Last Week

Tomorrow marks the beginning of an end. As poetically cliche as it is, this chapter of my life has found its ending. The last week of school.

And instead of dwelling on that, I found myself unable to sleep tonight (slept in way too late this morning) thinking about all the beginnings I still have occurring.

  • I have an amazing husband working his butt off so I can find my own path.
  • I have written in less than a year, 74,224 words to date.
  • I have started an Etsy store that has sold 2 pieces in 3 months (only one was a friend).
  • I have met and networked with amazing people who were willing to take time out of their schedule to meet with a teacher trying to change careers.
  • I have a friend who has been standing right next to me through it all.
  • I have a mother, father, and sister who are proud of my accomplishments and rooting for me.
  • I have a mathematics degree that I might get to use a little bit more.
  • I am working myself out of debt.

Just a tip of the iceberg. But this isn’t a list of things to be thankful for. It’s a list of things I’ve begun, have and will succeed in. It’s just strange how sometimes modesty overrides our ability to actually stand up and say, “This is what I am good at, and beyond that, this is why I am absolutely awesome.” I mean, who actually likes answering that question in a job interview, “Why would you be good at this position?” or the even better one, “Why should we hire you?” It puts you on the spot to defend yourself wholly about why you would rock their socks off if they hired you. Sometimes it easy to answer, other times we get to do a little acrobatic reasoning. But the result in the same, if we want it bad enough, they be able to tell in our voice and our mannerisms.

I joked to my friend the day he helped me network, “They don’t have any idea who they are hiring. They aren’t just hiring some girl who needs a job. They are getting a woman who is literally giving up everything she knows to jump headlong into a new project. They have my undivided attention, and I am a very fast learner.” It was spoken in jest, but rings true in hindsight. I am a very fast learner and I can do what I set my mind to. Hell, first time out of the gate, I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days (even starting 4 days late).

So, in imaginary toast as I finally crawl into bed, I salute new beginnings. May they be ever so exhilarating and ever so enlightening as always.

I’ve never taken the easy road yet, why start now?

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The Art, the Book, and the Way

So a few ideas to address today:

First, yes, I am still writing. I have recently decided to change careers. And, so as if I wasn’t doing enough previously, I am now job hunting for a new career. It’s exciting and super scary at the same time. I am leaving the comfort of what I know for an unknown. And worse, an unknown that I don’t wholly feel prepared for. Either way, I am doing it. My resignation paper was turned in two days ago. I am not changing my mind now. Teaching, sad as it is to say, is for someone who cares a little less than I.

Second, the book has morphed in a series. I had the sneaking suspicion that it what is was going to do to me. Not so worried though. It may mean the the end of Ceara’s story is farther off than I expected, but it finally feels like the book is more than a one shot, shallow, cliche paranormal story. Now I just need to write it like it is that unique. Thankfully, someone new, a Nephilim by the name of Nathaniel just walked into the book the other night. So I am going to wrap up book one, set down notes and outlines for book 2/3 (November is coming on fast…), and be prepared to finally read through my first manuscript beginning to end. Ceara, Jean, Koma, and Derrick need a little more flesh on their bones before I go running off half-cocked into a deeper truth. Can I do this before the next Nano? I have no freakin’ clue.

Third, I was able to read an article about the downward spiral of the Arts. That article refers to the original Salon article here. Are we really losing so much of our respect for the arts? The sad part is it might have already been gone. The Greeks and Romans revered their art. I remember sitting in class once, Anthropology 1101 if I remember correctly, stating how societies grew and evolved. My professor mentioned that you could measure a societies achievements in their leisure. Not laziness, mind you — there is a distinction. But the ability to not have to spend every waking second never ceasing towards finding where food would come from, shelter, safety. I agree with the Etsy article point of view that too many people think that art is just a hobby. Music, painting, photography, metal working, glass blowing, we are all considered eccentric crazies that have too much free time. People see us and think, even worse for those that may do it full time, unable to get, hold, or want a REAL job. It’s the same reason I listened to my parents, went to college and received a degree in mathematics instead of trying my hand on Broadway. In the end, I’m still happy with my choices, but it has the same connotation. Now, I’m a writer, a jeweler, a photographer. I am quitting my teaching job to work a 9-5 somewhere closer to home. A job where I won’t have homework to do and I can spend my time at home with ME. The job is a means to an end. Hopefully, one day, enough people with accept self-publishing (respectable self-publishing I will add) and homemade crafts as willingly as we proudly announce our Made in the USA stickers.

Until then, fellow readers, writers, artists, musicians, dabblers, entrepreneurs, experts, and pedestrians we will continue to ply our crafts and find the little joys in the kind words we receive from friends. Coveting the thrill of compliments and critiques of strangers who at least saw our work. For now, that is good. Even if it isn’t nearly enough.