Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Great News!

Promises and Lies has been accepted for publication by Dreamspinner Press and has a projected release date of November. I'm elated!

Also, please put your name in for the drawing for a free copy of The King's Tale here!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book Giveaway!

Next Tuesday July 27 is the one year anniversary of the release of The King's Tale!

I'm hosting a book giveaway in my LiveJournal, stop by and enter your name!


Sunday, July 4, 2010


I haven't updated this blog in months! In truth, I haven't updated my primary blog all that often either. Why not? Let me tell you about my year of hell.

It started a year ago, July 2009. I teach elementary school for my day job, and typically when the end of June comes I'm looking forward to a 2 month vacation. But last year things changed. I lost my coveted position in the magnet section of my school, and for the first time in my relatively short teaching career I had to take an "out of the classroom" position. So, instead of a two month vacation, I got a 5 day vacation before jumping into the unknown.

Teaching is something I started a little later in life. I think they call it a Rennaisance person, I switched career focus at the ripe old age of 40. I told my students that losing my private industry job was the best thing that ever happened to me once I discovered the joys of reading to them. We burned through The Chronicles of Narnia every year, and discovered new joys such as The Series of Unfortunate Events, and recently the works of Andrew Clements. Life was good, but I was glad I discovered it later in life or I'm afraid I'd have burned out long ago.

This past year though was a trial by fire. I assumed an "intervention" role, and the first few weeks on the job were spent in trying to figure out what that meant. Once I got a handle on it then students started arriving, on group of six or seven at a time, fourth, fifith, and sixth graders. Between 8:30 and noon each day it was a never ending string of them. Our school was in its final year as a "year-round" school, so every two months there was a switch of schedules as one track departed and another arrived. Of couse, I never departed, in all I had a one week summer vacation, three weeks at Christmas, and Spring Break. My wonderful four months of vacation (wherein MOST of my writing used to occur) was whittled down to five weeks. Still, compared to most private industry jobs, five weeks is nothing to sneeze at, but with all the other drama it felt pathetically small.

Having one's own students is a joy. You bond with them, you watch them grow. Getting students from teachers who are afraid you will usurp their power is quite another thing. Most of the time I felt as though I wasn't doing anything at all to help them.

When the year finally drew to a close there was another wrench thrown into the plans. Our year-round school was going traditional, and a brand new school was opening right around the block. At first I was glad, the principal I like was moving to the new school, and even though I was low enough on the seniority list that I was guaranteed of being bumped out, I thought I was high enough to be accepted to the new school. Wrong. My year spent out of the classroom rendered me ineligible based on some ridiculousness between the school district and the union. After much biting of nails, jumping through of hoops, and pulling of strings on her behalf I was indeed allowed to move to the new school. There were only two catches. First, I was not able to secure the grade level I am the most comfortable in, and second, the new school year starts a full month before the rest of the district. Thus, I have less summer vacation to dread the upcoming year with a grade below what I'm comfortable with.

And, that wasn't all. The final straw, the salt in the wound so to speak, was that I was hit with a monster virus/bacterial infection combination during the moth of June. For a whole week I suffered with a fever and could barely drag myself out of bed each day. My doctor went on vacation, and urged me to call his office and speak to one of his associates about my chest x-ray. When I did I was given the dire news that I have TB. Aghast, I told this new doctor that I was exposed to TB when I was two, took medication for an entire year, and as a result I have a TB scar on my lung, but that does not mean that I currently had TB. He didn't believe me, and ordered a battery of tests, my equilibrium was sorely tested.

The long and short of it was that I did not have TB, my own doctor returned from vacation in time to save me from the tests, and I am slowly on the mend. The illness is gone, but I'm left with a draining tiredness that I can't seem to shake.

All of that should be enough for one person, but alas, that's not all.

In my last post I talked about Promises and Lies, what I had deemed a sweet contemporary romance. I had submitted part of it to my publisher in August 2009 as a short story. It was rejected because that part of the story did not have a happy ending. That was the spark I needed to really work it into a longer story, because I knew if I "finished it" it would be great.

Turns out, I was wrong.

I don't typically use beta-readers. I guess it's whatever portion of "ego" that I have, but I don't write solely for the purpose of getting published. With that in mind, I'm not going to craft a manuscript just to get it published. When I want opinions I get them from people I know well. This doesn't mean that they spew out how great my work is, trust me when I say they criticisize. A lot. They nit-pick and quibble, and I dutifully make the changes. Finally mid-April I was satisfied with the story and sent it off.

Mid-May it was rejected. This made the 2nd time. Daunted, I sat on it for a few days and then went to work re-writing. Unfortunately, this all came about as things were really un-raveling at work and I felt doubly devastated. By the end of May I sent the "revised for the 3rd time" work to my beta group, but there was some divine hoky poky going on, and they never received it. Annoyed that they weren't getting back to me, I picked through it again, and satisfied it was good, sent it off in early June.

Well, here it is early July and I've heard nothing beyond "we'll put it on the stack". Honestly, I think that means rejection number three, and with all I've been through I think that will be devastating.

I'll bounce back, because I'm not the kind to stay down, but right now the anticipation is killing me.