Assessing Summer 2022, or Did I Waste My Vacation This Year?

The question – or usually a statement – I’ve heard people make regarding teaching is “it must be wonderful to have that free time during the summers.”

I have to admit that it is good to have that vacation time. Even during the best of times, a school year for teachers is the mental equivalent of running a marathon. After it’s over, you need recovery time mentally and to some extent physically.

However, I also feel (at least, I have felt this way for the past several years teaching) that I have all this time to myself, and there is this internal pressure that I “make good use of it,” so to speak. There were times these past few months where I felt that I was not doing that effectively. For example, May-June of 2021 was a blank time for me, to be honest. But that made sense in retrospect because I was contemplating not even returning to teaching, so I was a bit unsure of my IRL status for a while.

However, when I look back on what happened this summer, there were a bit more positives than negatives when it came down to it. Let’s review.


I think that there were a lot of times when I found myself just sitting and either watching television or staring at my phone. As I have chronicled in this space before, entropy and sitting still is my natural level. It takes me a lot longer to get bored with hanging out at home than many other people. Could I have spent more time writing instead of watching soccer, Formula 1, and Australian Rules Football, watching YouTube to catch people’s movie reviews (especially bad movies), and what Jim Cornette thinks about the current world of wrestling, or using Minecraft to build a digital castle? Well, probably I could have.

I also am a little disappointed in myself that I am not farther along on my route to self-publishing than I wanted to be at this point. (That will be its own post a bit later.) I am further than I was, and I am starting to get a handle on what things I need to take care of before I jump into this. It might take time, but I also want to make sure than I am getting things right.


My overall writing productivity has not been bad during the summer months. So far, I am definitely ahead of where I was at the same time last year, which was definitely a down time for me.

I believe that I have make at least a little more effort to take care of myself than I have in years past. Even though my weight is not where I would like it to be, I have made the effort to walk nearly every day for the past couple months. That’s something that I didn’t really do on a consistent basis before, but now I am. I was never comfortable with the gym or other stuff, but I have been comfortable going on a walk along some relatively level sidewalks and I feel good after getting them done, especially in the hot summer sun. I definitely will keep up with it during the school year.

I’ve been able to get out and do things that I have not had the chance to do for a long time. I managed to get away with my wife to Duluth, Minnesota, for a few days and it was a fantastic experience. I got to go down to Kansas City for the day and watch the US men’s soccer team for the first time in my life after more than 20 years of fandom.

Also, I’ve gotten more active on this site and trying to write more blogs and content here than in the past. I didn’t actually write a new post every weekend, but I did do it on plenty of them – including this one. And after some brainstorming, I have quite a few other ideas for blog posts to come.

It’s not been a bad summer. Shame it has to come to a close.

Writing Journal 8.26.2018 Part I: Essentially took a break

Yeah, I didn’t get too much done this week.

I’ll post the numbers, such as they are, in a later post for either tonight or later tomorrow night – had some family obligations, etc., for during the day today. They won’t be much.


1. Just finished most recent revision on my WIP and I think I had to take a few days break from the story before diving back into it.

2. Toying with what, if any, of the projects I have in the virtual trunk that I should consider moving forward with as a rough draft. Not sure 🤔 of the answer to that.

3. My first (relatively) full week of school at the new district and getting ready for another week of a fully full week on a block schedule for my high schoolers on one hand and a totally different schedule for the middle schoolers on my roster. It will be an interesting juggling match.

So, those were the contributing factors behind the scenes. Hope to make forward progress this week. I’ll send the follow up to this post later tonight or tomorrow night.

Also, I think I’ll have an interesting midweek post (Friday, maybe, instead?) on a project that fell through – an attempt at a book length nonfiction title and the reasons for it.

That’s it for now; I’ll write more later.

Writing Journal/Random Notes 5.13.2018: OK, honestly, this week I took a break

Well, the title says it all, doesn’t it? So do the numbers:

+352 words written (Blog).

Days writing: 1 out of 7.

Days revising: 2 out of 7 for 60 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 2 out of 7 days.


So, what’s behind the break?

Part of it was my personal situation. Actually, I got into that a bit last time, so I didn’t want to just repeat myself too much here. What I will say is that I’m trying to gee myself up, as they would say in the British Isles, and getting myself ready for what is coming next. That includes:

  • An actual, full first-draft of We Could Be You…, the “lost classic” and incomplete work that I talked about before. Now is the time to start putting it together, even though I am realizing as I look at the piece that it will likely turn into a three-book trilogy rather than an extra long book. J.R.R. Tolkien’s buds were correct – nobody wants to read that many words in a full sitting, even in the pre-Internet era.
  • A full, tough rewrite of The American Nine, something that kicks it into another gear. I think it is right at the right size, but I want to forge it well enough that it sings when it hits someone, to paraphrase Gendry from the Game of Thrones series. I’m picking at it right now, but I think I’ll have to make a few interesting choices coming up.
  • With the fact that I now have talked myself into two trilogies, and other ideas bubbling around, I now realize that I’m really not going to run out of material for books for some time. I had wondered how many books I was actually going to write, but it looks like lacking material will not be an issue for some time.

OK, Random Notes:

  • My professional situation is resolving itself. I will go into more details when I have them, but suffice to say for now that I will be changing jobs soon.
  • I believe I have a publisher for The Holy Fool. I hope to have details soon through this blog regarding who I will be partnering with and how you will be able to buy what I write. As soon as this information is solidified, I will be letting everyone know what is up. One of the things you learn about the publishing business is patience, but I do believe that I will be a published author before the end of the year, and that is the important thing for me. The longest of journeys starts with a small step and all that.
  • I’ve been to this conference before, but I think that I will have to attend this year to network and kick start the process of being a professional writer. Thoughts?

I was listening to this song by Townes Van Zandt while writing this, so you might as well hear it, too.


That’s it for now; more later.