The Spring Break Writing Pact with Gayleen has ended. I did NOT meet my ambitious goal of 75 pages in four days. In fact, I did just under 30 pages. Go ahead, click Gayleen’s link and read all about how she exceeded her goal. (grumble, grumble, grumble)  In all seriousness, I’m really proud of Gayleen for reaching her goal. The book she’s revising, and the one she recently finished, are both excellent stories and it’s just a matter of time before she’s picked up by an agent and major publisher.

Oh! Then, to exchange the work we’d done, Gayleen drove all the way across town to my school. But when she got there, my cell phone had locked up for some reason, so her calls and text messages weren’t getting through, and I never knew she was there. Talk about feeling like a heel! She had to leave without seeing my heavy metal horror show of a classroom. I even cleaned off my desk so she wouldn’t think I’m a total slob.

I have spent a huge amount of spring break trying to fix the major screw-ups of a long-term sub we had for six weeks. The damage he did was just astounding. He’d grade a paper, then give it back to the student without recording the grade. The grade book program for the teacher on maternity leave was a total wreck. Plus I spent a full day helping to interview a new sub, then working on lesson plans for my classes and the sub’s classes. Am I making excuses? Yeah, pretty much.

So, on the one hand, I failed to meet my goal. On the other hand, I wrote enough, and got back into the story enough, to find my direction, and I have now seen how the book will end. This is going to make writing much, much easier now. It’s an ending people might not like. I don’t much like it, myself, but it seems to be the only reasonable option. I suppose I’ve known all along that this is where the story would lead, but I consciously resisted it, pushing it back into my subconscious every time it bubbled up. Now, however, I’ve accepted it. I won’t say embraced it, but accepted it, and seen beyond it. In that regard, the forced labor of the writing pact was not a failure.

It snowed today. Yesterday I was in the front yard playing football with my own and the neighbor kids and actually worked up a little bit of a sweat. Today the north wind howled all day and covered the ground in snow. The red-breasted robins, the symbol of spring for as long as I can remember, were fluffed up against the wind as they foraged for dog food I’d thrown into the front yard (kid tried to feed dog food to the cats, and they weren’t having it). Very bizarre weather. I’ll be glad to see this winter end.

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