We all know what I’m writing about today.
Being an adult is weird.
Those of you who know me personally know the reason the blog’s been on hold for a couple weeks: I recently started my first Actual Grown-up Job (with a desk and everything), I’ve been doing a ton of work with the Iowa Writers’ House and I’ve been editing The Thrilling Adventures of Clara Delaney to try and hit 85,000 words before I start doing a serious bout of querying.
Anyway. Here’s more information on all that stuff.
Iowa Writers’ House:
This is a shameless plug for an awesome organization. The IWH is a group of writers located primarily in the Iowa City area (but currently doing work throughout the entire Creative Corridor, and aiming to work with the entire state) that work together to create an amazing creative community. We have workshops with amazing writers (one just finished up with Sabata Mokae), social events with other area writers in Iowa City landmarks, and the Rooms.
The Rooms are awesome. They’re communities of writers within a genre that get together and write, discuss aspects of their work, or just get to know each other. So far we have two established Rooms: the Great Green Room (children’s literature, hosted by an awesome group of ladies that include published authors Sarah Prineas and Delia Ray) and the Violet Realm (sci-fi and fantasy, hosted by the awesome Erin Casey and myself).
Twice a month, the Violet Realm gets together to listen to a short lecture about some aspect of writing sci-fi and fantasy. It’s either facilitated by a member of the community or one of the hosts– we’ve had talks on fight scenes, conlanging (guess who facilitated that one), mapmaking, and a ton more.
If you’re in Iowa, check us out. The Violet Realm meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month in the Iowa City Public Library, room B. Everyone’s welcome!
Check out the website for the Iowa Writerss House: http://iowawritershouse.org/
And the Violet Realm: http://iowawritershouse.org/the-violet-realm/
And like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iowawritershouse
Things are settling down, so the blog’s back in business! I’m afraid #livetweetbooks is on an indefinite hiatus, though. Between IWH, a 9-5 job, and working on actually writing, I don’t really have the time to carve out anymore– so it’s going on the backburner of fun ideas. It may come back to life if I find a really good book to talk about. I’ll still probably be posting reviews now and again.
I’m planning on starting the beta-reading process for The Thrilling Adventures of Clara Delaney at the end of the month: once I get it up to 85,000 words I’m going to consider it in the final draft stage. Which means I’m looking for beta readers for both the query letter and the manuscript, starting in May.
Also in May (after the 17th) I’ll be looking for beta readers for a poetry chapbook. I’ve spent the last couple years compiling poems I’ve written from… well, kindergarten, up to my poem-a-day challenges the past few years. Thinking of calling it Quarter-Life Crisis, although that’s a work in progress.
Last thing: I’ll be at the Pike’s Peak Writing Conference next week! Check it out here. The events look amazing and registration is still open, go check it out.
I’m working 9-5 at an actual job now and I’m pretty sure all the stuff on my desk cost at least half of what I made last year, if not more. The people are awesome and the job is interesting and it’s very surreal. We have a team-building exercise planned. And a water cooler.
So that’s that.
Various events over the past few years have caused me to think a lot on the nature of forgiveness. My best friend abandoned me in a time of need. There have been various family falling-outs since then that it’s hard for me to get past. I’ve been working through my trust issues while in a long-term relationship, which is a lot harder than romantic comedies make it seem.
I’ve written a little about my day job: I’m a substitute teacher in a midwestern school district. It’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had: I get to work with kids, I have no direct boss, and I work with some amazing people. Plus it works well with my wanderlust, since I can take time off whenever I feel like it.
I can say this honestly: I love my job.
But it seems to beg a question, because there’s this question people keep asking me: “Is this the career you want to go into?” And hot on its heels: “Are you looking for a full-time position?”
…So today you’ll all be treated to stories from my day job.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a professional grown-up, AKA a substitute teacher. Over the summer of 2015, I was a camp counsellor at a school-run summer camp. It was a blast. Highlights include briefly convincing a group of children that I rode a broomstick to work and repeatedly saving the life of a young lady who did not understand the concept of “drowning”.
Whenever I wind up at that school over the year, I’m enthusiastically informed by the kids that they remember all the things we did over the summer. Like forcing Miss Alex down a giant waterslide or that time I told them all about where bacon comes from. (Or, in the more heartwarming stories, that my crochet lessons turned into a bonding tradition between one little girl and her grandma.)
I don’t think I’ve elaborated on this much before, but I am deathly afraid of flying.
It’s a control thing, mostly: every time the plane hits a slight bump or catches a wind shear I’m made pretty acutely aware of how little control I have over the vehicle I’m in and it’s currently 30,000 feet in the air oh god I’m going to die. That is my exact thought process. If the flight’s calm enough I can usually distract myself, but if it’s rough (like the Chicago-New York flight I just stepped off of) I’m pretty much just stuck rigid in my seat until we land.
I’m in the process of submitting a bunch of work to a whole bunch of places, which means workshopping and editing the hell out of things. Which means right now, my whole life feels like a plane ride.