The year is over and I can’t say I accomplished much of what I had planned when I started. I did do a round of edits on my second novel, entered a few small writing contests, wrote a (not so) short story, and tried to be the best dad that I could be to my new son. My short story, The Bakrra Encounter, was published in an anthology, I Dreamed a Crooked Dream - which I am really excited about. My son learned ‘Dada’ before ‘Mama’ – which was awesome. However, mid-year, my life changed in a way that I wasn’t anticipating.
In April, my wife started looking at grad schools. In late June, she lost interest in going back for another Masters so I decided, on a whim, to apply to a program at a very highly ranked graduate school. I didn’t expect much. The normal time to apply had passed. I didn’t have all the materials ready to send them when I applied. And, to be honest, my under grad work wasn’t as good as it could have been. To my surprise, I was accepted.
I had a newborn, a full time job, an hour and a half round trip commute, and had just added grad school. Well, everything else was put on hold – had to be. My writing hasn’t suffered, it died. However, I do still write down ideas as I get them.
I stopped trying to market my work. Someone asked why I stopped submitting my book, “It’s finished after all.”
I must have looked like a dear staring down headlights. I replied, “Finished? From what I hear, when you get an agent is when the real work starts: rewrites, edits, marketing, parties, signings, etc. No thank you. Not until I am done with school.” Oh well, he didn’t understand how overburdened I am. I just needed to cut.
Four months blew by in the blink of an eye. My first semester is now over. I did very well in one of my classes and made it through the other. Now I am making up for lost time with my wife and son. This whole endeavor is larger than I thought it would be.
I have a slightly different perspective on life now than I did a year ago. I have learned that college is a family effort. When the homework piles on, my wife picks up the chores. I have learned that dollar bill is not a solid but a liquid, and it is very fluid. I have also learned that sometimes when you get that feeling to just try for something, you get it – whether you are ready for it or not.
To all who have supported me in my writing, or with college, or just as a friend, thank you. It has been a busy and blessed year. I hope it was a good year for all of you too.