Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Keeping My Head Above Water

So, I am approximately three weeks into school and it is already taking a toll on me. I have to do so much reading constantly and there is so much analysis in that reading that I need to do. I am glad to say I am continuing to get good grades and am keeping my head above water, but it is hard and what sucks is that it never ends. I had plans of revising my story and getting it off to my Beta-Readers by the end of the month and that may be pushed back a little bit but I am definitely going to try and keep to the schedule since I know many people are anticipating the sequel to the story.

Here is my class schedule:

Special Education 205 = A have to read a chapter or two in the book every week. This one typically gets pushed to the back burner because the class is meant for Freshman and the teacher isn’t too hard so I’m not too worried about this course.

English 460 (Major Authors) = This is a course all about Herman Melville. Luckily there isn’t much to this class as far as homework goes and the dates the homework need to be done by. All of it (besides a research paper) need to be done by Spring Break though, so I have approximately a month and a half to finish the homework for that class. But, there is constant reading and discussing of the works of Herman Melville which isn’t the most exciting of authors.

English 369 (Multicultural Drama of the United States) = I have to read and analyze a new play every week in this class. On top of it every three weeks there is another analysis due that compares previous plays with a theory. Luckily my teacher likes me in this class.

English 405 (Shakespeare) = I have the same teacher for this class as I do above. But, just as in the other class I have a new Shakespeare play to read every week. Shakespeare is definitely not the easiest thing to read and when you have to understand and analyze it to, your head starts to throb. With these discussion courses, it is all about participation so I make sure that I come prepared with at least one idea per class.

Education as a Second Language 311 (Linguistics) = The professor here is teaching the class for the first time. This makes this class quite the joke and he makes things much more complicated than they need to be. Not only is it in the morning (so I find myself snoozing because linguistics isn’t the most exciting thing in the world), but the tasks he assigns are tedious. There is only one assignment per week and the chapters are small and easy to get through so I am thankful there.

English 310 (Young Adult Authors) = This is definitely one of the most interesting courses I will ever take. My teacher loves science-ficiton and fantasy and so she is always curious about how my book is doing (she happens to be my adviser and the head of the English Department). Score! However, there is one huge downfall in this class. I need to read a new book EVERY SINGLE WEEK. We will go through 10 throughout the course of the semester and these are full length novels. On top of all the reading I need to do, this is the biggest timesucker I have ever had. As far as homework goes, though, I have not received any besides to read the stories and come prepared to discuss and since it’s a discussion class a lot of my grade rests on participation.

So, there you all have it. My schedule and what I am going through with this 18 credit semester. Right now I am a week ahead of schedule and I am hoping to keep one week ahead of schedule but it will be no easy task. I have found that planning in my calendar for what I am to accomplish each night of the week has really started to help me manage it. For example, I have been consistently reading four to five chapters of Melville along with maybe 75 – 100 pages of my modern books per night in order to not have it all pile up over the weekends. Honestly, I am surprised I still get a workout in. But, alas, I cannot do as much writing or reading on social media as I want to. Hopefully I’ll get some time this weekend to do some writing and revisions in my story. I want the story to continue!

But, if you do not see me post as often as I want to, it’s because of my extensive reading. Actually, I guess because I read so much now, I can start writing reviews of these books for some of my posts. Perhaps I’ll do that! Until next time!!! Hopefully I won’t drown in the pages of text I need to read.

Looking Ahead to 2014

So, my last blog post dealt with everything that has happened to me in 2013. This one will focus on everything I plan on accomplishing in 2014. Boy do I have my sights set high. But, you know what, that’s fine. If anything writing a book last year has told me is that nothing is impossible, only you decide what is and what isn’t, so I’m gonna tell myself “I’m Possible” and get stuff done!

Well, first things first, my schooling. This next year will be CRAZY! On January 21st I officially start schooling again in UW-Whitewater in order to get my teaching degree which will also be my second bachelor’s degree. I will be taking 18 credits in the spring, 9 over the summer, and 17 in the fall. Needless to say I will be busy.

My resolution for this part of schooling? Well, I want to maintain a decent GPA of at least a 3.3, but I am striving for that 3.5. That is what I got in Eau Claire, so I feel as though it should be obtainable for me here, the only thing that worries me is my outrageous amount of credits that I will be taking along with the organizations I want to be a part of. A few of those organizations being: Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society), Boys and Girls Club (looks good on a resume for teaching) and even a hip hop dance club cause I think it’d be cool to learn some of those moves.

Secondly, I have a large battle ahead of me with my writing. Here is my tentative layout for how this year will go so that I can accomplish my dreams of having the second book published depending on finances in 2015.

Book #2 Draft 1 = December 31st, 2013

                                                                                         2014

Book #2 Draft 2 (Outline #3) = March 21st

Book #2 Beta Readers Test = March 21st – April 30th

Book #2 Draft #3 = June 29th

Book #2 Developmental Edit = August 15th (This will depend on finances)

Book #2 Draft 4 = September 30th

Book #2 Copyedits = Done by November 28th (Depends on finances)

Book #2 Final Draft/Proofreading = Finished by December 31st

2015

Book #2 Pre-Release Marketing Begins = January – June

Book Launch Party = End of May

Book #2 Release Date = June 21st, 2015

And, that is the tentative schedule for when I want to release my book. Now, why do I have a specific date for launching it already in 2015? Well, the major event of the second book deals with the converging of the two suns in an event called Pirini Lilapa (The Great Inferno). Although overly beautiful to see, it is very deadly and something bad always happens during it. What better day to release it than Summer Solstice when the days are longest and hottest?

