For those of you who don’t know, after 41 years in the classroom—26 of those at Southwest Minnesota State University—I decided to step down from teaching to focus totally on my writing. “Retirement” for me will not be fishing or golfing; instead, it is a new fulltime career. I loved teaching. When I retired, I was granted emeritus status. Like the Cowan Award I received from SMSU in May 2014, emeritus is not given lightly. I am humbled and touched by this honor.
My plans as they now stand
The Marsco Saga is a four-novel set. The first novel, The Marsco Dissident, has been available since 2014. You may buy it via the link above. Book II, Marsco Triumphant, is about to be released. It should be out by May 2016. Look for Books III and IV next summer and summer 2017.
Writing fulltime brings a different cadence to my life. Without classes to prep and teach, without papers to grade and meetings to attend, I can set a schedule to write every day and to work on whatever major project I wish. Currently, those two projects are finalizing Book II and launching it, then revising/editing Book III so my editor can begin her work.
I am reminded of the comment made by the Head of the European Space Agency after Philae landed on Comet 67P in November 2014. This feat was the first time a probe launched from Earth attached itself to a comet. He said, “The biggest problem with success is that it looks easy.” A fantastic reminder to anyone who thinks the medal winner, the state champion, the top student, and the scholarship winner did her or his work without strain and sacrifice.
I have yet to achieve fame. I do have a small band of devoted readers eagerly and noisily anticipating Book II. And that’s fun.
However, by stepping away from an arena where I was successful in order to step into the world of self-publishing and self-promotion, I am engaged in a project that may take me places I never dreamed of. Some of those places may include honors and awards such as I earned in the classroom. Some of these places may be long days and many hours of work without getting noticed.
I am willing to take the risk.
I can’t get to where I want to be unless I set my course totally toward that goal. I can no longer do this in half measures or on the sidelines or during a few weeks of summer when I had no classes or administrative duties. It will be full tilt from this point on.
I want to boldly take my readers to places they’ve never dreamed of too.