Friday, August 17, 2012

Reflection of Summer

I can’t believe it!

It’s here.

The last Friday of summer, for me at least.

Monday I have to go back to work—to my day job—after having the whole summer to myself...well, almost to myself. 

What’s my day job? I’m a public school teacher. I teach 8th grade Communication Applications—you know…the SPEECH class that everyone dreads taking.

I won’t actually see the kids for another week. Next week is teacher in-service and work days. This means I will attend a variety of mandatory meetings, work in my classroom to get it ready for the school year, put together lesson plans, and other stuff. We also have a Meet the Teacher Night, so I will see the majority of the kids I’ll teach when they stop by my classroom.

Are the kids ready to go back to school? Okay, I know…a lot of groans and moans. Some are ready to go back, but most aren’t. I know a lot of parents who are ready for the kids to go back to school. :)

Am I ready to go back to school? Honestly? No. I want to stay home and write like I did this summer. I’m a bit of a night owl. I like to sit up late and write—always have. During the school year, I can’t exactly sit up as late as I normally do.

Thinking about going back to work and my writing, I started thinking or reflecting back on the summer. It went by really fast. I did attend several school-related workshops over the summer, but I got a lot of things accomplished this year.

Here’s my summer reflection:

  1. I sent out more queries to agents and received a lot of rejections. (This was just a continuation of what's been going for a long time.)
  2. I read lots of blogs about writing. Then I found several about self-publishing and the shift in the industry toward ebooks and Indie Authors. Joe Konrath’s blog, A Newbie’s Guide toPublishing, was my favorites.
  3. I made the decision to become an Indie Author. I jumped in and self-published Guardian of Atlantis through Amazon. A lot of editing took place for that, and learning about formatting manuscripts, book covers, blurbs for the back cover…the list goes on.
  4. I went on to publish a second book, No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales, which is a collection of twelve short ghost stories. It’s currently available at Amazon as an ebook for the Kindle. In a few days, you’ll be able to buy the paperback edition from them too. And it will be at Barnes and Noble in ebook for the Nook.
  5. I designed the book cover for No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales with the help of my son. I’m very proud of it. The cover for Guardian of Atlantis was done using a pre-designed template, so there wasn’t a lot of room for me to be creative, but it was a learning process. (I'm proud of this cover too. It is my first book after all!) I did discover that I enjoy the creative process of designing the cover. I’ve got a lot to learn, but it’s fun.
  6. I started a blog, a website, and learned to twitter this summer. (Links are on the side bar.)
  7. I’ve learned and am still learning about promoting my books.  I’m working on a couple of author interviews and trying to set up some guest blogs and reviews for my books.  (You know, you can write a book review on Amazon. HINT! HINT!)
  8. I created several outlines for books.
a.   I completed the outline for a zombie book for the kids/tween group. (It may have a second book. The spark of an idea is there.)
b.   I completed the outline for the second book in The Children of Atlantis series, and I’ve started writing it.
c.   I’ve got an idea for the third book. I need to get the “bones” down then put some “flesh” on them.
d.   I’m working on the outline for a trilogy called Fire and Ice. I’ve got the first book outlined. It just needs some tweaking. And the ideas for the other two books are going around and around in my head.
e.   And I’ve got ideas for several other books, including another possible series. More and more ideas are popping into my head. I’ve got to start a new ideas notebook and somehow get it organized.

With all the ideas and characters in my head, it’s a pretty crowded place!

As you can see, I’ve had a pretty busy summer, and a lot of things still to do. I’ve got to figure out a new writing schedule for the school year, and continue to work on promoting my book. I also have to prepare for the classes I'll teach and the other things that go on during the school year.

Enjoy your last few days of summer vacation!!!