My penultimate (hopefully) undergrad semester started at the end of August, and I'm now about a third of the way through. I managed to swing a class schedule of MWF this semester, so I have two full days for study and other things. It's a relief to not have to be on campus at 8:00 AM every day. Thursdays I still spend most of the day on campus, but Tuesday is free for working at home and studying there, plus the prospect of sleeping in a wee bit. Unfortunately, I tend to wake up pretty early on the days I don't have to, it seems.
I participated in a large short fiction writing competition this summer, and two weeks ago I found I'd placed well in my group. The second heat has happened, and I should get feedback on my second story in about a month. I hope to place again, and to advance to the third heat. It's good to get feedback that helps tighten up my writing.
I've been tutoring students with their writing, and I've been pleasantly surprised how that process has helped me to view my own writing critically and objectively. I also enjoy that process, although thus far it has been a single-serving interaction: students make their corrections and submit their paper, and they don't often come back to share the outcomes for their work. I find myself wondering at knowing only half of a story. I felt that way about the patients in nursing school clinicals, too: you do your shift, and do all you can for a patient in a 13 hour period, and you will most likely never see them again. It's an odd interaction that is intensely personal and then is suddenly no more.
The puppies are well and in fine fettle. They seem happier with my new and improved schedule, as I am home with them more often. They are convinced a demon is living under the lawn mower, and they circle and menace it tirelessly. I tip the mower so they can look and sniff under it. "See? No demon. No varmint. Just grass whiskers." They are not buying it. They are a perpetual delight.
I am considering my next step after I graduate in May. I am stepping up the writing, and am currently researching information on East Texas for a work of fiction I began last year. I wrote a few short stories with a character I placed there, but now I want to do a full-length fiction for her, and I am reading as much as possible on the area. I've picked up "Tales from the Big Thicket" and a few other books. I appreciate any books or websites you folks might recommend on East Texas history and lore. My character lives near a made-up town, but it's in the region south of Tyler.
I'll try not to let so many weeks elapse between posts, next time, but life continues apace. I confess that this election year has been vexing, and I will not be sorry to see the back of it. We've got -- what? -- five weeks to go until election? Someone accurately said that trying to decide for whom to vote this time is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end. Quite.
I'll try to get a Puppy Sunday post up. Y'all is owed one. I hope you all are well and thriving and happy.