What I’ve Been Up To

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Bob, Peter Morwood, DIane Duane, and Deb

Well, my New Year’s Resolution about blogging at least once a week went out the window. It’s been just over two weeks since I posted, and I feel guilty.

But wait, I have a good excuse. At long last, despite being in my school every class day since August 2020 and being exposed to waves of Covid-129, it took leaving the country for me to contract my first case.

And I was out of the country for an honest-to-goodness vacation. Deb hates planning our vacations around the school calendar but really wanted to try a tour this spring break. She’d been asking around, and EF Go kept coming up and we find a reasonably priced tour fo Ireland. We hadn’t been in 25 years so it was time to go back and see more.

School ended on April 5 and that night we flew to Dublin. We spent several days in the city, seeing it in depth, before hooking up with the tour the following Monday. On our own, we caught up with long-time friends Diane Duane and Peter Morwood, who trekked from their home two hours away to join us for a day.

The tour was fine with a knowledgeable guide, friendly driver, and a nice diverse mix of people from around America. That said, I’m really glad we took the extra time in Dublin since the tour gave you the barest hint. We visited Cork, Kinsale, and Galway with stops in various places and we took every side trip to make sure we saw the good stuff.

The day before our departure, Deb started coming down with what we thought was a terrible cold, and on the flight home, I began the sniffles. It was two days later I decided to test and discovered we had Covid-19. Thankfully, my case was mild enough that I missed just two days of school (although these were my first sick days since I started at Pallotti).

I’ve been busy all winter and spring and yet, this is the longest stretch without working on a story or book project in memory. Instead, I wrapped up packing and shipping Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022 (and I’m now analyzing the profit and loss to see if this was worth the effort). I’ve also been dealing with a variety of other Crazy 8 Press projects.

The cover hasn’t been revealedd as yet, but this is reminder of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, our inspiration.

I finally got my edits back to my story for the Four Horseman of the …? book, coming from editors Keith DeCandido and Wrenn Simms. I wrote the story over two years ago and barely remembered the details but the edited were gentle and I think it holds up well. It’ll be out later this year so you can tell me for yourself.

I’ve also done some work on a proposed anthology coming in 2024 from the International Association of Tie-In Writers and have had talks with co-author Matt Medney about book two of Above the Ground, which he’s now revising, as I gear up to spend the summer on the final installment.

At home, I’ve also dealt with issues in my role as a member of the HOA Board of Directors, which as taken up some time.

So, I’ve not been idle.

The view from my desk. Students come early in the morning to socialize before the day begins and they like to stay on the far side of the room.

And then there’s the day job. The fourth quarter is more than half over and I just spent the weekend on crafting the finals. There’s also been some planning for next year already done as we switch to a digital grammar program and have finally scrapped the vocabulary books none of us have been happy with, trying out a new program in the fall. Hard to believe I have 19 teaching days left before finals.

Atop it all, to maintain my certification, I’ve begun a seven week professional development online course. Two weeks down so far and it hasn’t been too onerous, just time consuming.

It’s been varied and busy and thankfully, I am feeling pretty much like myself since this last month of classes will be packed.

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