The last two weeks

The last two weeks were very eventful for Charlie and I (me, us).

After thirty-some years in junior high, she decided to retire. It was a matter of circumstance rather than preferred choice–she’d rather have retired at the end of the school year in June, but that was not to be.

Mist & Smoke Window (Siamese cats)
Mist & Smoke Window

We’re going to have a retirement party for her at the end of the month.

The best thing about this is no more commuting back and forth to her school everyday. (Yeah, but I still wake up early every morning as though she still goes to work.) We still have to go back to her classroom and bring home the things she wants to keep. (What? You really think the school provides all of the supplies teachers need to teach? When did you fall of the turnip truck?)

I finally finished my first novel (first draft). My goal was to tell my story in about 100,000 words. Yeah!

Mist & Smoke Blanket (Siamese cats)
Mist & Smoke Blanket

When I taught history (and other subjects), I often told stories. I would allot myself five or ten minutes for the story in my lesson plans. Hah! I never did figure out that each story told itself–in however many minutes it decided it needed. Give it five, and it took ten. Give it ten, and it took twenty-five.

Stories have a life of their own. They don’t limit themselves the way we try to limit them. The story tells itself in its own good time.

So it was with this story. I aimed for twenty chapters and 100,000 words. The story decided it needed twenty-six chapters and 120,000 words.

Who am I to argue with the story?

There were a couple of stories within the larger story that I thought could stand on their own. I took one of them and re-wrote small sections of it. I submitted it for publication in a sci/fi/fant periodical. Will I get it published? Don’t know, but I’m trying. If I do sell it, it’ll be my first sale–I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Finished my first edit of the novel yesterday and found a number of stupid errors. Corrected most of my errors dealing with punctuation of dialog–NO, I don’t remember learning it in school, but, assuming I did, I forgot an awful lot of it.

I did find some good sites about how to do it, however.


Now to print out the five hundred pages and do some real editing.

Hmmm . . . wonder why it’s easier to find errors in printouts than on the screen?