Writing Woes

You guys, writing is not for the faint of heart. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I’ve spent the past week or so struggling with a book that just wasn’t working. It was an old idea I was trying to outline and brainstorm. It involved vampires and Moscow and was supposed to be awesome, in theory.

Unfortunately, in practice, it was not so great. Maybe it’s a bad idea, or just not the right idea for me right now, but it was totally not working. I saved my notes, but put them aside. Now I’m back to working on a second round of edits on the novel I was working on before. I think I’ll have to redo a lot of the first act of that book. Better to discover that now than later, I suppose. I am also the world’s slowest editor, so this is going to be very slow going. Maybe I’ll write some short stories in order to take short breaks during my editing…

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Happy July!

Can you believe it’s July already? The year is half over now!

Anyway, I have some excellent news. Remember that graduate program I was talking about? Well, I got in! And I got a fellowship! Now I need to pay a deposit to reserve my place because I’ve decided I’m going to go for it. Next year at this time, I’ll probably be questioning my judgment since I’ll have to balance working and studying. 🙂 But I have my fingers crossed that some of the accounting concepts will be a bit easier this time around since I’ve done a lot of accounting at work in the last four years.

What else is new? Well, I’m scaling back on social media use this month so that I can get some work done on a fun novel I’ve outlined. It’s urban fantasy and it takes place in Moscow. And there are vampires. I’ve been looking forward to doing this idea for a while now, so it should hopefully be fun to write.

ONE MONTH!

One month, dear readers! Actually, as of today, June 25, less than a month remains until this book is released!

I found it on Star Wars Wiki here.

And in case you haven’t noticed, I can’t wait! Not even joking, I may have to call in sick on Tuesday, July 24, so I can stay home and read. 😉

(Okay, I am kidding… I’m on a massive project that will still be going on at the end of July, so I’ll probably dutifully end up going to work anyway. But the temptation to just not go in will be strong.)

The Purple Cactus

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while now, but I kept forgetting. While browsing on Twitter last month, I spotted this incredible photo posted by an author I’ve followed for a while.

I love this thing so much.

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.)

Aaaaand… I Passed!

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).

Application Submitted! ✅

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. 🙂

End of the Month

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.

The Ax Has Fallen

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.

April 2018 Writing Report

As you may have seen, I vowed to write every day for the month of April—and I succeeded. That was both blog writing and fiction writing, which wasn’t easy. I think my studying for my next professional certification took a hit, unfortunately!

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.

Thirty Days Of Blogging

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.