New Adventures

Summer is winding down, and I find myself pulled in several directions.

During the month of August, I took a free writing class with Andi Cumbo-Floyd titled “Discover Your Writing Self.” It was a great class that challenged me to think about why I write, what I want my writing career to look like, and to reconsider when and how I write.

The daily assignments helped me remember why I am passionate about writing in the first place, which I needed. Other assignments pushed me to think about how I prioritize my writing time, which times of the day might be better used for writing, and ways to set reasonable goals.

I ended the class feeling like September would be a wonderfully productive month.

And then, I threw a huge monkey wrench into my well-laid plans.

I received a call from a good friend, who is an adjunct lecturer at a NYC-area university. The fall term was about to start, and the English department still needed instructors for the composition classes. Was I interested in teaching this fall?

I submitted my C.V. and was hired immediately. That all happened on Monday, August 29. The first day my class met was Thursday, September 1.

The university requires its students to write a diagnostic essay the first day of composition class, so my first class was already planned for me. I spent all of Labor Day weekend reviewing texts and articles so I could write the course syllabus. Welcome back to school, Ms. Simon.

Teaching this class means I’ll need to rethink the writing schedule I’d set up in August. It means I’ll need to be more disciplined on the days when class doesn’t meet. I’ll need to balance my writing and revising with grading course assignments and being a resource for my students. Fortunately, my class is capped at sixteen students, which should make that easier to manage.

Also in August, I became an advanced reader for a publishing company and also for an author I know. That means I get advanced copies of their books to read and review on and/or It’s nice getting a chance to see and comment on new books, but getting ARCs means a commitment to providing feedback in a timely manner. We’ll see how that works out as the semester goes on.

Autumn is probably my favorite time of year, so I’m looking forward to these new challenges and opportunities. I’ll admit to some concern about meeting all of my responsibilities, though.

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