Tag Archives: summer

What I Did On My Summer Vacation 2013

My blog has been quiet because, if you read the last post, you know I had my hands on a keyboard all of July and some of August. Since I’m a full-time teacher, summer is key writing time. This was more true than ever because I was revising my novel based on my editorial letter. Although my official deadline wasn’t mid-August, that was my personal goal to avoid additional craziness when school started again. So, this is what I did this summer:

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We had to draw a picture to represent our summer on the first “teacher” day back to school. This is me writing on my bed, with Rusty sleeping on the floor. My daughter Maria is at day camp. This also proves that my sister inherited all of the family art genes. In the end, this is what I accomplished:

Book and Contract

The most recent version of my manuscript (left) was completed and sent to my editor. It clocked in at 41 chapters, 230 pages, 59,487 words. I also signed my contract with Bloomsbury Children’s Books USA! (right) YAY! My editor will read the latest version and let me know what I need to do next.

This summer, I also started to prep for my new job at my old middle school and my new adjunct position at Tunxis Community College. I also worked with four authors to create a new site/blog (details coming soon).

So, I worked a lot.

I did some fun things, too. I went to the Clinton Outlets and the Water’s Edge for dinner, and I took my daughter to see Turbo and a dinosaur exhibit. I visited Boston twice, celebrated my brother’s birthday, and hung out with good friends.

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My daughter at the dinosaur exhibit in Hartford, CT

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Beautiful Boston!

Still, in the end, I definitely worked more than played. I’ll admit that I was a little sad when I saw my colleagues’ pictures of their summer vacations–beaches, camping, parks, international trips, and visits to Disney World.

All day, I grappled with guilt of the “I’m a horrible mother and should have turned the computer off and went to the beach with my daughter instead of sending her to day camp” variety.

Ultimately, though, I reminded myself this summer had to be a working vacation. Two months of open time is a golden opportunity for writing, and this wasn’t any old job I could have turned down to spend more time having fun. This was dream-come-true work that will result in my first published novel.

I am a rabid overachiever by nature, but reality has reminded more than once that I can’t do everything well and remain sane. I couldn’t have started two new teaching jobs with a unfinished revision hanging over me. I had to be Writing Mom instead of Super Fun Mom to move one step closer to my publishing goal/dream and maintain my overall emotional and mental health.

So, this summer I worked more than I played–and that’s okay. I believe lots of good will come of this–the book, yes, but other things, too. My daughter often “wrote” in her notebook and chose big books, like Great Expectations, from my library to “read.”

Isn't she adorable?

Isn’t she adorable?

Still, I don’t want to be an “all work, no play” person. When my advance money arrives, I will definitely spend some of it on having fun with my baby girl!

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

My full-time, paying day-job is about to start again. This means writing time will be in low supply but high demand. That’s why I spent much of this summer writing.

I have always worked year-round. When I became a teacher twelve years ago, this didn’t change because I landed an awesome summer job teaching future teachers. My full-time, at-home job as single mom to an adorable little girl has been going on for five years. A few years back, I added young adult fiction writing to my life.

Finding time to write has been difficult (major understatement). Now, couple that fact with this one: this was my first summer without a paying job. When my summer job was cut, I searched frantically for this:

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Found through WikiMedia Commons

Would I have enough money to make it through the summer? Should I apply for other jobs? Will I have to sell my house and move into a studio apartment? Will my parents get suspicious if I always show up at dinner time?

But, as the spring semester inched closer to June, I welcomed summer unemployment and trusted everything would be fine. After much deep breathing, I realized this was the perfect opportunity to write.

After I slept.

Trust me, I needed to recover recharge after the school year if I was going to be creative. Most of July was spent with “butt in chair,” which is the #1 piece of advice published authors give to pre-published writers. You want to be a published author? Then, put your butt in the chair and write.

That’s exactly what I did.

During July, I finished my second young adult novel, called AESOP’S CURSE and sent it to my agent to read. I also completed a major revision of Chapters 1-9 of RESURRECTING EMILY and sent that to my agent who will read it and then send it to someone who cannot be named yet. I have to finish the revisions to RESURRECTING EMILY, which will take me into September, and I have an idea for Book #3 already brewing.

For a week in August, I went to Nags Head, NC, with good friends. Here’s proof that I actually went outdoors this summer. I’m not in the picture, but I took it. I was there, I swear:

But, truthfully, mostly I stayed in to write. I may have missed some parties or beach time,  but knowing the way my life is, and how little “extra” time I ever have, I needed to keep my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard this summer.

School starts a week from today, which means my schedule will return to its state of organized chaos. My school-year schedule includes my daughter’s activities and much-needed exercise for me since I sat on my rear all summer! I have also vowed to go out and have more….fun!!

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Found through WikiMedia Commons

All of this means I will have to work harder to carve out writing time. As difficult as that is, I’ll do it because it’s important to me. I love to write and I want to get published.

What did you do on your summer vacation? Did you get something accomplished? Did you have fun?