Want some free stuff?

I’ve not written anything in the last few days, mostly because my options were “paralyzing anger” and “more paralyzing anger.”  Today upgraded everything to “so angry I can’t breathe,” and rather than indulge myself in that at the moment I’m just going to put a bunch of my books up for free.  I’ve done a Star Wars Day promotion pretty much every year since my first book came out; I completely flaked on it this time.  Let’s fix that.

Tomorrow and Saturday only, all four of my books will be free on Amazon.  I don’t think I’ve done all four at the same time before.  Check them out:

The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 1
The Sanctum of the Sphere: Vol. 2 of the Benevolence Archives
Searching for Malumba: Why Teaching is Terrible, and Why we Do It Anyway

Feel free to psychoanalyze me

2016_1.pngThe Olympics start tonight, if you’re into that.  I personally am not.  For my part, I’ll count them a success if none of the athletes die and the Games themselves don’t lead to a global pandemic.  My years as an educator have predisposed me to high standards, you see.

I’ve been having weird dreams lately, guys.  I generally don’t remember my dreams at all– more than one in a month that I remember past my morning shower is unusual.  So the fact that I can still remember dreams from three of the past five days and am pretty certain I can reconstruct the other two given some time is Goddamned weird, and possibly a sign that I’ve been a bit too sleep-deprived lately.  And, again, in addition to the fact that I’ve remembered them, they’ve been weird dreams, mostly dreams about people I have little contact with outside of occasional Facebook likes and haven’t seen in years.  One of them was about trying to get a woman to take me back after a mutual breakup; in the real world we not only never dated but I was never even into her like that.  She’s married with a couple of kids now and we haven’t spoken face-to-face in damn near a decade and a half.  Another was about going to New Orleans with three of my oldest friends– or, to be a bit more precise, two of my oldest friends and one of their husbands– only to realize partway through that the husband was with the wrong woman and that everyone had been really uncomfortable the entire time and I just hadn’t noticed.

Also, I swear to you that I’ve had dreams set in this weird proto-New-Orleans before.  I’ve never been to Louisiana, much less New Orleans specifically, so it’s really odd that my brain has this chunk of NO mapped out well enough to revisit it in more than one dream.

Oh, and I woke up seriously mad at the husband, and had to fight off the urge to text one of them to tell them about it.

Three hours until my eye doctor appointment.  I have high hopes that fiction might actually be accomplished.  Or at least lunch.  Cleaning.  Something.  I also got Searching for Malumba available at Smashwords.  It is, naturally, griping at me about Various Issues, so it’ll pop up at the other non-Amazon services as soon as I get around to fixing whatever it’s mad about.  But it’s up at Smashwords!

More later, if anything interesting strikes me.

In which that went well

IMG_4024.JPGToday was my first day as a Real Boy on the sales floor, and I did pretty damn well for myself, I think– just under $5000 in sales.  I spent all day joshing back and forth with our sales leader that I was aiming at him, and I thought I had caught him with what would have been the store’s last sale of the day, only to find out that the customer had talked with him about what she bought on a previous visit and there was a quote in the system already.  From the guy I was chasing, meaning that he beat me by whatever amount he was ahead plus the stuff I just sold.  If it had been my sale, I’d have caught him.


On the plus side, I came home to birthday steak and birthday baked potatoes and birthday cherry pie, so all is right in the world.

Speaking of my birthday: my birthday sale starts tomorrow!  Beginning late tonight, Searching for Malumba will be free for the next five days.  In addition, The Sanctum of the Sphere and Skylights will be $2.99, on sale from their usual $4.95 price point.  The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 1 remains $.99 at Amazon, although you can get it for free from Smashwords if you like.  The sale prices will be good for a week, and there will be a post up in the morning to remind you.  Sale!  Buy buy buy!

Or, y’know, give me a birthday present and buy them in paperback at full price.  That works too.  🙂

On making mistakes

IMG_2872When I went on medical leave for the first time in… God, was it September?, and started thinking about resigning before the school year ended, never in a million years did I think I would still be out of work in June.  I was about to say that I would have wagered large sums of money on finding work quickly, but the simple fact is that I did wager large amounts of money.  Hell, I wagered our entire damn house that I would find steady paying work before my savings ran out.  And while I’m not quite ready to drop off an application at Meijer or Target just yet, and the interview today really did go well, I’ve had positive interviews in the past that didn’t end up resulting in anything and… well, I’m not applying at Meijer or Target yet, but I can see it from here, if you know what I mean.  We’re not in panic mode yet; we won’t be for a bit.  But it’s a hell of a lot closer than it was in January.

You may be wondering if I think I made a mistake, walking away from teaching.

I had wondered myself.  Until today.

My wife and I ended up running errands in shifts today.  I went out this morning, then when I got home she headed out, and by the time she got home from her stuff I’d come up with more that I needed to do and went out again.  One of the tasks was to pick up cat food from my local pet store.  Where I ran into another teacher from my previous school.  He wasn’t on my team– in fact, he taught on the other side of the building– so the way teaching goes hell if I know when I’d last talked to him, and he’d likely only heard rumors about why I’d left.

He was at work, by the way.  I asked him if he’d quit too, but no; this was just his side job.  Because God forbid teachers ever just have one goddamn job, but that’s a side rant.

I asked him how the year was going.  And I should make sure I’m clear: I like this guy, and I think he’s a dedicated teacher.  So the torrent of bile and stress and caged-up antipathy toward his own students that poured out of him is not something I’m going to blame him for.  It’s the job.  This is what it does to us.  And this and that happened with this student, and we’re sending the fuckups to the office like they tell us to but then the office is just sending kids back to class, and God I don’t want to blah blah blah the guy but blah blah blah.  We’ve all sung this song a thousand times, and everybody knows the chorus by now.

It stressed me the fuck out.  I could feel the shit creeping back in again around the edges, just in a five-minute conversation.  And all I could think, talking to him, was Oh my God I am so incredibly glad that I am not you.

So no.  I might have thought I regretted it a few days ago, and I’ll admit that I do miss being around kids.  I liked being around kids.  But do I miss teaching?  Do I think I made a mistake, quitting when I did, even though it led to months more unemployment than I had ever dreamed it would?

My book about teaching, Searching for Malumba: Why Teaching is Terrible, and Why We Do It Anyway, is just $4.95 for the ebook and $15.95 in print.  Check it out!

I get reviews!

BookJunkieKrystal did a nice review of Searching for Malumba over at her site sometime after I went to bed last night.  Go check it out!