Well, hello again, blog. It's been a while, but not without good reason.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my schedule became rather loaded in the fall. I was teaching five writing classes between three campuses (again) while working on the first draft of my current WIP. I finished the first draft before my self-imposed deadline, but it's rough enough to warrant a full rewrite, which I've been working on since.
My schedule has not exactly eased up, which accounts for my absence on this blog. However, I'll be stopping back every now and then to drop some updates before I dash off again.
I decided late last year that I cannot simply keep working as an adjunct instructor indefinitely, and after teaching a wonderful class in the Syracuse City School District (SCSD) for a program through Onondaga Community College, I decided to get my 7-12th grade high school certification. This will allow me to earn something like a decent living through one of my passions (teaching) while I continue the other, less lucrative one (writing). For the next year, I'll be completing a residency program through NYU and the SCSD.
I'm not putting my writing on hold, however. I've made significant progress on the second draft of my latest novel, which I'm aiming to finish by the end of summer. The manuscript is much longer than Deathform, and quite a bit more complicated. To give you an idea, there are three main characters: a psychic, a recent high school grad, and a police officer, all wrapped up in the pursuit of an ultra-violent supernatural creature that's been traveling around the country possessing and murdering people for some unknown purpose. I'm extremely excited to see the project through completion and get it to readers, but first I have to make it the strongest story it can possibly be. I promise I will be quicker than George R.R. Martin. Much quicker.
So that's where my career and my writing stand. Now, I'm dying to tell you about what I've been reading.
Since my latest project steps more fully into the horror genre, dropping the side-helping of sci-fi that Deathform embraced, I've been stacking my bookshelves--physical and digital--with horror novels I might have missed. My current homework is to read the entire backlog of HWA Bram Stoker Award winning novels. Though I have a long way to go, there are some obvious personal standouts so far, such as John Langan's The Fisherman, Joyce Carol Oates' Zombie, and Joe Hill's NOS4A2 (nominated, but not a winner, if you want to get technical).
I'm currently reading through Charlee Jacobs' Dread in the Beast, which is, to say the least, an intense ride. Unless it somehow comes to an abrupt halt, I see it making my all-time personal favorites list. I particularly appreciate the way the horror is grounded by historical references, so that even as the depravity mounts, we see that it is no more outlandish than the atrocities human beings have committed against each other for millennia.
I could go on. In brief: I like this book so far.
Another note before I go. I probably won't continue with individual Advice for Writers posts any time soon, but I'll share anything that comes to mind in these monthly updates. For starters, here's something I've had on my mind for the past several months:
It's easy to get frustrated when you're juggling competing priorities, but that's no excuse to give up. And if you can make the space for your passion, the frustrations will clear up, and you'll be left knowing that you worked your butt off and have something to show for it. So, if you find yourself in that situation, let yourself rest when you need to, but get back at it as soon as you can.
Okay. That's all for today. Keep writing, friends. And don't forget to read.