It’s Been a While…

I would love to say that my writing hiatus has some incredible cause, like I’ve been off trying to find a vaccine for COVID or I’ve been shacked up in some remote cabin writing my next novel, but let’s be real here, I’ve done none of those things.

That’s not to say I haven’t been busy, but the reason why you haven’t heard from me in nearly a year is this perfectly balanced state of depression (which is vastly improved), dissertation drama, and what I like to refer to as COVID malaise. In other words, I’ve been trying my hardest with what I have at hand.

So, how are things? Good, I hope.

Like I said, I’ve done a few things. Most important, I conducted research on my dissertation (though not on my original subjects), and then I wrote up that bad boy. It’s currently sitting in the hands of my dissertation chair, and I’m surprisingly not freaking out about that. Probably because I spent far too much time freaking out while writing it. Plus, I’ve gotta reserve some of my freaking out for my defense.

In other good news, I’ve battled the beast that is depression and came out on top. One year ago, I could barely function, but here I am holding my own. It helps having an awesome therapist to work through things with.

Also, I recently dipped my toes back into podcasting. Boy, did I miss it. I recently joined my friends on an episode of Surviving Chick Flicks to talk Sleepaway Camp, and later this week, we’ll return to talk one of my favorites, Scream. I had such a fun time that I’m seriously considering bringing back “Let’s Scare Mindy” or starting a fiction podcast. Just gotta get through my defense first.

Finally, I’m looking forward to two things. First, I finally finished going through Last Breath with my critique group, so now it’s time to turn that bad boy into a polished gem and then start querying again. I’m actually feeling pretty good about querying, as the last time I did, I got a full manuscript request, which is huge. That’s my goal for the next few weeks.

Of course, I have one other goal. This year, I’m going to try my hand at NaNoWriMo again. Last year, I got pretty far – having written 39,000 words (although I haven’t touched that book since then because I’ve been so focused on fixing up Last Breath). This year, I’m going to move away from the world of Kath and Smith and write a romantic suspense novel set in the one place I know well: a college. I’m excited for Sunday to come along, because I’m ready to start writing.

So that’s where I am. Like I said, I’m in a far better place than where I was last year. I miss doing things like going to concerts, staying in haunted hotels, and visiting friends and family, but I’m grateful for what I do have. But now this is getting sappy, so I’m going to wrap this up.

Have a spooky, socially distanced Halloween!

This Is Why I Can’t Have Nice Things

If you know anything about me, you know that I am a bit accident prone. I mean, I have my own day of the week – Minday – to refer to those Murphy’s Law kind of days. And boy oh boy did I have one heck of a Minday last week. And because I know you all have a mad case of Schadenfreude, I’m going to share with you my wee tale of woe.

Once upon a time (also known as last Wednesday), I took the day off work with the goal of finishing my dissertation. I just needed to finish writing my reflection and then format the document, and I would be D.U.N. done. It was an easy goal, and one thing that would make the work all the sweeter would be the nice new pair of AirPods I had just bought during Amazon Prime Days.

Let me just say that, being the Apple nerd I am, the AirPods were a thing of beauty. And I got them for a steal. As soon as they were delivered, I unboxed them and immediately set about streaming music through them. What better way to pass the time as I wrote.

Of course, writing wasn’t my only goal for my day off. I had also promised Jeff I would bake a pie. We had some apples that were nearing the end of their life cycle, and I didn’t want them to go to waste. So, at some point during the afternoon, I’d take a break from writing to bake the pie, then get right back to work.

I wrote my heart out for a good hour, rocking out to some music as i worked. Finally, it was break time. I couldn’t help but be excited. Due to my doctoral program, I haven’t done as much cooking and baking as I would like, so here was my chance to relieve a little stress as I neared the end of all of this hard work.

Leaving my headphones in, I headed to the kitchen and set to work, peeling and slicing the apples. I danced a bit as I added brown sugar and lemon and spices to the chopped apples. When it came time to focus on the crust, I sang along as I worked. I was clearly in my own little world.

Which is why I didn’t expect anything to go wrong.

Which is why I never expect anything to go wrong.

The apples were wrapped, all snug in the crusts, while visions of desserts to come danced in my head. I opened the 375-degree oven and leaned down to slide the pie in. Before I could straighten up, it happened.

I’m sure you know what happened. I don’t need to tell you that the right AirPod popped out of my ear and fell directly into the oven. I don’t need to tell you that I ripped off the other one and threw it to safety, while yelling, “OH NO!” repeatedly and grabbing a set of tongs. I don’t even need to tell you that I used those tongs to try my damndest to grab the AirPod out of the far corner of the oven where it came to rest. I don’t need to tell you these things because you knew exactly what kind of a day I was having. A Minday.

Hearing my cries, Jeff came running into the kitchen, asking what was wrong. He found me halfway in the oven, burning myself on the shelves as I grabbed for the AirPod with my tongs. I managed to move the AirPod to the front of the oven before Jeff took the tongs from my burnt hand and grabbed the earbud for me with no problem. 

I appreciated Jeff’s help, because by the time he grabbed the AirPod, I had a whopping 6 first- and second-degree burns on my hand and forearm. I wasn’t about to let $115 melt down in my oven.

The AirPod? A little melted, but it works just fine. 

But seriously, this is why I can’t have nice things.