I’m going to take a leaf out of Kevin Malone’s book and say that 2013 was a roller coaster. I realize that I haven’t really been consistent posting on here (but honestly…who is? Seriously everyone I know who has a blog actually sucks at keeping a blogging schedule). In case you were wondering, here’s a short list of “stuff I did this year” in case anyone dying to know (or is just up at 3am and bored)
1) Published another Novella with my writer’s group in Continuum: Until Dawn called The Fall of Amaranth. This story takes place in the same world as my first story, The Tragedy of Carth Giator. While not perfect, I’m glad I was able to write the story. With each piece that I write I feel myself growing and becoming a stronger writer.
2) Track season 2013 didn’t start out too hot. I felt awful. It was cold, rainy, and I seemed to puke about 600% more than normal…so I started to hold myself back a little and, guess what? I still felt just as awful. So I decided that if I was going to be sick after every race and feel sick during every practice, I should probably at least be fast. So, in the first quarter of the season I stopped trying to not make myself sick and started trying to run to the best of my ability. Needless to say, it paid off. I ran under 51 four times in the 400, a significant improvement from last year and I finally set a new school record with a time of 50.13 ( .03 seconds away from the ECAC championships). In the 200 I made similar strides (pardon the pun), running a massive PR of 22.8, improved from 23.01. Yes, .20 seconds is massive when it comes to sprints.
3) Celebrated 2 years with my girlfriend. I’m not going to say too much about this because recently, I feel like I’ve become a more private person and also, the last thing people need are more “21 ways to have a good relationship” or “10 reasons that your relationship sucks” post. I’m just going to say that it’s just been wonderful to go through college with Emma by my side. My one word of advice for those in new relationships/looking for relationships is that if the person you’re with doesn’t bring out the best in you: if they don’t encourage you, call you onward, and make you want to become a better person then you’re probably with the wrong person.
4) Joined the Fishers of Men household. At Franciscan we have religious groups (like fraternities and sororities) each aimed at a certain aspect of the Catholic faith. The Fishers of Men focus on evangelization. Those of you who have followed me from the beginning know why this is a good fit for me.
5) Decided to pursue an advanced degree in Creative Writing.If you’ve spent more than five seconds on my blog, you know that I want to write professionally (novels, hopefully). While people tell me that they like my writing and I feel that I know a LOT about the craft (more than anyone would want to know) I feel that I still have a hard time implementing many of the things that I know in my writing. By pursuing an MFA I hope to receive advanced instruction in writing as well as the credentials needed to teach college level classes. The writing-teaching combination is very appealing to me. I can think of no better job than teaching and discussing writing with people who genuinely want to learn (not that everyone will, but we all can dream, right?)
6) Took a road trip with four friends to Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine to visit University of Southern Maine’s MFA program, Stonecoast. This was my first time in Maine. We made the 14 hour drive over fall break, visited the school, hung around Boston, and went out to Freeport for some truly awesome photographs. I gotta say, it was pretty unreal.
Photos below. (Be sure to scroll to the end to see the rest of the post!
SO 2014 has a lot to live up to. Below I’ve made a list of goals. If anyone wants to yell at me until I get them done, please comment with a resume and brief essay telling me why you will be good at being that one obnoxious person who I will try to avoid for the next 12 months because I procrastinate more than (insert hyperbolic witty analogy here)
1) Get into grad school. I’ve got an application submitted to Arizona State, and have applications to Brooklyn College, Seton Hill Stonecoast, and Rosemont in various stages of completion. The next one due is Brooklyn and it’s ridiculous application fee of $125. So there’s that
2) Publish one work via traditional publishing. I’ve been self publishing all my other stories, and while that’s great, it has the feel of more a glorified project than the beginnings of a career. I’ve got a few magazines that I want to submit to for novellas/short stories. So yeah, there’s that
3) Ever since my senior year of high school, I’ve been chasing the time of 49.99 seconds in the 400 meter dash. It’s been my goal for almost 5 years. It’s time to run it into the ground
4) GRADUATE from my Undergrad. This isn’t really a goal, more of a “hey this is going to happen if I keep doing what I’m doing, “so that’s cool.
5) Depending on the outcome of grad school applications, get a job. If I get in to Arizona or Brooklyn, students receive a fairly large stipend for living expenses, If I get in to any of the other schools, I’ll have to get a big kid job to pay for them and, you know, live in the world.
6) We have another Continuum book in the works, scheduled to come out in March/April of 2014, so keep your eyes open for that. My story will be my Senior Thesis from this year, which just so happens to be my writing sample for grad school. Sample below:
Each night, Josc died. Dreams. Nightmares. Sometimes it was a blade through his stomach, spilling his guts across the slick, wooden deck. Sometimes a slit across the throat, a plummet into the black depths of the winter sea. Sometimes, Keln himself drove his blade through his little brother’s heart, watching his soft blue eyes widen in surprise, his mouth gaping open, gasping his name in a wordless cry; confusion written on his young face.
Each night, Josc died.
7) Finally, have a great time with Emma. Whatever happens, she’s been by my side since my freshman year. So BRING IT 2014.