Light at the end of the winter

If seasons were days of the week, spring would be Friday, summer would be Saturday, fall would be Sunday, and winter would be Monday through Thursday. Thank God it’s Friday. Well, not officially for another week, but today we were able to spend the whole day outside in t-shirts, getting our hands dirty in the soil. It was amazing, and I look forward to more honking geese flying north, more daylight and sunlight and blossoms on the trees.

I am very excited that my short story, “Runner,” appears in the current spring issue of The Massachusetts Review. What a great literary journal. I enjoyed working with the editors and participating in an interview that you can read here.

It’s been awhile since I posted here, over a year! Throughout last spring I made good progress on my novel, and then I made a big career move. After teaching at Cal Young Middle School for over fifteen years, I decided to make the leap to South Eugene High School, where I’ve been teaching freshman English and junior/senior Creative Writing. I always knew that a mid-career switch would be in the works for me – a change of pace, new challenges – and I knew it would affect my writing time in the short term, which it has, but I’m really happy with the decision.

Last summer was spent preparing, and this fall and winter have been spent working my butt off. Here are the major works I’ve taught so far, all for the first time: Oedipus the King, Othello, Night, Maus, The Glass Castle, The Old Man and the Sea, Lord of the Flies, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. With a lot of support from my awesome colleagues, I’ve pretty much created everything I’m doing. I’m developing a system based on student choice, and it seems to be working. Someday I might have to package it all up and sell it to the highest bidder; until then a lot of it is on my teaching site. Here are the pages where you can find most of my freshman English and Creative Writing documents.

So while I haven’t been writing much, I’ve definitely been reading. And learning. And now I can see the light at the end of the winter. My writing wheels are turning. A press that I have great respect and admiration for has offered me an insightful developmental edit for my manuscript of short stories, Earth Names, and I look forward to working on that. I have one story still floating around out there, another nearly finished, and a novel waiting where I left it. There’s so much to do. Good thing it’s nearly the weekend.

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