Welcome to Thunderdome: End of Summer Back to Work Edition

 

Fall Semester is Here…

I survived non-instructional week, but not without a few bruises. Between all new textbooks, trying to learn a new platform in less than a week, and the usual scheduling delays—it’s been hectic. Stress got to me and I’ve been edgy and emotional.

Now that I’ve managed to get things mostly in order, I can get excited about the new semester. I’ll be teaching Introduction to World Fiction, Children’s Literature, an Honors research writing course, and two sections of composition. It should be fun.

I’ve moved from trying to survive Thunderdome to sipping tea in a nice comfy chair.

It’s a much nicer place—one that makes me feel like writing again. My plan is to finish this blog post and then settle in for a long session of work on the novella. I’ve missed it.

Gen Con!

I ended my summer on a definite high note: Gen Con.

I loved the energy of the place. I was so swept up in it that I finally succumbed to temptation and bought a  steampunk outfit. I wore it around for most of a day. It was fun despite the learning curve involved in wearing a corset. I talked to more people than I usually do because, well, wearing an icebreaker helps move conversations along. I enjoyed indulging in eccentricity among a huge group of people doing the same. It’s fellowship of a particularly sweet kind.

It was cool to see other costumes and the games. Players are everywhere. Outside of a few video games, I’m not much of a gamer, but I understand the appeal. I even bought a new game. My Austen geek would not let me pass up Marrying Mr. Darcy—with zombie expansion pack, naturally. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find other people to play it, but I’ve got a good imagination. I can fake it.

The Symposium:

Most of my time was spent at Writing Symposium events. Once again, it was time well spent. They do a very nice job getting panels together and making sure things run smoothly. I learned a lot and had fun.

A common thread of advice ran through so many of the panels it seems like a good idea to repeat it here.  Writing is fantastic. Finishing is imperative. Keep trying. And when you deal with others, remember:

Be professional. Be courteous.

It seems like common sense, but apparently there are a lot of people who forget. If we also remember to follow Wheaton’s Law and understand the importance of following directions, the bases should be covered.

Meeting Apocalypse Ink Productions

I had the pleasure of meeting with AIP during Gen Con. I was nervous, but they were all incredibly nice. My editor, Jennifer Brozek, was fun and engaging to talk to. She’s sharp and creative and I’m more confident than ever that she will help me make the Cross Cutting novellas the best they can be.

I’m sure the editing process isn’t all kittens and rainbows, but I’m looking forward to getting to the end product. I want to learn and improve. I want my novella to kick ass.

I’ve read the work of other AIP authors and I’m in very good company. I feel like I’m in good hands.

RAWR.

Wrap-Up

I’ve been trying to process what the experience has meant to me. I’m not there yet, but I think it has to do with taking one tiny step away from the shadow of the imposter syndrome.

Talking with people who are enthusiastic about what I’ve written—who value it and want to work with me—was galvanizing.

So, yeah, I guess I’m getting more comfortable with my identity as a writer.

It’s not a bad way to begin the semester, actually. When teaching stress hits I can remember I’m a writer too. And, seriously, that coping strategy is worlds better than experiencing anxiety dreams fueled by Mad Max movies.

Say no to Aunty Entity’s Bartertown Wheel.

Say yes to tea and typing.