Okay-- first of all, I must have gone around the bend, because I signed up to go to RWA in July. I figure of all the cons, this one is the least invasive to the family. The kids are out of school, and Big T will be home for child care, and all Mate has to do is make sure there's food in the fridge and a play pool in the back yard.
Of course once I signed up for it I went, "Why did I do that again? What's in this for me?"
Honestly, not much. I think I mostly signed up so I could be there for my publisher. She's the sort of person you want to do for.
And speaking of "Round the Bend"-- summer is almost here. Squish has a birthday party tomorrow that involves her at the pool. I'm planning on hanging out and watching her and bringing my knitting. I'm sort of head-buried in my WIP right now (uhm, Ethan, for those of you who are curious and might recognize that name!) so pulling my head out is going to count as a major parental moment for me right there. So is going up to Tahoe with the family. I know that sounds selfish-- and believe me I feel it-- but I could have stayed up all night, completely, and done about 15 K last night-- I was on a roll. I stopped at 1:30 and came to bed, and I'm ready to go today, but when the dragon is riding-- well, I've done this long enough to know that sometimes, that fucker just does not feeling like getting out of his cave. Sometimes you have to poke and prod and kick and shout, and then he'll up and take you for a ride. So if he's raring to go, I'm reluctant to put him back in the cave. What if he goes to sleep in there and gets comfy?
But then, Squish and Zoomboy aren't going to be Squish and Zoomboy forever, so sometimes that fucker has to work to the bell like the rest of us, right?
Anyway-- Mate took the kids to a King's Rally yesterday. The entire city (okay, 10,000 people) were just psyched to have their team stay in Sacramento. There was entertainment and food and a lot of joy and a sobbing Zoomboy (because heaven forbid it all be flowers) and eventually some celebration when he could see.
And an earthquake.
Now Mate and the kids did not feel the earthquake, but I didn't attend the celebration, and I did.
It went something like this. I wiggled in my chair. The entire table swayed. I thought, "Did I do that?" And then I spent the next ten minutes (dog in bosom, mind you, just like the picture shows) wiggling in my chair to get the table to do that really cool thing again.
So, as far as disasters go, it could have been worse. (Have we all donated to Red Cross for Tornado Relief? I know I have!)
And about that summer vacation thing?
I went to Squish's class to help donate some fruit and some time making fruit plates as the kids had a "book reading and tea". They loved it, but afterwards, I talked to Squish's teacher about "Hey, summer's coming!"
The look she sent me was haggard. "Yes," she said, obviously at the end of her proverbial rope. "I've only got eight days teaching to go!" (She's taking next Friday off--smart girl!)
If I had her class, I'd be haggard too. Seriously-- the thing about first grade is that only the most obvious of disabilities and problems have been identified. Next year, the first quarter is going to be spent evaluating and assessing the kids that have been giving her fits this year and getting them into a more appropriate place in the class.
But until that happens? This year was a nightmare for her. She had kids in this class I wouldn't wish on a scorpion--and she's a nice person! And it's hard, too, because the kids are sweet. They're really sweet. They're huggers, and excited about school, and happy to learn-- but they're so needy. They can not be in a class with thirty-one other students and thrive. They can't. It's not fair to anyone in that room, and I'm back where I was fifteen years ago, wanting to throw some shit-for-brains government pigfucker against a wall and scream in his face until I spit. People wonder how kids can graduate without knowing how to read. I don't. These kids do more homework than I ever dreamed of as a kid-- Zoomboy, who is pretty damned smart, is falling out of his chair with frustration by the end of the day. But I swear, if he was in a class with twenty kids instead of thirty-three, he'd need to do twenty minutes of homework instead of an hour, and the whole class would take a test score jump. And my kids are the good ones. My kids are the ones who get the "Oh, your child is such a joy, I wish we had a whole classroom of him/her!" reports. What about the kids who are physically incapable of sitting still for an hour? (And as adults, we should all remember that we feel the need to get up, get a drink of water, go pee, and pet the cat at least once every 45 minutes, right? What must that be like for a little kid?)
Seriously-- my stance on this has not changed since taxes got painful (and they were, this year-- sayin'.) This country will never succeed until it pulls its collective head out of it's money-tightened sphincter and educates its populace in a fair and effective manner. Just sayin'.
But in twelve days total, that will be moot. My kids are gonna be television watching, book reading, wading-pool playing slackers and we're going to encourage the holy hell out of that. Sure, we'll take them to the ocean, and you bet your ass there will be trips to the zoo, but as soon as the kids are done with recital and on to Camp Grandmas, we want them to recharge. We want them to get bored. Kids who are chronically bored get into trouble. Kids who are periodically bored play until their little noggins expand, and we want that kind of boredom. It's good for them!
And, of course, I'm going to write my ass off.
A lot of people have been asking about Quickening. I had a sit-down with Mate, about income, and how much we can expect and what I want to do with the writing and various parts of it. We decided that we will have a very concrete place in our finances where I can spend three months writing the book, and another month fluffing and dusting the rest of the series and re-releasing it, and when we get to that place, I can work on my Little Goddess. So those of you who are waiting-- there will be a Quickening. Believe me-- when I actually have to look at a spreadsheet and calculate income, I am damned serious about something. We have a goal now, a place to aspire to, and I think I can make that happen--and maybe sooner than later. So now you know.
Oh yeah-- and anyone who wants a bookmark packet of Racing for the Sun, Bolt-Hole and my ubiquitous banner, contact me via my website and I'll set you up!