One Week, Three Interviews


Earlier this week, I posted that I want to move more into the education space and get more interaction time with students, in a classroom if possible, or in a tutoring setting. Well, I got right to work setting things up.

SAT Instruction

I interviewed on Wednesday via Skype for the chance to become a trained SAT teacher/tutor. The conversation was brief, but there are a lot of steps to go yet. Next week, I will drive an hour to give a 5-minute audition lesson. Then, if I’m accepted to the next step, I have about 40 hours of training at that location, or in NYC 2.5 hours away.


On Thursday, I went to a local high school to meet with someone about tutoring opportunities. This is just one of many tutoring opportunities I’m exploring, but it’s the in-person one. It looks like there may be some opportunity here, especially as while I’d prefer to tutor in the humanities, I’m not turned off by math or science, either.

Substitute Teaching

Today I met with Kelly Staffing so that I can begin the process of getting hired. Where the SAT instruction job requires a lot of training, this one requires a ton of paperwork–not to mention getting fingerprinted for $87.00. But you know what? It’s worth it. Subbing is the best way to get some additional classroom time while allowing me to meet my TA duties this semester and my adjunct duties next semester.

Other Opportunities

So the last few days have been busy with interviews, but I don’t mind. I’m excited to dive into these things, even if they require training and paperwork, because of all the things I enjoy doing, I was put on this earth to write and teach. In the fall, I’ll also be teaching a creative writing course locally if enough people enroll. I’m capping that class at 10 students so I can give them my best, so it shouldn’t be too hard to fill. This summer, I might have the chance to volunteer as a TA in an online course.

Fiction, poetry

WattPad and FanStory

I’m new to using both of these sites that I’ve been meaning to use for a really long time. What can I say? Other things had to happen first. But I want to share with you that I’m now active on both.



This is where I’ll post serial fiction. Right now, I’m working on Pathogen, a story I’ve been meaning to write and share for a long time. While my main fiction focus is on historical literary works, what I post on WattPad will be just for fun, for us to enjoy together. Because of that, I’m sorry to say–I’ll only be posting about 1,000 words or so each month.

Even with that pace, we can unfold stories there together, writer and readers. I just published this month’s section, which I originally wrote years ago as part of my MA program–but I wanted to give it a once over before publishing it and now I finally had the opportunity. Look for the story to continue next month!

Start reading Pathogen today.


This is where I’ll post short fiction and poetry. My main goal here, in addition to connecting with other writers, is to participate in contests. I started posting yesterday, and FanStory only allows me to post two things each day, so there are only four right now. But here’s what you can read if you head over there today:

  • “Dept. of Reformation,” a pastiche of Jenny Offil’s book, Dept. of Speculation
  • “The Coach,” a short story told only in dialogue, no dialogue tags or quotation marks.
  • “In Memoriam J.G.M.,” a pastiche of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “In Memoriam A.H.H.”
  • “Land of the Gods,” a poem I wrote after the earthquake, tidal wave, and nuclear meltdown in Japan

Update: After a few days of use, I’ve decided not to participate on FanStory. I’ve removed the above listed posts and I will share them here next week, along with others I’d posted to that site. 


I welcome feedback on both of these sites, so if you’re a member, please feel free to share your thoughts on these and any other pieces I share. Happy reading!

polls, Writing Life


Dear writers,

I’ve always wanted to form some kind of writing community where hard-working writers can gather to improve their craft. If you’d be interested in that sort of thing–irrespective of any particular genre–please consider answering the brief questions below.

Thank you!

Education, Writing Life


I’m in the midst of seeking more students to tutor. I enjoy that one-on-one educational experience and I’m looking to get more experience in the educational field. That’s not to say I won’t still freelance, but I’d rather do that on clientele basis rather than working for companies that need content.


Why the shift?

Realistically, I’ve noticed a trend over the last year of freelancing and that is that companies tend to expect more and more of their writers, yet the pay doesn’t increase to match. If I were working one-on-one with a client, my contract with that client would state that additional work would cost extra.

But my desire to shift gears isn’t just about money and expectations. I made the decision this semester that I want to focus more on education. To that end, I spent some time yesterday seeking out some new opportunities that I hope give me the opportunity to work with students, both individually and in class settings.

I won’t get into what they are now because I don’t want to jinx anything.

What changes am I making to my freelancing goals?

I want to focus more on editing and ghostwriting. I recognize that the latter may not really start to take off until I’ve published a novel, so I’m happy to be patient. I’ll continue doing editing work. I’m also not leaving any of the companies I currently write for at this time. I enjoy working with the people there and the work is fun, at least. But the trends of ever-changing expectations, as well as taking up writing time from my fiction or my blog have inspired me to realize that I need to be focusing my attention on education.

I’ll write more about this as I’m moving through this transition, but one thing you can count on: I will continue to offer the services listed here on my website going forward.

Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt: Through the Window


Your task this week is to write a story about what your narrator observes through a window. Your narrator can be looking in, or looking out of that window–but the entire story must take place within that field of vision. The story can take place in one scene, or over a longer period of time. The window can be any sort you want–a window in a house, the emergency exit of an airplane, or a car’s windshield are just some examples.

Have fun with this and keep it under 2,500 words.

patreon, poetry, polls, Writing Life

Supporting Writers

Last summer, a friend and fellow-writer told me about Patreon. It’s a crowd-funding site designed to support artists. I signed up, thinking it’d be the perfect place to share my creative journey in writing and crafts. However, the combination of those two passions soon proved too confusing for patron rewards and posting, and I shut it down to regroup.

This spring, I relaunched my Patreon, with a focus on writing only. Patron rewards are for everyone, and at higher tiers, split into readers and writers to ensure that all can receive something meaningful in gratitude for supporting my work.

You can click the link above, click “Donate” in the navigation menu, or watch the video below to learn more about the rewards and how to become a patron.

If you’re a creator who would like to try out Patreon for yourself, please feel free to use my invite code and then we can both get additional support.

Why Patreon?

A long time ago, artists were able to feed themselves because of patrons. Now, they have to be sales people in order to make money off of a finished product that can take years to produce. But, with Patreon, that can change—and it’s not all about the money. Becoming a patron means taking part in someone’s creative process. I’m a patron myself, because I believe in supporting those who want to contribute to the arts.

Are You Already on Patreon?

If you’re a creator, I’d love to connect! Comment below to share your Patreon, or contact me directly.

Fiction, MFA

Earning Emotion

So far this week, I’ve drafted 20 pages for my thesis. Granted, I am writing some of the same scenes over and over in different ways, but I threw in something new too. There’s something emotional that happens early in the book, but I’ve been told that two attempts didn’t come close enough to earning that emotion.

What does it mean to earn it?

I used to think that it would take a lot of space–a lot of words on a lot of pages–to really earn emotional scenes. The scene in question–I knew it was emotional, but I thought that I could earn that with backstory. This week, I learned a couple of important things:

  • I can earn emotion in less space than I thought by finding new ways to focus on scenes and handle the passage of time.
  • At least some backstory necessary to earn emotion has to happen before the emotional moment–the climactic moment of a scene or chapter.

I knew this time I did a better job earning that emotion because while writing, I felt it. I got a little choked up. Given that I’ve written this emotional climax so many times by now and I’ve not had that reaction, I feel like this is an important difference. Might there still be tweaks to make? Yes. But I’m a lot closer than I was.

All it took was a few pages explaining how my protagonist got to that emotional climax. I thought doing so would not interest me or my reader, but by changing up my structure, I think I’ve found a way to make it interesting.

We’ll see what my mentor has to say about it later this month/early April.