Job Searching and More!

‘Ello!

So as many of you may know, my family just moved back to the coast so that Megan can do an internship at a hospital there, and thus complete her Master’s degree and start being my Sugar Mama. These little writings I do – brilliant as they may be – do not pay very well. For the past couple weeks, I have been on the hunt for employment with little success. However, I’m pleased to announce that this week I have been told of a position that just opened up at Bally Refrigeration (and for which I am first on the list to interview… though I haven’t yet received the call) and have been confirmed for an interview on Friday at the same hospital at which Megan will be working. So things are moving along.

In other news, I am submitting a story of mine to the Georgia Review tomorrow. Though I probably will not be accepted, this is a big step for me. Normally I am too uptight about “succeeding” with my writing that I don’t submit stuff, so this is a good step in learning the whole process and (inevitably) how to cope with rejection. These are things that, if statistics are to be believed, I will need to figure out if I am going to remain sane and still seek publication.

Other than that, I am reading some wonderful literature (Umberto Eco’s Foucault‘s Pendulum and Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles) and am planning on writing a poem on the similar themes and repeated phrases in them. There are more than one might think. So much so that I was creeped out at first. Also, we are still trying to get funds and paperwork sorted out for The Sead Magazine, but rest assured that I have not forgotten about  it.

And I’ve saved the best for last: I am roughly 1/4 of the way through the Dwarf Story (which still doesn’t have an acceptable title). I’ve written 10.6 thousand words so far out of what I estimate to be a final total of between 35 and 40 thousand. As far as the plot goes, I only have a handful of major events that have to happen in this first installment (it’s the first of a trilogy) but I plan on spending a lot of time with those handful of developments. Hopefully that time will be spent worldbuilding and making stuff more sensible to the reader.

Oh yeah, Asher has stood up by himself a few times! Which means walking is probably just around the corner. He’s long had the physical ability to do this, but he gets too psyched out to not be holding onto our legs or the table, etc. Anyway, those are the developments around the Candelario world.

Mike out.

(p.s.: I put out a call for more questions from the audience on Twitter. I have received some good ones, but if you have any feel free to leave them in the comment section, tweet back to me, or ask them on Facebook.)

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Audience Feedback Time!

Welcome to the first-ever Audience Feedback post on this here blog! Okay, that’s basically just a way of saying that for the past week I haven’t had a clue what to write for this week’s post, so I have used my vast network of Twitter followers and Facebook friends (read: my “audience”) to suggest some topics. After receiving a whopping two (read it: 2!) suggestions, I have decided to just go ahead and answer both of them. Actually, the first can probably be broken down into two separate questions, so I guess there’re three questions to answer. Prepare yourselves for some deep thoughts.

Question 1: Why do you write?

The easy, somewhat pretentious way of answering this question would be to say that I write because I have to. And that’s true in a lot of ways. I think there really is an internal drive in most writers to jot down their stories. Even when I’m not writing a story, I’m jotting down ideas for stories; or I’m jotting down poems; or I’m jotting down titles of stuff, character names, etc. etc. I like to write. I can’t not do it. But that’s not the only answer, and it probably isn’t the most satisfying one for anyone out there who actually cares about my reasons.

A better reason might be that I have always been an avid reader. Stories allow me to transport myself from this singular life I’m living into an endless amount of other lives and worlds. I get to experience things like space travel, growing up gay, living in Asia. The list is almost infinite, and each story makes it possible for me to get a completely different perspective on life. And so one of my goals is to give back to that community, to “join the conversation” about life and – yes, I’m about to say it – the human condition. I cringe when I write that, but it’s a true thing. I want to put my own thoughts out there in order to allow people to experience things they would otherwise not experience. Hence the fantasy and science fiction stories I currently have in the works. Writing also allows me to deal with life issues in a way that is liberating and helpful. I can organize my thoughts on a certain subject (for instance, environmentalism in the novel I also have in the works) and really explore how that subject might have differing effects on characters. So there is an intellectual aspect to why I write as well.

There is also a significant theological aspect to writing, for me. As a Christian, I believe that creativity stems from God, and that it is part of the “image of God” that humanity possesses. So writing is not only a celebration of the human imagination, but it is also a celebration of the divine. By creating stories I am mirroring the Creator, whose great story is history itself. That might sound like drivel to some of my audience, but it is a part of why I write and it is something I take rather seriously.

2. Why do you blog?

This one’s much easier. My blog allows me to be constantly writing stuff that is going to be read by people (not that many people, but the idea is there). Which means that I have a real incentive to write reasonably well, and thus I get a lot of valuable exercise of my “writing muscles.” That’s a lame metaphor, so let’s move on.

Practically, the main reason for having a blog is to generate an audience. That’s right – you all are the reason I blog! The idea is that the blog will provide a place for people to see samples of my writing and to receive updates on books of mine whenever I get them published. The blog is also a place for prospective employers to see my writing and judge whether or not they would like to hire me for any type of writing-related job. So there it is: the blog is basically a marketing exercise.

Question 3: Tell us about your recent move to the coast.

Yes, I live near the beach now. It’s been a decent enough move. There are still mounds of boxes scattered around our new duplex. And I am no longer used to the humidity and heat here. A few years living in the mountains will do that to you. And here’s another thing: they have so many ANTS here. I mowed the lawn the other day and my left ankle is now decked out with some vicious fire-ant bites. The ants must have gotten into my shoes while I mowed. Also, I’m kind of languishing in unemployment right now. I had two jobs lined up and they both have sort of flaked out on me. But I’m looking into some other opportunities, so I’m not yet freaking out.

Okay, enough about all the bad stuff. After all, the move was a good one. The duplex is bigger than our previous one, and there is a ton of cabinet space in the kitchen (this is something that Megan insisted upon). We also now have a dishwasher, a fenced-in backyard, weekly trash pickup, and we live in a kid-friendly neighborhood. It’s great. Not to mention the fact that we’re five minutes away from my parents and Megan’s dad. And only about forty-five minutes from Megan’s mom’s place. So the family gets to visit Asher more often (let’s be honest, he’s the main reason they visit, the little stinker) and Megan and I can get some much needed assistance with childcare. On top of that, even the unemployment thing has some benefits. I’ve been able to write on a more consistent basis, make a lot of headway into the Dwarf Story, and even watch a few Olympic soccer matches (Thursday is the Women’s Gold Medal Final between the USA and Japan!). So far moving to the coast has been a good experience.

So there you have it, folks. I have answered your questions. Thanks for helping me come up with something to put on here (thanks especially to Jeff Holder and Mary Fonvielle, who supplied the questions). See you next week!