A Year Since…

It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire year since I completed All Falling Things, but Facebook reminded me of how I had posted this picture when I finished.

Life looks a lot different today than when I typed those two little words. For one, we’ve been in quarantine for almost ten months due to a world wide pandemic – I’ve forgotten what three dimensional people look like. And yesterday, a mob breached the U.S. Capitol while the House and Senate were attempting to confirm the electoral college votes. The H/S members were forced to evacuate, and the mob ransacked offices and hung confederate flags in place of American flags. (The Capitol was eventually cleared, and the certification did finish a bit before 3 a.m. CDT – and yes, I was still awake for it.) And so much chaos has happened in between. The mind boggles.

For me, life has been relatively small and quiet. I’ve been working remote since March 13, and we are slated to be remote again in the spring (*sobs with understanding and gratefulness for being able to stay safe and still work but also with the missing of my three dimensional students*). I spent the two weeks after finals to get spring up, and so I’ve been “off” since Dec 24, and it’s been lovely to not be glued to email and constantly grading and putting out figurative fires (I teach over summers, so this is my first true break since…well, last winter break). But I miss being in the classroom so so so much. It’s going to be so weird the first time I get to step back into one.

I’ve been able to spend extra time with my nephews. Starting over the summer when school ended, I’ve helped out watching them (both my sister and brother-in-law are essential workers). When my oldest nephew, my lima bean, was a baby, I watched him a bunch – we spent a lot of nephew/auntie time together for the first few years of his life before he started school. I was a bit sad that I didn’t get the same experience with the second, my mini muffin. And then voila – that all changed. (This is me trying to be all silver lining – when in reality, the reason behind this chance to spend time together is devastating.)

I’ve gone in fits and spurts with reading. Sometimes I just can’t get myself to sit still. Sometimes I get this insatiable thirst that can’t be quenched. Stress sure does interesting things to a person. (I’ve been stalled at starting the second chapter of Little Women for almost two months. I had to look it up – and I was shocked to realize it’s been that long…what is time?)

Probably the one truly consistent thing for me has been writing. Well, writing and my youngest cat’s demands for constant lap snuggles. It’s astonishing to me that it’s been a year since I finished the initial draft of All Falling Things. Partly because it took me two years to write it. Partly because it seems much longer than that. Since then, I wrote the initial draft of my second novel, still untitled (and I’m waiting on feedback from two of my beta readers), and I’m 3/5 of the way through my third. Amazing how much time one has to write when they aren’t driving eight or nine hours every week. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It’s also astonishing because that year also feels so short. In the eight months that followed me finishing it, I edited and revised it several times, got feedback from my beta readers, edited and revised some more, and then started querying agents. Eight months after I finished it, I was offered a contract to publish it. Eight months seems so very short considering I had been dreaming about this for almost thirty-eight years.

At the moment, I’m waiting on the editor (my book is in their queue) and to see the cover design. I know publication is a slow process, and I’m doing my best to be patient – especially since there are so many other things to be impatient about. Like the vaccine and the chance to teach in the classroom again. Or the package I ordered from Singer that has been making its way from Ohio to Wisconsin for *checks calendar* eleven days now. (Please know – I fully understand the issues COVID and the holidays and people not traveling and instead mailing their presents have causes. Just confused since three other things I’ve ordered since then have already made their way to me. Again, I say ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

If someone had told me all of these things a year ago, I never would have believed them. And yet, here we are.

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