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This year has not been easy: a new job that has steadily, repeatedly required me to work overtime; health issues; the usual. But I’m out of credit card debt (student loans are another matter), was able to take my cat to the vet, and I may be able to go to the dentist soon as well.

Through all this I’ve been writing and working with other writers (critiquing and collaborating) when I could find/create the time and energy to do so. I even managed to attend WisCon and  present at a panel (despite working 9 days in a row with only one day off before doing another 9 day stint). Honestly, it’s been a struggle. I’ve relied on my dear partner for much support (I’d be starved and unclothed if it weren’t for him). I’ve not seen friends for months. I’d not written for long stretches of time, to say nothing of reading.

But I am writing: I’d carved out the time to take part in TNEO (The Never Ending Odyssey) this summer (which overtime allowed me to pay for), which was wonderful. I also got to meet a writing friend in person for the first time and it was as if we’d known each other for years.

I’d wanted to apply to Grad Schools and to both Clarions if finances allowed (one reason for new job), but reality is setting in–I do not have the time to prepare for and take the GRE, much less a Subject Test as well. I haven’t written anything NEW this year that’s polished, so I’m not sure with what I’d even apply to MFA programs or the Clarions. I’ve revised some stories, including what I’d sent these programs last year, but I’m not sure it’s the best idea to resend those. I do still have a few months before the Clarion applications are due, so there is hope for that. But applying to Grad School or MFAs is not happening this time around, and I am sad about that.

I’m hoping for balance looking forward. I’m not sure I will find it with my current job. For the moment, this is what life is. I’m doing what I can to keep writing. It may be significantly less than I’d like or hoped, but my cat is healthy and I can pay my bills. These things should help the pain of isolation and creative stunting some, shouldn’t they?