Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Broken Heat Pumps, High-Stakes Testing, and Biting Dogs

Sometimes, life gets in the way of the best of plans. When my newest book released at the beginning of this month I thought, great! I’ll get a plan together to promote it, do some book giveaways, some guest blogging and all those other fun things.

Screech…. That would be the sound of the train derailing.

Somehow, my publisher didn’t get the word that the release date for my books was right in the final week of two simultaneous graduate level courses in which I had papers due…in each class…at the same time. Hey, that was okay. I got the papers turned in…just in time to have to push hot and heavy into prepping my high school students for their End of Course Writing exams. I’ve analyzed more reasons, evidence and counterarguments in the last month than I really want to see—at least until next semester when we’ll do it all over again.

So, while I was deep in the middle of reviewing parallelism and using specific vocabulary, I woke up one morning and thought, “Gee, it’s cold in here.” However, with a terrier curled against my back, I didn’t think too much about it, until I finally stumbled into the bathroom where I could hear the outdoor portion of the heat pump running madly, but couldn’t feel any air blowing out of the vent.
Not good.

The final distraction to promoting Broken Heart came from this cute guy whose picture you see here. Sweet face, soulful eyes. In fact, this is the little cutie who likes to curl up to my back at night. He is also the dog that my son takes great pleasure in teasing. This is not a good thing. Said cute, cuddly, worshipful Jack Russell Terrier is also a former abuse case. His previous owners saw fit to toss him out a car window, which is how we ended up with him. We quickly discovered he has real fear issues with men. It took him two years to warm up to my husband. He blows hot and cold with the teenager.
Which is why I usually find myself saying: “Get out of his face. He’s going to bite you.”  I don’t even stick my face in this dog’s face, and he thinks I walk on water, dance on the moon, and need to have him lying near my feet or sitting on my lap whenever I remain motionless for any length of time.

However, teenagers being the way they are. I don’t know what I’m talking about when I say: “Get out of his face. He’s going to bite  you.”

Which is why I spent Saturday evening wiping up blood, soaking a prized T-shirt in cold water, and examining my son’s upper lip to decide if it needed stitches or not. I refrained from being the first one to say: “I told you so.” My spouse took care of that.

My teenager’s gone to school with an ice pack this week.

All I finally said was: “I’m sorry this turned into such a painful lesson son, but I hope you’ve learned it this time.”

And he said: “I have. I don’t want to repeat it.”

Which just goes to show you, teenagers can learn something.

So, where does that leave me with promoting Broken Heart, which—if I do say so myself—is a darn good story? Leave a comment and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a copy of it. To be fair, I'll give away two copies. So I'm going to hold off and hold the drawing on November 9th.

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