Looking back, looking ahead

First off, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Oh, to be 10 years old again …

Well, it was an interesting week. I heard from an agent who wants to look at The Girls Nobody Wanted to Date. Not bad for the first query I ever sent out on it. I didn’t get any real writing done, but I did make a few pages of notes for things that are coming up in Nadia’s Children.

The biggest event, I guess, was having a student break down in the hallway, bury her face in my chest and cry for a while. It’s just incredible what some of these kids have to go through. When I was that age I never would have imagined a teenager actually having that kind of life. This poor girl lost her father recently. She feels the grief, of course, but she’s also feeling guilt because she left home because of another woman living in the house. She told me a lot more about herself that I won’t divulge here. She’s a strong young lady who has already overcome more than most people could, but losing her daddy really tore her up.

One thing she told me was that last time I went to the school counselors about her, they called her in, talked to her about what was going on at that time, and then called the parents of the guy she was living with and told them what she’d told them. The boyfriend beat the hell out of her for that. Most of our counselors should stick to making schedules. Sheesh. The school did just hire a full-time social worker, so hopefully we’ll get somebody who is trained, compassionate and understanding of what the kids are dealing with so they can get some real help.

Another one of my students was arrested for what started as a just a minor school-related infraction in the hallway, but because he was stoned he went nuts when he was called on it. Yesterday, another of my students was so wasted in class that he didn’t know what he was doing most of the time. I know I should have sent him to the office, but … Well, there are reasons I didn’t.

Looking ahead, I’ll be at the Red Dirt Book Festival next weekend. My panel is “Vampires, Werewolves, and Demons – The Sexy Side of the Paranormal” with Michele Bardsley and Crystal Inman. The panel is from 4:15 to 5 p.m. on Friday. I’ll also be at the book signings from 2-3 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. Red Dirt is a very good conference. It’s the most literary of the conferences and conventions I attend, bringing in a lot of librarians, teachers, etc. This year’s featured guest is Billie Letts.

I am not taking any school papers with me to Red Dirt. When not at the conference, I will be in the hotel room provided by the conference, writing about werewolves.

Look for an announcement very soon about a new contest. The prize this time will be one of my PC copies of Little Graveyard on the Prairie. It’ll cost you to enter the contest, but they money will go to a very worthy charity. (No, not me!) I’m still hammering out a few details and getting things set up.

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