Hi LJ! Long time, no talk. *sigh*
Lately, I have really missed you. Like, really, REALLY missed you. There are things I can't talk about on Facebook, because, well, on Facebook everyone knows who I am. My boss and co-workers have me friended. I post something about a scary life change on Facebook in vague enough terms to be appropriate, and people I forgot could read it are texting my husband asking if everything is okay. (It is. Except that my husband believes Facebook is THE DEVIL, won't have anything to do with it, and then asks me things like "why for-the-love-of-God would you post anything about our lives on Facebook??" A serious introvert, he does not understand the need to talk things out when facing terrifying choices that literally effect your entire future. He's like, "but we talked with each other about it, that should be enough." *pets husband* I love you, baby, but I'm a writer. Sometimes I just have to write things out into the void, even if I get no response back.)
Anyway, this seems like a great time to resurrect LJ. I keep coming back here, meaning to be faithful, and then I'm not. But I'm making all kinds of life changes right now. Why not here, too?
So here's the deal. I finished my degree about eight months ago. That would be the soul-sucking graduate degree that I insanely decided to do after finishing my BA in English, resulting in a grand total of four years of higher education that literally sucked the creative energy right out of me. Writing for myself? Forget it. Jewelry? Eventually that had to go, too. (I believe I already posted here about the crazy/scary high blood pressure issues that required me to remove stress from my life. My BP is doing much better now, thank you.) Anyway, I finished my degree, and two things happened: 1. I found out that because my degree did not include a certification track, I could not use my newly minted MAT to actually, you know, teach in Oregon. 2. I was so paralyzed by self doubt after four years of not writing fiction, I couldn't make myself write something. I literally crippled myself creatively.
These two things led to months of unhappiness and depression, not helped by the fact that my job had become a place of constant negativity chipping away even more at my self worth every single day.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Two things happened. 1. After trying unsuccessfully to really write for months, I opened up the space pirates novella and read through it. Along the way, I tweaked things here and there, and then I started adding whole new scenes. And they didn't suck. I had a "light bulb" moment. If I could read this thing I had written at the height of my previous writing ability, and find things to edit and make better, I was obviously at least as good at writing now, as I was then. Maybe those years of writing literally hundreds of acamedic papers hadn't ruined me forever! (Hey, I never said my self-doubt made sense!) 2. A teacher friend of Mark's who has since moved on to administration, and administrates at one of the two virtual k-12 schools in Oregon came to us with an opportunity. He could hire me as a sub and get me a restricted sub license, so I was at least using my degrees. The catch? I still need to figure out getting fully certified in Oregon sometime in the next couple of years, which means finding a program that will let me do as little actual classes as possible and give me the needed student teaching and certification recommendation pieces. He also gave me some names at local universities to talk to. The huband and I spent three long weeks waffling about whether or not to take this opportunity. I didn't want to just make the decision emotionally because I am so unhappy at my current job. We need two incomes, so the idea of working the rest of the year at teaching and then suddenly having no income over the summer is REALLY scary. But, summer would be the perfect time for me to enroll in a cohort of whichever program I need to finish my certification, so there is that. There was lots of talking and tears. Eventually, we decided to take the chance. Next Wednesday is officially my last day at the negative job, YAY.
In the meantime, I have been writing again, and it has been glorious. I've started cleaning up the studio to do some jewelry again. I have remembered what it feels like to be doing something I love that makes me happy. I posted something on Facebook about that, about how just the act of writing creatively again was making me happy, and a friend said "Of course it is. Writing is your natural state of being."
I also started an online writing group, and as soon as I finished adding about 10k words to the novella and editing it, I sent it off to them for critique. And then I unearthed my email to and from the wonderful agent who read Nemesis way back in the day and spent a couple of very generous hours on the phone with me telling me what she felt it needed to make it better. I sent her an email, explainging why I'd disappeared off the map and failed to send her a rewrite. I explained that I was writing once again, the state of the novella, and that Nemesis would be next. She responded and said (to my vast joy and relief) that she would be happy to look at either of them when I finished.
This was my other great fear. That by taking time away from writing to finish my degrees, I had wasted an opportunity that I had spent so much time working for. Luckily, that does not appear to be the case! Words cannot describe how I felt when I read her reply, they really just cannot do it justice.
So now the novella has been e-mailed to her, and I am working on Nemesis. Full circle, f-list. Full circle. And now, here I am. Writing about it to all of you. I think LJ will be the next great thing I resurrect into my life, along with writing, jewelry, and oh yes, happiness.