Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Down and An Up

So... I applied for this part-time job on campus at the beginning of the month and found out today (after a month-long process where the app pool was narrowed from 60 to 10 to 5 to 2) that I didn't get the job. The other woman got it because she's done the work before and wants to continue it for the next five years. I wasn't smart enough to come up with a job-related 5-year-plan that sounded smart. No, I said some fru-fru about... well, I won't even repeat it here because it's in the past and in retrospect it was completely and utterly ridiculous. I have an interesting reaction time to things. I read the email and was like "eh, no biggie" and then after about fifteen minutes I started to feel numb. Not a great feeling. Its kinda... slushy and vibrate-y with a side dish of oh-my-god-I-can't-work-three-jobs-and-do-school-full-time panic.

I did a few things to get back into the swing of things:
  1. Applied for another on campus job (this one WITH benefits) who knows... in the words of Kermit the Frog himself: "I hope that something better comes along!"
  2. Spent 15 very serious minutes looking through my notes on agents and publishers for my stories, and then pulled out the first chapter of one of my novels to work on it;
  3. Considered self publication, comforted by the fact that I'm pretty sure I could sell at least a dozen copies with the prospect of 500 more;
  4. Went to see Ice Age III: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (I give it an "A");
  5. Grabbed a slice of pizza from the mall food court; and
  6. Came home to find a SASE waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs.
I could just tell that it was a rejection waiting for me in that thin envelope--and it was. However, it was my first rejection with a little scribbled note telling me that the editor of the Missouri Review read my story "with interest." Good sign? Good sign. Waiting on three more journals: Tin House, McSweeny's and The Paris Review.

Update (as of 2 minutes after I posted this initially): Tin House rejected me by email. No nice little note. Sheesh. I should rename this post "two downs and an up."

As I move on to possible plan B's I've decided one thing: I've got to seriously get crackin on submitting my work. No more fear.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First Five Lines

So, I have the book "The First Five Pages" by Noah Lukeman (who also wrote an amazing book on punctuation called "A Dash of Style"--I recommend it to everyone) and while I have yet to read Five Pages, I can tell, through context clues, that the first five pages of your manuscript are important. [I will be reading this book soon.] I also think that, for me, the first five lines of a story, particularly a genre story, are equally as important. I'm not talking about the first five lines of a published book, I'm talking about unpublished, amateur writing--of people longing to be published. For example, my fellow writers on (a new site that I'm uploading stories too for feedback). I know whether or not I want to "watch" or "back" a story within the first few lines.

Anyway, this was my observation of the moment. Thought I'd share.

Favorite Summer Show

One of my favorite summer shows is So You Think You Can Dance. And my favorite corogoraphers are Mia Michaels and Wade Robson. I've been surfing YouTube videos and came across this one of Wade's and I need to share it with everyone. So beautiful.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


AGNI, a journal published at Boston University, sent me an email rejection today. Waiting to hear from five more journals.... Hopefully it'll be a right fit for someone, or I'll get something more than just a generic form letter. I plan to update a few more stories and send them out when the reading periods open up again. Gotta keep trying.

Update (7/24):
Rejected from The Southern Review as well, received the letter today. Ummm... rejections kinda suck a little. Four more left.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Realizations and Tid Bits

I'm starting to wonder if my constant doubts about this program are an intuitive sign that my heart has yet to get on board with. I should make a pros and cons list.

