Graduate School Update

Well, it’s been an interesting process thus far. Mostly in that it has been quite the repeat of last year.

I have ten school left to hear back from (which will probably be in the next couple weeks). Over the past month, I’ve received a few trickles here and there from schools. Though it is nearing the April deadline for those that follow the Graduate Council’s guidelines/rules, the pace has picked up.

So far, I have one tidbit of good news: I’ve been waitlisted for Minnesota State University at Mankato. Means that they liked me enough to see if others don’t take their offers, I may be offered a spot for the school (with no funding at the moment, but that may change if I am admitted).

It’s not all gray clouds and gloom, but I’m hoping I get a fully-funded offer. We’ll see what happens.


Springtime is here

Well, the weather for SoCal has turned for the beautiful. I know, talking about the weather on a blog? But, it’s a definite turn in the seasons. It feels like springs now, with the gorgeous high 70s low 80s weather and the time change (though I’m not a huge fan of the time change this early).

Yay spring! and sunlight!
Yay spring! and sunlight!

I know most of the US is still experience what I would term SoCal winters—40s/50s weather (for us that IS winter!) I’ve mentioned before that my favorite season is fall. Still true! But then my second favorite is spring. I love it when it starts getting warmer after the cold months of winter (shush you cold country people, I’m acclimated to this cold!). There’s something nice about having your window open with fresh air and the sun warming everything.

The change in weather is certainly helping me overcome a lot of the things that happened the past month with things out of my control. I need the lightening, the lifting of spirits. I was only kept semi-sane through taking a gigantic mental vacation that I’m starting to come back from. I worked a little here and there, but I needed the time off just to get away from the stress of all the things I need to do.

Perhaps the energy out in the world now is more positive, more life-giving like the sun warming the Norther Hemisphere and that is helping me returned. I don’t underestimate the power of the sun and the influence it has over our collective moods.

Anyway, I hope your spring is arriving and thawing you all out!

P.S. Went to a book release party for John Brantingham’s Mann of War, and will be going to Marta Chausee’s Murder’s Last Resort tomorrow evening.

Fan Fiction

This isn’t something that I’ve talked about before on my blog, but I’ve discussed in person to a writing friend that happens to write fan fiction. I’ve never disparaged it as a form of writing. Anyway…

My first exposure to fan fiction was close to 13 years ago. Something like that. I read a bit based on the Wheel of Time and thought it was kinda fun to see the characters acting in a different way. I didn’t think it was all that fantastic, but it was kinda of fun. Interesting to see the characters “out of their element” so to speak.

Anyway, having a conversation with a friend on twitter about Teen Wolf (a show that I admit is a guilty pleasure, and oh-s0-fun), I was taught the word “ship” which I’d seen and no idea what it meant. So I was schooled about the various ships in the Teen Wold fandomverse… and then one night I decided to google Sterek (which, if you’ve seen the show, is the relationship between Derek and Stiles).


The actors 🙂

Yes, I just used internet colloquialism. Yes, it was necessary. I went to deviantart first, and wow, I was impressed by the pages upon pages upon pages of drawings of the two characters together (and even a few silly gifs). Then, I saw picture I like mention a piece of fan fiction. That’s when it went crazy for me. I found the fic, read it on my computer and LOVED it. OMG. Amazing amazing fun. But, you know, I thought that was it.

But apparently all it takes is one fic, and you’re hooked. So I went back and downloaded a nice little sample of fan fic. A good 25 works, nothing too crazy.

I read them all in three days. Well over 300k words. Then I downloaded another 50. I know, hopelessly addicted, but great use of my kindle that I haven’t been using too much. Anyway, I read all those in a week. This is the most I’ve read, in a long, long time. Not since high school when all I would do was read, read, read. It felt so good to read. One of things that I enjoy so much, is that I know the characters will be together, no matter how much angst and manpain are present.

Now, I wanted to talk about another reason that I enjoyed reading them so much: the writers absolutely adore the characters they are writing about. Hands down. They love the nuance of the characters, how they interact, how they move in different worlds/universes/etc. And this love translates into the work. Reading it, I know the author had as much fun and joy and pain writing it, as I did reading it. I think some of this joy, this emotion, is missing from a lot of literature that I read. Much of it feels sterile, and almost lifeless by comparison. Perhaps it’s because I do not know all the references to the work, but I also feel that some of these works were editing and revised so much the writer lost that love along the way. I know I’ve had that happen in my work, but I’m know I will strive to keep it, no matter what. Inject love and humor and fun, and life into the work.

So, yes, I did learn something from reading fan fiction, and I think that lesson was a very important one as a writer. I learned that stories written via text messaging can work, that fiction written in internet speak can be as touching as any piece of regular fiction, and that we, as humans, love stories and love creating them out of what we, ourselves, love.

What is the next step? Well, the next step is for me to actually write some. STOP! Wait, what? Why would I do that? Well, I love the characters and the show and all that mentioned above, but also, to me, it’s a writing exercise. I tend to write short, terse, works, and one of the characters is very verbose and a little bit spacey, so I’m stretching. I think it will work, and hey, hopefully I’ll get some lovely feedback and comments when it’s out there. Writing boosts are always in short order over here.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!