Friday Five: Back to School

As I type this, my son is stretched out on the futon in my office, the cat asleep beside him, and Terry Pratchett’s Soul Music in his hand. This weekend, a cousin is coming to hang out, there will probably be band practice, and there will definitely be Shakespeare.

And on Monday, school starts.

It’s been a wonderful summer, the recharge and relaxation being so wonderful, I honestly haven’t missed the productivity. This is the first August in a long time that I’m not seriously antsy about needing fall to GET HERE.

Here are a few things this school year will bring.

1. Driver’s Education. Oh, yeah. Did I mention he’ll be sixteen in the spring? Luckily, his dad wants to take charge of the driving lessons. I have NO problem with that. None of us need me in the passenger seat at the start of this big step.

2. A mix of determination and hope that I will have something on submission by the end of the fall. I feel like I have one more hurdle to get over on the picture book, and then it’s word revision, which I’m seriously looking forward to at this point. And then this book will be in the pile of all those trying to find their way out into the world.

3. More picture book ideas and drafts. I’m determined to participate in Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo in November. After all the work and learning I’ve put into my first picture book, I’m darned well going to find some more stories to play with.

4. Please, please, please, a completed draft of the Historical YA. My biggest battle with this book is NOT getting discouraged at how long each draft is taking me to write. I’m choosing to look at that as evidence that it will be a better, stronger, deeper book than other manuscripts I’ve worked on and completed. Yeah, that’s it!

5.ย  Growth. For my son and for me. There’s something about seeing my son head into his sophomore year of high school that makes me very aware of how much things have changed and are still changing for both of us. Watching him is an experience made up of equal parts wonder, awe, and hope. And a reminder that I, myself, don’t want my own life to stay the same, that I need to be looking for the places I want to, yes, mature. That I need to be pushing myself to take the risks that will let me do that.

What’s shifting for you and yours, as summer vacation fades out for another year?


  1. I am with you on #4. Yes, all of this time we’re investing has GOT to pay off!


  2. Shifting for me? Oh I am digging deep into those revisions in the historical YA And feeling hopeful that I am finally getting there. And you will too. You will. But I know exactly what you mean about how long it takes!

    Also, I remember the amazement of realizing my 15 year old son had turned some sort of corner into manhood! Almost 15 yars later, I love how he’s matured so much more.

    I hope I am maturing too. Ha! Sometimes, I wonder, though.


    • beckylevine says:

      I think maybe the maturing isn’t just as dramatic for us, as we get older. Which, honestly, should make it easier, right! Enjoy your revisions–and thanks for the vote of confidence!


  3. Tara says:

    Hooray! Another PiBoIdMo victim….err, I mean…participator! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. Julie says:

    I’m in the same place as you. Kiddos off to school, for the first time together (my son started Kindergarten), and I am ready to make use of that time in creative pursuits with, at last, regular and predictable hours to work with.


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