Summer vacation starts today. It’s been a l-o-n-g spring. I know that I posted (with some bravado) back at the beginning of June that I wasn’t going to “strike my colors” and give up teaching. But I’ve got to tell you – about a week after that, I was dying to surrender!

Yesterday, as soon as my sentence … ahem, school term was over, I rushed home and jumped in my pool. It took about an hour of drifting aimlessly around on a pool float, staring at the sky, just to turn my brain off.

But now it’s time to turn it back on, because I have a Summer To-Do List!

1. Write another draft of the screenplay. That’s right. Six drafts weren’t enough. My wonderful collaborator, Amy Green, outlined a few problems that beta readers picked up in the script. I’ve been cogitating on them for about 2 weeks; I think I have a solution, and I can’t wait to try it out.

2. Prevent succession from turning my flower beds into forest land. People often ask me how I manage to write while teaching full time. The answer is: I let the house fall to rack and ruin. But now, it’s becoming embarrassing.

3. Research, outline, and begin the first draft of a new WIP. I haven’t forgotten those creepy caged graves in the Pocono Mountains of PA, and when my preliminary research turned up the Wyoming Massacre just a hundred years earlier and not too far away – I set my sights on finding a way to tie the stories together.

4. Revise an old piece. A long time ago, I wrote a non-fiction piece about the Revolutionary War in Pennsylvania – queried it, came close to a bite, but eventually gave up and laid it aside. However, the PA Board of Education, in its infinite wisdom, has re-written our state history curriculum to reflect a totally Pennsylvania-centered version of history. We still study Native Americans, but only those in PA. We still study World Explorers, but only the ones who explored PA. We still study the Revolutionary War, but – you got it. Luckily, I have a perfect piece to present to the curriculum committee at my school, but I need to revise it for 5th grade. Maybe add the Wyoming Massacre.

5. Swim in the pool 5 days a week. I don’t mean drifting about on a pool float. I don’t mean soaking in the hot tub. And I don’t mean sitting by the pool with my laptop. I mean swimming for exercise. I’m hoping that stating this publicly will shame me into actually doing it.

6. Announce the winners of the Teen Celebrity and T-Shirt Contest on Monday!

What’s on your Summer To-Do List?