Monday, September 29, 2014

Yesterday's Phantoms

So yesterday I was inspired for a few hours, taking photos with the camera that has been sitting around, unused. I don't know if this is going to be a regular thing, or if this was just a one-time event, but these are the best shots of what I took. I don't have very good editing software, so I didn't make many adjustments (because I couldn't). I really love the light distortion, which gives the pictures a kind of ethereal glow. Obviously, the header picture came from this series, as well. It was the first shot, which I guess kind of inspired the rest.

Current Events

My short short story, "Current Events" is featured today at Flash Fiction Magazine!

Check it out:


Monday, September 22, 2014

Death of A Stapler

Well, I still have my sanity. For now. Honestly, teaching 15 credit hours is not as bad as I expected it to be. 

Having one thing as my primary focus is very liberating, and it still allows me time to continue searching for a full-time job, work on novel#2, edit short and short short stories and send them out to publications, and do stuff with my wife. I can even mostly enjoy my weekends, even though I teach a Saturday class. It's not a good long-term plan, but it will work until I find something better. 

I do like the fact that I am gaining confidence and becoming a more articulate public speaker--two things that I needed to work on anyways. If it didn't require more schooling, I would consider doing it long term, but I have enough debt to pay back.

Another benefit, I think, is that I am becoming a better editor and proofreader. It tends to happen when you have to read and comment on 100 papers every other week, or so. Well, you either become better at it, or your head explodes. Mine is still attached, so far, but, it is only about a third of the way through the semester (how time flies!), so there is still time for that to happen.

The biggest crisis to happen so far this semester--aside from having to wait until the end of the month for my first paychecks, anyhow--has been the death of my stapler. It was a good stapler, which I bought at some point during my last few semesters as an undergrad, and, although I had to fix it a couple of times, it worked well. Unfortunately, it was made from plastic. Next time I buy a stapler, I will be spending the extra and buying a metal one. One meant for high-capacity stapling. One that will last.

Nothing lasts forever, though, I suppose. Of course, that phrase is often used negatively--such as when my stapler first died, and I was particularly distraught about it and cursing the fine people of Office Max--but it can also have a positive meaning, as when you are struggling to make ends meet  and looking for a better opportunity, and you just can't wait for change.

In that case, the fact that nothing lasts forever is a philosophy that gets you through to the next opportunity, the next phase of your life, and hopefully you have learned enough that it is better than where you were before.

Eventually, you will be able able to look back on the times that you struggled and appreciate what you have and realize that, even though things might have been a struggle, it could have been worse. It can always be worse.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Good news!

My flash fiction, "Current Events" is being published by Flash Fiction Magazine! I will keep you posted as to when it is published, which should be on September 29, but, for now, here is a link:

flash fiction

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Somewhat Boring Post, but I am Old and Boring Now

Teaching five sections of English Comp is a challenge. I am constantly on my toes to keep up with my lesson planning and grading, but it is kinda fun, and certainly better than working in a restaurant--even if the pay isn't substantially better. It keeps me busy, anyways. I am still looking for full-time work, and if I have to leave in the middle of the semester then, well... I am not looking to do so, necessarily, but if it happens, it happens.

As a professor in the English department of one of my schools recently told me, I owe the schools my professionalism (which I give them), but not my loyalty (even though it is in my nature to be loyal), because I am only an adjunct, it doesn't pay well, and there are no benefits.

Besides, I would rather write than talk about writing for a living, and teaching writing doesn't leave me much time to do any writing--although, I do try to sneak it in when I am able. When I do get the opportunity, I primarily write flash fiction, since I can usually write a whole story in one sitting (although I do come back and polish them before I send them anywhere). I have sent a few out to publications, and I plan to send out more as I find more places to send them. It probably won't lead to wealth and fame, but I am hoping that by getting some stuff published it will help increase my job prospects. Every little bit helps.

It is ironic that, even after having gone back to school and finally gotten my bachelor's degree, and my master's, I am still very much in the same position as I was before I did these things, which were supposed to put me in a good position to find a better job. I suppose it could be worse, at least I have made it out of fast foot/retail sales, and I guess my future prospects are better, but it doesn't seem like it right now since I am still struggling to make ends meet.

On the radio they were saying that Akron, Ohio has the worst job-growth rate in the country, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that I am having trouble--although, I am increasingly looking elsewhere for employment.

The important thing is that I don't give up. The only way anything is going to change is if I keep trying and keep reaching towards the future--keep doing things to increase my opportunities and hopefully improve my quality of life. Maybe I won't succeed, maybe I won't ever make it out of this rut, but, you know, at least I tried.