Update

So it’s a bit personal, but I didn’t want anyone overly concerned for my wife’s well-being. Thank you for your kind words.  She has Esophagitis caused from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Fun, I know. But at least it’s not all the “others” it could have been and she doesn’t require surgery. Some medicine and dietary changes and she’ll be good to go. Fortunately, I’m well-versed in “clean eating”, so I can be more than just moral support.

I imagine my daughter’s results won’t be in for another week. The Pediatric Endocrinologist we see is the only one in our area. She’s phenomenal, but obviously swamped. So fingers are crossed.

In the meantime, I have begun editing my WIP. I didn’t realize how long it was–close to 110,000 words–but so far, so good. I gave myself enough time away to have objectivity, yet I’m liking what’s there. Was even surprised a few times. Always a good sign. I’m using Chuck Wendig’s suggestions on a contextual edit and am finding the format very useful.

*Side note: I love Chuck’s posts and Tweets. If you aren’t following him, do so.

Beyond that, I’m looking forward to my upcoming spring break and some more time to be with my family and my writing.

More soon.

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The first rule of blogging…

…is to have good content. I try to offer more than a summary of events in my life and provide a bit of perspective. I think I do all right with this rule. But the second–Update often–I failed at last week.

Two reasons: My wife and my daughter. One is sick and the other had an MRI of her brain. Such an odd bit of truth there.

My wife has been in and out of the hospital and doctors’ offices with an abdominal issue that is still unresolved. She can’t eat and has lost eight pounds. Tomorrow she has another test, and hopefully this will provide answers. I’ve never bought so much gingerale ale in my life.

My endocrine system is less than ideal, and unfortunately, my daughter needed some monitoring of her own. Therefore, she needed an MRI with contrast, and that dye is delivered intravenously. Now, she’s as anxious about needles as I am about tight spaces, so she needed sedation. A distraught child does not lie still during an MRI.

If you’ve never seen someone put under, even with “just laughing gas”, avoid it.  My wife and I left the preparation room in tears after our daughter fought against the effects and blew saliva bubbles under the mask.

She bounced back as seven-year-olds will do, but we we’re left wiped out–my wife doubly so.

And so I head into this week with this post and a hope for an update, something positive, and to be back on track, because I do appreciate all that follow this blog. There are so many to choose from, and I don’t want to waste your time.

Thanks for taking the time to care about my life.

Interview Thanks

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Elizabeth Snouffer of diabetes24-7.com. She stumbled upon my first novel, This Side of Normal, while researching for support groups for adolescents with type 1 diabetes. She found my work and was compelled to share.

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity, as it allowed me to answer questions about diabetes, writing and life in general. Of course, Elizabethwas gracious enough to let me plug Tap Out  as well, so that was just fantastic.

If you are interested in the interview please check out her site. If diabetes is a subject that is near and dear to you, I would also suggest liking her facebook page.Elizabeth clearly puts great effort into supplying a blog with pertinent and meaningful content on life and diabetes. Support her work. Thanks.

The Best Laid Plans Get Blown Up

I’m trying to find solace in planning. I mapped out my immediate and specific goals from now through the summer, and my one long term goal through the rest of the year. It looks so very nice on paper, but I know it’s going to turn into one steaming heap in the process.

My most significant concerns are preparing for the release of Tap Out in the fall of 2012 and revising/rewriting my next work (which I finished in October). I’m consulting Lisa Schroder’s very succinct Timeline and Checklist for YA or MG Book Release and am crossing my fingers that I can accomplish most of what’s there. Fortunately I’m not teaching over the summer. I’ll need the time.

It all makes me nervous. These are uncharted waters, and even though I will have help from Lisa Cheng, Kate McKean and my publicist at Running Press, this is still all on me. And so is the writing.

That last piece is all I know, and the one I still grapple with. I wake up in the morning, usually with a plan for the day’s writing, and know if I stick to the agenda I’ll be all right. Many months later a book emerges. Less time for short stories, but the idea is still the same. One project at a time, and all I have to do is write them. Now I’ll have the publicity for Tap Out, the revision for my next novel AND the responsibility to begin my next work. Holy Hell.

Trust me, there is no complaining, here. I am beyond lucky to have this opportunity. However, I am realizing the changing dynamics that lie ahead. I will have to adjust with them, and I have no idea what that will necessitate or look like. Scary.

It’s the fear of the unknown. Not solely a ubiquitous theme in literature, but a very pressing matter in my life. I do thrive on structure and order, yet have this habit of pushing to see what else I can accomplish, which blows all the pretty order to smithereens.

And then I clean up and start over.

Which leads me back to the planning…

I’d better secure my wife and daughters. This next act should be decimating.

Monday Mash-up

I’ve got a mash-up today, because I have too many strands I’d like to speak about, and well, my brain’s a little toasted. So here goes:

Tap Out

I’ve been working diligently at the line edits for my illustrious editor, Lisa Cheng, and am wowed by her insight and ability to discern the loose spots in my work. Her professionalism is exactly what I had hoped for. Between Lisa as my Editor and my already fabulous agent, Kate McKean, I am one lucky writer.

Smashwords

I’m not exactly sure when I first heard of smashwords, but I do know when I became interested–after looking at the various eBook channels and realizing all that smashwords offers for free. Therefore, my first novel, This Side of Normal is available there, and for right now, because of their promotion: Read an eBook week, TSON is available, with coupon, for free until 3/10. There are thousands of titles available at discounted prices, or for free. Check it out.

And Smashwords just signed a deal with Baker and Taylor for availability of their books through the e-reading app, Blio, and access to public libraries through Baker and Taylor’s Axis 360 service. Pretty fantastic for the self-pub enthusiast.

Stop Stealing Dreams

If you are unfamiliar with Seth Godin, please take a minute to Google him or clink on my link. He’s a genius in marketing, but his recently released manifesto, Stop Stealing Dreams, pries into the thorny topic of Education. I downloaded the free eBook and was immediately hooked. Admittedly, I have an interest in the topic having been employed as a high school English teacher for the past decade, but I think the ideas within Stop Stealing Dreams apply beyond the classroom. In fact, I sent the link to my boss and owner of the CrossFit where I work, because he manages people. He has expectations for us, and we are all educators. So is every parent, every manager, every entrepreneur.

Godin paints a picture of the future of education that seems far too plausible to ignore, and highlights the current trappings that will drag us there with unsettling authority. He challenges us all, educators or not, to rethink what we want of this service we call education. It’s a respectable premise, and one I toyed with last night, asking my daughters, “What do you want to learn?”

My eldest: “How the Earth spins.”

My youngest: “How lipstick is made.”

Within minutes we had answers and I think we could have gone for hours with this Q&A. But the idea is not to unearth random facts for trivial purposes, but to begin where the interest lies and grow from there. From the spin of the Earth to lipstick, these waters are deep.

I can’t wait to see what this week brings.