Yes, my friends, that is a purple cactus. I love cacti and I love the color purple (though not as much as my friend Ruth!), so I am really thrilled by this plant. Some brief internet research reveals that it’s a purple pricklypear (Opuntia macrocentra, for the more botanically-minded out there), I think. Whatever it is, I think it’s great. I want one outside my house. Alas, I don’t live in the southwest, which is why I need to make a move to the southwest happen. Anyone want to hire a hardworking finance/accounting person out in Arizona? (Not even joking here, you guys! 🙂 The purple cactus is but one reason I need to move out west.)
No doubt you’ve noticed I’ve made myself scarce around here this past week. That’s for several reasons, dear readers, all of which contributed to make me very, very busy. I had twelve hours of training on Monday and Tuesday, two phone interviews (one was for the grad school application I submitted last week—fingers crossed I get in and get a fellowship), and a professional certification exam.
There wasn’t much I could do about the interviews—I prepared as best I could, but interviews can vary so much depending on how you’re feeling, how the other person is feeling, how well your personalities mesh (or not), and so on. There’s only so much you can prepare for when it comes to interviews.
The certification exam was the major thing I was worrying about because whether I passed was within my control. I’d been studying off and on for a few months now before I finally decided to schedule a test date about two weeks ago. I studied every day after scheduling it, but I wasn’t sure that was enough.
Apparently, it was, because I passed! I can’t tell you how relieved I am. Things were dicey for a little while in the exam room—some of those questions were tough and I was afraid I was failing.
I pulled it off, though. I’ve had a glorious weekend free of any studying and I’m looking to turning my exam prep books back in tomorrow (our department at work lends them out).
Yesterday, I finally submitted my graduate school application.
Yes, dear readers, it’s true. I’m applying to do another graduate program. I think it’s a good program and it’ll help me with career opportunities in the future, but I’m a little apprehensive about the whole thing. I wasn’t crazy about graduate school the first time around—I found the whole thing to be really, really stressful. That program had two years’ worth of credits smashed into a one-year curriculum (two full semesters plus a two-week summer intensive semester) and boy, was it tough to get through. I didn’t know anything about business, accounting, or finance, so I always felt like I was scrambling to keep up with my schoolwork. Plus, we were job searching throughout the program and my class didn’t fare well on the job market. (Fun fact: they removed us from the program employment statistics displayed on the website. It was that bad!) I received a grand total of one job offer at the last minute (literally two weeks prior to graduation) and all in all, the program was just really stressful.
I do have some things going for me this time around, namely actual work experience and knowledge of finance and accounting. I’m a bit worried about balancing work and school (I intend to continue to work full time during the program), but hopefully I’ll be able to manage the material better this time around. Not to brag, but I could probably teach one of the required classes, Auditing and Attestation. My life at work for the past few years has been full of auditing and attestation. I audit and attest so much that I can do it in my sleep and could probably teach other people to do it.
Of course, all this musing is theoretical at this point, as I haven’t been admitted yet. If I’m not accepted into the program, all this musing is pointless and I’ll have to enact another, as-yet-undetermined plan. 🙂
Oops, I forgot to start blogging again after I got back from my vacation. (Said vacation ended about two weeks ago… and I’m already ready for another one!) Well, I am back. I’ve been back and work is… well, it’s work. I went to The Big A (my nickname for the big city I sometimes have to travel to) for one day this week with two coworkers. Alas, we did not stay overnight, so no five-star hotel stories to report to you, dear readers. All I have to say about that trip was it made for one long day. I was up at 5:30 to go meet my coworkers in the rental car, which made me completely exhausted by eight that evening. (Luckily, we were back by then.)
What else has happened? Well, the coworker who didn’t deserve a promotion continues to get worse and worse. Monday this week was a holiday, so we didn’t work. Still, we have a four-day workweek though, and this individual has shown up for a grand total of one day. Actually, it was closer to three-quarters of a day considering how late she arrived. I’m sure she’ll show up tomorrow for our summer team event. She won’t have to do actual work, so that’ll be right up her alley.
As for non-work things going on—there hasn’t been too much. I’ve been editing my novel a bit, but not as much as I would like to. However, I do have a reason: I’ve been gathering materials and applying for a graduate school program that I plan to complete while working. This program is in accounting and would give me enough credits to sit for the CPA exam. I don’t relish all that studying and test-taking, but becoming a CPA is looking like a better and better idea. I don’t expect to be promoted at my company (I’ve written about that already, if you’re interested), but I’m hoping this graduate degree and becoming a CPA will help my career in multiple ways.
Remember when I wrote about the restructuring initiative that’s going on at my company and how people in my department were starting to get scared? Well, it happened. The ax fell on two coworkers yesterday. They were told they no longer had positions at the company and were then escorted from the premises. I didn’t see this because I don’t work at the location they did, but the story spread like wildfire through our department.
I didn’t know them well, as they worked on a different team in the department. I just have a bad feeling about all of this, though. I don’t like it one bit.
I was editing in April, so I didn’t get a ton of really high word counts. Editing is a strange beast since it involves so much reading over previously written material. I did write some new scenes for my manuscript, which was fun. I’ve begun to really like reading over old scenes and shuffling things around and making sure the scenes tie into the overall plot.
In April, I wrote a total of 8,571 words, which is an average of 285 per day. As I said, all of that was for editing. I tried to edit for an hour every day, but that wasn’t always possible. I did manage to edit every single day, though! That is an accomplishment.
So far, I haven’t written every day in May—just some days. Last week really was not my week, I’m afraid to say. A rather idiotic neighbor backed her car up into my car. I was honking my horn at her the entire time, but she claims to have not heard it, which makes no sense. How can you not hear a car horn right behind you??? Luckily, she was going so slowly that my car has no visible damage and looks fine. There were other annoyances last week, so let’s just say good riddance to the first week of May, and I’m going to go work on my editing now.
Well, dear readers, I did it. Back at the beginning of April, after not blogging for a long time, I privately vowed that I would both blog and write fiction every single day this month. Why? I was tired of my writing being disrupted by The Crisis, so I wanted to see if I could write every day for a month.
I managed it, but it wasn’t easy. Sometimes, I just really didn’t feel like writing. Other times there wasn’t really much to write about. But I wrote every day, and I’m glad that I did.
I don’t think I’ll be blogging daily in May. I have too much going on then! I do plan to write a few times a week, though.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go work on some fiction so I can fully complete my vow.
Granted, I’ve read most of her tips in some form or fashion in various sources before, but it was nice to see them all in one place.
I don’t know if I’m going to hire a freelance editor for my manuscript. Ideally, I’d like to. I’m sure I’d learn a ton. But first off, it’s crazy expensive, and second, if all goes according to my Master Plan, I won’t need to.
(The Master Plan, for those not in the know [and that’s probably all of you, because I don’t think I’ve posted this publicly on the blog before!], involves me getting a massive book deal for this trilogy of novels after a bidding war among the biggest publishing houses of the country. In this fantasy, fantastic editing services come with this book deal. Yes, I realize this is unlikely to happen, but a girl can hope, right?!)
He later disappeared and I wish I’d been able to get a better photo, but I’m happy I saw him in the first place. I’ve never seen a yellow warbler before. The picture I took doesn’t do his color justice. The yellow is really, really bright!