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Idleness and Speculation
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This is one of those inexplicable mornings, awake at 6 a.m. and no going back, so I checked my e-mail and took a shower and cleaned up the bi-weekly cat hairball and now you get a largely content-free journal entry before I start grinding the beans to make coffee. The electric coffee grinder always wakes Heather up, and there's no need to bring her out into the gray light of post-dawn just yet.

So I had this noble to-do list this past weekend, and there was partial success. I wrote up that description of Rangergirl and sent it off. I finished writing my porn story, revised it down to the acceptable word limit (within 100 words, anyway), and sent it to the editor. I only have about 15 pages left to read on the last story in Night Visions 11 (which is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, entries in that anthology series). I caught up on my online story-reading. I started typing my mini-epic and will finish that on Wednesday. I didn't start writing reviews at all, but that's the other thing I plan to accomplish Wednesday. So last weekend's to-do list melts almost imperceptibly into this week's...

A friend's offhand comment has me (very idly at this point) considering the notion of going to grad school, with an eye toward teaching writing at the college level. Apparently the Best American Short Stories thing pulls a lot of weight with graduate writing programs, and could be enough (along with my great grades and various awards in college, other qualifications, etc.) to get me into a top-notch program. I'm well aware of all the pros and cons of pursuing such a path, I think. I do like academia. I do like teaching. I've thought often of pursuing an advanced degree. The notion of a somewhat stable career track appeals on many levels (and if I got into a good program, that along with my lit-friendly publications would help me stand out above the veritable sea of MFAs appearing each year, so maybe I could even get a job afterward, which is the whole point). On the other hand, it's nice being out of school, going into more debt seems fundamentally stupid (though I know it should pay for itself in the long run), and my pursuit of a full-time fiction-writing career hasn't hit any serious snags yet, though the goal is still probably pretty far off, and may of course be unattainable. Ideally, I'd rather just write full-time and do teaching gigs as occasional side-things. But I don't live in an ideal world, so I keep mulling it over. Obviously there's no hurry to make any decisions about this (even if I decided to do it, I would be applying to fall 2006 programs). But I'm contemplating it. Working at A Certain Magazine isn't a career-track job; it will never pay me enough to live above the one-paycheck-away-from-catastrophe level, here in the insanely-expensive Bay Area. Only the money I make from writing enables me to do anything much beyond paying my bills. I just wish I knew what the future held. Will I be able to make a living as a writer? I don't know. It's stuff to think about.

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