Going with the Flow.

Maybe one of these weeks, I’ll stop being so proud of my ability to just go with the flow, but it’s not happening yet. It’s a pretty big deal for me to just release my tight grip on wanting to make things go a certain way and instead go with the way the wind blows, but I’ve been consistently pulling it off (with a few hiccups) for a while now, and it still makes me feel all proud inside anyway. It’s not easy. But this week has been another one that required me to just take it one day at a time, and it barely even fazed me. I’m getting pretty good at it. And I’ve had a pretty good week as a result, too.

Reading: I finally finished Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut, which was a strange experience because I remember liking it so much more the first time I read it. Maybe it’s because I already knew what happened, so the seemingly non sequitur and the divergences and slow pace was less surprising. There are still so many aspects of this book that I really liked, but, the second time around, I felt the story was dragging and it seemed to have lost a lot of its oomph.

The book I started this week was Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf. I have never actually read any Virginia Woolf before, which is a bizarre tragedy, because how do I geFt a Bachelor’s in English without having read Virginia Woolf? So it’s time to remedy that, and I’m only a chapter in and I’m already blown away with the beauty of this woman’s writing. It’s already starting to influence my own in a very delicious way, and I really eager to explore her work more.

And I suspect that I’ll finish Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated this week. It’s easily the closest to being finished, and I want to finish it because I recently picked up a copy of his Eating Animals, and I’m dying to get to it. But I can’t read two books by the same author at the same time, because I’m weird, and I have to finish Everything is Illuminated before December because I can’t start any new books in December because I’m doubly weird. Hey, we all have our quirks. I just have a lot of them tied into how I read books.

Writing: My check for “The Alley” from the Saturday Evening Post arrived the other day, which was just a really cool moment because it just helps the unbelievable reality of earning money for my stories in real ass journals settle in. Following pretty close after my Less than Three Press anthology news, I received an email from an editor I’ve worked with before about being in a special invitation-only anthology, so I’m pretty stoked about that. It’s my first invitation to an anthology! It definitely fills me with warm fuzzies and it’s helping to prove to me that I can do this, I am doing this, and that momentum is a powerful force. I just hope I can keep riding it out toward even better things.

Weirdly, I was kind of hoping for at least one more rejection before this morning, because that would have put me at a nice even 50. We’re currently sitting at just 49, though. However, this only shows that if I can get 50 by the end of the year with a late start in August, 100 rejections for the full year of 2017 is going to be a cakewalk.

I made the executive decision to cease NaNoWriMo for the year. I’m still going to be working on it (and starting a new one in the series each subsequent year), but not religiously. After two weeks straight of working on it, I just don’t enjoy it anymore. Since it’s Monday, and I’ll start something regardless of what else I have going on, I felt a pure joy in writing this morning that I haven’t been feeling for the past two weeks. Unless it’s a short work that I know I can bang out in a few days, I don’t think I’m designed to stick with one project consistently for an extended period of time. I need distraction, I need to refresh my brain with lots of ideas rather than lock it down to one single idea. When I keep it fresh, I keep it interesting, and it’s more fun for myself. So I’m going to go emphatically with what I enjoy, and that’s being a hot disorganized mess with a million stories going on at once with the vague hope of eventually finishing some of them.

The new story was going to start out as just a little offshoot about a haunted English manor, but it’s since developed (big surprise) into something more. There’s a series I’ve been playing around with in my head for a while, and this feels like a great place to start it. I’m excited to see how it goes, as I’ve tried to start up this series before, but it usually doesn’t go anywhere.

And, of course, I’m mired deep into reading for World Unknown Review Volume III. I’ve almost got my initial reads done, though I’m a little behind if I want to make my selections by the 15th. I’m not going to stress out about it, though, because the fact that I’m as close to the deadlines as I am even with the wild influx of submissions for this year compared to last year (last year I had 36. This year, it’s over 100) is pretty good. I have some strong picks already, but there’s a few that I’m going to have to let go because there’s just not enough room for everyone. And that sucks, but it’s also awesome, because I love knowing how much amazing writing there is out there. Volume III is going to kick some ass, guys.

‘Rithmatic: Earlier I mentioned that it’s been a go-with-the-flow week, and I wasn’t kidding. There was some meeting stuff at work, in addition to some appointments for my boyfriend with a podiatrist about an ingrown toenail. Thankfully, the thing is removed and his recovery is going really well, so everything’s good there. Maybe this week can be a little more normal. I also went out Saturday night after work for some beers with some friends for a birthday, which meant staying up way past my bedtime and eating fries at two am. Thankfully, I had Sunday off to set things back on track, and I rearranged the apartment a little. It’s amazing how shifting some furniture can make a place feel brand new again.

I’m not looking forward to three days in a row at work, but at least I’ve got two days off together after that, and another Sunday off. Sundays off are nice. And neither my boyfriend nor I work on Thanksgiving coming up, which is rare and kind of cool, because we work in a grocery store, and having Thanksgiving off is truly something to be thankful for.

Happy reading, everyone!

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