I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers

October is the best month. It’s not a debate. FACTS ARE FACTS. I love the fall, I love the Taylor Swift RED aesthetic, and I love being a spooky bog witch. Halloween is my favorite time and I never met a costume I didn’t want to wear.

This October has been lovely so far. Currently I am on a two week vacation that has only just started. Yesterday, I completed the first round of edits on my book and turned it in, which is like an enormous weight off. On Saturday, we had a backyard party for a coworker who is moving out of state and I got to see some of my lovely, fully vaccinated friends that I haven’t seen in person in like two years. We strung lights in the backyard and everyone brought food to share and there were drinks and it was just fully wonderful.

I also got a tattoo to celebrate my love of all things autumnal!

It was done by Kristina Bennett at Sugar City Tattoo Company and she was so nice to work with. I gave her some vague reference photos and said “autumnal floral with a pumpkin” and she knew the vibe exactly.

In a few days, we’re going up to South Lake Tahoe, which I’m excited to say did NOT burn down, so it will be so good to get out of town and decompress. I’m halfway through writing my second book, something I started while waiting for edits on the first one, so hopefully I can make some progress on that.

Anyway, I’m just popping in to say I love, love, love October and I hope you’re having a good fall so far.

The First Draft

It’s about time to turn in the first draft of my first published novel.

It’s a weird thing to write!!! I’ve been thinking about publishing a book since I was, eh, thirteen? But then, you know, things get in the way. Finishing high school, getting into college. I chose English Literature as my major, over Creative Writing because I thought I wanted to be a teacher and wanted a more general degree.

And then, when it was time to go to grad school, I was paying for it myself so I knew I better come out of it with a viable career. I graduated from college at the same time the economy collapsed, so instead of becoming a teacher at a time when teachers everywhere were getting laid off, I went to library school. I just didn’t think a degree in Creative Writing, a field that is notoriously hard to find success in, was a sound financial decision.

It’s not that I ever stopped writing. I’ve been writing consistently since I was a teenager. I started with fanfiction, I wrote original stuff in school, but fanfiction has been my hobby for 20 years. With every story I hit publish on, with every new fandom I dipped my toe into, there was always that thought in the back of my mind that I still had time to writing something original. A novel.

Lately, though, I’d started to put that dream to bed. I work at the library, I know intimately that a lot of books aren’t even very good and yet, getting published is HARD. A lot of it is just knowing the right people, networking, being in the right place at the right time. The rest of it is hustle. Write the damn thing, send it out, get rejected over and over again. It all sounded so difficult while trying to balance a full time job, a marriage, a chronic illness, whatever else life was throwing at me at the time. So I started to shift my thinking away from that. Fanfiction makes me happy. I like to write it and I find the community I’ve built around it to be very fulfilling and I worried that turning my hobby into a hustle might make me like it less, anyway. I was at peace with not being a ~writer~ and I figured that unless something fell directly into my lap, it would just never happen.

Guess what fell directly into my lap?

In a way, it was about networking, about being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people. Fandom is a powerful network. I’ve made so many fandom friends who have become powerful, badass adults. Now I’m on this journey, I guess. I feels like the right step for me now. Maybe I’ll publish a few books and decide it really isn’t for me. Maybe I’ll publish a few books and decide that I love it and I’ll keep going. I can’t wait to find out.

But first, I just have to send in this first draft, real quick.