of my plans to accommodate the disruptions. But, I’ve also been catching up on this and that, from reading to the last season of Doctor Who. I’ve also been writing. Last week over at Crazy 8 Press, I blogged about what I’m working on.Since then, I got the green light on a contributing to a brand-new (to me) media tie-in prose anthology. I researched and pitched three ideas, awaiting the editors’ feedback. The same posse invited me to pitch a Sequart essay collection on the same property and they agreed to my pitch so research has begun.Then, Danielle McPhail-Ackley invited me to contribute to a brand new anthology she will launch via Kickstarter in July. She liked my pitch and gave me the go-ahead.Meantime, we’re hours away from the close of the Pangaea Kickstarter for Crazy 8 Press and that looks like it’ll get funded so I have that story needing attention. And as promised here recently, I did a first draft outline for my ReDeus novel and this morning got back good notes from my pals and need to do a second, stronger and deeper pass.I’ve also been coordinating the creative for a charity project to be announced soon, which had me write a 5-page comic script. Finally, I also began coordinating a project for the Science Fiction Writers of America, which I’ll talk about later but let me tell you, getting to correspond, however briefly, with the likes of Robert Silverberg and Stephen Baxter, has been very cool.All in all, a busy week.It’s been great being home, at my desk, working in my slippers with a warm dog in my lap. The coffee has been hot, the music has been steady, and I am reminded all over again how much I enjoy this creative time. Good thing the week-long April break is not too far away.