Aug 28, 2016

Commuting

This week, I have found a crowd I never thought of before but immediately felt welcomed by.

Public transit commuters.

We sit on trains and crack open books. We leave the station and walk fast, weaving between people and jockeying to be on the curb edge. Our outfits are cute, we are going to the office, but practical. Nothing tight. Lots of flats. Backpacks. My favorite was a woman in a loose pencil skirt with brightly colored gym shoes. We don't block traffic.

It all reminds me of how much I disliked tourists in San Francisco, because these people are so not like them it's amazing. And the few I run into on Michigan Ave. Move people. Open your maps in doorways or against the window of a store.

In other words, despite my new 1hr long commute, I'm not minding at all.

Except when I miss my train cuz of drinks with co-workers.

I like to walk along the river from train station to work.

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Aug 10, 2016

Settling

I'm sitting at a Barnes & Noble (yes, real book stores still do exist. In fact, did you know B&N will now stock indies?) and something within me is settling. Calming. It's been awhile since I've had the time to sit down and focus on my writing career in any capacity.

Work sucked me dry - I was bored out of my mind, realized projects were moving on without me despite my supposed role in them - so I quit when I got an offer for something much better.

And not just any place - one of the companies I applied to a few time in the months after I graduated and gave up on joining their ranks. Pity my new office will face the Trump building downtown. Double pity that my Aug 8th start date got pushed back two weeks.

I also went on a family road trip and realized my anti-social/introvert tendencies have only increased now that I'm going on a year with no roommate. (Me and my cat match - she's the most anti-social creature I've ever seen.) Don't get me wrong, I loved the 6 cities we hit up, but when I withdrew for inner me time I don't appreciate the family poking and prodding me in an effort to stir up conversation.

We did get nice views in Kentucky.

Probably didn't help that on day 2, my laptop battery decided to no longer charge so I couldn't write during the drives and our hotel rooms were so tiny there was no place for me to set up a typing space. Or that I finished my one book half way through the trip and then flipped through the other 7 my family brought, none of them interesting me.

The urge to get writing hit me strong during the trip - I got a response from an editor about Stars who reached out during PitMad. They're passing, which I'm okay with, and I got some wonderful suggestions for a rewrite & resubmit. The comments are gold and now I want to get started on my 3rd draft.

I didn't write much while Stars was being considered, just polished a few short stories that I should start shopping and realized just how differently I approach novels and short stories. But when I got these edits, I got such a homesickness for Ethiopia.

Odd, yes, but almost every night I would curl up in an arm chair while my landlady crocheted across from me while we drink coffee. I missed the regularness of that writing, the hours spend daily typing in the company of someone who I could ask small questions.  Wanting to write, and not being able to due to my stupid laptop, probably just made me more itchy during our two week road trip.

It was cool seeing books from Thomas Jefferson's library at the Library of Congress.

But here I am, sitting at B&N with a new laptop battery that sucks (1 hr life span?! wonder if I bought the wrong one) and while I haven't started on this new round of Stars I still feel soothed. There's coffee here. And books. And readers. A local author doing a signing in the corner.

I've known since last year that I actively need writing, I've posted about that here before, and so it seems right to finally sink back into it. I've got some time before this new job starts. I'm gonna take advantage of it.
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Jul 26, 2016

Guesting at Tasha's today!

I'm off roaming the rural areas of Kentucky (and I mean rural. The dining options pamphlet for the county features three subways and the deli counter of a grocery store two towns overs. Google doesn't even know the road our cabin is on) but I'm not completely gone! For today and today only, you can find me hanging out at Tasha's Thinkings talking about what it means to be a speculative fiction author.
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Jun 26, 2016

Being an Adult in Chicago

This past month was a bit of a whirlwind.

I had a friend stay for a full week and it was such a life style change for me. I've been living in my house by myself for close to 6 months at this point, and coming home to see someone at the kitchen table was both strange and thrilling.

Granted, introvert me sometimes found our conversations exhausting. Cuz, regularly talking to people? About serious, personal issues? Bit much.

I mean, sometimes, the only person I talk to during the weekend is the cashier at the grocery store.

Still, I loved it. Having someone in the house, constant company, and just reconnecting with someone I haven't seen in a year.

We explored a lot of Chicago. I need to get out into my city more.

Chicago River and River City towers

Buckingham Fountain and chicago nighttime skyline

Merchandise Mart in Chicago at night

Of course, Brexit was fun. My friend's an expat who is huge into social good and plants her flag for issues regarding racism. Lively discussions - when was the last time I had one of those?

Obviously, writing is pulling me away from socializing opportunities. It might pay off soon though. You guys know BookCon wasn't what I was hoping, but I had some success earlier this month with #PitMad that's making me happy. I have a habit of building castles out of rocks though, so I'm not gonna say anything until I actually have good news and not just hopeful potential. 

Not gonna lie though - knowing that someone likes Stars has made the work I've put into it this spring super worth it. 

Regardless, I've had my ups and downs this month. Finished a freelance project, had to deal with fraudulent charges and the inability to buy anything for a week, reconnected with a friend, got good writing news, didn't get a FT job (again), and now have a cat.

You know ocean buoys, how they just bob with the waves and take what's coming? This month has felt a little like that, but I think I'm getting the hang of adulting now. But which I mean, there is nothing to get a hang of and you just go with whatever lands in your inbox.

Here's hoping it's a lot of opportunities and yeses. 

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Jun 5, 2016

Best Read of May

And the book of May is....nothing.

I finished one book, and while I loved it, it was the sequel to the one I read in April and my praise is pretty much the same.

Reading, and writing, has been lax. Having freelance clients on top of a 9-5 job is killing me. I'm actually looking forward to ending this contract so I can have some me time. 
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