Marbruary Smashup

Hello Fresh Daffodils,

Yes, I realize itís been almost two months since I last blogged you. New Yearís Resolution fail, I suppose. But I have legitimate reasons, as youíll soon discover. It is almost 10:30 PM on a Sunday night, and my spring break as officially begun; I get an entire week off. Therefore, you are being blessed with a blog. So, here we go.

The Personal Stuff

I am literally drowning in papers. The semester is in full swing, as some of you know, and I have forgotten how to sleep. Being my last semester as an undergraduate, there is a lot of work to be done to assure I pass with the grades I need. Sixteen credits might not sound like a lot to some of you, but itís the most Iíve ever taken. I'm pretty sure I've written more papers this semester than I ever have in my life. Iím glad I wonít ever need to take this many credits again. Iíve already read so many plays, books, short stories, and poems, and Iím only on week ten. In six weeks, Iíll be receiving my Bachelor of Arts. Quite exciting! After that Iíll be taking the summer off before diving into my first semester of graduate school and trying to find some kind of employment. Iím sure Iíve already mentioned that I was accepted into the graduate program. If not, yay me! I donít know if Iíve gotten the assistantship yet, but I should be getting a notification soon. Wish me luck!

Registration for my first graduate semester is coming up in a month. I donít believe Iíve ever been this nervous. I feel as though Iím stuck at the age of sixteen, but my brain has decided itís thirty and wants to do all of these adult things. I suppose my body and my brain will figure themselves out as we go. Hopefully before the end of the summer.

Other than school, nothing else personal has been going on that I can recall. SoÖ

Professional Stuff

In my absence, Iíve been working on editing my novel for an independent study Iím doing with one of my favorite professors, Mr. Glenn Irwin. Every week we meet in the morning, and we go over what works and what doesnít for a particular chapter in the book. Our goal is to get through section one, though at the moment it appears we may only get through the first half of that section. So far Iíve cleaned up the prologue and the first three chapters. Trust me, itís a lot more work than it sounds like. Red ink edits take up a couple of hours, then scenes have to be cut out or rewritten--which takes about a week a piece--and then everything has to be done on the computer. Yes, I know I still have one more section to go before the novel is finished, and I should be writing it instead of editing now, but I figure it this way: if I can straighten out the plot holes and characterization now, my later chapters wonít necessarily need to be edited for that type of content, and it might save time later on. I have no idea if thatís actually how it will go down, but I also didnít have the ability to write two chapters a week for the independent study, so editing made more sense.

Iím sure youíll all remember that Iíve entered some writing contests since January. I submitted my novel prequel into the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest, and in addition to that, I entered into a contest that Iíve been calling the Wednesday Club contest at my university. I also submitted to get into our award winning magazine, LitMag.

Unfortunately, it appears these last few months have not been super good for my writing. I did not get into LitMag with my short story Abyss. I wonít repeat what was said about it, as Iím not really allowed to know (I had a spy listen in for me; letís put it that way). But I will say LitMag appears to be judging by opinion of content rather than style, technique, voice, and quality. Obviously youíre never supposed to dismiss a piece professionally simply because you ďdonít like itĒ. Before Iíll go on a tirade, Iíll stop. But Iím quite salty about it. Abyss was quite a good storyóand I donít often say that about my own work. Itís okay though. To each their own.

As far as the Wednesday Club, I won second place. No cash prize, but I do win an honorable mention, which is good for credentials. I entered the prologue and a section of chapter four as novel excerpts, and I was informed that the writing was unique and well done, and I put the judges in a bind for several days, as they didnít know who to pick: me or the other writer. While Iím disappointed I didnít win first place, Iím proud that a fantasy novel excerpt performed so well in a prestigious, literary contest. As Iíve said before, fantasy is typically dismissed in contests of that caliber, so second place is truly an honor, and I send my congratulations to whoever won first place.

I am assuming since I have not yet heard from the Writers of the Future contest that I did not place in the top three. They announced that the winners would be notified starting in mid-to-late March, so I suppose there is still time. However, given that itís the last week in March, Iím fairly certain I was unsuccessful in this contest as well. Again, I am moderately disappointed, but this was a worldwide contest, and Iím sure there are many fantastic young writers out there who can craft a better science fiction than I can, and I have been told my novel and the prequel were a bit more mature in content, which may have had something to do with it as well (the contest states it can disqualify a story for violence, language, or content for any reason).

Regardless of how I performed in these last few months, I am proud of the pieces I have written and submitted, and I will continue to write more short pieces and submit them to contests over the summer. My mama didnít raise no quitter, and Iím well aware that my writing is not everyoneís cup of tea. When I find another contest, Iíll be sure to let you all know.

I waited all this time to write this blog in hopes I would have some positive news to reflect back to you. I apologize for the excessive gap. Hopefully as the semester comes to a close, Iíll be able to write more often, as I promised. Unfortunately I donít have a good story for this blog, but I will say briefly that my spring break is loaded with plans. Tomorrow Iím going to see Bring Me the Horizon (a hard rock/metal type band) with my sister. Tuesday Iím going back to the dentist to get an excessive amount of cavities filled (I take care of my teeth, I swear. Itís genetics that do this to me). Wednesday, my sister is going to a doctorís appointment and Iíll have the house to myself for a little while (hopefully). Thursday is filled with nephews to play with, and Friday I am having a small get-together with some friends from school. One of them is bringing food from the smokehouse that he works at, so Iím excited for that. We plan to play videogames and things, and later light a fire and make fun of each other. Iíve been feeling sort of down lately, so Iím excited to see them all (a couple of them in particular).

With all this being said, I hope youíre having good luck and blessings where ever you might be. Happy Easter, if you celebrate it, just in case Iím unable to post again in April. Enter some contests, follow your dreams, donít be a loser, hug a flower, and all of those wonderful, inspiring messages Iím supposed to tell you all.


Best regards and two bags of fertilizer,

Kat Jenning // Shade Shadows

**Song of the Month: My Heart I Surrender -- I Prevail**

**Just a song I've had stuck in my head recently. I discovered this band through my sister. Thanks, Emily.**

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