Monday, September 7, 2015

This And That.....

The weather is FINALLY not roasting hot!  I'm so excited.  I hate extreme heat (yeah, I know; I live in a desert.  I have to deal with it.).  Temperatures over 95 or so -- especially when they don't dip into the 60s at night -- give me headaches and body aches, make my hands and feet swell, and keep me from sleeping.
This is why autumn is my favorite season: warm days, cool nights, no snow to shovel, harvest holidays and foods, family, beautiful scenery.  It's just plain good.
School, on the other hand, is a bit tough this year.  Oh, I like my classes well enough (three classes of mixed-grade Spanish 1, two classes of 9th grade regular English, and one class of 9GT English), but we have 14 new teachers, a school that will cease to exist (as it is absorbed into the high school and the younger kids sent elsewhere) at the end of the school year, and a principal who wants to push through all kinds of new programs all at once.  Plus, the departure of our English department head left me with that position -- as well as my responsibilities as GT head, novels committee, leadership team, and the newly-created 9th grade team leader (although I'm hoping to share that one with the science department head to ease my load a bit).  With all the new changes being unpopular with 98% of the faculty, most of the teachers are having to be cajoled into doing the new stuff (which is a LOT more work), and it's exhausting.  There is, of course, the added uncertainty that none of us knows where we'll be teaching next year, and it's making the faculty much less at-ease than in the past.  It's just not going to be an easy year.
All this means I've had less time to read and to write.  I'd been packing in 12 or more books a month for reading, but now I'm only getting in about 5.  And I've often been too tired to edit or write.
The (Dis)Appearance of Nerissa MacKay is just about ready to roll.  I'm also working on the first major revision of its sequel, Nerissa MacKay and the Secrets of the Seventeen Scrolls.  Plus, I have the barest of outlines ready for book 3 and book 4 in the series.
The Chocolate Smuggler's Notebook is on indefinite hold, although I did have a bizarre dream while I was in Norway last June, and that dream gave me an idea as to how I can fix the plot quicksand in which I'd gotten myself stuck.  I wrote out the dream and a new plot outline while on the train from Bergen to Oslo, but I've gotten no further.
My next steps are to finish up the 1st Nerissa book, get some folks to do a cover reveal and giveaways, create some ads to put on Pinterest, finish putting together prizes for contests, get some folks to do reviews, and finish the first overhaul of book 2 so that I can get it out (I hope) within the coming year and thus keep readers interested.

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