FYI, I have been working on finishing up Tales from the Fringes. I can't wait to share it with everybody when it's done. It just keeps getting better and better. Still not worried about the deadline I have set for myself. We'll see when it gets to be closer to the time. I am definitely getting better at doing things at the last minute. Although, I am *hoping* that it will not come down to the last mine this time. The music is a lot of fun, but it is more of a hobby.
I am hoping my skills as an editor are improving, since I am practicing it every day now at school. I am constantly reading and analyzing and interpreting and picking everything apart to the minutia. I hope that at least is evident in the final product. I am hoping to have no typos. We'll see whether that actually happens or not. That is, if anything, going to just take diligence on my part. The editing process is repetitive, but the more times I go through these stories the better they get. I think they work well together, too. There are definitely elements of the last three or four years of my life in these stories, and then some. I am growing in confidence the more I work on it. Next I have to concern myself with marketing and sales. Put on the business man face -- but that won't come until I am sure these stories are the best I can make them right now. I have always intended to have my book done by now, but it hasn't happened yet.
Now I at least know the direction I need to go with it. I know what to hone in on and where to take it. I am developing a plan, a strategy, taking the best section of it and making that section the basis of the entire book, adding in every scrap of detail I can muster. I have never felt entirely comfortable with this book, and now I have the confidence I need to do what I need to do with the story to actually finish it for once and for all -- even though that means going back to the drawing board, developing a detailed plan, and starting all over.
I have been planning on doing that with my second book, so why not take the same approach I have developed over the past several years, apply it to this book that has been getting better but still not as better as I want it to be. I am happy with what I have written, proud of myself for having written it, and can't wait to see what I can do with what I have. I have some great, solid suggestions, and I am going to trust my instinct and take it to the next level.
Things are really coming together, maybe not in the way I thought, but in a way that I can work with and grow with and get to where I want to be, whenever that happens. I am, after all, still a student. I will always be a student; I won't always officially be a student, but I will never cease to learn and grow, and neither should anyone else. Life could be far worse, I have a lot going for me, and I am more ambitious than ever. But mere ambition won't get me ahead. Not without hard work.
This time around it won't take me years. I am fully committed to push myself and get it done. Not that I am trying to force it, but, I know it is there inside me, suspicions, feelings I have been feeling have been confirmed. Time to take it to the next level. Really it is both Tales from the Fringes and my first novel, which is more of a them. In the immediate sense it is the short story collection, the next it is the novel, the overall it is my writing. I need to start working on that school work I planned on doing over break; I need to get busy doing that extra reading I intended to do, and add on top of that some fresh research -- which will like affect my school too. I mean, why not teach more contemporary literature, more contemporary Young Adult literature.
I still firmly believe that things happen for a reason, and, when I have been most successful and most happy in my life, I have trusted that belief and gone with it, which is why I can't become too complacent. I must continue to grow, continue to ebb and flow, always keeping the same final result in mind. Basically it's all about learning, and I am learning a lot about myself, if nothing else. And at least I am turning out to be the type of person I can fall asleep with at night. Some nights I just like to stay up late, get an early start on the next day and then fall asleep. I haven't been able to do that for a while. Okay, that's a lie, but now I can do it free of guilt because I am on Spring Break, and this year I can truly let loose and enjoy it. I just enjoy it by challenging myself to stay true to myself and reach for my dreams.
For now, look for my short story collection, Tales from the Fringes, very soon.