A better day


It’s been all dark, depressing and stressful for me lately. Yesterday was a better day, though. It was the best day of school so far. There were a few reasons for that. The first is just the students. Kids I haven’t even had in class — sometimes kids I don’t even know names for — come by to talk to me, tell me they wish they were in my class, etc. One sophomore’s even going so far as to claim to be my daughter (not sure I’m thrilled about that, but she means well), and yesterday she gave me a hug for no real reason. We have some really good kids at our school, and they’re reminding me why I stayed.

After school I got to have a little talk with the new principal, and I learned some things on the childcare front. There is something in the works for the district. In the meantime, my kids are hanging out after school with a boy in my daughter’s class; his mom is a math teacher who is out of her room seventh period, so the kids go in there. They’re across the hall from the 9th grade principal, who is okay with the arrangment. In a couple of weeks one of last year’s graduates will probably start watching them.

My oldest daughter is doing well at my school, and that makes me very happy. She got recruited onto the yearbook staff already, and that’s pretty rare for a freshman. Now she’s interested in joining student council (she wasn’t so interested when I suggested it, but when I mentioned it to the 9th grade principal he said he’d suggest it to her, and that did it). She’s becoming friends with the movers and shakers of the student body, the kids who’ll get the big scholarships to major universities. I’m very proud of her, of course, and I get to spend more time with her, something that wasn’t happening much the past couple of years. And yeah, I’ve already had to tell a few senior boys that looking too hard would cost them their testicles.

Then I come home and find an e-mail from a publisher saying my novel Amara’s Prayer is a “must-do” for his company. I haven’t asked if I can announce it yet, so I won’t say who it is now, but it’s somebody I’ve worked with before. Somebody who pays what he promises and is on time, or within a reasonable shot of his projected publication date. I am really, really happy that this novel has finally found a home. It was my graduate thesis at the University of Oklahoma, so it was picked apart more than once by professors of English, journalism, and … my third committee person had multiple degrees in various fields. She helped with the anthropology and comparative religion aspects, turning me on to some really great books as she did. What I’m getting to is that I think this is the best book I’ve written. There’s limited violence, some graphic sex, and an actual, like, literary theme to it.

So, yeah, yesterday was a good day.

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