Author Update: Joining the SFWA and Balancing Life as Writer and Teacher

Sharing a quick update (just kidding, this is definitely TL;DR) on what I’ve been up to this past month or so with regard to writing, teaching, fitness, and other stuff.(SFWA Writing Teaching Boskone)

I Joined the SFWA! (SFWA Writing Teaching Boskone)

Logo for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's Association. (SFWA Writing Teaching)I decided to apply for an associates level membership in the SFWA a couple of weeks ago. It’s a little pricey for me ($100) but ever since I discovered that the SFWA existed and saw the credential in the bios of a few SF authors I was reading in SF&F and Asimovs and Analog, etc. way back in the early aughts, I’ve wanted to be able to list it next to my own name. So silly, I know. Completely childish. “So and so is in the SFWA! Some day I’m gonna be in that organization, too!”

Whatever. Childish or not, it was a perceived goalpost of success that I wanted to reach. So, a few weeks ago, when I realized I’d finally sold enough work to qualify, I went for it. I mean, why not? My $100 supports an organization that I think is doing good work, so if nothing else I can feel good about that. They got back to me pretty quickly, too. I’m in!

I do feel a little thrill of satisfaction now that I can go into all my bios and social media profiles and add “Member SFWA” to them. If I never get another story published again, at least I can say that in 2023, I was successful enough at writing to earn myself an associates membership in the SFWA.

(SFWA Writing Teaching Boskone)

Teaching Continues to Challenge… (SFWA Writing Teaching Boskone)

A lab bench in a classroom with various piece of lab equipment set up on it. (Writing, Teaching)Teaching is taking up way too much of my life this year. On top of my two regular science courses, I inherited a couple of trimester elective science classes from a teacher who was let go last year (for reasons I won’t dwell on other than to say it was a poorly handled situation on all sides). The teacher in question left a TON of materials in a highly disorganized state. So while there’s a ton of resources for me to utilize for these two courses, I am essentially rebuilding both courses from the ground up.

It’s incredibly time consuming and draining, and it’s all I can do to stay a few days ahead of my students. I’ve had nothing left in the tank when I get home for anything other than shoveling food into my face (thank Thor for a supportive spouse who cooks meals), collapsing onto the couch to zone out for an hour or so while I periodically check my watch and wonder, “Is is late enough that I can go to bed without feeling guilty about it yet? 7:48pm? Nope, not yet. Let’s try to make it until 8:30pm.”

But… though I’m still mired in developing a T2 course while I’m also teaching it (a sucky situation), my fall coaching duties have ended and my winter afternoon responsibilities are much lighter. A couple of afternoons each week I run the scoreboard for JV basketball games. Piece of cake. That’s given me back several more hours in my day, and those few extra hours make all the difference! I have energy again! I can think about creative writing again! Heck, I might even have time to start working out again!(SFWA Writing Teaching Boskone)

Getting Back into a Fitness Routine (SFWA Writing Teaching Boskone)

Animated gif of Pheobe, Monica, and Rachel running in central park from the TV show, Friends. Fitness… ugh. I am currently in an unfit, detrained state. Two years ago, I tore my shoulder labrum. Hurt like a son of a bitch when it happened. Took me a year to get it officially diagnosed. Turns out labrum tears don’t heal and surgeries to repair them have a 50% success rate. Not being a young person with ambitions of a college or pro- sports career, I opted NOT to undergo the highly invasive surgery. Instead, I opted for a couple of dry needling sessions to release the muscles that had semi-permanently tensed up around the injury. Hot damn, did that work! I was astonished. And then I got the bill. Oof.

Now, a year later my shoulder is starting to hurt again. My PT told me the effects of dry needling would wear off over time and that I’d probably need another session, but I’m struggling to justify dropping the fat wad of cash to get it done again. I suppose when it gets bad enough that I get trapped trying to take a sweatshirt off (which it what precipitated me finally getting my shoulder checked in the first place), I’ll suck it up and pay the money to make myself functional again. Until then, I’ll just stick to lower body stuff as I start working out again, which I finally have time to do!(SFWA Writing Teaching Boskone)

 

Looking Forward to Boskone in February (SFWA Writing Teaching Boskone)

Boskone 61 Screenshot from their website.Okay, last thing. I’ve started thinking about and getting excited for Boskone. I love this con a lot. There’s a whole bunch of nostalgia tied up in it for me. It was the very first convention I ever attended, back when I was a starry-eyed grad student dreaming of authorial fame and fortune. I don’t dream of authorial fame and fortune anymore (which actually feels kind of good. These days, I’m writing and submitting my stories just for the fun of it). Anyway, Boskone was my first con, and for that reason it holds a special place in my heart. I even buy new “con” clothes each year. Well, article of clothing, singular; let’s not be ridiculous. Still, Boskone is a special event for me, so I like to “dress up” for it. My spouse ribs me about this, but whatever.

This year, my plan is to commute via train in and out of the city on Friday night to try and save some money, but I reserved a hotel room for Saturday night because I had such a fun time hanging with con friends last year that I don’t want to have to cut my Saturday night short again this year to catch a train home. Of course, I’m making those plans assuming the same folks are attending again this year and that they will want to get together to socialize and catch up again. Fingers crossed that turns out to be true. (SFWA Writing Teaching Boskone)

So, that’s my update. What’s everyone else up to these days? Will I be seeing you at Boskone this year? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by and as always, happy writing to you!

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