the strange planet inside my head

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Over Forty And Loving It


Ends and Beginnings

This July has been the busiest one on record for me. The best part has been a repeat of the tutoring of a Chinese student in conversational English I did last year. It has been an amazing experience. Qin is working toward getting accepted in a PhD program here in the states, and it wasn't until he asked for help with a number of emails and correspondence that I realized just how bright this kid is. He is a research scientist who wants to specialize in neuroscience. He has seven publications on his research and scored in the top 30 of 1000 students on one of his final tests.

His English has improved, which is a great relief to me. Since he has no one to practice with consistently in China, I was afraid he'd lose all the progress we made last year. Think about it. This kid only gets to speak English 30 days once a year. Because he works so hard, he is quite fluent and his memory is astonishing.

It has been a blast. He's funny, smart and very kind. After we finished tweaking out some of his emails to professors, he stood and bowed to me with one hand in a fist pressed against his other hand. I didn't know what that meant, and he sat and did it again, with this disarming smile and warm eyes. I still didn't get it -- and he said, "This is a gesture we use in China to express gratitude. Because I don't have the words to tell you how grateful I am." Last night he told me, "You are the best teacher I've ever had."

I'm really going to miss him, and I'm not sure what's up for next year. He's really concerned about his accent and syntax, but I told him look, you only get to speak English for thirty days once a year. You spend a couple of months here, and it will be as if a switch goes off in your brain. Click! You already have everything inside your head right now. You just need exposure.

He nodded. "That's what I want." He grinned.

I hope he receives everything he hopes for. He's a great person and it has been my honor to have a small part in his life. The Universe truly blessed me with this gig.


The copy work has dropped off, but that worked out great for me since the editing work has blown the roof. I guess all the work of the last couple of years is starting to pay off. I am booked solid for August after a chock-full July; September slots are filling up. I'm a little panicked about August since I have a wedding to attend (YAY!) but I'll make it happen, no matter what it takes. So far, I have fabulous clients who are willing to work, and by the end of the year there will be approximately 20 publications for which I've edited on the market. w00t! A few shorts, most of them novels, covering a wide variety of genres. Romance, YA, dystopia, horror, epic fantasy -- a smorgasbord. :) When I get a hot minute I'll have to start posting links.

I also have steady copy work from the couple of clients I've kept, one of which has a huge project that needs to be completed in the next six weeks or so. Very challenging, but you know I can't resist a challenge.

Of course, all this work means the revisions on Pallas are at a standstill, but I'm okay with that for the moment. I have a goal, and I'm working toward it -- I'm hoping by the end of August I can start work on her again and get her out in the world. This statement could lead me into a really long discussion about the state of the publishing industry and how it's impacting my career decisions, but I'm too tired to go into that tonight.


I had a really bad moment over Momma's birthday, but Sporkfest provided the best distraction. The wedding is coming up, and I'm excited/apprehensive/excited about that, although Momma will be heavy on my mind as I watch my beautiful daughter walk down the aisle while her equally beautiful sister stands as maid of honor.

I'm preparing myself for the fallout after the wedding. 'Cause, you know. Three years the 22nd. Um. Let's not talk about that right now, k? Thanks.


Tomorrow night will be the last tutoring session, then I have to start getting ready for the wedding. I have my dress, shoes, one-half of the underpinnings; mani/pedi was accomplished today, so all I have to worry about is a bag, packing and getting the car ready. After the wedding, I'll try to breathe. Because breathing is good. Heh.

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