Velvet Undercover is almost in the books so to speak and I have thrown my energies behind Fall River, my latest adult novel. I’m hoping to have that finished by mid December so my agent and I can revise it and get it out to editors come January. Then I’ll have copy edits on Velvet, as well as gearing up for my latest undertaking–earning that university degree. During winter term, I’ll be studying and trying to test out of some classes. Come spring, I’ll be enrolled in the university’s prior learning experience program, which is like testing out of a class, but instead of testing, I’ll be writing essays to prove that I already have the knowledge I would have gained had I taken the class.

Then there’s my day job, teaching 60 k-5th grade kids for three hours on a variety of topics and themes that I GET TO MAKE UP! So far this year, we have done Brussels, (during which we had an amazing sax player come in because the saxophone was invented by a Belgium dude), Pirates, (we had Heidi Shulz, the author of Hook’s Revenge in for that one) and national parks, (among many others). I really love coming up with new and creative ideas to teach because I get to learn about them myself. It’s so much fun!

Oh, oh, oh! I’m also teaching adult novel writing for Portland Community College’s community ed program and I really, really love it. So much so that I decided that I want to teach adults on a regular basis, which is one of the reasons I am going back to school to get my degree.

And yes, I am still running, cooking and eating too much food.

So I’m busy and while I’m busy being busy, there are things that  sort of slip away without me realizing it…Like spending time with friends for one. I have several friends whom I haven’t had lunch with for ages.  I have other friends who I need to have coffee with. I am trying to juggle all the things, but sometimes it feels like all the things are juggling me! So upfront, blanket apologies for anyone who feels like I’ve put them off, or let them down. I love you all and don’t really mean to.

Maybe I can’t really do ALL THE THINGS. I even have people who scoff at my mantra or even ask me with a certain amount of derision, “So how is ALL THE THINGS going for you?” Especially when I screw something up.

I want to ask them… precisely which of the things should I give up? Running and exercising? I’ve had cancer twice and need to take care of myself. Making good, quality homemade food? Ditto. Teaching adults? Sorry, I love it and it is great for my future career. Teaching kids? I love the people I work with and it helps pay the bills. Novel writing? I might as well stop breathing. Am I crazy to try to get my degree at my age? No.  It’s important for my future and my family and I think I have something left to give. A degree will help me give it.

So I’ll continue to try to juggle all the things… And sometimes balls will get dropped, but I will joyfully pick them back up and be grateful all the way to my toes that I have balls to juggle at all. (Okay, did that sound kind of weird and dirty, or is it just me?) But I do want to apologize for those people who feel like they have been dropped… I love you all!