Thursday, 30 January 2014

On a precipice

Okay, so my last entry involved me crowing preemptively about how I'd managed to blog at least once a month for all of 2013. I then promptly forgot to blog in December. My bad. Oh well, it's the last day of January, so maybe 2014 will be my year!

It's been a long couple of months. Christmas feels like a century ago, though it was a pleasant, peaceful time that I felt blessed to experience. I had no work for about a month, so I had to spread out my money and try not to burn through my savings. I am pretty proud of myself for my efforts (it involved lots of tv watching, lots of walking and meticulous budgeting). I also have pretty much completed another subject of my Masters over the Christmas break. I hand in my last assignment tomorrow. So that was a nice distraction from the lure of spending money, but also quite draining.

Despite my thrifty summer, I have still managed to see several movies - The Hobbit (which I'm seeing again tonight at the Moonlight Cinema and I am seriously excited for it), Frozen (with Mum, New Year's Day morning, which made for a lovely start to the year), Austenland (an absolutely massive disappointment, despite it's comic moments), The Book Thief  (again, a little disappointed, but ultimately thrilled with casting and script. I went to a Q&A screening with Geoffrey Rush and it made it a little more special) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (put me on a plane to Iceland. Now.)

That being said, awards season means there's about a hundred movies I want to see and haven't got around to yet, including Philomena, Saving Mr Banks, August Osage County and The Railway Man. Maybe I'll have a DVD binge later in the year.

Seanus was away for a month, roadtripping around the US. This helped with my hermit-like need to stay in and conserve money, but it was so cool to hear about his adventures and it's made me really excited for my 2014 travel, whatever it turns out to be.

I feel like I'm standing on a bit of a precipice at the moment. After I hand in my assignment tomorrow, I have a month's break and then begin what will probably be my last year of study for the near future. I want to complete my Masters, but I want to exit early with the Grad. Dip at the end of this year and then just have a bit of a breather before I go back for the final subjects in a few years. That means I need an industry job as soon as possible, and I've begun my applications in earnest. I also need to fit in placement this year, which will hopefully not hinder my job prospects.

I still haven't heard back from the literary agency that requested my full manuscript back in October 2012. I'm tired of waiting, and I feel like I haven't looked at the book in so long that I could do another re-edit. So that is my plan for February while I have my between-semester break and I'm already feeling nervous about it. Which is stupid, because I'm not accountable to anyone at the moment, and I should not let myself lose the joy of writing in the face of what might happen. I want to try and get another piece of short fiction published this year in another journal (preferably a paying one, but at this stage of my fledgling career I can't afford to be too choosy).

I'm also knee-deep in research and a first draft of a new manuscript, something which I have high hopes for. It's very different to my contemporary upper YA that I have just written about - my new project is more literary, more adult and set during the English Reformation. The sheer volume of research required is nearly overwhelming, but I am loving my free days spent in the State Library of Victoria, poring over books and luxuriating in words.

So even though we're nearly 1/12th through 2014, I feel like my year is beginning now (with China). I am intimidated and exhilarated at the thought of the year's potential. And maybe amongst all my writing, researching, studying, applying for jobs and traveling, I'll find time to blog still.

Until then.