I’m finished with elementary school! Yes, okay, technically I finished elementary school in 1979, but it’s ended for me again as my daughter “graduated” 5th grade and will be moving on to middle school this fall. But this is quite significant for me, as for the past six years, I’ve written and edited the school’s weekly newsletter and for the past four years I’ve run the school’s literary journal, in addition to various volunteer tasks as I was needed.

My jobs are over. The middle school doesn’t require the same kind of volunteers, as I discovered when my son started there two years ago. I now have massive blocks of time that I haven’t had before. That’s time I can use to research the next novel, promote Modern Girls, and write. Write, write, write. I’m guessing you’re going to see me here on the blog a bit more.

I was fine with my daughter finishing elementary school—I made it through the “celebration of learning” without a tear. I made the 5th grade slideshow, which had other parents reaching for Kleenexes, but not me! The 5th grade ends with a “clap-out,” a tradition in which the 5th grade students leave the classroom on the final day of school and walk down the hallways as all the other students stand outside their classrooms and applaud the exiting students. Parents wait outside the front door as the 5th graders exit for the last time. With a big smile, I watched her exit. But when it came time for me to upload my final elementary school newsletter? That’s what did me in, as I turned into a sobbing mess.

But that is now almost two weeks past and in the meantime, I had a reading at in Long Island, so I brought the family with me to New York. The reading, in which Lynda Cohen Loigman and I discussed both our books, was at an absolutely charming book store (and wine cafe) called Turn of the Corkscrew in Rockville Centre. Between the great selection of books and the lovely wines, you could easily spend an entire day there.

The rest of the New York trip was marvelous. The kids and my sister and I did yoga in Bryant Park. We all went to see the hilarious musical Something Rotten. We had some great meals out. And of course we made multiple trips to the Strand Bookstore.

[After first trip, daughter showed her father the stack of books. “But Mom only bought one book for herself,” she said, “so you know we’re totally going back!” And she was right!]

Now we’re back home in Massachusetts. And my only jobs are to get through that stack of books, research, and write the next novel. Happy summer, everyone!