What I did on my Summer Vacation

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Today is the final weekday of Summer Break. On Monday, I return to school and get ready for the 2021-22 academic year.

We did manage to attend the Irish Festival in Pennsylvania in late June, spending part of the day with Kate, who was making friends.

In many ways, this was one of my busier and more productive summers without feeling like a pressure cooker.

First, the moment the school year ended in early June, I was already working on the novel project I’ve mentioned previously. I was able to get the first draft done in 18 days and then polished in July and turned it over to the brains behind the project, the man who hired me to take his idea and turn into a novel. We discussed it in August and he was very, very pleased with the book. Once it’s ready to be discussed, I’ll share the news.

The last significant writing of the summer was taking his broad strokes for book two and turn that into a chapter by chapter outline, honing the ideas and paying attention to the various character arcs.

In between, I also wrote a 7200 word SF short story for a project to be announced in early 2022. The two people who have read it so far (other than the editor) have told me they enjoyed it so I’m pleased.

And then there’s the Systema Paradoxa novella, 30,000 words about a cryptid to be announced. My editor has yet to give me feedback but I hope she’s happy.

Of course, there was other writing, mostly reviews for ComicMix, but the 118,000 or so words written this summer is plenty.

It wasn’t all writing, though. I also watched a few dozen hours of professional development videos, trying to figure out how to do my job in the classroom better. I spent much of last week actually prepping materials and lessons for the new year and pretty much have all of September’s lessons ready to roll.

Yes, there was also time to put my feet up. Deb and I took five days in June to visit the lovely town of Cape Charles, Virginia, which was quite relaxing. We also took a more strenuous nine-day road trip, to New Hampshire and back, visiting with Deb’s family and a few of our friends, built around visiting my brother-in-law’s campground in Crawford Notch. We even managed to have dinner with Deb’s boss one night and see some of my family. It was a lot of driving and visiting but I am very glad we did this.

It wouldn’t be summer without seeing baseball. We managed two Mets games in June and have one planned for September.

From the end of school, through this weekend, I logged a lot of reading including 19 books and 63 graphic novels. Many were excellent and very entertaining while others were okay and a handful was really not to my taste or very good.

We even returned to the cinema, enjoying Black Widow on the big screen. Of course, I also adored The Suicide Squad and look forward to many fall releases.  On the smaller screen, we continue to binge through this and that, finally getting current on Lucifer and are almost done with Peaky Blinders.

I missed being live at Shore Leave because I miss my author peeps something terrible but I did enjoy the handful of video panels I participated in. With luck, it’ll be live at Baltimore Comic-Con in late October.

Today was prepping. I shined shoes, got my haircut, and have fussed with various odds and ends as I prepare. Overall, it was a good break and I will most certainly miss the home office and having Harley for company. But, I am also looking forward to seeing my returning students and meeting the incoming class of 2025.

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