Well, I'm Back

Well, I'm back.

I'm graduated now. I have a degree in physics, a piece of paper that says people should think I'm smart. {Not that I am smart, but that they should think so.}

I have a boyfriend. Four months and counting. He's great. He surpasses every romantic interest I ever dreamed up. And yes, we have a years-long story of unrequited affection worth its own adorable book, someday. He has the same fancy piece of paper I have {two of them, actually}, so people should also think he is smart {they're right; he is}.

As noted in December, I'm not pursuing graduate school. However, that non-profit isn't off the table. I'm currently a little bit in limbo at present, but my dream right now is a part-time job {preferably at the non-profit, which will mean formally moving to Austin to live in an actual apartment for which I pay actual rent} and filling up the rest of the time with writing.

I still haven't given up on writing. Yes, I find myself in a weird state. I haven't written fiction in months, and the thought of it is daunting. I don't want to return to this long-lost friend and find our conversation stilted and awkward. If I keep myself busy with not-writing things, then I don't have to.

Other potential writing ventures have captured my interest. I'm not leaving fiction, but I have an idea for a non-fiction book, which I'll call Pages for now, for which I've already written over 5000 words. The Boyfriend and I are also attempting to write a nonfiction physics textbook supplement. It's difficult writing a book with your boyfriend; you get distracted gazing into each other's eyes.

Writing this blog post means a little bit of accountability. I hereby promise to work on fiction, Pages, and/or the physics book in the coming days. I also promise to post updates. So I better do something worth updating about, yeah?


When I Grow Up

Well, hello.

Yes, I'm still alive. I'm one semester away from graduation, and I'm still alive. I've been to Germany and back. I've been in a chemistry lab and answered my chemistry professor's questions about my book, all the while verifying that I'm wearing safety goggles, pants, and closed-toed shoes. I've made it through what I think will have been my hardest semester and still passed all my classes. In May, I will be college graduate with a degree in physics.

And I still want to be a writer when I grow up.

Yep, that happened.

Oh, I considered grad school. Considered it hard, especially since I wanted to go back to Germany and make solar cells, because making solar cells is what I did all summer, and it's fun.

Then I realized that grad school meant, um, more school, and I'm done with that, thanks.

So I started thinking that I would staff at a nonprofit in Austin, a nonprofit that has more or less been my home base while I've been at school here. But every time I planned out what that life would look like, there was one thing important to me: How much time will I have to write?

Until I decided: I'm going home. I'm going home, and I'm pursuing writing, because that is the risk I choose to take. Not-writing is what I will regret most if I choose some other path. {Of course, I will mesh this crazy leap with something like a job. Don't freak out.}

It was over Thanksgiving that I came to this conclusion, over Thanksgiving that I sat down to see what I had in my writing arsenal after no writing for months. Turns out, I had a three-book "trilogy." I've written parts of it over the past 2 years, but this was the first time I realized...I have something here. While I've been turning in homework and serving organizations, I've also been creating.

I tell people that it's a book about space aliens. "The Space Alien Book," I tell them, so that they know which one I'm talking about. But it's not really. I mean, there are space aliens, but it's not their book.

It's a book about a rebel heroine named Mara Wade.
A city looks to her for hope. Now it's time for her to leave.

Yeah, I'm just a little bit excited.


Wonderful Curious Peoples

For several weeks, I’ve been asked variations of a particular question by curious peoples: how many books have you sold?

People ask it a little hesitantly, as if they shouldn’t be prying. I truly don’t mind, but I don’t have an answer for them, because I don’t know.

Yep. I don’t know how many books I’ve sold.

It’s quite pathetic really, for this girl who chose a major that does little more than make graphs of data. {Just kidding.} {Not really.} You can blame the major, if you like. Or perhaps my cynicism is at fault. When all this started, I think I expected to be able to keep track of it--more or less--in my head. I’m usually pretty good at that.

I wasn’t taking into account the fact that my books are sold through three different outlets in about a dozen different countries. Keep track of that in your head, I dare you.

But two things recently forced me to put some numbers on paper. First, April 15 is arriving swiftly, and, second, I recently bought glasses after 5+ years of an old prescription {when your eyes are as bad as mine, this matters}.

Thanks to tax preparation, I had to figure out how many books I sold in 2013. The book came out in August, so I had over four months of data to wade through. And I am here to tell you, all you people who want to know, that Those Who Trespass was purchased over 100 times in 2013. I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell you that or not; for authors with a publishing house, this is a bit taboo. But I am my own publishing house, and one of my favorite things about being an indie-author is the utter control I have over things like this. You’re welcome, wonderful curious peoples.

And because you are so curious, I know you’re now wondering what that translates to in dollars. I’ll let you do the estimation yourself {and good luck, because it's so varying that I can't even estimate it accurately}, but I can tell you that I recently went to the optometrist and paid for my own exam, like a grown-up person. And I bought glasses.

Such things are expensive, especially when you have to have your lenses smashed to socially acceptable thinness.

Yes, my face whitened a considerably when I heard the number. And yes, I know about online glasses places. {Wasn’t my cup of tea this time around.} But seriously, do you want to know something cool? The entire cost was covered exactly to the dollar by my book profits.

That was cool.

So. I hope your curiosity is slightly satisfied. If it’s still bothering you, I suggest physics.