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I’ve been back in school for two weeks now and it’s been…interesting. I’m taking Organismal Biology, Algebra Methods and Functions, Accessing Information Research (online), and, because my masochism knows no bounds, Latin (also online). I’ve also been running around trying to get my Financial Aid settled, adding a whole other layer of joy but that should be resolved by the end of this week.

Outside of classwork, I still have my part-time job at the library and my powers a co-Municipal Liasion (ML) for the Vancouver, Washington region for NaNoWriMo have finally kicked in. Nancy and I have all the NaNo events planned out, we’ll do the research for our pep talks in October, and in the meantime, I’ve been reading all the advice I can get my hands on in the ML Forums. Thankfully, the other newbie MLs are just as terrified as I am and we have mentor MLs who answer our every question about setting up events, encouraging Wrimos to come to said events, and writing pep talks.

All the new time commitments haven’t left me a whole lot of free time for writing but I’m sacrificing sleep making do and it’s been a wake-up call to tighten up my time management skills. I grew up with my mother earning two associate degrees and a national certification for her job, while working forty hours a week, and raising my older sister and me. I remember thinking, “I can’t do that! It’s hard enough going to regular school!”

It’s strange how perceptions change as you get older and when not doing something has Consequences. Fail a class? Have to retake it, pay more in tuition, and it takes longer to earn my degree. Not go to work? Out of a job, can’t support myself. Fail at being an ML? Nancy moves to England next year and the region descends into fire and chaos slowly declines into inactivity.

I find myself doing my homework for classes as soon as I get the assignments whenever I get the chance, whether I’m at home or on break at work. I’ve stopped checking DeviantArt, webcomics, Tumblr, and Twitter every hour. My consumption of fanfiction has gone down dramatically and miracles of miracles, I’m actually starting to be in bed, asleep, before midnight. Earlier, if I can manage it. My goal is to have set good habits so that by the time November and my next 50,000 words rolls around, I have enough time to write without killing myself from lack of sleep or overdosing on caffeine. Let’s see how this goes, eh?

As the month comes to a close, I find myself looking ahead to the future and trying to keep my knees from shaking too much.

As of August 1st, Nancy will no longer be a library employee and will accept the treasured mantle of “full time author”— Huzzah! This will leave me in charge of all things writing display and writing group related at Three Creeks. I also start college again after taking a year off.

I already placed ten books on hold last week (after a mild panic attack), emailed my coworkers to let them know where to leave said books, and felt very responsible. Today my holds came in and I realized that half of them belonged to another library and thus couldn’t be displayed. It’s one of those things that makes sense when you think about it and I’m chalking it up to a learning experience, complete with sheepish grin.

Unfortunately, with my school and work schedules now set, I had to tell the writing group that we’re heading into a hiatus, unless someone wanted to step up and lead the group. I’m super bummed about this, enjoying the group’s company and feedback but it’s not possible unless someone wants to find me a Time Turner.

I start my first semester of classes at Washington State University Vancouver in less than a month. I’m still not sure whether I will be taking Spanish or Latin for my language (Please be Latin, please be Latin, please be Latin…) and have been doing textbook comparison shopping. Part of me is terrified. I earned my associates degree at the local community college but the campus tour and obligatory orientation sessions have reminded me that WSUV is an accredited, four year university doing all sorts of crazy impressive and amazing research in several different fields like robotics and zoology. This is not helped by the fact that I have been granted junior standing due to my associates degree— Never mind that it will take me the full four years to earn my bachelors degree. Ah, I can feel the student debt accumulate now…

Thankfully the future is not all doom and gloom: I turn 21 in September and I plan to spend Labor Day weekend indulging my other passion — being a member of the Society of Creative Anachronism. I grew up in the Society and dearly love dressing up in garb and going out to watch the fighters fight for their ladies, see beautiful artwork on display, and run around, helping out where I can. The Society has instilled in me a strong desire to serve others and I often spend time with the Chirurgeons (the first aid responders on site) and the Heralds (people in charge of announcing events). I’ll be attending An Tir’s September Crown Tournament and spending time with those I love and who are far older and wiser than myself. Who knows, I might even pack up my archery gear and murder a few hay bales.

I know, intellectually, that I will be fine. I can text any questions or concerns about library-writing-things to Nancy and get them answered. My teachers and fellow students are not out to get me and I will settle back into the rhythm of school in a week or two. But to quote Lizzie Bennet, I’m a worrier, it’s what I do. All I can do is step forward to meet the future with my head held high and keep moving.

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