Summer is Over. Let’s Check In

So, the blog fell into disuse over August.  I started to write posts, but they were mostly whining about how I wasn’t getting any fiction done, so I stopped.  But now we’ve begun the new school year, so let’s do a rundown of life.

Writing Life

I wrote very little over the summer, and most of it was terrible.  Part of it is that I’m in limbo, with several different projects on the burners, with none of them shaped enough to really get them written.  I’ve got a “Die Hard in Space” plot, a Sci-Fi Mystery save-the-world plot, a coming-of-age/revenge plot, two fictional oral history-type projects, and of course the second and third Zhen books. None of them are developed enough to write except the Zhen books, but I don’t want to start those until the first book is under contract (or at least signed to an agent) and revised, because I have a feeling it will change enough that it will force changes in the second and third books.  Also, the way book 1 is doing in agent rounds suggests maybe it needs more work.

On that note… Book 1 has been outright rejected based on the query alone 25 times, with 5 requests for partials, which all got rejects.  There’s one partial out now, but my pessimistic self expects that rejection any day now.  That’s only It’s really hard to know if this is the numbers game, or if I need to make some changes to the first three chapters to make the book more “eye-grabbing.”  Maybe I start off wrong.  Maybe Tajen finds out about his brother’s death in a stupid way.  Maybe I need to do more with Zhen anti-human prejudice in the first chapter.  I dunno.

I’m looking forward to October, when I’ll be heading to Martha’s Vineyard for a reunion with my Viable Paradise class (and students from other classes, as well as at least some of the instructors).

Home

Tegan has started in a new school, and while day one wasn’t awesome for her, day two seems to be better.  The savings we’re seeing from leaving Private School are enabling us to allow her to do more activities she’s into–she’s joined the school’s choir, and may start learning the violin in the school orchestra (she hasn’t made up her mind yet).  Bottom line, she’s happy.

Over the month of August I ripped the floor out of both of our bathrooms, laid down new tile floors, and installed new toilets.  Doing my bathroom was fairly simple, and took a day and a half, but Tegan’s bathroom had bigger problems to solve, and it took me nearly a week and involved repainting a wall, as well as installing new tile and plumbing.

Work

School started September 1.  My classes are pretty good this year, though the start of a new year is always somewhat awkward.  We’ll see how things shake out as the students and I get to know each other.

 

 

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About Michael Johnston

Father of a third grader, high school English teacher, writer. Forty-three years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA
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