Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Well... now what?

The Irish Novel is packed up and shipped off to beta readers, waiting for their seal of approval (more likely, their long list of notes and things to fix).

And so... here I am... waiting for comments.

I hate this part.

It's very strange, not having anything to do. I don't have a book to read right now. I just finished rereading The Book Thief for the fourth time in preparation for seeing the movie in November (for the record: I still cried at the end. Zusak!!!) I have Cornelia Funke's most recent book on reserve at the library and quite a lot of bookstore gift card money from writing contests last semester, but I just haven't gotten around to getting down there and picking things up. (The one downside of living in the middle of nowhere is that you are in the middle of nowhere.)

And I haven't felt like starting another writing project just yet. Which is, admittedly, terrifying. Just at this moment I don't feel like I have a story I NEED to tell, and since that's kind of the THING that I DO all the time... well, it's a bit concerning that I'm not immediately wanting to jump into the next project. I'm hoping it's just post-editing laziness, and that an idea will come along and need me to write it soon.

I guess that leaves me to catch up with the couple of friends who haven't graduated and just moved back to school, make cookies, and continue working on this whole "being an adult" thing that I'm doing now. I think I'm steadily getting better at that. :)

Tell me, dear blog readers: do you always have another project you jump right into after finishing the last one? Or do you let yourself laze around a little bit first? 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

And Another One Done!

... well, for now. :)

So I was convinced that yesterday was Monday, hence this random Wednesday post. But this random Wednesday post brings you the news that I am *finished* with this draft of The Long Road Home!

WOOOO *throws confetti* WOOOO.

So, what happens next?

Well, it has just gone out to beta readers (as of right now, that consists of my roommate extraordinaire Lisa, my mom, and my publishing internship buddy Ari) because they are both nice people who like me and also people who will be very honest with me. I do so hope they'll enjoy it. (And not rip it to shreds TOO much.) After that, there'll be another round of edits, of course. Perhaps more than one more round, depending upon the level of edits suggested to me.

While that's happening, I get to write up a query letter (ugh) and a synopsis (double ugh) so as to prepare for AGENT SUBMISSIONS sometime this fall, hopefully!

And also not listen to Mumford & Sons for about a month at least. This last draft was fueled entirely by Mumford songs (well, that and tea). But I can hardly help it when this song in particular has the title of my novel in the lyrics, can I? (Sssh, don't tell Maire her theme song was written by a bunch of English guys.)

And... start something new, I suppose? We'll see what's next in store!

Till next week, dear readers... when I promise to remember when Tuesday actually is.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Moving is Exhausting

I could, honestly, simply post that title and leave it at that. But I won't, because I'm not that lazy. Well. Barely.

My lovely roommate/best friend Lisa and I moved in to our Actual, Real Adult Person Apartment. And it is AWESOME. Or at least, we are in the process of making it awesome. All of Saturday (the part that wasn't spent driving up from New Jersey) and most of Sunday was spent in cleaning and a bit of organizing and unpacking. And the organizing, unpacking, and purchasing of furniture continues. A little more than half of my stuff is unpacked, since I currently am out of places to put it in or on - I don't, for instance, have a dresser, so my clothes are mostly still in the suitcase (although I totally had a Mr. Collins "shelves in the closet" moment and have since Macgyvered my closet into usable space *dusts off shoulder proudly*), nor do I have anyplace to put most of my shelf things. Like the Carnevale mask I got in Venice or the temari ball my mom made or my zillions of picture frames.

But the kitchen and the bathroom are all shiny and put together!! We have yet to figure out how the dishwasher works (it's on wheels and is not hooked up to anything, and although we have now put water in it and plugged it in and turned it on twice today, the dishes are still not clean, so, we'll be asking our landlady about THAT one) but it's coming along nicely. And it's really exciting to see things start to come together.

It's rather like that moment when you're editing a manuscript and all of a sudden you see the light about what exactly needs to be done in order for everything to fall perfectly into place. Except, this one involves a lot more physical labor and dust, and the manuscript one involves a lot of mental labor, typing, and chocolate fortification.

Speaking of editing... I really need to get on that.

Would you be interested in apartment pictures when all is organized and settled, fair readers? Or am I boring you by gibbering on about my foray into the "real world"?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Getting Somewhere

I'm not going to lie to you: graduating from college kind of sucks.

This summer has been a weird limbo, even though I tried so hard to avoid that very situation. But I stayed in the same place I had been in, even though most of my friends moved on, some to do very exciting and important things like the Peace Corps in Madagascar or teaching English in South Korea.

Whereas I was stuck in Ithaca, in a sublet that was filthy and uncomfortable and felt rather unsafe, with a job that, let's be fair, made me miserable. I had thought that I'd be okay at letting hotel guests vent their frustrations on me, but I wasn't. Ultimately, I left that job, deciding that struggling to get more than four hours' sleep a night was not worth it. That being treated like a failure by at least half the people who came through the hotel was not worth it.

I think that, no matter what you end up doing immediately after you graduate, you're struck with this paralyzing fear that you're doing it wrong. I had a full time job and a place to live and everything, and yet I couldn't help but feel like I'd skipped a step. Like there had to be more to it, even right away - that all the hard work I'd put into school for all those years, culminating in a bachelor's degree with highest honors, couldn't possibly put me into a job where people looked at me like I was an idiot eight hours a day unless I had, in fact, made a mistake.

So enough of that. I'm going to worry that I'm failing no matter what I do, it's just my nature. But I don't need a job to reinforce that worry so very strongly.

But now I have things to look forward to. On Saturday, I'll be moving into the real grown up person apartment my roommate and I found. It's beautiful, and it's going to be clean, and OURS in a way no place other than our flat in London, perhaps, has been yet. I'm starting a new job on Monday, which hopefully will not be quite as soul-crushing as the last one. I'm making progress on editing The Long Road Home. And my school friends, those who haven't graduated yet, will be back in Ithaca in a few weeks' time.

I have things to look forward to again. Things to be excited about. I've got an apartment to decorate the way I want it decorated. I've got a job where I (hopefully) won't have to wear a name tag and get demeaned by everyone who walks in the front door. I've got a manuscript with edits that are beginning to look manageable rather than impossibly daunting.

I'm feeling a little bit more like I can do this whole "adulthood" thing, rather than feeling like I've failed before I've even begun.

And hopefully, it'll only go up from here.