What Cloud Nine Looks Like: Hobbit Adventures to Mount Awesome

This summer–though I won’t be prancing off to conferences and sports tournaments in other countries for once–has probably been one of the more eventful ones of my life. It may be because it’s been two months longer than all previous summers, or it may be that I’m leaving home in August for the first time ever and want to spend as much time as I can tying up lose ends and all that jazz. Regardless, I don’t think I have ever been as excited about the future as I am now.

On top of the novel– which is coming along nicely to my relief and surprise– the writing opportunities that have found me are immense, and for once I actually can tell people that I don’t just write for fun. These little side projects have turned into the main focus of my life; I’m getting paid to do a few of them, and now, instead of trading in my notebooks for textbooks when school starts this fall, I actually get to pull them out in earnest, because I’m going to school to fool around with fiction (partnered in with a whole lot of history, which isn’t fiction but is just as cool). Creative Writing degrees actually exist, and if you’re serious enough to work your ass off  to keep out of applying for the manager’s position at McDonald’s, you might just find yourself doing something after grad school. I’m halfway there. Little small-city writer girl is taking off, and for once, I don’t have to question whether or not this profession is for me.

For one, I didn’t have to go searching for chances. I’ve made a big enough name for myself to have to offers come to me, and they’ve been rolling in faster than deadlines during the last three weeks of class. Of course, I’m still going to have to look for opportunities, but now there’s no doubt in my mind that someday my name is going to be on the cover of a novel that people actually want to read. Why? Because in the meantime, I’m working on a whole bunch of little things that people want to read already and that is totally freakin’ awesome. For realz. Yo.

It’s the coolest thing in the world to start out on an uncertain path, only to have your choice ratified by things like this. I don’t care if you’re religious or not, but God’s laying down stepping stones like crazy, and I’m eagerly one-foot hopping all the way to my goal, which can now thankfully be seen on the horizon. It’s a little dot; kind of grey and fuzzy, but it’s there nonetheless, and I can’t wait to reach it. At this point, I’m likening my journey to the one Bilbo Baggins took in Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”, partly because I’m halfway through reading Lord of the Rings and partly because I can’t help but notice how bloody long it takes hobbits to reach mountains.

I’m getting there. I’m writing, I’m in love with it, and who knows? I may actually be able to support myself on this stuff. Until then, I’ll work my way to what the world calls a real career in university, and do it on the side. Either way, I’m in love with the way things are going.

Expect a few road blocks. It’s times like these when I start wondering when they’ll show up, not because I’m a pessimist or anything, but because I haven’t had any yet. Bilbo made it through a few easy leagues before bumping into the trolls, after all.

Right now though, I’m doing just fine without my handkerchief.

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