Summer goals

I’ve managed to stay crazy busy this summer, and that’s a good thing. I’ve set a goal of being self-employed as a full-time writer by this time next year, so that means a lot of production this summer. I have been, and will continue to be busy in these last few weeks of summer vacation from teaching. My latest solo young adult novel, Afterlife, is finished and in the hands of a few beta readers. Another first-draft project was wrapped up yesterday, with revision to start immediately, and I plan to take one more crack at revising Love Curse before school starts.

Plus I’ve had the library tour going on, which has been a lot of fun. Today I’m in Newcastle, by the way.

Also before school starts, I’ll be making a pilgrimage to The National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, Calif. I really look forward to this. In my opinion, John Steinbeck was the best “literary” author of the 20th century, and maybe the best in all of American history. Others may argue for Hemingway or Faulkner or Twain or someone else, but I’ll take Steinbeck all day any day. I remember how much my admiration for Steinbeck surprised one of my college English teachers who thought a conservative such as myself would never like Steinbeck. Well, I’m not in the mood for a political discourse right now, so I won’t go into that. (On a side note, if you haven’t read Thomas Steinbeck’s In the Shadow of the Cypress, you really should.)

Someday I hope to visit the Charles Dickens Museum. Maybe even some of the museums established for those other guys I named up there. Next year’s planned pilgrimage maybe isn’t as highfalutin’ but will probably be more fun: Robert E. Howard Days.

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