Letter to the Graduates

Dear Graduates,

You’re entering a new era of your life. The change you’ll face may be scary. It may be exciting. Whatever it may be, embrace it.

To the high school graduates, this will be your final year in grade school. Continuing your education is vital to career. Whether it’s a two-year degree or four-year degree, you’ll need something to complement the skills you’ll amass over the years.

Weigh your options. A college education is an investment. Be strategic as you pursue your collegiate endeavors. If a four-year school is too expensive, attend a technical/community college. Stay up to date with four-year university course catalogs. These course catalogs display equivalents to courses at two-year schools.

If you don’t know what you want to major in, use the two years of core curriculum as a way to search what you want to do after

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Upcoming Flash Fiction Collection…Should it be free?

Upcoming Flash Fiction Collection…Should it be free?

After much consideration, I’ve decided to give readers an appetizer of fiction through eBook hosting services such as Amazon and iBooks.

I’ve been sitting on 10,000 plus words of flash fiction the last few years. I posted them to Fiction Press before, but I was too indecisive on whether they should be on the site.

Update: I have decided to sit on this project. I want to focus on writing and editing more projects.

Writing for Professionals

Creativity is never a problem for the fiction writer. Earning a sustainable wage solely as a writer is a dream for fiction and nonfiction authors. That dream, however, takes time to establish. Therefore, it’s important to keep a job, part-time or full-time, while one pursues such an ambition.

In the past few years, I’ve targeted professional writing and editing opportunities through job boards like Indeed and Upwork (previously Elance).

Writing for clients, though not unfamiliar, is a different world. The principles of writing and editing remain consistent, but each industry has its own writing style, subtlties one might not notice if he or she is not familiar with a particular field of study or industry.

Freelance writers and editors outside those particular industries have to learn them as they acquire clients.

Like any business, there is a slow season. At the moment, I’m in a stand still. I apply. I wait. I try again. What can I expect? The market is full of professionals, and I can’t blame clients for choosing a freelancer who works more frequently than most.

Instead, I’ve been trying to create professional writing content such as technical guides and white papers to attract clients and illustrate my versatile writing skills.

It’s a great idea, but I keep hitting the wall of writer’s block. I miss the days of having a prompt to work with.

The Truth about Self-Publishing

I’m so psyched about self-publishing. I’m holding myself back because producing a book without another round of edits could hurt. Investing in an editor appears to be the right thing to do along side purchasing copyrights from the Library of Congress.

Two obstacles remain: Money and more stories.

Any writer or any professional will tell you to keep your job while you’re writing novels, collections, etc. I know I’ll have to take a risk eventually, but I want it to be a calculated risk.

Day 6: Guest Post Flop

I wanted to feature a guest post. My efforts have flopped today. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the fun.

The challenge has been a great way to show off my writing skills, which I hope is good for you all.

Also, I’m gravitating toward more story ideas. Eventually, I’ll have to produce something. I may take the CreateSpace route when investing into editing. I feel like I need more. Maybe I should take more risks. I just want to create enough content that everyone can enjoy.

Day 5: The Unsent Love Letter

Dear ___________,

Retrospect has brought some fond memories. In the midst of youth, there were times where my heart fluttered yet I was too distracted to notice.

I didn’t understand it as a kid in elementary school. The first girl I liked was liked by most of the boys in 5th grade. She loved dolphins and wrote about it in a class activity. At the opportunity to impress her, I ended up annoying her.

You probably don’t remember. I felt bad and wanted to apologize. Somehow, I understood pride. Courage, however, was far from me.

I knew my chances were over. So, my young mind wondered to a girl who just arrived to our school. I had big crush on her. But most of my friends liked her, too. When I didn’t get any attention, I made it business to show everyone I didn’t like her. Inside my little naive heart, I adored her.

I was mean to you for no reason. I had a crush on you for sure. Every snarky look was out of boyish infatuation. Typical yet truthful.

I had a crush in middle school. It was mutual, at least it felt mutual. I was so caught up in being tough. I found my macho bravado but lacked the courage to tell the girl I half-ass carried to the nurse’s office that I liked her.

You were as sweet as a ripe peach, so pretty that I was afraid to maim your beauty with my bald, oily fingers.

High school was different. With no car I felt inadequate. I put all of my focus into school. Of course, my crushy vibes continued. It was without measure. It was a race, and I was way behind all the other dudes.

I got bold one day. On Valentine’s Day 2006, I gave my crush a poem. I spelled her name wrong though. How cute. Unfortunately, she was dating someone else.

I should’ve pursued you more. The opportunity like many others went by, and I let it happen.

Most of all, I let a jewel in my adulthood slip away. The boyish habits sustained. The petite beauty persisted. I ignored her thinking only of my selfish desire.

This uncoventional letter, this confessional blunder of words, is regret.

As a kid, I wasn’t supposed to understand the ins and outs of courtship. As an adult, however, I was conscious. I complained about being lonely while the lady that burned for me raised her hand.

Life granted me ambition. I’ve been married to it for a long time. I didn’t think there was enough room for a girlfriend. What I didn’t realize was the room I had within my life. I was selfish.

There was enough room for you.

Although our time has long since passed, I’m here to say that I never forgot you. You left me an impression that I’ll treasure for life. And for that, I thank you.

Cordially,

Elijah

Day 4: A Day with Elijah

The title sounds so good it could be a story. I may save the title for a nonfiction essay.

It’s Day Four and today I’ll blog on what a day is like for me.

First, of course, is the morning. I take my time. Grab my cellphone and urge my tingly fingers to check alerts. They believe they’re productive to career and finances. They tap away only to summon Facebook. I watch for laughs, controversy, and remain hopeful that some pretty lady has sent me a DM full of emojis.

I skim through smut, flash fiction, and video game news on the mobile browser for at least ten minutes.

Then it’s time for landscaping, the first job of the day. I put on an old, discolored shirt and a pair of blue jeans that’s too tight. A rip is forming, but I probably won’t buy new jeans until someone else notices the gaping hole. Can’t forget the imploding boots that I wear.

Off to work.

I use my years of landscaping experience to display mastery of lawn, shrubs, and small combustion engines. I take precaution. I stay away from poison ivy the best way I can. There’s much to do, but my time is limited.

One o’clock, the hour I prepare for camera operating for a broadcast news station. I shed the grime and grass in a warm shower. I dress comfortably, usually a polo shirt and dark denim jeans. I persist for a nice meal. Never know when breaking news will keep me all night.

In the event that it doesn’t, I proceed to:

  • Work on a short story, novel chapter, video, etc.
  • Go home to have another meal and live stream on Twitch.

As the late night approaches, I return back to the news station for an hour and a half. I contemplate whether or not to eat again when the shift ends.

By the time I get home. I’ll game or watch an episode or two of a random Netflix show.

Sleep is inevitable. I flip open my laptop and listen to some music until my eyes get heavy.