I’ve been working part time at my public library for about 8 months. My job includes running the automated book drop, shelving, pulling books for the hold shelf, and weeding books that are in poor condition. I answer patron questions, but due to my limited role, I am prohibited from answering in depth questions. When I get a reference or research question, I’m to refer them to the Help Desk. This used to bother me even when I knew the reasoning. After a couple of months of hoping I could parlay this into a full time position, I finally realized I wanted to return to teaching.

I accepted a position as a permanent substitute, but I kept the library job. I love books and libraries! Even though the sub position is full time, it doesn’t pay all that well. Thus began my grueling schedule juggling two jobs. I was open to see what would unfold. In these last 8 months, I realize I love teaching and have a higher earning potential and future job opportunity in education than in libraries.

Also, in the last two weeks my copyediting business has been booming. I have three jobs in the works. The library pays so little and there’s no room for growth. I’ve come to the end of the road there. It was a meditative experience…shelving books and occasionally helping a patron. Now, it’s time to move on.

A short time ago, I had a goal to finish all my Scandal fanfics in 2015. Now, I am abandoning that goal, laying it down. I lack the motivation, inspiration, and desire to devote the time and focus needed to achieve the goal.

I began writing Scandal fanfics out of a need to process and explore my thoughts, impressions, and mild obsession with Scandal and especially the angsty, passionate, tumultuous Olitz.  During those storied days of old at the genesis of Scandal, I googled Olitz and Scandal in search of a place “to work out my feels” and “fangirl” in between Thursdays. Fanblogs, articles, and the twitterati were chock full of folks with the same idea. A fandom was born. But I was at the Scandal cocktail party listening in on others’ conversations trying to find my own group to huddle with. I found none. In my real, face to face, life, none of my family and friends shared my level of passionate devotion to the show. They knew of it. Some watched it. Still others indulged me in discussions…a little. None sweated it as hard as I did. So I was out there compelled into the 1s and 0s alone. I tweeted alone. I read fanblogs and left comments alone. What’s the fun in having a guilty pleasure if you can’t share it?

It was at this point that I discovered fanfiction and specifically Scandal fanfiction.  I read and commented. I commented and read. Soon I decided to try my own hand at writing a story. I wasn’t invited to anyone’s party so I threw my own! It was all worth it. Words began to fall out of me and my writing transcended the show. It was more important to me than the actual show. The stories were rewarding, but the biggest motivator, what kept me writing, was the reviews from the readers. The readers became my muse in many ways. It was as if there was an unspoken covenant between us.

The experience of writing and connecting with readers through the reviews changed me. It gave me the need to extend my writing and create my own unique characters. During this process, my fanfiction writing has been on and off partly because I’m still that same Olitz fangirl looking for a group to huddle with at the cocktail party. Even though the characters are a Shonda Rhimes creation, those stories, even in their states of incompleteness, belong to me and to the readers. #chrysalisbroken

Do you need a beta reader? If you are, I am the one. If you are a newish writer, don’t try to go it alone. Words are magical such that when they ooze out of you and on to the page, they change and morph. I’m not merely speaking of the banal job of editing, but also of the process of fashioning your piece into the best it can be. In my own experience, I’ve tried to do it alone. Don’t do it. You need champions who will read, critique, and question.

Contact me. I’m waiting…

My goal is to finish all my Scandal Fanfics this year. One of my readers inquired about the sequence of completion. I hadn’t really narrowed that down so I’ll put it to the readers. What do you want?

Link to my fanfic stories here.

List of Stories (listed in alpha order):

1 Back to us (BU)

2 Down for the Count (DC)

3 Harvest (H)

4 Not Quite Serendipity (NQS)

5 Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones (SBSS)

6 The Ultimate Heist (UH)

7 The Upside of Contempt (UC)

NB: I’m working on An Education now.

What is your pleasure? You can list in order of preference using the number or just type the acronym for your desired sequence. You can send me your choices in the comments section of this blog. I’m not going to put any time constraints on this request since I’m not sure how much of a response I’ll get. Just putting it out there.

