Monday, June 18, 2018


I am a teacher from a family of teachers and having a summer break is the norm for me. In my young adult life, pre-teaching, it was reality check when I had a serious job and had to work year round. As a teacher, I really do need the summer or I wouldn't be able to face my new batch of students with a sense of optimism. I teach middle school and the kids test my limits each day and, every morning, I start again by giving them a clean slate and a chance to make good choices about kindness, self-respect and respect for others, accountability, honesty, and character. Sometimes they do. By the end of the year I'm a hairsbreadth away from my spirit being broken and I need the summer to emotionally heal and put me in the right mind-set to start that challenge all over again.

The good news is that  my school year is finally finished. My class is clean-ish and packed up. I have put the polite auto-response on my school email. This means the summer is MINE. From now until August 14th (which, coincidentally, is my birthday) I am free. Sort of.

During the summer I am a real writer. Writing becomes my job, not just something I squeeze in around everything else. It's great for my acceptance of myself as an author, to have that time where I can take myself more seriously. It's not just a hobby. It helps that the Romance Writers of America annual conference is in July. It gives me a professional goal to work toward which keeps me on my self-imposed deadlines and makes me wear pants. This conference I hope to find a home for my Courtly Love book 3, Courtly Abandon. I will not be signing this year, but I look forward to seeing many of my peers (and taking home oodles of books). The first book of my new series won't be finished, but I'm laying a fertile foundation with my setting and my characters are slowly becoming themselves and starting to tell me their story. Surprisingly, I even wrote a synopsis (blame my critique partner for making me organized) which is something I usually struggle with after the book is finished. It's my hope that the finished manuscript resembles my synopsis, but I never really know what direction my characters will take me. It's a mystery.

I hope you have a great summer. My family and I will be visiting Ireland next week. I lived there as a child. It's been thirty years since I've been there and I can't wait to share it with my husband and daughters. I'll include some pictures in my next blog post. The image below is of me and my brother (circa 1986) in the wood at Vienna Woods Hotel in Glanmire, Co Cork.

What are you doing this summer?


Stacy McKitrick said...

If I was going to Nationals, I'd definitely hook up with you, but alas, I'll be on a cruise to Alaska. I'm really looking forward to that trip.

Erin Kane Spock said...

Have a great time in Alaska. We did an inside passage cruise before kids. It was beautiful. Just sitting on deck and watching the scenery was amazing.

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