Things I didn’t count on

Okay– we’re supposed to say goodbye to the old year before saying hello to the new, right?  Well, I’ve had this piece actually WRITTEN UP for over a month.  I didn’t publish it at first because the whole thing wasn’t wrapped up, and then I didn’t publish it because I’d put out the other things with fewer details, and I was sick of talking about it by then.  But this was still in my archives, and it was still a significant part of my year.

I still don’t want to talk about it.  It dominated my thoughts for so very long.  But I didn’t want to delete this post either.  It was just hanging out in the back of the post closet, like luggage.  So I’m going to toss out the old–clear the air, as much as I possibly can (because some shit is still listed under confidential, and I’ll honor that)  and then when I talk about this event in the past tense, folks will know what happened.  Those of you who have been here for a long haul already know what my writing has cost me, and how much of everything–joy, pain, anger, whatever–lies behind the words, “Yeah, I used to teach.”

* I didn’t count on homophobia being so rampant in my community.

*  I didn’t count on being pulled out of my classroom and put under investigation from my school district after one parent complaint about their student reading Truth in the Dark and Litha’s Constant Whim in October of last year.

*  I didn’t count on the powers that be taking one look at the book, seeing two male leads, and calling it porn.

*  I didn’t count on having two lawyers assigned to me to help me get my job back.

*  I didn’t count on the whole process taking over 14 months.

*  I didn’t count on lapsing into depression when a chance to go back into the classroom was cruelly jerked away from me last November.

*  I didn’t count on yanking myself back to the here and now with the help of aqua-aerobics and the world’s most supportive Mate.

*  I didn’t count on missing a job that had caused me so much misery quite so badly.

*  I didn’t count on stupid things triggering a big, aching hole in my chest.  (The sob-fest I had over the graduation event of The Suite Life of Zach and Cody was not one of my finer moments.)

*  I didn’t count on the district spending a WHOLE lot of money investigating every move documented in my blog for the last five years to see if they had anything to fire me with.

*  I didn’t count on looking at my past blogs and realizing how very alienated I felt from my profession.

*  I didn’t count on the investigator looking at my past logs and not finding anything at all that was actually a fireable offense–not even calling my past principal a vainglorious prickweenie and a festering cockroach turd.

*  I didn’t count on how hard it would be to let go of my identity as a teacher, even over the course of fourteen months.

*  I didn’t count on the feeling of freedom I would get when faced with the prospects of making my living on the merit of my writing alone.

*  I didn’t count on my lawyer telling me I had an EXTREMELY defensible case, if I chose to pursue it.

* I didn’t count on the little part of me that wanted to fight like hell for my job just so I could quit on my own terms.

*  I didn’t count on Mate feeling the same way.

*  In spite of that last one, I didn’t count on being so very ready to walk away, when the time came to settle.
*  I didn’t count on losing my emotional nut anyway, when I made the decision.  (In the parking lot of Safeway, of all things.)

*  I didn’t count on my classroom being used as a storehouse when I came to pick up my stuff.

*  I didn’t count on my dread of getting my things being not EVEN as fucked up as the event itself.

*  I didn’t count on my crazy friend Wendy trying to take EVERYTHING out of the room, even shit that had no practical purpose, while I was trying grimly to sort the stuff that was mine from the stuff that had been thrown into the room for the sheer fuckery of it.

*  I didn’t count on not seeing anyone I knew when I went back.  I didn’t count on not being able to say goodbye.

*  I didn’t count on screaming to the lyrics of Bleed It Out as we finished packing up.

*  I didn’t count on ever being able to type this up, and know it was done.  
*  I didn’t count on facing the demise of a career I loved with quite this much peace.

0 thoughts on “Things I didn’t count on”

  1. DecRainK says:

    Just sending Love your way <3

    I am sorry that you went through so much horrid crap, just know that your writing has touched my life in a profound way ever since I found Vulnerable and that it continues to touch me every time I read something you write, even your blog. I am sorry that you have had to deal with idiots who call your lovely work 'porn' without ever looking beyond the cover.

    I, though, will ALWAYS love ya :0)

  2. Tom Webb says:

    Love you. Sorry this happened. You are stronger than all that.

  3. Louiz says:

    Sounds like a whole load of nasty.

    I'm so sorry that this happened.


    May 2012 be a year with less crap in it for you.

  4. Katy says:

    Oh honey, only a true idiot would call your work porn. Each piece is a beautiful romantic love story. A piece of the human spirit that shines in all of us. You have survived and have come to peace with the loss of something you loved. And they have lost something they don't realize they need, YOU!!!!!

  5. (hugs)

    You made the right choice.

  6. Catie says:


    here's hoping your 2012 will be awesome

  7. Leaundra says:

    So sorry for what you went through and are still going through and I hope this next year is a better one for you…

  8. Annie says:

    Some things that happened to you this year truly sucked. I'm glad you have a supportive mate to help you through it all. And I know it may sound trite, but I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason. I don't know what kind of teacher you were, but you are an exceptional writer. Please–embrace your gift. What you do is important, because teaching tolerance is important. It makes the world a better place. Your "Little Goddess" series is a great read, and I really think that if it weren't for the bisexuality and homosexuality, the books would have been hailed as great romance novels. But here's the thing–these relationships exist. They are valid and beautiful and shouldn't be shunned. They should be accepted as normal and even mundane, not dismissed as porn. I think your books help people to see that. Before I read Corey's books, I may have said the same thing. You helped made me see that you can't help who you fall in love with!

