50 and Beyond…

Today’s my 50th birthday – I’m pretty happy to be here to celebrate it, given the alternative.  Spent the weekend at a quaint Green Gables type house on a white sandy beach in Port Joli – probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been; my dream house, in fact.  It was cozy and we had lots of fun; hiked the Keji Seaside Adjunct and saw dozens of seals basking in the warm sun. The weather cooperated completely; it was warm and sunny the whole time.  I’m thinking ahead to an author pic for A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk, so Nance took several photos of me on the beach, all of which were horrible.  I see now why writers sometimes use photos of themselves as children in books – we were all much cuter as kids! Peter said he presented the book at a Fitzhenry & Whiteside sales meeting last week, and it was well received. I’m looking forward to seeing the cover image they’ve chosen and to reading the manuscript one final time after the copy editor has finished with it.

It’s been a week since I left my job at NKEC. I still think about the students, but I’m already feeling more rested and able to focus on the rest of my life again. Today, Shannon took me out for breakfast, then Liam took me out for lunch, so I’ve been duly pampered.  Tomorrow I’ll head out to the cottage by myself (to await the Aliant person who is coming to hook up the internet for us, sometime between 8 am and 5 pm on Friday!) and hope to get into some writing while I’m there.  I took a giant book out of the Acadia library today about the Montbeliard settlers (my Mingo family included) who arrived in Nova Scotia in the 1700s from Europe. I’ve always been interested in writing something about that voyage from a kid’s point of view, but I’m sure I’ll be challenged to find much relevant information. I’m also thinking about writing something else for the Korean language school (JLS) – this fall they’ll be looking for longer works (10 – 20,000 words).  I also had a university student contact me on the weekend with a series of questions about being a writer – it was interesting to reflect on my writing life while answering her questions via email.  Usually, I just write, but I don’t think about the process all that much.

Two hours of American Idol to sit through tonight – my money is on Crystal Bowersox!

Moving on…

Looks like I’ll be moving on from NKEC within the next few days – I’m suffering from sleep deficiency, and I’ve been sleeping a little better already since making the decision to leave. 220 students is simply too many, and I haven’t been able to shut down my brain when it’s time to sleep at night. I’ve sure learned a lot, and enjoyed my time with the grade 6 and 7 students, but I’ll be looking for a part-time position for next year. Going from tutoring ESL students one-on-one was too big a leap I guess.  Everyone has been very supportive of my decision, and I know it’s the right thing to do.  The teacher who will replace me will come in on Wednesday, and I’m planning on this being my last week.

I’m looking forward to having some time to concentrate on writing again; it’s gotten lost in the mix while I’ve been teaching full-time. I’m also looking forward to having time to think about Shannon’s graduation and enjoy Liam being home for the summer. The Stage Prophets’ production of The Sound of Music was on last weekend – it was lovely seeing Shannon play Leisl (sp?) and it was an amazingly ambitious production – I’m sure there were well over 100 people involved. Kudos to Mary Hanneman who brings everyone together every year for these performances and who does such a great job of directing.