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It’s been almost a year since I’ve written.  I have neglected my blogging duties.  Not that many have noticed.  I am keenly aware that my traffic is a virtual zero.  Really, I’ve just been writing this for myself.  Originally, I was keeping this as a place to display my writing.  My family and friends were always asking to read some of my fiction, so I created this place to display it.

But I still haven’t put anything up.  I am a perfectionist, but I also think that I have been afraid.  Afraid to put myself out here.  My fiction is very much a part of myself and I haven’t had to will to share.

But since the last time I wrote, a few things have changed…

First, I mentioned last year that I wanted to go to graduate school.  Well lo and behold, I actually was admitted as a provisional student into the Master’s degree program at John’s Hopkins University.  I hadn’t been in a classroom in 12 years (I got my BA in 1999!).  It was fun and I loved every minute of it.  I hope to continue my studies (provisional means I need to be formally admitted before I can take anymore classes).  But school does keep you busy.  I had to get used to doing homework again! LOL!

It was also a change to have complete strangers read my fiction.  I was intimidated by some of my classmates.  Some had been published and seemed more accomplished than me.  But by the end of the semester, I had gotten over most of this fear.  Somewhere in the last few years, I forgot how much I loved the creation of a new story.  I forgot what it felt like to finish a new story.  In short, I think I managed to grab a hold of some of my old ambition again.

Second, I took up a new hobby/business venture.  Sometime in June, I had a serious anxiety attack.  It was brought on by my worries of money.  It just seemed like there was never enough.  I tend to read a few personal finance blogs and I realized that no matter where I cut, there came a point were I needed to earn more money.  So I decided to resell books on Amazon.  So far I have barely made anything, but it let me focus my energies away from my tiny bank account.  And my personal library is significantly diminished.  It felt good to get rid of the clutter.  I loved some of those books, but I was holding on to them for the wrong reasons.  I was never going to read them again, so why not pass them on to others to read and love?

This little venture also stirred me to become a serious collector.  I was in my local Friends of the Library store when I came across a copy of Margaret Atwood’s Alias GraceSigned.  It was priced at six dollars!  I snatched it up and never looked back. (FYI, Margaret Atwood is my favorite author.)  I got the collecting bug, and I think it is a permanent condition.  For now I will only prowl thrift store and used book stores.  High end bookstores are not in the budget yet.

And finally, just a month ago my company experienced layoffs.  We are a small publishing company, so anyone leaving is noticeable.  For now, my job is safe…but I had to take a pay cut. It is not permanent (the pay cut), but no one can say when things will go back to normal.  I am, obviously, worried.  Hearing the company is in trouble is never fun to experience.  I am so glad I saved last year. I have a solid emergency fund, started my retirement savings, and have a good amount for grad school (so no loans).  Getting by on less is something I am used to, so I just reworked my budget for this year.

So that is all the latest news.  Cross fingers for 2012.  I think it is going to be an adventurous year.  And my birthday is on Thursday!  So wish me a happy B-Day!

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