This last week being in my life in Orlando has been strange. Even that sentence was weird…
Clarification: I returned to Orlando last week after two weeks of fun–being put up in a swanky Orlando hotel, camping with a close friend in Key West, and attending our friends’ wedding in Jacksonville. Total, that’s about 1,100 miles I traveled, all within the state. Funny how the weather was slightly different in each city; spring touches Florida from the bottom up, like a teasing lover.
Pictures or it didn’t happen:
Being a born and raised Floridian, I sometimes forget how beautiful my state actually is. Everyone’s gotta be reminded sometimes. ‘Twas a lovely reminder, then I came home to the same ol’ same ol’. The few days (or in my case, week) after returning from vacation usually feels bittersweet. Sweet: I got to kiss my partner and hug my animals, but Bitter: I also got to deal with our crappy neighborhood, where someone shot a gun post-argument right outside our living room window. Only two more months until our lease is up. Counting the days…
I like this BitterSweet categorization, so I’ll continue it.
Bitter: I’m still struggling with my depression. For now I’m going unmedicated, but Sweet: my counseling has been going well. I can tell much easier and faster now that I’m feeling depressed, and the mere recognition of the condition usually gives me the courage I need to get out of bed.
I’ve been spending a lot of time the past week reflecting, researching literary zines and writing residencies. I posted a throwback blog to my Facebook, moving>>>forward – finding that post inspired the title of this one.
Bitter: My microfiction “Departures” didn’t make the cut for Pidgeonholes, so I’ll be sending it off to a few more publications for consideration. In another month I’ll find out if the lit journal Unbroken accepted or rejected my creative nonfiction short “Three Hours Alone on Black Rock Beach”. I’m still trying to decide if I should wait or simultaneously submit it to a few other places. This is the first time in my life I’ve navigated the simultaneous submission waters. I know how to swim, but what if I get trapped in a rip tide?
Sweet: Worrying about all that usually sends me to the much more satisfying research on writing residencies. I feel like I need to get away to pick apart my extremely rough novel “Janus”. I need to cut about 20,000 of the 50,000 words I’ve written, add on another 30-40,000, and rearrange the order of the thing to boot! Every time I’ve sat down to outline the bugger I’ve stopped, feeling overwhelmed at the task. There’s just no easy way to slug through that many words. You’ve just gotta slug through ’em.
So far I’m interested in two different residencies in Florida, one in California, and one in New Hampshire. I’m quite serious about applying. Something in my heart just tells me it’s the next step. And I can’t help but feel excited about that.