Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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You know those moments?

Those momements when you suddenly realize something that everybody else has known for ages?

Well, in a very minor sense, I just had one of those moments. Because you know what next week is? That’s right: spring break! I can hardly just WASTE nine perfectly good days where a) I have no serious time committments, and b) Puppy H will be in the most trouble-free period of her puppyhood (the brief period after she is no longer at risk of anything much going wrong healthwise (three weeks) and before I need to worry about weaning and housetraining (five weeks)).

So . . . what to do, what to do?

Well, how about:

a) Finish that guest post I’m writing for Kristen’s Women in SFF Month. Can’t believe I haven’t got this done yet, one guest post, jeeze. Though to be fair, I was writing guest posts for Mel’s World earlier this month (to appear later in the year), so it’s not like I’ve been so super lazy about this really. But even so, this weekend for sure.

b) Get out my deck of Rally Obedience cards and actually work with the teenagers! I will be so embarrassed if I don’t have both Folly and Giedre ready to pick up Rally Novice titles at the specialty in April. I can’t believe I’ve let them both get over a year old without even one easy title!

c) If the weather’s nice, take all the girls hiking. Well, not Kenya, but all the girls who haven’t recently had a puppy. (Not all four at once. They’re trained, but there are limits, and Kenya is the only one I would really trust on a hiking trail off lead.) It seems like ages since I’ve had a chance to get out of the house and I am certain they would love to join me on the great hiking trails around here.

d) Start the rest of the seeds that I’ll be starting under lights. And think about broadcast-sowing some of the hardier seeds out where they’re supposed to grow.

e) Cut that one low branch off the birch tree before it puts someone’s eye out. Probably mine, since no one walks that way after dark but me. It would be nice to do this while the tree is still dormant. I’ve been swearing I’d get to it since December, but you know how it is.

f) Finish reading the rough draft of Merrie Haskell’s third book and put together a helpful critique. Actually I should finish reading it tonight. Or maybe tomorrow. The critique part is looking difficult, though, since so far I’m all: You rock! This is great! But I’ve got half the book still to go, so maybe I’ll be able to find something a little more helpful to say, who knows? (Not that unadulterated praise would be unwelcome, I expect.) It is a very creative take on Sleeping Beauty, btw, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts to blur into another fairy tale shortly, considering what Merrie did with THE PRINCESS CURSE.

g) Aaaand . . . I think this would be a great time to pick up the BLACK DOG sequel. I’ve got about fifty pages sitting there already. Fifty more pages in nine days shouldn’t be too big a committment. Probably. If it gets rolling. And hey, if it gets rolling, I won’t necessarily stop again till it’s done!

Which means that the newly expanded Kindle-inclusive TBR pile is going to sit there laughing at me. I think I have two or three nonfiction books on the pile, though, so at least I can read those.

On the other hand, after realizing just this morning about spring break? I spent the whole day firmly telling students: I expect you to work through the rest of this chapter on linear equations over spring break. I want to see a finished rough draft of this paper the Monday after spring break. I think you had better suck it up and learn to add fractions over spring break, so do these worksheets. (I can’t tell you how tired I am of teaching college students how to add fractions.) (And you cannot imagine how many younger students have never learned the multiplication tables, seriously, it is beyond appalling.)

So it could be worse! At least no one is making me do homework over spring break. No! Because as a writer I get to choose to do homework all the time.

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