  9. ElaineG says:

    I wish this never happened.
    I wish that the world appreciated a gifted teacher.
    I wish people weren't obnoxious, opinionated,judgmental,stupid assholes.

    I never think your books are anything but love stories. Period. Cause that's what you write about, LOVE.

  10. kawol says:

    I am really sorry you had to go through all this. It is never easy to let go of something you love to do. But you are still teaching tolerance and love, more than ever. And you have a great family. Have a great new year ! I love your books !

  11. Zahra says:

    Oh Amy, I'm so sorry you had to go through all that.
    I hope 2012 will be so much better for you!
    I went to see the movie The Help this week and kept thinking how silly and outdated the attitudes of the Sixties were compared to our attitudes now on racial segregation. I couldn't help thinking that I hoped we'd live to see the day we'd look back at this era and think the same way about LGBTQ rights. I hope for all our sakes it won't take 50 years.
    We all fight to make m/m romance more about the literature and less about the porn, but it will take time. You're fighting the good fight, Amy.

  12. Unknown says:

    Let's look at this in a somewhat positive way, eh? There's that old cliché/truth of what doesn't kill you, make you stranger. No, I think it was stronger

    Another silver lining: 2012 can't be much crappier than 2011, right? 🙂

    I have to say that my 2011 has been just a little bit better because of your books, Amy. And the occasional email we've swapped when I've figured you'd know something and wouldn't mind me asking despite everything that's been going on with your life.

    You inspire me and probably a lot of other people too. Never forget that.

  13. roxie says:

    It was a cesspit of a job and if you didn't love the act of teaching so much, you would be dancing in the streets at being able to get away from the asshats and constipated dickheads.

    You are a success as a writer, and you are still successfully teaching, only to a wider audience who are receptive to learning. You no longer need to deal with druggies, criminals and teen psychopaths face to face, and the whole broken California school system will no longer be able to mangle you in its gears. It can be hard to leave a completely dysfunctional relationship, but it is for sure the very best thing for you. Rise, bright Phoenix!

  14. Adara says:

    I'm so very glad that in the end you found the peace that you needed to leave without the depression following you.

    You are a FABULOUS, FANTASTIC, SUPER, AWESOMESAUCE Writer (with a capital 'W' notice). Your star isn't setting, babe. It's still rising. And it's going to be a long while yet before it supernovas on you. =)


  15. Julie says:

    I'm so very, very glad that you've found your peace with this. Or are close, anyway. 🙂

    You have sounded much, MUCH happier with your writing.


  16. Jennifer says:

    Oh, you amazing, beautiful woman.

    I wish there was something I could say that would somehow make it all better. I can't even begin to imagine what this has all been like for you. The love, and compassion, and humor, and general goodness in your stories (that must have a home in you, or they wouldn't have ended up there) is a blessing, and I can't imagine anyone better suited to the teaching world. It absolutely breaks my heart that you've had to go through this. I wish you a new year that brings comfort, closure, new direction, and many, many, many smiles.

    **love and hugs**

  17. Amy says:

    I knOw this doesn't help but there are so many people supporting you. Your readers adore you including me and I wish I could read something as fab as truth in the dark when I was yOung. You have a wonderful mate and a kInd heart and people who love you. Just remember that.

    I am glad that you are moving on with your mate.


  18. Anonymous says:

    Hugs, baby.

    I'm not going to fling platitudes at you.

    But, I will say one thing… I'd have you teach my kids.

    If I had kids.

    But don't get any ideas I'm going to have some just so you can teach them. :::grins:::

    Keep doing what you love and what we love you for.

    And fuck the rest of them if they don't like it.

  19. Lisa says:

    Their loss is our gain. More time to write for you means more wonderful books for us to read. They are full of love and hope. NOT PORN!!!

    Sorry for what you went through and I hope that 2012 will bring you and your family much happiness.

  20. Galad says:

    You have been on a very long and difficult journey, but the one ahead is looking brighter and healthier all the time.

    Letting go of the past and finding peace takes time but you are getting there. At least now there is some closure and you and your family can move on.

    May the new year bring much joy!

  21. Chris says:


    This song might be a good one for you to listen to right now. 🙂

  22. saharaoz says:

    Thought of something to make yo smile
    Toilet training my 2 year old to do poos in the potty, finally she did! In the fisher price little people dolls house toilet.
    Took out the postman in the deluge and was sacrificed to the skip

    Love Colette

  23. saharaoz says:

    Oh Love..
    I love you. so many of us do.
    Even though we aren't all with you, we are all behind you.
    Draw strength from all of us when you need it in just knowing that one simple fact.

  24. Michelle says:

    Love your way with words Amy.
    There will always be prickweenies in the world. Just as there will always be those who can tell beautiful love stories with style and grace. I'm glad that you are here!

  25. saharaoz says:

    Oh Love..
    I love you. so many of us do.
    Even though we aren't all with you, we are all behind you.
    Draw strength from all of us when you need it in just knowing that one simple fact.

  26. Artfulmamma says:

    Looking toward the future, sometimes things like this are the springboard for amazing new paths. Your writing is a wonderful escape, a great reflection of society, and passionate. Keep it up. Sorry the educational institution lost a great teacher.

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