Saturday, December 3, 2011

'Tis the squeezin'

Dear Ashley,

Holy cow, it's December.
I've been terrible about writing back to you.

My NaNo stalled at 10 thousand words, and after that I gave up, which I think I told you. I've sent out several queries (not as many as I'd hoped to, but I've still got a list to get through. The problem is that everyone wants something different, and it's time consuming to keep adapting query letters and sample chapters.)

How did your NaNo go?

My time lately has been spent getting my holiday-crochet on.
That's the sunflower blanket for my friend Amanda's little girl who is due to make her appearance in the world towards the middle of January. That's really all I can post without running the risk of someone seeing something that they shouldn't. I also made myself a version of your gray hat, although mine is purple.

In other news, I am officially no longer a dog walker.
Yay! I'll now be working full time at the accordion shop. Ben and I talked about it, and then Mike (accordion shop owner) and I talked about it, and it just made sense.
I can be inside, and take the train to work, and not have to worry about biking in ice and snow.
I can work four days a week, Tuesday through Friday, 10-6 and make the same money (basically) that I was making working two jobs. Because my crappy clients canceled so much that the extra hours that I was working at the shop after the dog job was really just making up the difference so I was earning what I should have been earning walking dogs.
So I quit. Yesterday was my last day, and Tuesday I'll start at the shop full time. I was kind of sad to leave the dogs, but all the other things that I was glad about outweighed that, and I'm looking forward to not having to deal with it anymore.
I did take pictures to remember them all, though :)

That's Watson. He's the wire-haired dachshund who has a brother named Dietz. Like the deli meat company. :)

I'm not sure if I officially told you this, but I'm putting off grad school for another year. I'm hoping that in a year from now I'll have a better idea of what I want to be doing, and where I want to be. I was reading an article in the New York Times yesterday about a group of 20-somethings who all have Master's in English or CompLit from places like NYU and Columbia and they can't even get unpaid internships either.

This article served two purposes for me. It made me not feel like such a complete failure for a little while, and it also made me think that if I want to have a job that I enjoy, I might have to create it for myself.

I've been saying for awhile that I want to buy Purple Mountain Press from Wray when he retires, just to keep it running, because I think it's important. It's a weird little niche market, but it's all history of the Catskills stuff that he publishes, and just for the historical value, and the fact that it's an entirely independent and totally run by him and his wife little publishing company, I'd like to keep it open.

I'd really like to make it an imprint of my own small publishing company.
And I'd still kind of like to buy the school building in Hartwick and turn it into a writer's retreat.
So I think I need to look into grants.
And sell that mediocre YA book and become a gazillionaire so I have the money to do everything I want.

And that's pretty much my life right now. How are you? (PS- Amsterdam is GORGEOUS! You're so lucky!)

PPS- I hope I told you how much I loved your NaNo idea. Because I think it's brilliant.

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