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Quick Update – End of Summer 2014

It’s been a long, but productive, summer. Class #7 is in the bag, and I just have two short weeks in between semesters. Even though I am on break, it feels like I have more work than ever.  A week ago I said to my mom (who got her master’s in 1991 when I was 14), “I don’t know how you did it with two kids, a husband, and a job.”  She just looked at me and said, “Well, when you’re motivated the stuff gets done… and I learned to deal with a messy house.”  Wise words. I am both excited and terrified that I only have one more semester until Thesis.

But I have done a few things to prepare. I gathered together the stories that will make up my thesis. Two of them I have revised in the past 6 months. The third, I am working on now; and the fourth is next.  I think they are the strongest stories, so I will pour most of my energy into working on them. I need to have between 40-60 pages. Right now the total stands at 43, so I will meet the goal.  Hopefully, after I revise the last two stories, I will have closer to 50. First draft is due the first day of class. The last thing I want to do is fall behind on this. Thank the heavens my final class is an elective and not a workshop. It is not less work, but it is less writing. I don’t have to focus on reading and critiquing other people’s work right before thesis. Instead, I can solely work on my own fiction and complete this reading elective. I won’t get burnt out.

As for other goals for 2014, I’m not doing too badly. After a slow winter and early spring, I started firing on all cylinders. I wroter 3 new stories and kept working on my longer story (a novella I think). I also have 6, yes 6!!, stories out for consideration. I revised and e-mail the stories, and if one came back rejected, I just sent it right back out again. I told myself I wouldn’t allow longer than 24 hours between rejection and submission. I think this keeps me from being discouraged and makes me feel like I am doing something. I have plans to write or finish up at least 4 more stores, so I may not hit the goal of 12 original stories this year, but I will damn sure get close. The year is not over yet, and I’m still getting the work out.

Up to 12 books to read for the year.  My goal was 25, so not too bad. It helps when you have a reading class.

As for not buying anymore books… yeah, that goal is history. I was sunk the moment I had to buy books for class and then tossed in a couple more, because I wanted them too. Don’t know why I even bothered with that one.

Still haven’t sold anything, but having 6 stories out makes me feel better about achieving that goal. I can’t get published, if I don’t get the stuff out there into the world.

The last goal about paying down my credit card has been hard. My tutition has been raised again, and it is hard to keep up. I saved for a year before I started this program, plus I still work full time, and it hasn’t been enough. Still I avoided student loans and I faithly keep my other expenses down, so I take comfort that I only have one more semester to pay for (I already paid for this fall). I’m not happy about the debt, but it is the only debt I have, so I swallow my anxiety and tell myself that it will be paid off in the next year or two, and that I can’t back out now. No sense in quitting when the goal is in view.

So that is where I’m at. I’ll try to post more during break, but no promises. Writing fiction has to come first, but still I hate neglecting this blog.  Sometimes, I think I should focus on my non-fiction just as much as my fiction.

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