Friday, January 9, 2015

New Year, New Plans

It is dawning on me that the older I get the more I like routines, schedules, lists. I try not to plan out my meals for the week but find myself frustrated by a lack of supplies in my pantry. I try not to schedule out my time, then discover there's never enough of it or that I've already wasted the only 45 minutes of free time I had all day. I try and try not to make too many plans or to stick to a schedule, and it's because too frequently such things have backfired on me. With each passing week, however, I long more and more for routine. For a predetermined time in which to do my reading and writing, my grading, my cooking.

So I'm going to try to make a schedule and stick to it. Starting Monday, I'll be at school MWF 8 AM to 2 PM teaching 3 classes and holding office hours, which I will truly use for school related work. As of right now, I have Tuesdays and Thursdays off, but I also work at the local movie theatre, so I'll be determining the best schedule for my week there soon. Ideally, I'll work there on Mondays or Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sunday afternoons, giving me Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays off to work on a business venture, read, write, craft, and recuperate. Tuesdays and Thursday will be my personal work days, meaning crafting for the Etsy shop I'd like to open and business things I'm finding it difficult not to talk about. I would love to read a new book every (or every other) Saturday and spend a good chunk of time on my writing, which I have been ignoring rather horribly lately out of frustration. On Sundays I'd like to get in my major cooking escapades and meal prep for the week, so I don't have to worry about not having time or energy to make dinner on weeknights.

Already this sounds daunting, but I know that in all actuality it's not that bad; I haven't even scheduled out every hour of the day. Still, it's a start.

And in case you missed the memo, I'm primarily posting over on my new page where I put all my book related things, including reviews, short stories, and publishing plans, so head over there and follow that feed to stay up to date with me!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


And the new blog is up and running. If you'd like, you can find me here now:

It's been a wonderful few years, and I hope to see you guys around!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Starting Over

You may have noticed I deleted this blog. But then, with the amount of posting I do, you probably didn't. I felt bad for never using this, never having anything worth saying, so I was just going to get rid of it. But the truth is, I really do miss blogging, having a place to just talk in more than 140 characters or to people who don't see me every day or know me in real life.

When I started this blog, I didn't know what I wanted it to be, so it ended up being a little of everything. Some of me and my writing, book reviews, agent and author interviews. I wanted to please the internet and contribute something. Now I just want to get back to having a blog for me. Letting you all know what's happening in my life or in my writing, seeing what's up with all of you. So that's what I'm going to do.

I'll leave this blog up because it does have some valuable posts in its history, but I'll be starting over with a new blog. If you want to follow me there, stay tuned; I'll post a link when it's ready. If not, no hard feelings. It's been fun and interesting, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dream Big and Live Life

I am twenty four, and there are only a couple of things in my life I have ever been truly sure of: the first is that I want to spend the rest of my life with my boyfriend Todd, which I've known almost since we got together; the second is that I have always wanted to write for a living. I'm fairly certain I'll get to do the former, and I have never been so convinced that the latter is what I truly want to do with my life. The only thing standing in my way is me. I know.

I graduated with my MA in English in May, and I can honestly say I'm not even sure I read a book that wasn't required in the entire year and a half I was pursuing that degree, much less put pen to paper. Before that, I was getting my BA, and finding time to write was difficult, but I still managed. Now, though, I teach three classes a semester, which means that even though I have huge chunks of free time in my schedule, I'm constantly exhausted and tired of words on pages and using my time to grade papers (sometimes). I also work at a movie theater because being a teacher really doesn't pay all the bills, especially since I only get paid once a month. So I teach in the mornings and am done by 12:30, and then I spend my nights and weekends shoveling popcorn and making drinks. It's a glamorous life, let me tell you. I am lucky when I get a day off at all, and any actual free time I have is normally spent curled up on my couch staring blankly at the TV simply because my eyes burn and/or I'm too mentally and physically exhausted to make my brain work.

But if I want it, I'll make time. Isn't that what people say? You force yourself to write whenever you can. Any words are better than no words. But I was an English major. And a perfectionist. And I hate writing things that are bad. I like to take my time and craft them well so there's less revising and editing and cutting and all that lovely jazz. But, Amanda, you say, that's just how writing works. Not just writing, creating anything, heck, even life! It's messy and takes work and patience! And I know it. I do. You know what else I know? That I just want to write. I don't want to worry about whether my classes are failing or if my students have figured out how to string words and sentences together any better or if I'm going to want to punch my coworkers for being too lazy to sweep up popcorn. I just want to write and be happy. But I can't do that until I can pay all my bills. And I can't pay my bills without working myself to the bones. Oh isn't life grand?

And you know what? I still find time to write. Because even though the words are crap and I have papers to grade and popcorn to make, writing is what I love, and if there's one thing I learned from my mother more than anything else, it's that you should do what you love. So I teach, and I work, and I lie in an exhausted heap around my apartment, and I write. Because it has always been my dream for people to read my stories, and it has always been my goal to be good enough at crafting them that people will pay me. And one day, it'll happen.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Titles are hard.

I finished what I thought was going to be a picture book, but it's too long for industry standards. I'm not sure what I'll do with it now; I absolutely love it because it's adorable and was so much fun to write, and, honestly, I'd never even considered self-publishing until now. I would love to have my brother illustrate it. (The man is a tattoo artist with crazy awesome skill, but don't tell him I said that.)

It started out longer, then I cut it down to stop showing everything that was going on since I wanted it to be illustrated, but even with that it's about 1200 words. Most agents won't consider PBs unless they're under 1k, and some even draw the line at 750 words. And oh have I tried to cut it down; sadly the story just won't allow it. So I have a cute story that needs illustrations, and everything I've seen says it's nearly impossible to get an early reader or chapter book published if it's a standalone. *sigh*

But writing is what I do, so I'll put it on the shelf and hold onto it, and maybe some day it'll get published. I really hope so. The whole thing started with the first line, and I just couldn't get it out of my head: "Once upon a time in a land called Suburbia, there lived a well-dressed man who had a daughter with a fondness for cats."  Once I started writing, it turned into this story about a man who gets a visit from a talking cat after his daughter makes a wish to upgrade for a tail, and I just ran with it. And it feels so good to have created something new after two years of nothing but paper writing and literature reading. Of course I still don't have a title for it, which is a tad frustrating, but hopefully I'll think of something soonish.

On another note, edits for The Sandman's Apprentice are coming along, or they were before midterms hit and I had tests and papers out the wazoo. Still playing catch-up there, but I work in time with the MS where I can, and I'm just glad I still love the story, even if parts of it are dreadful. I also started a new story the other day. It came to me with a line, and I'm not entirely sure what it'll be just yet, but it feels like YA so far. I think it may be in a different world than our own, so I'll get to do some real world-building again, and I love that.

Anywho, I have to go do teacher things now because this semester has been terrible, which means I have to rework all my syllabi and adjust the schedules and assignments if I want my students to succeed. What fun!


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