When I came to the gut-clenching realization that I was going to stop writing, I didn’t have Carina Press in mind as the obvious next step in my life. That was a fortunate accident of timing! The application process began in October.
Before learning of the opportunity, I’d already embarked on my three non-editing, non-mom, non-housewife ventures. First was to return to my favorite place on earth: Six Flags Great America. Every Halloween season I work at Fright Fest as a scare actor. I get paid to dress up and scare the crap out of people. (Legally.) I’m already looking forward to next season!
I also began training as a docent for the Kenosha Civil War Museum. It’s the only Civil War museum in the country dedicated to the war as viewed through the lens of the Midwest. Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the territories of Minnesota and Iowa contributed more than one million troops to the Union Army, or just under half its total strength. I had no idea when I started. It’s the first stat I quote when people ask, “Why a Civil War museum in Wisconsin??” I lead students and adult groups through guided tours and interactive school activities. So far I’ve only been shadowing, but I’ll be testing to go solo sometime in March.
Finally, I joined Varsity Tutors in July as an online tutor, where I maintain a client base of high school and college students. I also take instant requests for help. (Those requests, perhaps unsurprisingly, pop up like whack-a-moles on Sunday evenings.) I’ve been teaching all varieties of history and literature. As with leading the Civil War tours, I get the excitement from teaching, which I love, but without all the administration guidelines!