Ahoy! Strange Waters Ahead.

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The Disney Cruise! Much more lively than the other cruise ships. MUCH.

If my life circumstances didn’t change every thirty days, I probably wouldn’t recognize it as my life. So, allons-y.

Since last we met, dear readers, I have a new job that I’m super excited about. It’s an assistant Admin and HR position in a growing tech company. Part time to start, but I’m hopeful down the road they will pick me up full time. Meanwhile, will spend those alternate days at the old job — seesawing back and forth between the two. Will try to keep my 5:00 am wake up routine and spend the extra time writing in the mornings.

The new job is in an office that faces North Vancouver, and cruise ships dock on either side of it. It’s delightful getting to walk to work and the weather has been perfectly summery each day. This is unlike all my other jobs. Normally, I am a wreck before starting a new job — not an “oh, she’s just nervous” kind of way. I mean full freakout, breakdown, panic. Yet, going through the job interview process, I felt confident. Taking the job, even with the uncertainty about the hours, didn’t stress or play out endless what-ifs in my head. First week, nervous, but felt good. Felt very unlike what it’s always felt like before. Minor freak outs about clothing, of course, and new shoes deciding my ankles are tasty, but overall it’s been terrific. My co-workers have a productive, chill, geeky vibe I could really get used to. A sleek new computer ordered just for me. It still feels like a Cinderella story and I hope I can make good.

And one of the first things I did after my that initial week? Booking my spot for the Surrey International Writing Festival. It’s about an hour off by subway but I’ve booked hotel rooms for the core days of the event anyways. Will take the editing workshop because, hey, I’m sort of living there at the moment, and signed up for both a Blue Pencil session with author Chuck Wendig and a Pitch Session with agent Mandy Hubbard. Plus, it’s a hard deadline to shoot for, and I do so much better with external pressure. Roomie talked me into booking the full package, so I will be attending the luncheons and the banquets. You never know who you’ll meet, right? Hoping to connect with some twitter-folks, too. (Also, any locals or non-locals flying in that might want a room buddie? Let me know!)

Oh, that’s right — I didn’t write an entry for May. I’d pretty much had it at the current job. Not for staff reasons, my co-workers are quite cool, but it wasn’t a job that was going to grow into anything else and I couldn’t depend on it for regular shifts. Pissed off, I started hunting hard for work and it paid off but just before I’d landed the job, I had declared that I would have the revisions on STAR DOOR done by the end of June. It pleased my sense of symmetry, since that was my hard deadline for the draft reworking last year, and I made it, flying out here to visit Michael as a precursor to the move. I was also prepared to abandon the novel if I didn’t meet or make significant strides in the revision. Like SHERLOCK SQUARED, I was prepared to walk away.1 Both those deadlines had worked before, and I was ready for them to work again based on my then-circumstances.

But I have to be somewhat realistic now. I expected June would be as patchy with shifts as April and May, and would have extra, full days to work on the revisions. Now, I will, with luck, be full-time for the month of June between these two jobs (first time ever since I moved out here) and I need to spend some time getting up to speed on the industry I’m working in and the tools we use on a regular basis. Not that I am giving myself a free pass — I’ll be hitting the WIP every day and trying to build a new routine. I’m also shooting Chapter Two of that other WIP, BLOOD OF WOLVES, at the writing group this week and I am still working on putting together a separate, Clarion-style writing group (but not so sure if it’s going to gel). End of July for the revision is more realistic. I hate moving the goalposts, but I don’t want to blow another deadline and risk a hit to the self-esteem. That ship’s patched up enough as is.

Another post is brewing, too, about natural writing lengths. Wednesday last week, sandwiched between two short story rejections, I had a good sulk/think about how I spend my writing time between novels and short stories. My moan on Twitter became an @reply fest and boy, do I mention enough how much I love my Viable Paradise classmates? Not enough, I guarantee. They are awesome and invaluable and I am so very grateful for each of them.

To cap off this crazy week, I got the chance to see WICKED performed at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, my first Broadway musical. I know the story backwards and forward, sing along to the soundtrack, but to see it performed was marvelous. The song Defying Gravity was my mantra around this time last year. It still is.

And, I think, it’s working.

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Right before the curtains rose and the dragon starts breathing fire. Taken at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver!

1 Confession time: I did give myself a week extension for that project because I was so close and I had the ending ready. I was willing to do the same if I had made major strides in STAR DOOR but not if I had faffed around and wasted all those days. That’s what’s gotten me here so far, and that’s not an acceptable practice anymore.

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