2020

I don’t even have to say it, do I?

It’s been one hell of a year so far and uh… anything resembling normal has gone straight out the window.

But some updates are in order, I guess.

In January, I started a new job–outside of retail. A proper office job and everything. I miss the library more with every day, but this one at least gets the bills paid and puts food on our table. And, thankfully, it’s allowed me to work from home during this pandemic. I’m incredibly lucky to have secured this new job when I did.

Writing has been chugging along slowly; sometimes I manage to get some writing done, but other days, I’m just in Pandemic Response Mode (read: nap time). I finished a draft of the YA Fantasy I’ve been working on for a long time. It’s the first full draft of this new concept for it and it’s so radically different from what it was 12 drafts ago.

I’m also working on some revisions on some manuscripts I shelved a while ago. A YA werewolf story (that was 100% revitalized because of Vampires coming back thanks to Midnight Sun) that I’m thinking of turning into a MG, and my YA Siren Pirate Lesbians fantasy I’ve loved and want to come back to.

It’s finally starting to get nice around here. It’s been a cold May so far, but as of writing this blog post, it’s 70 degrees and it almost makes me want to go out for a run.

Almost.

Currently Reading

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Current WIP

Looking Back on 2019

Welp.

It’s been a heck of a long time since my last blog. And a lot has happened since then.

Unfortunately, I’ve left my job as children’s librarian assistant. Which was frankly, one of the saddest things I’d ever done. I miss my gremlins and the staff so much.

But, on the bright side, it was because I’ve moved. I’ve left my good ol’ Jersey Shore for the shores of a great lake and some serious snowy conditions. Upstate NY is a different jungle than NJ. But I’m up here on my own with my partner and he’s decided to go back to school so I’ve come up here with him.

The move has been a lot–and I miss my friends and family back home. And learning how to be me without the context of my home has been hard.

I’ve got a new Day Job (which is not at the library) and writing has been hard. I’m trying to get into a routine, which is not easy with all my depression and such. But I’m trying, y’all.

It’s hard to believe this year is over (almost). It’s been quite a roller coaster and I’m still not sure how I feel about the ride. With 2020 on the near horizon, I’ve got a lot of things I’d like to try and be better at.

Some personal goals include getting back into running, eating healthier, and knitting more. Keep the house cleaner, like doing the dishes when I use them instead of a week later, or laundry on a more regular schedule. Remembering to get the mail. That sort of stuff.

Writing-wise, I’d like to finish more than one book, and get to querying soon after. I’m also a part of the new Workshop Swap group, a place for writers to write and edit and get feedback on their work. It’s been great to find a circle of writerly friends and work with them. It reminds me of my WCYA tribe from my MFA program.

Regardless, I think I’m ready to leave 2019 behind and start 2020 with a fresh perspective and a healthier mindset.

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Current WIP

Writing Update: Summer Daze

Har-de-har. Daze. Days. I’m a goshdang master of words y’all.

It’s been a little while. I’ve been focusing a lot of my energy on Booked All Night lately, as well as my job. I’ve since gotten a permanent position at a children’s department in a different branch, so it’s been kind of fun. The gremlins, I mean, children, are always a bundle of fun. My co-workers make it a wild ride.

I’ve put away the YA Queer Ex-Princess Fantasy I was working on. It was giving me a lot of grief and I need to step away from that world for a while. I picked up my YA Lesbian Pirate Mermaids (no actual mermaids in the draft… I should fix that) and finished the first draft. It’s only been several years. I wrote the first iteration of the story back during my undergrad sometime between 2014 and 2015. I lost access to the original file, since that was on my last laptop. And that laptop had a motherboard meltdown back in August 2018. Oops.

I’ve picked up and put down this piece maybe two or three times. It just goes to show that you never really know when it’s the right time for a story. Sometimes it just has to sit in a folder on your OneDrive for a couple of years after you nearly lost 1/3rd of it during a train trip because the cloud sync you had it set up on on Scrivener decided to be a pain and not work and delete the 10k+ words you’d written and give you a meltdown somewhere outside Toledo.

But you know. Creativity. Writing is a wild journey!

So I finished the draft at the back half of May, gave it a few weeks to sit and rest, and I’ve been slowly working through revisions.

Very. Slowly.

It’s been nearly two weeks and I’ve done six chapters.

I’m not great at this whole “consistent writing” business.

I’ve been slowly working my way through that as well as reading a bunch of arcs. So many of them are coming out this fall. It’s like an early birthday present for me!

Currently Reading

Currently Playing

Current WIP

April Goals

It’s been a rough start to the year, y’all. I’m doing my damnedest to keep chugging along, but some days are worse than others and those days don’t tend to see much good. With spring here and warmer days coming, maybe I’ll be able to leave the house more often and get some work done.

I need to set some goals, something to strive for.

I want to hit 50k, at the very least, in my YA Queer Elven Ex-Princess manuscript. I’m sitting at 35k right now (what no, I’m not writing this post to procrastinate nope not I).

