2019 has been a game-changing year for me in two vital ways.
First, when the graduates of Life University’s College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies flipped their tassels from one side of the cap to the other at the December ceremony, it marked the finish of my first year as a full-time Life U employee. I’ve taught English there since 2009, mostly Composition and Public Speaking with the occasional Literature class thrown in. But toward the end of last year, when the opportunity for promotion came, I leaped. Now I no longer have to worry from one quarter to the next if I’ll be assigned enough classes to earn a decent paycheck; I have a regular salary and schedule. I have my own office. I get more chances to be social with my colleagues, a great bunch of people. In every way, it’s better.
Well, except one — but that problem has been solved.
A ninety-minute commute between Gainesville and Marietta, GA is tolerable when you only work two or three days per week, but not so much when you have to make that long drive every day. Thankfully, my husband and I got the opportunity to move to Woodstock, GA in early October. Moves always bring stress, but by now we’re more or less settled in, and my commute time has been slashed by two-thirds. Our new house is also much closer than our old one to all the stores, shops, and restaurants we need and want. And did I mention we now live within walking distance of a sixteen-screen movie theater? Once again, it’s better in all the ways I can imagine.
Only one thing has caused me disappointment this year (aside of course from social and political matters, which continue to emit the tincture of despair): with everything that’s been going on, I’ve had less time to write, which explains why I’ve been blogging much less regularly. But now that our situation has leveled off somewhat, I have every hope this will change. I still have a major novel project in the wind, an expansion on a script of mine the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company produced in 2018. I’ve also drafted a new play for ARTC, which I hope to workshop into a production-worthy state in the coming year. In addition, one of the company’s founding members has approached me with a suggestion of adapting Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” into an audio drama. At first I thought it couldn’t be done — after all, the whole thing consists of the internal monologue of a woman succumbing to madness — but the more I think about it, the more possibilities I see.
In other news:
After about a week-long adjustment period, our cats have been thriving in the new house, as loving and mischievous as ever.
The books I’m reading now are Steel Crow Saga (Paul Krueger), The White Raven (Diana L. Paxson), Jim Henson: A Biography (Brian Jay Jones), and News of the World (Paulette Jiles). All of them include plenty of elements to love, and I’m confident this Christmas, like the Christmases before it, will bring more literary joys.
Come January 2020, I’ll be teaching a course in “Studies in Science Fiction and Fantasy.” It’s the first time this course will be taught at Life University. I designed it myself. I’m excited, and I’m praying I don’t screw it up.
All in all, life is good.