What else is going on this year in 2014? Well, I have a trip to Savannah Georgia planned for late February. I have a trip to Vegas planned for late March. And then, just living life I suppose.

Even though I have all of these goals, here are some of the other resolutions that I plan on following through on during 2014.

Resolution #1 = Read 12 books within the year that are non-school related. One book per month, I think I can handle that. There have been a few on my to-read list that I really need to get into.

Resolution #2 = Completely finish (drafts and all) of my second book. I do not think this will be too much of an issue, the only problem comes from financing the project. I have taken a hard hit with this first book and am not seeing as much of an ROI on it as I would like to see so it will greatly determine whether or not this second book goes according to plan.

Resolution #3 = Be Healthier. I already am pretty healthy but these past couple of months I have been going out way too much. Mostly being due to the fact that I recently broke up with my significant other, but I really need to slow my role a little bit. I think that going to college will help this (especially the course load I have) because I won’t have that much time to go out.

Resolution #4 = Keep up with my once-per-week blog. I know it may not seem like a lot because many people blog a lot more than I do. But, it’s good enough for me and I’m already seeing the significant benefits of it.

 

Woh! That was a long one. Glad you could stick with it for me and I hope you enjoyed learning about my goals in this new year. It is full of possibilities and I am hoping to take advantage of all of them as I start this new phase in my life.

Profession Change

No, no, no, I’m not changing my job as a writer. I still love writing and publishing and will continue to do that until I retire from the scene, but recently I just had a change of heart regarding some of my other life happenings right now.

So, I graduated college from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and Advertising. In my mind the perfect combination. I was going to be the best copywriter ever, just like Don Draper himself. Than graduation came, and I looked for jobs and all the Ad Agency jobs require experience (well tell me, where do I get this experience you so claim I should have already)? An option, to go to copywriting school but since I live in Wisconsin and the Big 3 (Creative Circus, Miami Ad School, and VCU) are all on the east cost, that option would be arduous to say the least. With that being said, I have been trying to get my foot in the door at marketing arenas but have thus been unsuccessful which has been really depressing on my part. You know, they say to you, get a good GPA in college, be involved in organizations and internships, and you’ll have a job after college. I did all of that. Check. Check. and Check. I was president of 3 organizations, 3.6 GPA had an advertising internship, but still couldn’t find a job.

So, I used a little bit of my sales experience and started selling insurance, which is fine, I don’t mind it but passionately, it’s not me. I want to be an author. I love going to critique sessions and seeing other peoples work and helping them market their own book since publishing this first one has plunged me so deep in the industry its amazing. I have learned so much from this road of self-exploration and publishing my book than any amount of internships could teach me. But, with that being said, selling insurance is hard work. Don’t get me wrong you can make a lot of money at it if you are passionate about it and stick in it long enough, but that is where it is hard for me. Call me stupid but what is going to get my name out there to establish my platform as an author more, selling insurance or taking time to write stories and submit them to magazines? Probably the latter. What pays the bills? Probably the former. But the former is commission only and I have to fill up my gas tank every two days to drive to appointments which makes it not probably for me at this point in my life. Basically, it’s like I am starting up to companies at once which is a definite strain on a budget.

Then, I got to thinking. My friend recently just became a teacher and I am so proud of him for that and honestly my mom was a teacher for 38 years and although she had a messed up schedule, she had her summers off and a steady, secure job. Something I relish and crave and want. My personality, I think, would make me a great teacher and already having the experience in marketing and writing I could teach kids about things that they will need or want to know going into college. So now I have decided to go back to school to get my teacher’s certification in English so I can teach at the high school level.

This job would be fantastic for a number of reasons. (1) It’d be steady pay. (2) I can get the joy of a critique session while I am working and love being able to help students with their writing. (3) It would compliment my writing schedule the most, allowing me summers off to write like it’s my job. Oh wait, it kind of is. (4) When thinking about where most books take off nowadays what age range do you imagine? I would say mostly young adults in their high school years to early college years because they have the most time to read. If students knew that their teacher wrote a book, maybe they would go out and buy it. Who knows? From there it has the chance to expand, but those are all just my hopes, dreams and aspirations. We will see how that actually turns out.

But, for now, I am bent on going back to school to become an teacher because at heart it’s something I want to do. Also, my dad passed along to me the Wisconsin G.I. Bill which paid for my first bachelor’s degree to get me out of college debt free–something I cannot be grateful enough for. But my dad told me recently that if I went back to school the bill would grant me a stipend of a certain amount per month to help pay for education until the age of 26. So, if I am going to go back and do anything, now would be the time. And I finally pushed myself to make it that time. I am in the process right now of getting everything registered for spring semester so I can start and get my new career path on track.

I hope it works out for me and I guess a quote I just came up with recently that I have really liked is this, “The scariest thing about taking the plunge? Not knowing if the water will be deep or shallow.” I like that quite a bit and can’t wait to see what this plunge has in store for me.