I worked extra days so I am taking a week off from work. Perfect timing, for sure, since I have much to do. Work on the A.C. Gilbert book is progressing. Illustrations are being created as I write and it should be ready to go to press sometime this summer. Seems to far away to be excited, but I'll allow just a little.

Working as well on the revised gum book. I don;t have any publisher-takers as of now, but I have a slew of queries out there. It's a very tough time in publishing right now, so maybe that project will have to wait. In the meantime, I'll continue with it.

And I'll continue prepping for some writing classes I'll be teaching at the University of Oregon this summer. One, on writing traits, will be online. The other, on tools for writing success, will be a face-to-face class at the Downtown Center.

It looks like I will be returning to Argentina to work with an international school in Buenos Aires. Probably in September sometime. I'm looking forward to my third visit down there. Hope to visit Manchu Picchu on this journey. And, of course, see some futbol!

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We have a winnah amongst us! I will be sending a signed copy of one of my books to the fine person who e-mailed in as the 10,000th visitor. Congratulations!

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Okay folks, we're nearing 10,000 views on this blog. The questions is, who's going to be the magic one - the big 10,000th viewer. Check the number when you log on. If you're it, send an e-mail posthaste to me at realwriting@comcast.net. There will be a prize.

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In The Trenches 

Okay, it's been in the trenches for me lately: visiting classrooms and working with writers and thinkers. I've presented a Dr. Mudd PowerPoint I developed that encourages kids to THINK and act like historians in deciding the good doctor's innocent or guilt, done a chewing gum inquiry complete with history and art, and worked with some boy writers in creating letters about a visit to an historical place. All very interesting and invigorating.

Talked to the latter about the Diary Of A Wimp series that's been so much in the news. I checked out a book and read it, wondering what the big hubbub was all about. It seemed pretty streamlined and base to me (LCD) with some marginal illustrations, but the kids LOVE IT! I'm taking a closer look, though, and am going to listen more carefully to their feedback. Obviously I'm missing something. Or, am I?

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Another online traits class has begun and we have an interesting cast of characters. It's great to see the diversity of online students, and to hear their backgrounds as well as the aspirations they have for their students. I am slowly warming to the online experience - not sold, just warming. It takes the right kind of person to be successful in this medium, and it's my hope that the folks who sign up know themselves well enough to know whether that's them or not. I hate to see people wasting tuition money on courses they won't complete. They ain't cheap, these courses. But, don't get me started on that. We'll let it sit for another day.

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A.C. #1 
Yahoo! The first illustration is done for the A.C. Gilbert book, and does it look cool! It shows A.C. as a young kid standing on the roof ready to test out a homemade parachute. He inches closer and closer to the edge. Will he jump? Will the chute open? How hard is the ground below?
Gosh, you'll have to wait and see.

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Sunny San Diego 
What a great break from Oregon's darkness to fly south and attend a history conference in sunny San Diego. The conference was great and the weather was greater: mid to high 70s each day. I got to swim outside several times as well as take a replica 1850s schooner out onto the ocean. No, I did not captain the vessel, but we were all able to work as crew members if we chose. It was very cool raising sail on this old time revenue ship (made sure other ships paid duties for entering ports along California's coast).

Now back to the rain and occasional sun and back to work. I'm helping to plan out the A.C. Gilbert book and its illustrations along with doing some more writing on the gum book. Another online course starts today so I'll be busy with that as well.

"Idle hands are the devil's workshop."

Not really, but it's a good excuse!

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So, the results of overdoing, overtrying, overwhelming yourself can sometimes be sickness. It was for me this time: a goodolfashion cold, complete with no energy, stuffy head, and a waterfalls for a nose. It grabbed me, set me down, and made me rest after a brief but unsuccessful battle of wills. I even took a sick day from work and slept in til 10:00! Rare, indeed. So, I'm feeling better these days and was even back to swimming laps yesterday. Ready to get back to my projects, too, although maybe not as many at once! Time will tell...

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Finished work with the great educators of Lebanon, presented at the IRA Regional Conference in Portland, winding down my first online teaching experience, writing a proposal for a UO summer class, applying for two history institutes to research Lincoln's kids, hosting our Teaching American History grant, and
trying to breathe.
It ain't easy...

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Just found out that "soon" will not be until September. "Patience is waiting for something important you want, no matter how long it takes."

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