End of the Summer Goals: Only 3 Days of Break Left

Let’s be honest.  I didn’t have much of a summer break since I was working at camp even before my school job ended.  That means I’ve really only had 13 days to rest.  Minus 1 for orientation day though.  Not much, but a lot has happened.  I think I’m going to categorize this post to make things easier.  That way people can skip to what they’re curious about here.


As I mentioned last weekend, I went to Baltimore with my son and parents.  It was a fun trip, but I’ll admit that my body was at the end of its energy.  Sleeping in isn’t an option when you share a room with a 10-year-old who figures out the remote, channel guide, and window curtain right away.  When he woke up, I had to wake up.  He tried to help by putting a pillow on my head, but that didn’t work.  Thankfully, the continental breakfast was great, so I got a boost from that.  The hotel also had a heated saltwater pool, which helped me relax.

Aside from being in the hotel, we went on a few outings.  The first full day was really rainy, so we couldn’t wander around the harbor like we wanted.  We did go to the National Aquarium, which was the main event and was all indoors.  They have dolphins here and my son was super excited to see them.  We made it in time for one of the training demonstrations, which explained how they are taught skills they would use in the wild like releasing bubbles underwater to herd fish and hydroplaning in the shallows.  There was also a jellyfish touch tank that my son was a little scared about, but became thrilled after the first touch.  They have a 500 pound sea turtle rescue named Calypso who is missing a front flipper too.  We got a close look and she is huge.

Other parts of the trip were a train museum that was a lot of fun.  Very old trains that are in great shape and you can go on a few of them.  We didn’t ride on any of them and my son took a little time to get really into it.  No interest in the more historical parts indoors, but he was happy when we walked into the Roundhouse.  After that we went to the Maryland Zoo, which isn’t as big as the Bronx Zoo, but was a great way to spend a few hours.  The highlight here was that my son got to see cheetahs, chimpanzees, and arctic foxes for the first time.  Of course, the cheetahs are what he really wanted and they were right by the glass.  Unfortunately, another kid was banging on the glass to get them to ‘do things’ and their parent wasn’t stopping it.  So, the cheetah did keep some distance until that issue moved on.  Overall, a fun summer trip.

I Live In a Storage Room Now

This is temporary, but we’re taking advantage of my son being with his mom for the last 7 days of his break.  Both his and my room need to be painted, so we’re working on his first.  I say ‘we’, but my dad is doing it while I only help with the heavy lifting.  I’m just trying to rest up and get things ready for school on Tuesday like doing a few training/refresher things.  There isn’t much space in there too.  The big furniture is still there under a tarp, but most of his toys and smaller things are in my room.  I can’t access my closets, a blanket box blocks me from my puzzle table, and there’s just this feeling of claustrophobia at times.  I hope we can put things back tomorrow since I’d like at least one night of sleep in a room that doesn’t feel like a ‘Search and Find’ puzzle.

Back to School

I had my orientation/welcome back day on Thursday.  I’m still working on an odd internal schedule, so I showed up really early.  Said hi and chatted with people I haven’t seen since July.  It’s going to be an interesting year because I’ve been moved in a manner of speaking.  I’m not with the student I was with last year.  Instead, I’m working in what is called Life Skills.  This is a great program with amazing kids and teachers.  I had one period with them last year, so I’m excited to be with them for most of the day.  I’ll have to learn the protocols for when we go out in the community and the quirks of all the students.  Big difference between one period and most of the day.  Still, I’ve begun looking for online programs for a Special Education Masters, so this is the type of class that I would be working in.  An added bonus is that I can wear sneakers since I’ll be on my feet more than before.  I’m hoping to get some outlining done during my free period and lunch too, so here’s to a positive school year.