Updates on all that is me:
  • Saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It was a good movie (long overdue) and there were a lot of things that I absolutely loved about the whole thing and a few things that I disliked (perhaps I'm too much of a purist). I will likely see the movie again (and will totally buy it--extended version and all--when it comes out in about six months. I predict a X-mas release), and maybe I'll like it more the second time around. So... I give it an A. Because, come on... it's Harry POTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTER! Hell ya.
  • I will be making .25 cents more an hour. Minimum wage went up. Commence sobbing.
  • I'm almost done teaching my summer class. This is the final week. It's been going well and I'll be happy to have it over with.
  • I'm currently reading The Alchemyst by Michael Scott (not affiliated with Dunder Mifflin, sadly). It's a bit slow moving at the moment. I only have two more weeks of July to read as much fluff as possible, so perhaps I'll move on to the next great thing. What that is, I don't know.
  • I'm writing off and on--what most in this program would call fluff. Been toying around with some monkey- and carnival-themed (separate ideas) stories for workshop this fall (pending my ultimate decision). They're pretty "out there"--we'll see. People might think me crazy, but it's coo'.
  • It's either the sun, the humidity, or the general mundaneness of my life, but I am a tad depressed. I feel like floating on a river of melted vanilla ice cream, face down, mouth wide open. Whhooooa is me.
  • Is it bad that while at work today I seriously considered the following experiment: Starve yourself for one week, just to see what it feels like. I then proceeded to have a cinnamon scone with my lunch, so the seriousness of this consideration is now a moot point.
  • I have big dreams but lack the motivation to make them realities. What are possible solutions to such a conundrum? Xanax?
Crap... enough with the Debbie Downer mood, right? Let's see if I can't cheer us all up a bit. How about a quote from my Jim Henson's Doodle Dreams book (he did the illustrations, Jim Lewis wrote the text. [I'm pretty sure that the picture to the right is the statue at the University of Maryland where Henson went to school. I've been meaning to get a picture here. Next time I'm in D.C.]

After a random page opening, here is the quote of the day (pretty fitting):

"You are where you are because that's where you need to be. And if you need to move on, you'll move on."

oooh, this is a good one too:

"When you take changes, you're going to fail. That's inevitable. You can either let failure turn you away from your dream or inspire you to dream bigger."

Monday, July 6, 2009

I'm a Survivor


Survived my haircut and I like it. It's probably closer in length to picture number two on the previous post. That's all I'll say about it for now--I may post a picture soon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The End of a Hair-a

Get it... a pun on "era"? Okay, enough of my quasi cleverness.

Friday morning, at 11am, I will be thrusting myself into the hands of a stranger. No romantic undertones here because that is not my life. No, I will be trusting a complete stranger with my scalp and the madness that emits from it daily. This is not the first time I've entrusted a stranger with the well-being of my hair, so I'm not nervous about that. I'm nervous about what I will be doing to my hair for the first time in twenty years: chopping it off to it's full, 100% natural state. Background information: I've chemically straightened my hair for at least 20 years now; sure those who know me in the physical (again, not a sexual undertone) sense know that my hair is curly, but with a little effort, thanks to the straightening process, I can straighten it out. Well... chemicals begone! I'm reaching back to my roots (pun intended) and I'm going natural. I'm scared out of my damn mind. Fear of the unknown and all that. Mostly fear because I'll likely have some in your face hair, which makes it hard to hide. So, it's very likely that I could look like any one of the feature photographs to the right. The thought makes me tingly with anxiety.

I don't know what to expect with all of this, I just know that I feel like I'm about to make a HUGE mistake. However, mistakes must be made to grow, right? Too bad it's such an in your face mistake. The hair might look cute if I was a bit more angular, as the women photographed here, but alas I'm round like the world. We'll see. No promises to post pictures here--unless I look fierce. :)

On to other news:
  • I'll be spending the holiday weekend in D.C. with my sister. It'll be pretty awesome spending the 4th of July in the nation's capital city! We'll see how close I can get to the White House.
  • Still haven't heard back from any journals regarding my story. My online status for two still reads "received," so that's a good sign (I hope).
  • I applied for jobs in Boston--full time jobs. Why? Because I can't live off what I make any more, I'm not receiving funding from school (I have some, but the debt out-weighs the free money) and it doesn't look like I'm getting anything additional. Probably shouldn't have stayed quiet about it, but honestly this school is f-d up and I'm fed up.
  • Current YA Novels: Ranger's Apprentice (currently reading, but slow going), Magyk, Jellicoe Road, and The Alchemyst. My goal is to read more "adult" things in August. It's nice thought to be able to recommend books to people when I work back in the kid's department at B&N--makes me feel worthy (in the eyes of YA anyway... not so much adults who probably think I should grow up).


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