Sunday, June 05, 2011

Back Online

I was just looking at the date of my last post here.  Has it really been almost three years?  Amazing.  This blog was tied to my old GMail account (which I haven't used in, oh, three years), and I no longer had the password for it -- which isn't tragic, since I was really too busy to keep up with the blog.

I just today managed to transfer the blog to my new GMail account, so I started playing around with settings.  The background is what I see when I'm sitting at my desk writing, which I thought was kind of cool.  As you know from the previous post, our dog died in 2008.  About a year ago we had finally gotten to the point where we were ready to get another dog.  We had almost settled on a sweet female beagle, when we discovered that my oldest daughter is violently allergic to dogs.  (Her eyes swelling shut was a pretty good clue.) Since I'm allergic to cats, we decided to get a parrot.  Cosmo is now a constant companion.  He loves the girls and REALLY loves his mama.  He also enjoys sitting on his T-stand chattering to me while I write, as you can see here.   He talks quite a bit ("Hello!", "Whatcha doing?", "I love you!", "Hi good boy!", "Mmmmm-wah!") but is definitely a goofy bird who loves to show off his acrobatic skill for attention.  He's also a beagle bird -- he'll do anything for a treat.  He's a very good boy.  My daughters' friends think he's pretty awesome, too.

I have been teaching part time at our community college as well as at one of the state universities.  I quickly managed to amass a full-time teaching load between the two colleges, but still managed to find time to keep working on the novel.  A year and half ago, however, one the astronomy teachers at the community college passed away suddenly from an undetected brain tumor. My wife and I took all of his classes in addition to our own -- that was the end of writing for that semester.

The following fall I decided to interview for the one-year-only job in astronomy, which I got, so I have been teaching full time since fall 2010.  I was also asked to develop a new physical science class in addition to teaching an overload, so again, essentially no writing got done.   This past spring, I was teaching seven different courses (and multiple sections of some courses), as well as writing a new lab book and developing a second lab book for a blind student who was taking my course.  I was barely getting my lesson plans made and quizzes graded for the next day, so again, not much writing!

This spring I also interviewed for the permanent position and managed to beat out twenty-three other candidates, so I will continue to be full time next fall.  I did, however, negotiate a reduced number of class preps (same number of classes, but multiple sections of the same courses), so things will be dramatically easier from here.  Since I will be working full time in the fall, I decided that I had earned the summer off -- this is the first time I haven't worked during the summer in over fifteen years.  So, this summer is entirely devoted to writing, and it has been wonderful.  I'm making huge progress on the next re-write of the novel.  I'll post more about that another time.

I'm still not going to be posting every day, but you should see more updates from now on.  I'll try to tweet more of what I'm working on as well (since my good friend Amy keeps bugging me to do so!).  It's good to be back writing!

No comments: