Hello, loyal readers, and new friends! It’s certainly been a while: too long, indeed. Summer has been crazy. Mostly good, although it has posed some challenges.
One of the biggest reasons I haven’t been blogging has obviously been my workload.
While writing is one of my greatest passions in life, an even greater vocational passion is ministry. I see my writing in some ways as an extension of my ministry call, but I also have a strong and necessary call to work with children. I have a Masters of Divinity with a Specialization in Youth and Young Adult Ministry and have studied development of all ages. Even if I did have the opportunity to make more of an income through my writing, I would never want to give up some sort of career working with children, preferably the work I’m doing right now. I’ve never felt more professionally fulfilled.
In March 2017, I transitioned from a job in traditional children’s ministry in a church to a job in an educational setting. This is not unfamiliar to me, as I have previously been a Preschool teacher. From March to June, I worked a split shift (both morning and afternoon with a break in between) I worked as a Before and After School Program Administrator/Supervisor.
But in the summer, this role transitioned to summer camp, which has been full-time, 9 hour days (1 hour of that a break). It has been rigorous, hard on my body at times, but overall absolutely wonderful. However, even though I can’t wait for next summer to do it all again, camp leaves little time for writing, which is the main reason the blog went by the wayside.
Hopefully by next summer I’ll have a blogging routine down and will be writing regularly enough that it will continue!
The other significant challenges have been health related. In early July, I broke my elbow. It healed up nicely, luckily, and I only had to be in a brace and sling for a few weeks.
Just a few weeks ago, I heard from a brain surgeon who is an expert on one of my major chronic health conditions, Chiari Malformation. I was diagnosed in eighth grade, but forgot about my diagnosis, and just rediscovered it last December. We’ve come to pretty much the end of our rope treating the symptoms, so it seems like I’m headed down the road to surgery. But a lot more tests will come first, so hopefully those get ordered and done soon. Until then, it’s a waiting game, but coming terms with a very high probability of brain surgery has been a big deal of my summer!
So all those things add up to the perfect storm of why I’ve been away from my blog, and really haven’t written much at all, this summer. But I’m back, and the school year means a split shift schedule for me and much more time for writing. It also means I have officially decided to self-publish my first novel, Panic Cat!
There’s going to be a lot for me to learn as I enter the world and journey of self-publishing, and so far my toe is just barely in the water. But as I have updates, this space will be the first place I will put them. I’m really excited about some of the things that are in the works with it, and I can’t wait to share them with you as they come to fruition! Fridays will be the big days that I talk about writing-related scoop, but as we get closer to book launch (date to be determined!) I’ll probably be posting near-daily about it. The goal is to publish by the end of 2017 or very early 2018, but stuff like the previously-mentioned brain surgery may obviously push that back.
This Wednesday, I’ll be posting a special post, “Know My Novel!,” in which I talk a little bit about my novel and the writing process. I have completed a few draft novel projects before, but none have been as personal or as dear to my heart as this one, and I can’t wait to share it with all y’all.
I will also continue to write about the subjects that inform my writing in this space. Those are largely faith, family, and chronic illness. I am also working on building my readership, so if you are new, welcome! My blog is nothing fancy. There’s no bells and whistles. It’s just a place I write: I write about writing, I write about life. And I welcome you to journey along with me.