It Has Certainly Been A Semester

playful-kitten-6683-1024x576So it occurs to me, given how everything has been happening so much this semester and this year, that I should probably start to keep logs of it here, both for myself and for anyone else who might be interested. I looked back over my journals this semester and realized that almost every month so far this year, something personally or professionally huge for me has happened and so I’m going to collect all of those things here, at this convenient point in time in which I’ve finished the spring semester of my freshman year in college. And so, a short timeline of things that had or still have me occasionally hiding my face in a pillow with a nervous smile on my face.

(Also, afterward, some goals for the next ~quarter of the year that I expect myself to accomplish before the end of August, because I’ve realized that unless I have an Internet full of people judging me, I will probably not get that much done.)

January: I found out that my story “Everything, in Both Hands” had been named an Honorable Mention for the Dell Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing.

February: Made my first sale ever–my poem, “After “Moon Fishing”” to Li Chua at Strange Horizons.

March: ICFA happened! I don’t know by what miracle, but I managed to get my university to cover the cost of my attendance, for which I will be eternally grateful. I met so many wonderful people, made a lot of new friends, jumped into the deep end of a hotel pool holding hands with some of those friends, and noticed just how much I’d missed being around other writers. I’m so thankful to have been able to go.

April: Was the last month before finals! And also the month in which I found out I was doing two panels at the 2017 Nebula Conference! Both are on Saturday, May 20. At 2 PM, I’m on “What Teens Are Looking For In YA Literature” which is about…what teens are looking for in YA literature. I’m also on “Critical assessment: What’s next in genre?” at 4:00 PM. I am very nervous and very excited also did I mention nervous?

And now it is May. And I’m writing this post while taking a break from studying for my last final exam, and tomorrow I will move my things out of my dorm room and back home, and then I will turn 19, and then I will start a summer job at my university where I will be an administrative assistant for a group that organizes summer workshops for high school journalists. I will also be doing my best to afford, with my meager resources, attendance at what will be a second Alpha Workshop for me.

And I will be doing a lot of work trying to accomplish some Things, because even though this year is going very well for me so far, nothing more is guaranteed to happen unless I make it happen. So, here are my summer goals: 

-finish drafting my novel, based somewhat substantially off of the story that made Honorable Mention at the Dell Awards. I started this for Camp NaNoWriMo, which I failed miserably, I still want to finish this. I have an estimated wordcount of around 100,000, but even if it ends up needing a different amount, I just want to keep writing until the story is done. I haven’t finished a novel since my sophomore year of high school. It’s about time.
-collect 15 submission responses. I know they are likely to be rejections, which is fine–getting rejections means that I’m submitting things, and submitting things is good. I like that.
-related to the 15 submission responses, I can’t get any if I don’t write more stories! I want to finish at least three short stories this summer, as well as three pieces of flash fiction.
-I also want to make more blog posts! At least one per month–a book review or an essay or some Opinions or just updates. I realize I’ve been letting this thing stagnate, and I could be doing way better.
-keep calling representatives, because democracy doesn’t work unless people participate in it. Also because at this point the only thing that stands between people aren’t wealthy white men and basic human rights is active, constant resistance, and when I look back on this time in history I don’t want to have to admit to myself that I didn’t do anything to help slow or stop the further progression of bigotry in America.

My deadline for accomplishing all of these things is Tuesday, August 22, 2017, because that’s when classes start for my fall semester.

And that’s been (roughly) the first half of my 2017. On an unrelated happy note, I just found out that Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election, which seems like a good place to leave this post–good things can still happen in the world as a whole. Given the news cycle this year, who would’ve thought?


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