Fitting In and Getting Out

I’ve already posted about this virtually everywhere that information is capable of being exchanged, but honestly, I can’t shut up about it. My contributor copy of Fitting In arrived yesterday, and it’s the first time I’ve been able to hold a piece of my own writing in my two meat-hands. The cover is beautiful and velvety-matte, and feels great when you possessively run your hands over it like Gollum gloating over the Ring. The pages ruffle crisply. It’s got that wonderful book-smell. I haven’t gone so far as to try and eat it (yet), but I can only imagine it tastes amazing.

I’m afraid I have to get mushy for a minute. Because this right here is what has defined the majority of my conscious life so far. Even a year before now, the idea of getting published seemed like a Herculean task that I’d have to spend a couple decades in the desert breaking rocks with a shovel in order to undertake. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure that post-graduation Amelia assumed that futile geological dismantlement was a ritual that all fledgling adults must undertake. How else is the sacred knowledge of Networking, Finance, and Employment passed down to the new generation? (Spoiler warning: it’s not. I know nothing and somehow that’s working out so far)

So to be here right now, holding the first professional publication that ever accepted my work, is a pretty big deal. And even more important than the choir of angels serenading me with hymns of personal validation (which is admittedly pretty great) is the fact that I now realize that publication is not impossible. It’s something that I can, and hopefully will, do again. No backbreaking desert labor required.

And now, it’s November. National Novel Writing Month, for the writerly among us. Hard to believe that this time last month I was still living in a van in the woods, and in two and a half months more I’ll be moving across the country to Olympia, Washington (unless a certain jaundiced muppet reject gets elected as our next President, in which case the rest of these updates will come to you from a survivalist bunker somewhere in Mexico). Right now I’m sort of balanced between what may end up being two distinct sections of my life, and honestly, it’s a little terrifying. But like, top-of-the-rollercoaster terrifying, rather than Trump-with-access-to-nukes terrifying.

Change feels good. I feel like college was four years of coasting (or stalling) on a wide, flat road, not really going anywhere. Now suddenly I’m on Highway 1, I’m nearly flying off the curves at 30 yet somehow the speed limit is 55, there’s cyclists ready to dive under my wheels at every corner, the brakes are giving out and somehow I’m a published writer and am moving across the country before Valentine’s Day.

Does it always happen this way? Because if so, then life might just be a bit more exciting than beating rocks to death.

You can pick up Fitting In: Historical Accounts of Paranormal Subcultures in whichever format you desire at this link right here.


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