In 2008, I finished my huge steampunk book, which I called "The Steel Dragon." It was just shy of 1000 pages long, about 375,000 words. I printed up 10 copies and gave them to friends and colleagues over the summer to help me revise and edit.
In the meantime, I taught summer school for the first time that year, teaching 11th grade U.S. History. It was a great deal of fun, mostly because my son John was in my class.
I also discovered ebooks for the first time. Some friends urged me to get something written to get my name out there, so I took some of my sci-fi flash fiction, mashed it together, rewrote it, and wrote an ending for it. This became His Robot Girlfriend. I posted it on Feedbooks and then Smashwords.