Okay. I think I have made a determination. Over the past 24 hours, trying to not think about it but unable to stop myself -- especially when I should be more focused on studying -- I have come to a determination about my book.
After some experimentation, thinking about what my professional reader told, I have made some alterations to the manuscript, and I think they have made a significant impact. I realized that they way I was framing the story was hurting it. I can't elaborate without revealing too much, but I am very happy with the results. I have also done a little bit of tweaking in other ways. Nothing significant. Sometimes the smallest changes can have the biggest impacts.
Really, in an extremely short period of time I have significantly improved my manuscript. One of the effects of the changes is that I have brought out the main theme, taking people and things for granted. To further emphasize this, I am also changing the name to, simply, For Granted.
In addition, I am definitely going the self publishing route. I want my life to be what I make it, for better or worse. Maybe I'll never be as popular or successful as a writer as some who publishes traditionally, but I am okay with that. Besides, most people who publish that way never make a living as writers either. In fact, very few people are successful in that regard.
I am looking forward to being a teacher, whether at the college level or the high school level. Of course, getting my PhD. is preferable, and is looking better and better, it is still not definite. If I can focus more this weekend and get a lot of work done, I will be well on my way to having another successful semester. Maybe by the end of the week I will have an assistantship and a thesis (and a thesis director). Hopefully I will get all my class assignments done, and give five successful presentations. It is up to me, so, if I don't, then I only have myself to blame. No pressure or anything.
And don't worry, I haven't forgotten about the short story collection. I am still taking time here and there to proofread. Very, very soon you will be able to read it!