Meeting up with Katie Mills in Paris!
The summer is over for me. I’m back at work … sitting in a teacher inservice meeting this very second, learning about all the mandatory changes happening this year. Right now, someone is probably advising me to Take a Positive Mental Attitude Toward the Changes.

Let’s not think about that. Instead, I’m going to look back at this summer and admire how productive I was by assessing the goals I set back in June.
1. Complete revisions for THE EIGHTH DAY #1. Not only did I finish the revisions, the manuscript came back to me for copy-editing at the end of July, and I completed that too! The next time I see TED #1, it will have been through the Design stage, and I’ll get a glimpse of what it will look like as a real book! Squee!
2. Complete revisions for THE EIGHTH DAY #2. I finished that, too, and sent the manuscript off to my editor. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but after completing the revision process for Book 1, I know my editor is going to help me take the manuscript to the next level. I look forward to the challenge. (I’ll have to remember I said that when I’m reading the edit letter and breathing into a brown paper bag. If you read my post at WriteOnCon, you’ll get the joke.)

3. Visit my sister and her family in Kansas. We had a lovely trip! My nephew and niece are getting so big, and my daughters were thrilled to spend time with their cousins!
4. Contact book stores and libraries about making appearances to promote THE CAGED GRAVES. Yeah, I tried that, and got almost no response – and the responses I got were NO THANKS. However, I did have a positive response from a local newspaper, which published a lengthy article about my teaching and writing careers. I was contacted by another newspaper and a radio show, and I joined the KidLit Author’s Club, so the summer wasn’t a total loss, promotion-wise.
5. Plan and plot THE EIGHTH DAY #3. I tried to plot; I really did. But eventually I had to resort to my normal method of plunging into the first draft to figure out the story. At this point, I have about 15k words written, and every time I think, That’s it. I don’t know what happens next, I realize what has to happen next and keep writing.
6. Swim and bike and walk. I did this! Unfortunately, I didn’t lose any weight doing it, which seems to be a nasty trick my body is playing on me as I come ever closer to an unhappy birthday with a 0 in it. But weight loss aside, I know it’s healthier to be active. I’ve built my stamina on the bike, and over the 9 days of my European vacation, my husband estimates we walked 52 miles!
7. Visit Cardiff, London, and Paris. Yes, we did, and I’ve been writing about it ever since we got back! The one thing I haven’t mentioned yet is meeting Katie Mills in Paris. Katie and I have been beta readers for each other for a couple years now, and it was awesome that she could meet my family while we were abroad!
8. Make a quick pass of edits/revisions to a manuscript and brainstorm/research a new idea. I did complete the edits on the older manuscript, but I didn’t really work on that new idea. However, I did review the author proofs for my short story BLOODY MARY, which will be appearing in this year’s Month9Books charity anthology, VERY SUPERSTITIOUS. And, I can now reveal the cover for that book, which will release in October. Isn’t it pretty?
Overall, this has to be one of my most productive summers ever!
What did you get done this summer?