New Stories, Jobs, and Ministries, Oh My!

Updated: Jul 20


It has been almost three months since my last confession, and I must confess, I'm feeling mighty guilty. I did NOT mean to leave you beautiful people hanging, and I know you've been on tenterhooks, losing sleep and your appetite, awaiting my next update. Mea culpa.


There's been a lot going on, obvs. In both the professional and personal spheres.

The most notable of these is:


The New Job


I'm a professional copy editor, suckas!! Sorry . . . that wasn't . . . quite so professional.


There's a big huge testimony here, but I'll break it down to the finer points. I applied to this remote copyediting position over two years ago and didn't quite make the cut. Fast-forward to one year ago this month, after months of blood, sweat, and a crazed study of the Chicago Manual of Style. The company emailed me out of the blue:


"We have your test scores on file and want to invite you to join our training group, after which if you kick serious butt we'll prolly hire you maybe."


SQUEE. So, because I ain't initiate this contact, I took it as a promise from God that I was on the right career path (don't tune me out as a wishy-washy spiritualist, y'all, I had more confirmations; remember, this the Reader's Digest version, ight?). And SO began the waiting. November '18 to July '19 I waited for the company to roll out their new training portal and invite me aboard. I hadda email them 5 times during those 7 months to verify we were still dating, so I was gettin' kinda blue. Long story short, in June they emailed ME for once, which was after I'd about gave up and started looking for other jobs. This felt like God renewing his promise to me, like God shouting down, "Don't give up on me, yet; and put that dang resume away!" Yessir.


After a month of getting schooled about the right way to copyedit professionally for clients in APA, AP, MLA, CSE, TurabianVancouverYoMama'sFavorite and Chicago styles, BritishCanadianandUS English, I finally got hired in August. YO.

Dream come true. But hella busy, 'cause I gotta work my way up that pay scale to make this worth while, you get me? Hence why I ain't had a tea wit you in a while. My daddy would be proud.


The Promotion


Not really sure you can call this a promotion, 'cause it's a volunteer gig and my responsibilities haven't changed, BUT . . . my title at Barren Magazine DID change from associate flash fiction editor to flash fiction coeditor. Hey Mikey: they like me.


We have since published our eleventh issue, in which yours truly interviews none other than flash fiction legend Kathy Fish. I will not lie to you; it's the most magnificent interview I've ever seen.


Speaking of Barren, did you know they published my first story? Clicka here to read. I know what you're thinking: I'm totally legit doe; they published me before they invited me to the crew. For seriousies.


New Stories


This past year I finished the first draft of my first novel, and took a break from that to revise two stories and write two more. I currently have three stories on submission, so cross your fingers, toes, and nose hairs you'll get to read those soon. 'Cause they're baller.


Na-NoWriteNoMo'?


It is officially National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I participated last year in theory, and I like to think it's the reason I finished the first draft of my novel (even if it wasn't till March). This year, if I participate, it will be to finally perform my first full plot revision (ermaGHERD). I'm stressed just thinkin' about writing note cards. ::shiver::


New Ministries


I'm doing more crazy dumb things (or maybe just crazy) this year, and just received clearance from my pastor to start a writing ministry at church. I've met a ton of poor, free-floating writers at my church who need anchors, accountability, resources, and cookies, and as soon as I get my junk together we're gonna meet to learn the tricks of the trade, strategies for publication, critique one another's work, and cry on one another's shoulders. This is mildly terrifying.


I've also just started a small group for the female young adult demographic at our church, at which we will discuss the last week's sermon, laugh at each other, and eat ALL THE FOOD. We've had one very encouraging meeting so far. This is slightly less terrifying. At least there's food.


The Outlook


I was published once last year and not at all this year, and although I finished my first draft of the novel in March, I haven't touched it since. I can make excuses about how I've been focusing on other projects, but let's face it, I don't have much to show for the productivity. At least not to you nerds. [ ETA: I suddenly have a story forthcoming in X-R-A-Y Magazine! And before the end of 2019, which means—get this—I'm not a total loser this year! ::scratches a line on the chalkboard:: ]


And here's where we enter the Full House segment of this post. [cue violins]


You lot deserve so much more, for your patience, for your encouragement, for all the times you've let me blow my nose in your T-shirt . . . I want to bring you more than Twitter fiction.


I recognized only in the past week that I have a tendency to procrastinate—yes, I know you knew that, shuddup, yo, I ain't done yet!—or rather, to prioritize to such a degree that the bullets on the bottom of my To-Do list never get fired. My boss once told me he doesn't lose sleep at night thinking about all the things he has to do; he just does them. Of course, my first thought was, like, uh, dude, how do you, like, do all the things that are in your brain to do? I still haven't figured it out.


I also heard that tidy people are tidy because they lead a tidy lifestyle. That's closer to the rub. Maybe I should allow myself to get distracted more often. To let go of my agenda and allow the interruptions to help me get things done. That light bulb that needs replaced? I should have changed it the moment I noticed it. Those dishes that need put away? Do it now. That story I thought of this time last week? I shoulda put aside my housework agenda to sit down and write it. This is probably the opposite of what everyone tells you to do, but for me, it might just be crazy enough to work.


<3


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