Hey everyone. I know my activity here has been pretty much non-existent, but I am still here! I just haven't been doing a lot of art, and what I have done are illustrations for my picture book, so I haven't been posting them here. I am severely behind in that department. I know I said I wanted to release the book early next year, but that plan may have to be changed a bit. We'll see how much I manage to get done over Christmas break. First I got distracted by another short story, then the second half of October ended up being a NIGHTMARE as fall as school was concerned. And then around Halloween I decided it would be a good idea to participate in NaNoWriMo and finish up the draft of my YA fantasy novel. So yeah--art has been pretty much neglected for the past few months.
School is going fairly well. I've only got 4 or 5 weeks left, which is exciting. I know I said I had a relatively easy semester, and that was true...at least at first. Then Midterms happened. After that, everything got crazy. I'm doing pretty good in all of my classes, but Spanish got way harder all of the sudden (I think we may be past the point of my previous knowledge). The grammar stuff is killing me, and even my husband isn't much help there since he never really learned to read or write it, so he cant explain why something is the way it is. But it's good--I feel like I'm learning a valuable skill, so I don't mind so much that it's difficult. What I do mind, however, is my Natural Disasters class. When I was told I needed an upper-division science class to fulfill a gen-ed requirement here, I was not excited. But everyone was like, "Oh, just take Natural Disasters--it's really easy." They lied. Or maybe I'm just stupid about science. That's honestly far more likely; between my high school science classes and the few I've had to take in college, I'm starting to see a pattern of everything flying completely over my head. Technically, I only need
a C in that class. But until I get accepted into my program, I feel like I have to do better than that because it's so competitive to get in. So I'm stressing about that, but at the same time, I honestly just don't care about the class material enough to want to try. So then I end up procrastinating and that's obviously not helping. Ugh. No more science classes after this. None.
I've got my schedule mostly planned out for next semester. I will be taking Spanish and Social Work With Diverse Populations (A class related to my major--hooray!). I'm also hoping to get into the Social Statistics class, which is part of the Social Work program, but you don't have to actually be in the program yet to take the class, so that will put me a little ahead. Then I had to find 2 more credits to keep my full-time status for my scholarship/financial aid, so after spending several weeks exploring my options, I decided to take a couple of PE classes. I was super bummed that the only soccer class was in the afternoon when Alex has to go to work, so I can't sign up for that (My sister in law is having her baby in January so I doubt she'll want to watch my kids after that). They had some cool martial arts classes I thought would be fun too, but they either conflicted with Alex's work or my other classes. So I finally resigned myself to taking Water Aerobics at 8:30 AM, which should be interesting since I have a class immediately after and will have to walk around with wet hair in winter. But that's ok--I love swimming, so I'm actually kind of excited about it. And then I also signed up for Yoga, because there were about 20 different sections of that so it was easy to find a few that could fit with my schedule. If for whatever reason I can't take the Social Statistics class, I will maybe try to take a creative writing class. It's at night, but only once a week so I may be able to talk one of my brothers into taking the girls just that one night every week.
Winter break is only 5 weeks away, so I'm just trying to hang in there until then. I'm super excited about winter break this year. It's the first time in....probably 10 years....that I will actually have a real winter break. And yes--that includes part of my high school years, too. I've been working since I was 15, so my winter breaks/spring breaks have always been spent at work, even when I was off school. It will be nice this year to just be off school and not have to work or anything. I'm not really sure what I'll do with myself...oh wait, yes I do; I'll be doing illustrations. So see? I think it's totally doable to have a bunch of them finished before school starts again mid-January. I'm looking forward to it, though. It will be like a real vacation! And it will give me some time to get ready for Christmas. My parents are going to Japan over Christmas. This family my parents have been close to when we lived there and in the years since we moved back--the dad is a businessman who has done pretty well for himself and he's turning 80, so he wanted all of his family and close friends to come celebrate with him, and he's paying for my parents to fly over there. Anyways, my 2 youngest brothers who still live at home will be coming to Logan to hang out with the rest of us (except for the one brother who is in Canada), and I want to have a big Christmas-eve dinner and stuff. Being the oldest, I'll probably just have to organize and be in charge of that...which makes me feel like an actual adult. Wow. That's kind of scary. But anyways, it should be super fun. I'm excited about it.
I'm equally excited about the fact that Alex and I are planning to buy ourselves an XBox One for Christmas (or shortly before...we'll see how long we can hold out). Fallout 4--Here I come! Also, the remastered edition of Halo looks gorgeous and I would totally play the heck out of that. I finished playing Portal recently. It was excellent. Every once in a while, I hop on and try to get some of the achievements. That's one thing I really like about it--it's kind of like a simple arcade game that you can just start up and play for 15-20 minutes and then quit without being totally immersed in some mission that you have to finish right then and there or whatever. But it's still super interesting and fun and has a lot of replay value. There are a few levels that I've played probably 10 times and I don't care because they're still just as fun as they were the first time. I definitely want to get the second one sometime. Maybe I'll ask for that for Christmas, too.
As far as writing goes, like I said, I am trying to finish up this draft of my YA novel for NaNoWriMo. It's going well so far; I'm in the last 1/3 of the book, so things are picking up the pace and I'm excited to finish it and have good momentum as a result. I figure if I can do 2,000 words per day for the rest of the month, it will probably be finished (I'm estimating 90k words total, but we'll see). I'm still working on short stories here and there. I just finished one in first-person present tense, which doesn't actually suck that bad. I was happy about that because every other time I've tried to write first-person present tense, it just sounds terrible. I've been sitting on that one for a few weeks and will probably send it through another round of beta-readers before I ship it off. I ended up wasting a good 2 months on another submission which I eventually ended up pulling. That was a bummer, not just because of the wasted time, but because I honestly thought it would have been a really good fit for the journal, but there seemed to be some issues going on with the editors and some of the previous writers. Nothing terribly serious, but it just gave me a kind of icky feeling, and I decided I wouldn't necessarily be "proud" to add them to my publishing credits. I know beggars can't be choosers, but...Idk. It ended up being a weight off my shoulders, even if it was a loss due to the wasted time. So that story is out again somewhere else now. Ugh, the waiting game kills me every time. I check Duotrope at least once every few days to compare how long they've been out there with the estimated response time.
I am not pathetic at all....
Well, I suppose I should go try to boost my word count for the day. Adios!