If anyone is still out there…I’m still here.
I haven’t been posting much lately. My brain has been fried nightly grading standardized student MATH exams. Did I mention I hate math. Grading 500 4-part algebra/trig/geometry problems an hour has been penance for every wrong I’ve ever committed or considered. The quality of work truly made me fear for the students of this generation. No, I cannot reveal which state’s horrible exam I graded, but if your kid is in summer school or flunked a grade becasue of me, I’m sorry.
Wait. I’m not at all sorry. If I marked it wrong, it was WRONG and the kid needs to learn. Ack, the guilt.
But it was a temporary paycheck.
And lately, I’ve been in dire need of some cashflow. Would you believe that being an unpublished aspiring novelist doesn’t pay well?
Recently I’ve felt as if the Fates have been messing with me. Everything is breaking down. Dear family friends passed away. The car brain (and several other cranky parts) fizzled out. Our main a/c broke again and must be replaced. The kiddo’s tween hormones and attitude kicked in. So it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise that my blood pressure spiked higher than an obese senior’s with a 50-year smoking habit, right? Even though I’m thin. I eat my veggies. I do yoga for cripes sake.
So I set my writing and blogging aside in a sudden reprioritizing of my life. I ignored social media, my immense list of unread blog posts, and my floundering manuscript.
Well, after I tidied that manuscript up for a contest.
The contest’s word limit was a scant 4,500. My first two chapters weighed in at about 7,500. Crap. I whittled and slashed and sometimes squeezed my eyes shut as I hit delete repeteadly. But I nitpiked that sucker down.
Then I discovered the place in hell they save for those crafting that nasty little Two Page Synopsis. (For those not in the industry, imagine condensing a 100k novel into 450 words including all relevant characters, plot, subplots, tone, voice, everything.)
While the pictures in my office to get me in the mood all look like this:
I may as well have been staring at this:
Christ In Limbo by Hieronymus Bosch, 1575. Image: http://www.imamuseum.org/art/collections/artwork/christ-limbo-bosch-hieronymus
Sometimes that’s all a girl needs to get back in the game.