My own personal NaFicSubMo is coming to an end and not a moment too soon. I'm up to 42 submissions now. Mostly because I can't stand slacking. So, even though I reached my goal of 30 submissions a few days ago, I haven't been able to just sit back on my laurels. However, the submission process is going a lot slower these days because I have less to submit to literary markets than erotica markets. This will change soon enough.
However, in the meantime, I'm having to stick only to e-subs because I don't have a good system set up for hardcopy submissions. No envelopes, stamps or SASEs prepared. Plus, I really need a new printer if I'm going to get serious into the hard copy submission route. Oh, my current printer works fine if I don't mind standing there, feeding it one page at a time so it doesn't jam.
NaFicSubMo seems to have done what I wanted it to do. It's kicked me back into an author headspace. I can feel myself itching to write stories instead of submitting them. I can't. Not yet. My personal agreement is submitting this month, then writing in December, January and (maybe) February with no non-contract submissions at all. I am going to allow myself to work on the 3rd round edits of Regresser's Evolution. Maybe that will be what February is for. I'm not sure.
In any case, it seems as if doing my writing and submitting in cyclic spurts is going to be a good thing for me. I won't get burned out on it all at once. Work on one, then work on the other. Not a bad little system.
I find myself in a very weird spot where money is concerned right now. I've been doing very good on making sure bills are paid on time and credit cards are completely paid off each month. I did that again this month. However, I did have a couple of larger than normal credit card bills based on all the stuff I needed for the house. After paying them all off, I discovered that I was in double digits in my checkbook with a week to go before payday.
This is a bit on the shocking side for me. Several times in the last couple of days, I've thought, "I should go to QFC to fill my prescription and get a few things. Oh, wait. I don't have any money. I can't." Or "I should finally get off my butt and get my WA driver's license. Oh, wait. I don't have the cash for that. Not until the 1st." It has been years since I've had to stop and say no to myself on doing anything monetarily related because I've been flush for years.
Things have changed. Boy, have they changed. I own a house now. I'm on a different payment cycle and my mortgage guy, who promised to make it so the cost of my car would be absorbed into the second mortgage failed in his promise AND has completely failed in his promise to refinance his mistake to fix it. Even though I've called a couple of times. It's that $300+ car payment every month that is throwing me off my stride. I did not budget for it and the mortgage guy's promises didn't stick.
[Pause to call Chase Auto and Chase Mortgage...]
Ok. Now I see why he's been dragging his feet on this. Calling to see if I could extend my mortgage line of credit to deal with the car payment would take everything from a re-evaluation of my home, subtracting my unpaid balance from my first mortgage and my line of credit before they could see if they could extend the line of credit any further. It looks like I'm going to have to pay the car off the hard way and continue on towards my monetary lockdown mode.
I haven't been in a monetary lockdown mode AKA Miser mode for years. This is very odd. There are a couple of small things I still want to get for the house but now I'm having to sit back and think, "Do I really need that? Is this something that can wait a few months? Is this worth extending the car payments?"
You know, I don't think I like Miser mode anymore. It used to be an easy habit. I remember living fairly well on a third of what I make now. Granted, I had roommates and a lot smaller rent payment. But, I did alright. I was good at telling myself "No." when I needed to. I'm not so good at it anymore. I'm out of practice and I'm loath to get back into the practice of it. However, with the 20/20 program to pay for as well as my car, I need to do so ASAP.
It's been about two weeks since I had my epiphany about working in the tech sector and QA. It's not the overwhelming immediate need that I had when the thought first struck me. But, it is still there. Sitting there and being patient. I've got about two years to plan on how I'm going to go back to school, whether or not I'm going to work part time and what it is that I'm going to study.
I'm leaning towards psychology over religious history for the moment. There are a few reasons that I'm favoring psychology.
1. If it had not been for my AFROTC scholarship in computer science, I would have gone for a psychology or sociology degree. I've always been interested in psychology.
2. I would like to get out of the tech sector. Or, at least, have the option of getting out of the tech sector. Or, have the opportunity to use what I've learned in psychology in the tech sector. I've been doing QA for 10 years. I want to do something different.
3. This will help me learn about the motivations of people. Why they do what they do. That, in turn, will help me with characterization in my fiction work. Anything that can help with that, can't hurt.
4. I think I could do some good in counseling and/or research. I seem to have some natural skills in it already.
Number four is my big problem. I'd like to counseling to help people but I don't know which path to follow in psychology. Behavioral psych? Abnormal or Cognitive psych? Do I want to do research or practical application? Both? Do I want to set up shop as a counselor for singles, couples, poly, bdsm folk? I don't know. How about weight control or plastic surgery counselor? Don't know. A profiler? Too many "I don't know." Responses.
What I need now is a good book that explains the basic differences in each path. One that will allow me to compare and contrast the different paths as well as see where each path could take me. An old text book or maybe the library will have something I can use.
Tarot Card for the Day: Death, Inverted