This has been a unique week. Quite unusual, in fact. For the first time in thirty-five years, I have no classes to teach. Not one. Since my retirement three years ago, I’m now an adjunct whose employment depends on registration numbers. The full-timers get first dibs on classes, something I’ve known since the late 1970’s. It’s just that, well, it’s never happened to me.
I’m now looking at the next two months as a stress-free gift of time. Over the past several mornings, I’ve grown accustomed to NOT having to check emails or discussion posts. What this means is that I no longer have the excuse of school demands to keep me from pursuing other things, mainly writing.
This morning I came up with a list of tentative goals and am solemnly pledging commitment to them.
Three or four years ago I began working on a beach book. I had seen a small book in which the author took pictures of the sky with her cell phone and put them all in a book. Very little writing was involved, but there were dozens of pretty pictures of clouds and sky. I remember thinking, I could do that, and I started right away. Armed with a Blackberry, I took photos of beaches in North and South Carolina and matched them quotes, observations, and stories.
I was working, working, working and let the project slide. Yesterday I took a look at the manuscript and realized with a heavy heart I had missed the opportunity to publish that particular book. Pictures and comments were clearly linked to November 2011 to November 2012. Plus, the gimmick (all photos being taken with a cell phone within one year) wouldn’t work.
Ever the optimist, I think with some tweaking, I can still put together a nice book of beach photographs. In fact, with a few exceptions, every picture I’ve taken since that period is better than most in the original manuscript. And I’d like to think that my writing has improved, largely because of input from my writing group. By mid-July, I’m hoping you can see that book on Amazon.
I’ve also been dabbling with a combination memoir/how-to book on teaching. Light on methodology and heavy on experiences and recommendations, I hope to create something useful, informational, and fun for all aspiring teachers. I’m also hoping some colleagues, past and present, will toss in some ideas and experiences.
And then there’s the family history book I’ve been pondering for several months. I’m not sure why, but many senior citizens (I can say that now without cringing) feel that same urge. In any case, with a nudge from my sweet sis, I’m typing away. This project will probably take a bit longer since I’m including research from other family members, cemeteries, and archives.
That’s it for book ideas. Our local writing group, the Camden Chapter of SCWW (South Carolina Writers’ Workshop), is hosting a half-day writing workshop on Saturday, September 26. Don’t worry, football fans, that date won’t interfere with any Clemson/Carolina games. Although our planning has only recently gotten serious, we already know that it’s going to be a productive, fun, and rewarding day for both hosts and attendees. Mark your calendars for 9/26, Writers and Wannabe Writers.
Time to work on that beach book. What are you writing today?