As of June 1st, I am officially retired from a 23-year career in education. During those years, I worked as a...
- special education teacher
- preschool through 12th grade principal
- school psychologist then the director of special education for 13 school districts in a 7500 square mile area
- substitute teacher
- and for the last seven years, as a secondary English and history teacher while also teaching community college classes
It was bittersweet making that last, long look at my empty classroom, but I have no regrets about leaving (although the picture brings to mind the Les Mis song, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables). I'm ready to devote my time to my writing.
Seven years ago, my first book, Lonely Places, a western romance, was published by a brand new ebook publisher, Cobblestone Press, and a little while later, another new ebook publisher, Breathless Press, also published one of my western romances (Gambling with Love). I'm so grateful to my publishers for taking me in as one of their authors (Sable Grey and Deanna Lee at Cobblestone and Justyn Perry at Breathless Press).
It seemed that teaching had become a 24-7 job just trying to meet all of the requirements of the state and federal departments of education plus writing lesson plans, grading papers, and spending the extra time at school sponsoring, etc., that when I actually had time to sit at my computer and write, I was too tired—mentally and physically. By January 1st of this year, I was in the writing doldrums, floating aimlessly on a sea of unfinished manuscripts. I was afraid I'd never write again. Then my dad died on April 4th and, until this past weekend, I was absolutely convinced I'd never write another word, because my heart was so full of loss and anger.
Thankfully, as June 1st gets closer, I'm feeling tiny sparks of creativity returning. With my mom adjusting little-by-little to my dad being gone, I've had more time to myself, which I haven't had in nearly two months.
I want to have two of my unfinished manuscripts completed by the time I'd normally return to school in mid-August, and one of them somewhere in the publication process.
Time and inspiration will tell, I suppose.
Until next time,
Fall in love...faster, harder, deeper with Kaye Spencer romances