Thursday, December 4, 2014

Annnnnd Now It's the End of the Year

Well, I obviously had a lackluster year of blog posting! Things were a bit crazy this year, so I didn't have much time to give this place the attention it deserves.  I've got some awesome news to report, though: I'm going back to school for an MFA in creative writing.  I spent most of summer putting together my application, writing sample, essays, etc. and sent all those goodies to the University of Southern Maine.  In September, I found out that I had been accepted into their Stonecoast MFA Program! It's a low residency program, so I don't have to quit my job in order to attend school.  I'm required to attend a 10 day residency period twice a year, but otherwise, the majority of work will be done online.  I'm excited and stressed out.  I'm already neck-deep in work (required readings, workshopping) even though I don't technically start until January.

Which leads me to the future of this blog.  I haven't been maintaining it at all this year, and the next two years are going to be even more insanely busy.  I think it's best if I put this place on semi-hiatus.  Yes, I'm sure all two of you are disappointed.  :)  I may post about my experiences as an MFA student, but I can't guarantee I'll have the time or energy to post on a regular basis.  So I guess I'll say this: the blog will be inactive starting today, but there may be a few surprise posts next year.

Thanks for reading.  Advanced merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's 2014! Wait... Already??

So here I am again.  I haven't posted since August, and all of a sudden, it's a new year.  How does that happen? Oh 2013, I hardly knew ye! Don't leave on this note.  Can we at least continue being friends? No? Yeah, you're right.  That'd be really awkward.  Well, at least we'll always have Miley Cyrus sitting nude on a wrecking ball.  That was fun, right?

Okay, I admit that I dropped the ball in my hope of blogging more frequently.  I just had too many things going on near the end of the year: surgery (I'm doing much better now), 5k races, a super awesome vacation to the Caribbean...  Also, I'm lazy.  Yeah, I'll admit it.  I often find other things to do instead of blogging.  There's always a new book to read, or a princess to save, or a reality show to obsess over.  I'll try to pop in more often this year, hopefully with more writing news.  Otherwise, I'll have to continue blogging about my other interests in life.  I suppose that's not so bad as long as I'm writing about something.

Since we're a few days into the new year, I thought I'd review my resolutions from last year that I posted on my blog.  Let's see how I did:

  • Finish my zombie novella: Check (kind of).  I did finish writing the novella and even had it workshopped with one of my favorite instructors from the UCLA Extension Writers' Program.  It's not polished, so it's not "completely" finished.  However, it has a beginning, middle, and end, most of which didn't exist prior to 2013.
  • Get three short stories published: Check, check, and check! 2013 was my most successful year in getting stories published.  I was fortunate enough to get stories selected for publication in The UCLA Beat, The Literary Hatchet, and The Journal of Unlikely Entomology (now known as Unlikely Story).  One of my best moments in 2013, and definitely in my entire career as a writer.
  • Work on creating at least 6 new stories, with 1 in a genre I'm not familiar with: Ugh, epic fail on this one.  I managed to get about three stories going.  One is polished up.  I began shopping it around last year, but sadly, I didn't get any nibbles.  It's a YA piece, and there just isn't a huge market for YA short stories at the moment.  The other two stories are in various stages of development, with one being close to polished.  I hope 2014 will be more productive on this end.
  • Take one course from UCLA Extension: Fail (kind of).  I kept a close eye on the class schedules for each quarter, but I just didn't find a course that really screamed out at me.  I almost signed up for the advanced short story course, but I already took that a couple of years ago.  I do hope to apply to an MFA program at the end of this year, so maybe I can shift my focus there instead.
  • Keep a travel journal: Check (almost).  So I blogged about my travels to Boston and Toronto, but I've yet to write about my most recent vacation last December.  I went on my first cruise ever and totally enjoyed it.  I visited 6 countries, if I include the United States (which Puerto Rico is a part of).  I hope to type up a few posts about that trip soon.
  • Personal resolution #1 (didn't post on blog), visit a new country: Check times four (new countries in bold)! With the aforementioned cruise, I visited The British Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten (Netherlands), Saint Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, Barbados, and Puerto Rico.
  • Personal resolution #2 (also not on blog), run a 5K every month: Check times seventeen! I ended up running 5 more races than I planned to, and had fun with each one.  As of January 2014, I've run twenty races in total with many more on the horizon.  Last year was the most active I've been since my college days.  Chalk that under the "awesome" column.
Looking over that list, I think I did pretty well for 2013.  I achieved most of what I set out to do, which is a pleasant surprise.  I'm usually an underachiever.  What's next for this year? I haven't put that much thought into it.  I'd like to continue writing/editing more stories, as well as apply for an MFA program.  I'd also like to get at least two more stories published.  And, of course, continue running and traveling.  Maybe those two won't be resolutions any more if I'm able to do them every year.  :)

Hope to be back soon with blog posts about the Caribbean.  For now, peace out 2013 and wassup 2014! Happy New Year!