When I was still in school summers were always transitional periods for me. Not only do I have a summer birthday, but it would mark some magical amount of time where I was permitted to go from one grade to the next. Somehow you needed a couple months of running around outside and not having to worry about anything in order to prepare yourself for the next stage. Summer vacation is a great concept. Continue reading
Book News Update first: I think the 14th of every month will be a free promotion day. Yesterday’s freebie promo brought almost 2,000 more people into the fold. Hopefully I get a few more fans out of it 🙂 At one point I hit #8 in free fantasy e-books and #109 in kindle books!! Wow. Not a bad way to start off the week.
Except I graduated!
Yep, I wore the silly looking hat, avoided tripping on stage, and got my picture taken who knows how many times. I’m not sure how different I feel. Does having a degree make my writing better? Probably not, but without my experiences and classes I don’t think it would be where it is today. Same for my artwork, really. Say what you will about whether getting a college education is worth the costs anymore, but I do know that my skills were nowhere near what they are today, and I’m not sure that I could have reached this point on my own.
So that’s all over with, and this week I am in between chapters. A lot of my stuff is in boxes right now, and the rest will be in a few days. Everything looks very empty, especially after my roommate moved out yesterday. A note on moving: You never think you have this much stuff. How could so much fit into a tiny apartment?? Maybe some sort of TARDIS technology.
What next? Moving this weekend, followed by buying replacements for the furniture I can’t take with me. Once I’m settled in I’ll finally be able to get back to writing more than a paragraph or two at a time. I will also start to really advertise my book as much as I can before the shameless plugging feels shameful. I submitted links to a few websites that announce free books and it really made a difference yesterday. Aside from that: Job hunting. I will be applying for traditional jobs as well as freelancing gigs. I have a few small projects lined up that will earn me a little bit in the future, so at least I’ll be keeping busy. Who wants to hire me?
For some reason I remember a particular day in middle school, 8th grade maybe, in PE class. We had just started the health section where they had to make sure we knew to eat healthy and take care of ourselves, and the health teacher looked at us and said, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.” At that point I stopped listening and started to draw. I know it was supposed to be inspirational and make me want to do something awesome with my life, but that came later. All I could think about was how by her logic I should be saying that every day, and in that the phrase lost meaning.
So what has meaning? Today. For two reasons that have timed out perfectly.
Today is the last day of classes. In one day I will no longer have to worry about homework, making it to class on time, carrying heavy books around, or sitting through long lectures that don’t interest me. I’ve spent years doing that and it’s all behind me now. Awesome. In about one week I will be a college graduate. Two papers, a portfolio, and a presentation stand in my way after today. I’ve given in to the fact that I do my best work under a tight deadline, so I’ll probably put it all off until after the weekend, but then I’ll be finished. I have the silly looking cap and gown and in about a week I’ll go sit with my friends and walk across a stage to get a piece of paper, then my family will say nice things and it will all be real life from there.
And perhaps one of the more bizarre mileposts today: I’ve been a published author for one month as of today. I’ve sold somewhere around 150 copies, and about 1,500 more have gotten my book for free. I’m already finding myself listed on other websites. My amazing friends have been awesome at spreading the word and expanding my reader base just a little bit farther. I am 5,000 words into my second publication, and I’m looking forward to the release with as much excitement as I used to anticipate my birthday. Maybe I can do this full time someday. Maybe. It’s a pretty good goal.
I noticed something during my winter break. Classes had ended, my final papers and projects were all turned in, graded, and forgotten about. I had roughly a month of free time in which I could do just about anything I wanted. I had decided that I would finally tackle the small (well, not so small) pile of books that had been accumulating, literally since my freshman or sophomore year.
I used to be an avid reader, and I still like to think I am. During my summers I would sometimes read entire books, more if they were short, over the course of one day with almost no breaks. I have shelves and stacks back at my parents’ house of books that I’ve read two or three times over.
Here in my lovely little apartment, many of the books have been unopened.
So what happened?
Being an English major happened. Having to read droves of stuff that I appreciate from a literary standpoint but wouldn’t pick up otherwise happened. At some point the 60-80-100+ pages of reading assignments got to me and I began to associate reading with work.
So I’m slowly teaching myself to enjoy reading again. I’m almost done with the fabulous WOOL Omnibus which may deserve a review here at some point, I’ve delved into a few fantasy novels I got years ago (including the novel adaptation to the MYST games, if anyone has ever played those. Not bad so far.) I edit and give feedback to a few fellow writer friends, whose works may also merit a shout-out on this blog at some point. I even sat back and let myself get lost in my own novella the other day. It’s been a slow process, but I’m healing.
I have an exam and a project due tomorrow, and several chores to do, so I thought to myself : I should blog!
Two weeks of classes left. This has been by far the most intense semester ever. I haven’t really had a day off. I’m not going to get a day off until exams start. That’s the beauty of being an English major I suppose: You work yourself to death up until the last day of classes, but exams usually consist of either turning in a paper or giving a short presentation, no studying required! Continue reading