I’m doing Camp NaNo in April, so I’m hoping that puts a fire under my butt to keep going.

I definitely want to read more, since I’ve let that go since graduation as well.

Checking In

Well, it’s been a while.

I’ve never claimed to be good at this whole “blogging” thing. I tend to spend most of my time over at Twitter I’m not writing or reading. I tend to let the blog go on the backburner for a while. As I’ve clearly proved time and time again.

I just don’t have the things to fill out an extensive blog. Most of my book reviews go up at Booked All Night and few things filter down to here.

So I guess a bit of a catch-up/check-in/update type post is in order, since we’ve solidly entered 2019 at this point.

I’ve completed my Master’s program!

That was a big thing that happened in 2018. I graduated as part of the first class in the Writing for Children & Young Adults from Sierra Nevada College in August. My final semester was stressful–I rewrote my thesis (from scratch!) three times over the course of a month and a half in order to get it as best as I could before my deadline. It was a rough series of months–both mentally, physically, emotionally, and as a writer. It tested my limits.

But I came out the other end and while I wouldn’t say I’m proud of the work I’ve done (it needs a lot of work, and it may not ever see the light of day), I’m proud of how far I’ve come as a writer.

I started a new job!

It was a strange series of events the day I got the job offer. It’s ten minutes before my workshop class was starting. I get a phone call from my local library–where I interviewed for a position about a week before flying out to school–and they offered me a position. It also happened to be the day where I had to defend my thesis before a panel of my professors. And I was the very first student in the entire graduating class to defend. Talk about setting a precedent!

But everything worked out great! I’ve been working at my local library (which is a dream come true!) and I’ve been considering going back to school for a degree in library science. (I won’t, because I’m broke and can’t afford more loans than I already have.)

I’ve been working on the story of my heart again.

I had to put away the YA fantasy I’ve been chipping away at for several years in order to work on my thesis, but I’ve finally been able to go back to it. I get to look at it with fresh eyes and a better understanding of the craft, and I’m not putting myself on any strict deadline to finish it. I’m taking it easy and writing as I can, when I can, however long I can.

I’m trying to hone in on my writing process. I’ve never been a Write Every Day type of writer. I reach burnout too quickly like that. I have days where I can write 7k words, and some days where I can only write 200 words. I’m learning to be okay with that.

Writing Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my writing life. So let’s go!

I recently submitted my second packet work to my mentor. It’s my final semester and I’m writing my thesis now. It’s a lot to think about, and the added pressure that this project is going to define me as I get my MFA is just an extra dollop of stress and anxiety on top of my usual anxiety.

I want to present my best work, I always want to be able to show people what my best work is, but I’ve come to a realization that this project will never be my best work.

I’m falling in and out of love with this piece on a near daily basis. Some days I like it and some days I think it needs to die in a trash fire. But this goes beyond the usual Writer Thing writers do. It’s a urban fantasy/fantasy fiction/paranormal type piece (I used to call it suburban fantasy but paranormal probably fits better). The problem with this piece is that it’s entirely too contemporary for me.

I’m a huge lover of fantasy and my writing voice reflects that. Contemporary is not even close to my favorite. It’s my least favorite genre, to be honest. But the story I’m trying to write goes beyond just the genre, since it’s a story about grief and accepting the loss of a loved one.

But all I want to do is write my queer elven princesses and lesbian mermaids.

It’s a struggle.

But sometimes the things you want to do aren’t the things you need to do. I know this project will be a good thing to have in my pocket, regardless of how I feel about it. Plenty of authors have written books they hated, but the point was that it was a book they wrote.

Something is better than nothing and I’m 50 pages deep into this project and I still have another 100 or so to go. Whether or not I complete this book when my semester is over is a totally different ball game.

Not that I know how to play sports anyway.

Residency Log: Day Seven

I sort of missed yesterday’s log. We spent most of the day after workshop in the library doing some work. I plotted out the new parts of my thesis and I have a lot of things to do, but I have a new motivation for this story now.

I got some great news this morning and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

That, and we got an earlier flight that gets us home a little sooner and just the idea that I can sleep in my own bed a little bit sooner makes me so happy.

This residency is almost over. Soon, my last semester will begin and then I’ll be graduating and then I’ll be a post-graduate writer and that’s just… a whole plethora of emotions, y’all.

Residency Log: Day Four

We’ve mostly had the day to ourselves today. There was the option to go on the Tahoe Excursion to go into the city and do some ice skating and such. We decided to hole up in a classroom in the library and get some work done.

It’s always nice to help other bounce ideas around for their work and getting the chance to work on my own things without the feeling of being rushed because I only have a certain amount of time to do it before I have class again was nice. I’m still incredibly tired and ready to go back to sleeping on my own bed.

We also had meetings with our mentors today. Since my mentor isn’t technically hired by the school yet (paperwork troubles), I met with my “department” head and he lined things out for me and answered basic questions. We’re then going to call my actual mentor on Tuesday to discuss our semester plan.

I’m both ready for this semester and also not. I just can’t believe this is my final semester and I’ll be graduating come August.