Popping In, Popping Out

Hi there. Quick update and some thoughts.

This post is mostly to say I'm still here, plugging away at my novel-in-progress, and it's a blast. The more I work with this manuscript, the more excited I am to get it into the world. I'm talking about Deathform, of course, which you can read about under "My Writing" on this site. My beta readers have given great feedback, so I'm finishing up a new round of edits. Hoping to begin querying agents and publishers in the next few weeks. Would love to have more news then.

Because this last semester was a nightmarish experiment in overworking myself at three universities, moving to a new apartment, getting more involved with my union, and various other adventures, I haven't had much time to think about this website, and unfortunately had little time to dedicate to writing. Now the heat is off, and I’m feeling a bit more sane, mostly because I have time to write again.

Piece of advice: Be kind to yourself when you need to focus on real life. I’ve known for a while that I’m miserable when I’m not writing. But, just sometimes, you need to prioritize financial stability. Money is a serious obstacle for aspiring writers. Nix that. It's an issue for all writers, aspiring or otherwise. All artists, in fact. For roughly three months, all I could do was slog through 60+ student essays a week, then let my brain recuperate while binging on Netflix. On top of that, as an adjunct, I wasn't getting paid very well, and two of the three universities I slaved for haven't asked me back in the spring. Well, one did, but it was about two days before the semester started, and I've already taken a part-time job I enjoy and that doesn't give me homework. Anyway. You can (and should) read more about the adjunct crisis elsewhere.

So, the past semester was a learning experience for me. After putting my writing on the back burner and having virtually nothing to show for it, I won't be doing it again. Without sounding too ranty, I'm done working for universities that hire you for one semester and dump you. It's not only disrespectful, insulting, or harmful, but it's downright fucked up (to use fancy ethical terminology), and I aim to do what I can to help others in that situation by continuing to speak out and work with my union.

In the meantime, I'll be hitting the gas on some new projects. Now that Deathform is getting close to the light at the end of the tunnel, I'd like to turn my attentions back to "Frankenstein Love" and its possible sequels. The first novella has been done for a while, but I aim to self-publish it (probably) and the sequel at the same time. No promises, though. Sometimes projects fall through the cracks because another rises up to take their place, and we're all better for it. Who knows. Self-publishing may not be the right route for that series, either.

Also on my radar: sci fi / horror stories. I'd like to get some shorter works done this year, but it's a form I've always struggled with. The first story I wrote in a college-level writing class turned into a 70 page novella about which my professor (now a colleague) said, "I think this has to be a novel to work the way you want it to."

So there's that.

Still, I'd like to flex my short story muscles a bit. If it doesn't work out, well. One of the first gifts my fiance ever gave me was a drawing of Cormac McCarthy along with the quote, "Even if what you're working on doesn't go anywhere, it will help with the next thing you're doing. Make yourself available for something to happen."

Sound advice, that.

One last thing: Expect less posts like this in the future. They're time consuming and a little distracting, and I tried the whole public journal thing when I was a moody teenager. It didn't work out. I'll drop in now and then if I have something to say; otherwise, feel free to follow me on Twitter for some inane non sequiturs, or follow me on Facebook for the occasional public post. If I go quiet, it's because I'm working. Please knock.