War of Nytefall: Eradication

My goal is to release this book right before Christmas even though it has nothing to do with the holiday.  I began editing on Wednesday, but I lost Thursday.  I’ve managed to finish 6 of 16 chapters.  If I’m lucky, I can finish 15 before I go back to school on Tuesday and I can do the last one when I get home from work.  My problem here is that I’m still unsure about this story because I wrote it during a difficult period of life.  So, I had a lot of big breaks between writing sessions.  This has resulted in characters using terms that they shouldn’t know until they are told later in the story.  I changed villain plans throughout the story too.  I didn’t have a clear idea of the bad guy’s secret, so he came off as inconsistent in terms of personality.  At the end, I found a reason for this, but I’m afraid that it comes off sloppy.  This is why I hate having weeks between writing sessions.  The smaller bits of foreshadowing are lost and I lose an entire day if I have to reread everything.  I’ve been fixing up a lot of stuff though, which is good.  Okay, it isn’t as bad as I feared and there’s only one scene that’s really irking me so far.

I’ve noticed that I have this ‘Nytefall’ story move fairly quickly.  It’s a large cast to balance and I try to have everyone make an appearance.  I mean, does it work if two characters who are mildly involved in events only show up 3-4 times?  One of the heroes got a lot of his scenes cut because they were recon that could be done ‘off page’ and would typically be fairly boring.  Doubt is the flavor of the year with me on this.  Keep fearing that my mojo is gone, but it looks like I slide back into form once I get going.  My hope is to work on War of Nytefall: Ravenous in a month or two, but I need to rewrite the outline to suit a new idea.  Not having an alpha reader anymore does make me twitchy.  I can get people to edit and look at the content, but I lost that person who knew what was coming or at least understood the stories evolution.


  1. Finish editing War of Nytefall: Eradication
  2. Continue watching ‘Wynona Earp’.
  3. Back into school schedule.
  4. Work on fantasy tip book notes.
  5. Finish new book idea list to help jog thoughts.
  6. Look over ‘Ravenous’ outline.
  7. Move son’s stuff back into room.
  8. Desperately try to get back into the habit of biking.
  9. Finish the November blog posts.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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17 Responses to End of the Summer Goals: Only 3 Days of Break Left

  1. A lot going on for sure. The Baltimore trip sounds like it was a lot of fun. I had to laugh at your use of “issue,” moving on (describing the little beast who was pounding on the glass) Here’s wishing you a super week.


  2. Glad the trip with your son and parents was such a successful and fun one.

    Hope the room decorating is finished soon, so you can get things back to normal furniture and sleeping arrangement wise.

    Great to hear you’re so positive about the start of the new school year.

    Good luck with the editing, and with all the other goals for the week.


  3. L. Marie says:

    The kid banging on the glass reminds me of a scene in the first Harry Potter movie when Dudley banged on the glass, demanding that the snake move. That kid where you were should be thankful that no one used magic to cause mischief. 😉
    Sounds like a good trip overall. Here’s hoping you meet all of your goals.


    • That’s a more common scene that people may realize. I’ve seen it done by kids and adults every time I go to a zoo. My son did it once when he was younger and I explained why it was a bad thing. Hasn’t done it since and will occasionally tell other kids to stop. They never listen.

      The thing with cheetahs is that they are anxious creatures. It would suffer more from the glass disappearing than the kid. This is why some zoos use therapy/helper dogs to be friends with the cheetahs and keep them calm. It’s a really interesting practice to look into.


  4. Have a great school year and happy writing! 😊


  5. Here’s to a good return to the school year. Hopefully your refurbished room will be ready soon.


  6. V.M.Sang says:

    Busy, busy, busy, Charles. The new school job sounds interesting.
    I’m sure Nytefall will come together. I find that once I start working on a novel, things start to sort themselves out.
    Have a good school year.


    • Thanks. I’m finding a lot of inconsistencies, so I feel like I was sloppy on this story. I’m having to put in explanations and jump around to clear things up. For example, I had characters using the name of a new weapon before they had heard it. It doesn’t require massive rewrites, but I have to build better continuity bridges.


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