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Everything All At Once Together

The countdown is on. Two days until the paperback release of The Scandal Plan.  I’m excited, stressed, and tired all at the same time.  HarperCollins is not putting big bucks into this book, so it will be up to me to do what I can to get the word out.  I’ve been busy getting all my ducks in a row this weekend, and I’ve also been working with my friend, filmmaker Nick Weiss, to film my publicity efforts for a little documentary short.  You’ll be hearing more about that soon.

The paperback release is coming at a crazy time for me.  The school year is ending and I’m busy preparing for some courses I’ll be teaching this summer.  I’ve also reached a finishing point with my new screenplay (tentatively titled: If You Love Somebody).  I’m very excited about the script, and I think it’s finally ready for the world.  Over the next few weeks, I plan to start soliciting representation out here in LA (if you have any leads, drop me a line).  It’s time to get this screenwriting career rolling.  And I’m hoping to do it all at once for maximum effect.  I definitely want my script going out to agents while my book is still in stores (whichever stores those may be).

I’ll try to blog as these events unfold.  More to come …

How Would Jesus Celebrate?

Today I turn 33 years old. It has been brought to my attention that this is the age Jesus was when he died.  I have not yet decided whether I will let this fact depress me or fill me with gratitude — but I must say, I’m trying my best not to do the compare/contrast thing:

What have you done with your 33 years, Bill?  Healed the lame and the sick?  Started the world’s largest religion?  Why not?  Too “busy?”  Didn’t want to wake up that early?  Had some TV shows you just had to watch?

Yeah, that’s a game you don’t win.  And I’m told it’s bad form to compare yourself to Jesus, even for the sake of self-deprecating musing, so I’ll stop that line of thought right here.  Anyhow, I shouldn’t be too hard on myself.  I actually have a lot to be thankful for on this birthday. Between getting married and publishing my first novel, this has probably been the most eventful year of my life.  I will be hard-pressed to match this level of excitement and good fortune in my 34th year.

But then, I like to give myself lofty goals …

In the meantime, we have the day to day.  I’m still making ends meet by teaching at a wealthy private school on the west side of Los Angeles. I’ve been filling vacancies, hopping from one maternity leave to another, in an effort to avoid the complications of full-time employment such as report cards, take-home grading, and time-sucking extracurricular faculty pow-wows.  Does this allow me enough time to write?  There’s never enough time.  That said, it’s better than many other day jobs I’ve had and infinitely more fulfilling.

Up until recently, I’ve been spending my time in the kindergarten, which has been good for the soul if bad for the immune system (I was sick for the first month-and-a-half of 2009).  Now I am in the 6th grade, where I will stay for the remainder of the school year.  It’s a whole new, challenging, grade-conscious, puberty-ridden world, and I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it in future posts.

Speaking of future posts, I do plan on writing some.  I’m working on another book review, and I have a lot more things I plan on sharing once I get the time to do so.  Apologies for the continued blog neglect.  These next couple months should be busy ones.  I’m hoping to have this new screenplay squared away soon, which will mean starting my film agent search sometime in the next couple months.  Then, on June 2nd, the paperback version of The Scandal Plan will hit bookshelves near you.  More on these stories as they evolve.

For now, I’m 33.  Given the alternative, I’ll take it.  Jesus didn’t make it to 34.  God willing, I will. Thanks to all those who’ve sent me birthday wishes this week.  I feel the love.  It’s warm, and I dig it, and I dig all of you.

Much love,

Señor Story

Now that things have quieted down a bit on the book front, it becomes apparent to me that I still need to earn a living. At least until The Scandal Plan becomes a staple of the New York Times bestseller list. To that end, I’ve adopted a new identity and web address. You may say this is simply an excuse for me to draw a picture of myself as a sombrero-wearing superhero, and on that score, you may be right. So sue me.

Less than 24 hours to go…

I’ve been working as a kindergarten teacher this year to help pay the bills. It’s been a nice change of pace for me: fun, challenging, and far more rewarding than most of the crummy jobs that have kept me afloat in previous years. And every now and then, I get to take home some priceless quotes from the young ones. While it’s not really appropriate to share most of those in my blog, I thought I would mention today’s quote of the day.

I showed the children a copy of my book for Share (“show and tell”). I held the book up in front of them so they could see the cover and my picture, and I explained the title as best I could in a G-rated way (omitting the subtitle, of course). The children, who are learning to write themselves, seemed quite impressed and had a lot of questions for me.

“How long did it take you to write?”
“How many days did it take you to write?”
“How many hours did it take you?”
(there were a lot of time-related questions because they were most impressed by the sheer number of words I used to fill up so many pages)
“Why is the first letter of the chapter bigger?”
“Does it have any pictures?”
“Are those your shoes on the cover?”

and then, my favorite, referring to the sexy female legs on the cover:
“Is the woman in the red shoes your fiancée?”

Love it.

In other news, I was interviewed this morning by a charming woman from USA Today. Barring any celebrity suicides, I should be in the paper on Thursday as part of their New Voices feature.

One final note: Today I was inundated with wonderful congratulatory emails from friends in response to my mass emailing late last night. I’m too tired to even begin responding to them all, but please know (in case any of you are reading) that your good cheer found a happy recipient. And thank you.