October recap

October has come and gone.  I just packed away my foam-muscled Thor costume and I have fake cobwebs to remove from the house.  Store shelves are empty of fake skeletons, already replaced by Thanksgiving centerpieces and Christmas ornaments.  That means it is time for my October recap!

My significant publishing news from October is that a poem of mine has been selected for an upcoming issue of a lit magazine.  I had been shopping this one around for a while, afraid that it would never meet an editor who saw a place for it in their magazine. But lo and behold, it finally arrived at a place that could not be more perfect for its topic.  The issue that will feature the poem will not be out until spring, and the editor has only sent me a confirmation so far, so I don’t think it’s my place to announce the magazine yet.  Rest assured, I will announce it and link to the source when the time comes.

Early this month I got some INCREDIBLE feedback from test readers of my novel, which confirmed some things that I thought might need revisiting.  I spent most of my writing time this month revising, re-reading, and revising again.  I feel really great about the state of the novel now. It has gone through I-don’t-know-how-many drafts, and I dare say it is finished!  I began querying agents in the last week of October, which I know is just the start of a whole new cycle of anticipation and agony.

I also polished a poem and a short story and began submitting both to journals.  In the meantime, I was approached by a writer who would like to co-author a book with me.  It is pretty exciting, but also a little bit nerve-wracking only because I have never co-written anything. I think the biggest challenge will not be collaboration (I can handle that), but my own tendency to be self-critical and my fear of letting my co-writer down.  But I’m always game for something new, and I think this will be a good experience for me.

In non-writing news, I was selected as Teacher of the Year for my school!  I was totally surprised (I was not even aware that I had been nominated until after voting began).  The next step is to complete a series of essays, classroom observations, and some other rigmarole as I compete for Teacher of the Year for the county.  If I were to get that, I would compete for Teacher of the Year for the state of Florida—the recipient of which takes a sabbatical from teaching for a year to tour around giving speeches.  Make no mistake: I have no delusions of grandeur, and I do not expect to be Teacher of the Year for the county.  I still consider myself to be early in my teaching career, and probably a decade away from being at the top of my craft.  I am honored and humbled that my peers chose me this year (especially since I am surrounded by teachers who I believe are more deserving), so it is enough for me just to represent my school at the county competition.

Looking back over the month is helpful because in the moment, I feel like things aren’t happening fast enough, but in retrospect, I can see that things are moving forward.  A month from now, I hope to have some good news about my novel, but I know that at this point things are out of my hands, and it might be a very long process to find representation.  Thanks for reading.  If anyone has querying advice or personally knows an agent, let me know!

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