October has come and gone, my favorite month of the year. We had more trick-or-treaters than ever before, many of them teenagers, which was fun—they always scream the loudest when our jumping spider leaps from behind the hibiscus tree, and I don’t have to worry about them bursting into tears afterward.
I stayed quiet on this blog throughout October, but it was a month of deep reflection that led to two important decisions in my life—one I can share with you now and one I can’t, although I hope to soon.
Two weeks ago I turned in notice for my “day job” working part-time as a nurse; I’ve been moving in a different direction for some time now. Technically I’m still employed on a pool basis, meaning I can pick up shifts if I need to, and I’ll continue helping out with the end-of-month paperwork that I’ve always enjoyed. Still, the decision to resign my scheduled position feels momentous; I’d worked there for over eleven years.
My last day on the floor was yesterday and my co-workers were amazing, bringing donuts, ordering pizza, and shoving cupcakes in my face. Literally. Several of them wanted to know if I had another job, and I told them that for the next six months my job title is “full-time student.”
If that sounds indulgent, it’s not—believe me. This return to college has been incredibly fulfilling but also more difficult than I ever imagined. From personal issues that had me reeling in June to ridiculously ill-timed computer issues this fall, I’ve overcome some wild challenges and feel both overwhelmed and proud. It’s hard to believe in four weeks I’ll be one semester away from graduation.
In addition to school, I’ve been writing and editing like crazy, and submitting widely. On November 14 I’ll be reading a new essay at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and I hope you can make it. The event starts at 2 p.m., it’s free, and several other writers will be sharing their work. It would be wonderful to see you there.
Also, in case you missed it, author Scott Keen interviewed me for his blog a few weeks ago and asked some great questions, including one about my current project What Was Never There; you can read the interview here.
Finally, good luck to my fellow writers participating in National Novel Writing Month! Of course I’m in, what’s one more project, right? After the last six months, I feel like I can take on anything.