What’s your preferred sequence?

Image 1Now that 2014 is in my rearview and 2015 is upon me, I pause to reflect and anticipate.

The first half of 2014 was emotionally and psychologically challenging. I think it was akin to what a butterfly experiences when breaking out of a chrysalis. I was very wishy-washy and unclear about key aspects of my life. Unfortunately, my actions reflected that inner waffling. I hurt those closest to me. I lost a friend.

In the midst of this, I had tasked myself with writing a novel that I planned to self-publish. By 6 months in, I had self-published the book! Hooray for me. But questions still lingered: What shall I do with my life? ShaIl I keep writing? Try to find a literary agent/publisher? Work harder at being a full time writer? Shall I return to teaching? Find another vocation? I began working part time at the public library which was good therapy and a reservoir for some fantastic reading. Shortly thereafter, I stepped back into education as a full time substitute teacher. By the late fall, I had two jobs! Loss and gain are inexorably bound like life and death, suffering and celebration. I am thankful for my husband for supporting and loving me through it all.

In the midst of 2015, I am extremely excited about what lies in front of me. I am committed to vigorously pursuing happiness. I am in love with my school. If a permanent teaching position materializes, I’ll be ready to embrace it. I want to travel more this year and in coming years so we’ve started a travel fund. I’m committed to fellowshipping with my family and friends regularly. I want to finish my Scandal Fanfiction stories! I want to commit to writing another manuscript to finish and shop around for publishing. Also, I want to cease agonizing over what folks think of me (only child syndrome). In many cases, folks are too busy thinking about themselves! Lastly, I want to be a lighthouse for compassion and love to others.

2015 here I am!

Rainbow Rowell’s, “Attachments” has me totally hooked. I’m in love with the friendship between Beth and Jennifer. Their emails are hilarious. I can see why Lincoln is drawn to Beth. She’s super cool.

I’m at the part where Jennifer finds out she’s pregnant and Chris is being distant with Beth. Lincoln’s sister,Eve is too judgy! I wonder how Lincoln is going to meet Beth. This takes me back to my college transition to college days. We all thought our computers would explode on 12/31/1999 and that Y2K was real.

Nostalgia HD.

I catapulted myself head long into official job search mode this weekend. Ideally, I want to obtain another part time job until the obligatory six month window elapses before I can apply for a full time job at the public library. I enjoy working there, but my current level of compensation doesn’t adequately help the ends to meet.

After shedding silent tears and engaging in the customary self-recriminations about the current state of my vocational life, I headed on over to that website that specializes in foundation, association, and other public service jobs. I applied for a couple of association management positions. I know that area well: membership driven, annual meetings, committee meetings, board run… I lived and breathed it for seven years. The question is, “Will my resume receive any nibbles?” 

Sidebar: Applying for jobs online is an exercise in futility. The applicant is asked to supply a mountain of information and documents which, in all likelihood, won’t be viewed only stored on some server for who knows how long. Nine times out of ten the hiring manager only posts the position to follow company protocol. They have an idea who they want to interview–either the friend of a friend or some promotion or lateral transfer within. But holding out hope, I jumped into the pool.

In keeping with my initial focus–getting a full time job at the public library–I ventured out today to apply for a part time job at a local grocery store. The idea here is to keep my part time library job, add another part time job, and apply later for a full time library job after the obligatory 6 month window coming up in late December. This local grocery store required that I come in the store to complete an application at their Job Application Center.  I applied for baker trainee, cake decorator trainee, floral, produce, and stocking. I don’t care to do cashiering. Perhaps, if I get one of the other jobs, I can learn a skill. My husband laughed at this notion since I have three degrees under my belt.  He has an eternity’s worth of faith in my abilities to do anything whereas, I have significantly less than that based on where I sit now. But I am thankful for the balance he brings to my self-esteem/confidence. 

We shall see what transpires…

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