Sunday, January 12, 2014

Reflections and Resolutions- from the New Kid in Town

Hello Muse-iverse, We've all be asked to post some of our reflections and resolutions from 2013 to 2014.

For most people, this is the turning from one year to another. However, like many others, my primary employment is in the schools, and as such this is the middle of a year for me.  Nevertheless, I will focus on changes I've experienced and look forward to.

2013 was an amazing year for me.  I started the year off newly engaged to the woman who is my muse, then started my dream job teaching full-time high school theatre at a school with a massive theatre program, and finally received a contract for my first novel "School of Deaths" - due out from Muse later this year.

If my life was a novel, this would be the beginning of the climax- a true turning point.  I've been writing since I was in middle school.  My first attempt at a novel began in 1999, and took me ten years to complete.  It wasn't my best work, but started me on a path towards writing. I started School of Deaths in 2011, while studying at Oxford. The story emerged from my own feelings of being isolated in an unfamiliar place, and developed into a novel about a girl in a world of Deaths.  At the same time, I'd been acting and involved in theatre since I could speak.  I knew I didn't have the patience to pursue acting as a career, but also knew I'd never be happy away from the stage.  I started pursuing theatre education 5 years ago, but it is very difficult to find public high schools offering full-time theatre positions.  For years I didn't know which was less likely, that I'd find a job teaching theatre, or find a publisher for my new novel.  Then, in the same year, I found both.

As 2013 fades into 2014 (or as we teachers say, second semester starts...) I look forward to even greater changes.  In May, I am getting married.  It's one of those life changes tons of people go through, my younger brother's actually had two already, but I'm still both nervous and excited.  Rachel and I are are marrying on our third anniversary as a couple, and I couldn't have found a stronger lover and friend. We're also looking to buy our first house. Even as I write, I just returned from a day of house-hunting.  Plus there's the upcoming release of School of Deaths, and that puppy Rachel's been begging me for (did I mention I'm a cat person)....

I do make resolutions every year, and do try to stick to them.  One of my biggest resolutions is actually to make sure I give myself some time off.  As a full-time theatre teacher I'm always the first one to school and the last one to leave (a typical day before a production- and we do five a year- is a 14 hour day).  Now I'm also in the middle of editing School of Deaths (my last post on my own blog was devoted to the writing process), starting to market (wait, you mean there won't be millions flocking to buy it?) and somewhere in there working on my next novel.  Oh and let's not forget the fact that I'm starting a family...  yeah, some downtime is necessary in all that before I make myself nuts.  :-)

I'm still pretty new to the Muse, but I'm not going anywhere.  School of Deaths is far from my last novel. The more I write, the more stories creep into the back of my mind begging to be told.  The more I accomplish, the more I want to try.  A few years ago I piloted a small plane over Virginia- had never flown before.  I got off and immediately said "that was fun, what's next?"


Rhobin said...

Congratulations on the job, the up-coming wedding, and the book contract!

Unknown said...

What a happy post! It's so lovely to read about dream coming true. Wish you much success all across the board.