(1) I apply to be a Canadian!
After two years of waiting to hear about Canadian Citizenship application, I found out that I was granted dual citizenship! But that they sent the documents to my old address in Florida! And that, because I hadn't changed my address I would have to reapply completely!
So I reapplied a few weeks ago. And it was arduous. But Mimi loves Canada because of the Avonlea books and because of Robin Sparkles from "How I Met Your Mother." I love it because my dad's side of the family is from the very-Acadian New Brunswick community of Grandfalls. And I like gravy on my French fries.
(2) I send out 30-plus novel submissions!
And get rejected from about 25 of them thus far. The remaining 5 don't look good. I guess I know what I'm doing next summer (30 more). The highlight of which was this one! Because it's so classic, here's the email:
Dear Greg,Of course, the hilarity here is that "Ceilyn," "Alloness," and "Syrus" aren't in my book. Clearly, someone else's chapters got mixed in with mine. So I completely concur that it was jarring to go from one style of narrative in chapter one to a different style in chapters two and three (since, you know, they weren't written by me).
Thank you for your query of your manuscript, The Pendant of Power,
to Leucrota Press for consideration.
While there is no easy way to say this, I am afraid that we will have to pass on your manuscript. We just weren't interested in the plot. The six heroes, whose individual powers almost always have the unfortunate side effect of driving them crazy, was interesting. However, Val didn't really grab us. Also the number of flashbacks in these chapters slowed down on the pacing.
Also the other two chapters weren't told from Ceilyn's perspective. It was jarring to read a first person narrative and then have it switch to 3rd person. The characters felt rather flat and the second chapter had very little action. Most of it was just Alloness telling the reader about Syrus. We didn't get to see Syrus exhibit any of the traits Alloness said he possessed. All in all any character except Ceilyn felt more like a stock character than a fully fleshed out one.
Leucrota Press only publishes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and graphic novels of the highest quality...blah blah, etc etc.
Anyway, sent out two short stories this summer as well. Rejection letters there too.
(3) I apply for Ph.D. Programs!
Am I heroic for continuing to apply for things even though my rejection letter folder is as heavy as an old Dell? I can't say for sure. But yes.
Here are a few of the places I'm applying. I'm only applying to places where I have had contact with faculty who I think I could work with:
- University of Missouri-Columbia,
School of Journalism
- University of Maryland-College Park,
School of Journalism
- University of Pennsylvania,
Annenberg School for Communication
- University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication
- University of Colorado-Boulder, School of Mass Communication
- Louisiana State University, Manship School of Mass Communication
- University of Texas-Austin, School of Journalism
- Columbia University, School of Journalism
- Harvard University, History of American Civilization Program
- American University, School of Communication
- University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, School of Journalism
- University of Washington, Department of Communication
These applications ate my time this semester. Eleven applications--Statements of Purpose, Writing Samples, Recommendations, Transcripts, etc--is no joke. There are some very "shoot for the stars" programs in there and some more achievable programs in there. A lot of people have asked what my top choice is. Honestly? Any of them. They're all excellent programs in great parts of the country. I could make a lot of them work toward my interest areas. And also I'm a straight, white male. So if I get into any, I'm doing good.
(4) I lose 35 pounds!
I'm actually more disappointed that I gained the 35 pounds in the first place than I am excited that I lost it. But honestly, after college I've always overworked myself. Starting this past summer, I have a date with the National Mall every two or three days. And after nine miles, I feel pretty good. I've run some races--a 5 K this summer and a 10K a few weeks ago. I'm not fast, but I do enjoy the run. I plan to run a half-marathon in March. Maybe if I keep a race ahead of me, it'll help me maintain a healthy fitness level.
On the downside, none of my clothes fit anymore. Santa needed to bring me some substantial new entries to my closet this Christmas.
(5) I orchestrate service learning at work!
I've always been passionate about helping my students see the multiple facets of given communities. At the youth program I worked at in Palm Beach, I loved getting the students over to Urban Youth Impact and always made a big event out of 30 Hour Famine. Getting a chance to plug students into different service organization in Washington DC really was something I was excited about. As it turns out, many students say they want experiential learning, but don't actually like it to be assigned. I got some of the rudest emails I've ever received from students this semester. I've never considered working somewhere else as much as I did this semester.
This also was part of a promotion (ish). A title change. More work. Is that a promotion?
Also did a bit of freelance. I kept hoping the gigs here and there would turn into something more permanent, but haven't been able to get them to pan out.
Those are the basics of my life this semester. One New Year's Resolution will be to find a new function for this blog and keep it better updated.