As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been “gone” from GA for a while. I ended my last post of Social Skills, wrote a short story, chickened out about posting it, and disappeared into the mist.
It took me about a month to begin working on a new piece. At the time, I was moving from an apartment into a house, and my writing time was severely limited. In addition to that, I’m a very slow writer (or, if you choose to believe, as Carringtonrj so kindly put it, a “thoughtful” one ). I can’t seem to publish works-in-progress. I let stories simmer in my mind for a really long time before touching fingers to keyboard. And I edit/revise obsessively. So I knew I probably wasn’t going to be posting anytime soon, but I did not mean to disappear from GA in terms of keeping up with friends and reading the great authors here.
But then I got news in the fall that my layoff from the previous summer had been rescinded. No more casual days of subbing--I had less than one week to go on interviews and find a new permanent placement.
I took the first job offered, at the very first interview.
Hell on earth soon followed. I won’t go into all the details, but basically it was more work than I get paid for, in addition to tons of out-of-pocket money spent because I didn’t want budget shortcuts affecting the way I run my classroom. The biggest problem was (is) coworkers averse to change or anything different—people so petty and vengeful for no apparent reason, it’s absolutely mind-boggling. I’ve worked at several places in LA due to the district’s yearly layoffs, but none so awful as this.
My writing slowed, and my participation in the world—both online and offline—dropped off as well. I was too drained from having to deal with B.S. every day. And just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, they got much, much worse.
Again, I won’t go into specifics here. But I’ll just say a former coworker was arrested for a horrible crime—something that affected children and families I am very close to. Things snowballed . . . other people were accused of crimes—perhaps (and I pray) unjustly because I consider them friends—and suddenly a whole mass of people were under attack…every single person who had ever worked at that location.
I was and am still shaken by these events. If it hadn’t been for the support of family and friends, I don’t know if I even could’ve finished out the year at my job. Luckily, some very amazing people have helped me through the darkest parts of the year so that I am now able to (cheesy, I know) see the light at the end of the tunnel.
And now… I’ve been laid off again. For once, I’m happy about it. I can leave my current location behind and hope for a better placement in the future…although if ‘the future’ doesn’t come fast enough, I might have to start looking for a totally different career. There is that mortgage payment, after all.
Which brings me to the next reason for this blog post (my first one ever). Over the course of the year I managed to finish my second novel, with the help of my beta-- the talented author Dani Alexander (if you haven’t read his book, Shattered Glass, go read it now). He kept bugging me as we rehashed chapters to publish my work…and I kept saying no, no, no, until the thing was done and I realized…why not? I’ll be on unemployment this summer as I wait to see whether I’ll be picked up again next year, and although I don’t expect to make tons of money, the life change has affected my decision to publish.
On the advice of other authors and friends, I will be epublishing both Social Skills and my new novel, Silent. As some of you may have noticed, the GA version of Social Skills has moved to Premium. While I wrote the whole thing before I knew about GA, the story definitely matured here, so I chose to have it moved to Premium instead of pulling it down entirely.
Of course, me being me, Social Skills is currently being revised. I’ve added a few scenes, changed a few things, and now it’s off to a series of betas. The scariest thing about publishing for me is that I won’t be able to sneak in and edit chapters as easily as I could here, so I imagine it will still be a few months before I’m ready to re-release it into the world.
I have a website/blog now, (again, thanks to the talented Dani) where I’ll post updates on my work and general thoughts on reading/writing/publishing. Stop by if you’re so inclined
The summer is almost here, and though I’ll be busy editing/revising, I do have some WIPs for GA. I hope to be more present in the future and definitely have missed being around over the past year.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. I actually got my butt in gear and submitted a short story to the anthology.