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Sunday, April 7, 2013

What I Did Over My Spring Break

It ends tonight.  *sniff*  *sniff*

It is not that I don't want to go back tomorrow and see my lovely students.  I do.  But I would be a liar if I didn't say how much I enjoyed not having to get up in the dark of the morning, and having nice chunks of unstructured time.

It is hard when you are a wife and a mom and a teacher and a writer to NOT feel like there is always something that you SHOULD be doing.  Every moment that I am doing one thing, I worry that I am not getting something else done that I should be.  Sheesh.  That is why Spring Break is so nice.

So, here is what I did:

1.  Saw a production of Seussical (which I need to blog about in detail, soon!)

2.  Prepared a very easy Easter dinner for my family and my visiting folks that was very tasty.  I sometimes forget how good simple can be.

3.  Shopped a little, but not much.

4.  Went to the San Diego Zoo (with about everyone else in San Diego!!!) It was so crowded.  But I saw the most adorable otter, and it reminded me of a shape-shifting otter I once wrote about.  Such a beautiful day, too.  My youngest daughter has a fancy camera, so it was really a photography excursion for her.  But for me, it was just amazing to be in the presence of wild animals.

5.  Spent time with my daughters, just goofing and watching junk TV.

6.  Wrote a lot.  I finished a completely new version of Nix the Naughty, my wacky medieval romp which stars a trouble-making boy and his adventures in a scriptorium. Think if Jimmy Neutron wrote the Book of Kells.  I also started two new middle grades (while Nix simmers and awaits revision).  Well, only one of them is new.  The other one is a rewrite of In the Kingdom of the Selkies which I have decided to take in a new direction.  It is hard when you finish writing something and know that if you made a different choice early on, the book would be stronger.  So, I have been putting off the revision until I could figure out what the new first lines of the book should be.  And finally, I think I've found them.  (Crosses fingers.)  What?  Oh the other new middle grade?

Well, I think it is sci-fi.

I know, right?

We'll see.  I plan to write two books side by side until one takes over.  I know it sounds crazy, but it allows me to write more freely if all-of-the-pressure-of-the-world is not on one book.  I guess it's like not putting all of my eggs in one basket or something.  I dunno.  I just know that it helps me to start things if I start two completely different pieces at the same time.

Oh, and I drafted a picture book, too.  (I am just waiting patiently for the right ending to come along....)

7.  And I read!!  Several books that touched my brain and my heart.  Will post a recommendation list soon.

But for now, I have to prepare myself to go back to school.

Which of course means a trip to Costco.



erica and christy said...

I can relate! We had spring break the week before easter and took our two boys to a hotel with a pool/hottub/arcade/bowling alley (it's too cold in WI for zoos or much to do outside yet). It was odd how it hit me on the side of the pool that sometimes I'm so involved in teaching and mothering, I forget to relax and be a friend to my own kids.

Christina Lee said...

Well that sounds like a great break, Shelley!!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

How do you do it??? I'm impressed by so much creativity and output.
I read a comment by John Green the other day that really hit home for me on rewrites. I think I'll email it to you.