The Ivy Hall Young Writer's Workshop was an absolute hit. I adored teaching the kids. It was my first time back in the teacher seat since Japan in 2015, and I was pleased to note that the teaching bug was still biting me. What was more, I was so happy to be teaching that I completely forgot I was going to get paid at the end. Im $200 richer in prepaid visa gift cards. Supper's on me, boys!
What was really lovely was when I was contacted after the workshop by one of the students with a piece they needed help on. I was so moved that they would think to reach out to me, even though our classes had ended. I was glad to offer them guidance, and hope that they look to me again in their future endeavors. It's always fun to see up and coming writers blossoming. You should have seem the creativity they exhibited when I lead the world building workshop! I do believe we've got some future authors in our midst.
The ghost hunt went well. I've been analyzing footage from the Hydrangea House, as I'm calling it. While the matriarch of the family was overly convinced that something was terrorizing her four year old son, I'm not so sure. We were able to debunk a few things during our preliminary investigation, which leads me to think that this poor woman has become so frightened from certain experiences that she's starting to lose the edge which helps you naturally put certain coincidences aside. Par example, she was seeing a ghastly orange light floating in her woods, and thought it was something occult based. It turned out that it was just a floodlight from a property about five hundred yards north of her. You couldn't see it very well in the day, but at dusk when the light came on, it glimmered through the trees. It did, admittedly, look a little odd (she lives in the middle of the woods, so it's pitch black at night besides the light), but it wasn't dangerous or paranormal.
At the same time, I managed to capture some very strange EVP's. Even now, I'm unsure what I found. I feel like there were a few voices, on EVP that was close to being a Class B (audible, distinct, but still undefined in verbatim). I think something is in the house, but I can't outright say that it's haunted or that it's hurting the family. Whatever it is, I think it's just there. It's possible that someone in the family is sensitive to these things (perhaps the mother) and is therefore more prone to hear it or sense it.
As someone who lived with a ghost for fifteen years, I understand. It's nothing like Hollywood portrays.
In other news, I'm excited to dig my heels into a new project with Matt Terrell. He's working on a new novel, though I cannot divulge what it is on as of yet. I will only say this. I am the editor, and will be in charge of all publishing and formatting. It will be one of my largest works by far, and I am glad for the challenge. What is more I get paid $500 for it. When you're used to not getting paid for your creative outlets, it's shocking to be offered a paycheck. I almost feel like I'm stealing money, until I remind myself that frankly I have a skill set and I need to sell it.
I mean that's the whole point of this website, isn't it?
Today is a really exciting day for me, creative wise. In about an hour and a half, I'm going to have one of my oldest works The Cry of the South, critiqued by a group of authors. Most of them are members of my graduate cohort, which means that their opinions are coming from the same school of thought that I have been prescribing to. With luck, they will give the guidance that I need to create something lasting and impactful. I am, however, going to need to invest in a sensitivity reader both for black audiences and Native American audiences. I wonder where I can find someone to do that? Maybe they have forums set up for people looking for sensitivity readers.
When it comes to my personal life, things have taken a slightly downward turn romantically. As of late, I was in a relationship with a lovely young woman. She was very forward focused, extremely talented and creative... but her future and my future seemed to be set on different tracks. It was the first time in my life that someone could see themselves having children with me, even being married to me. But I had this image of what I felt my future needed to be, of where I saw my life going... and it just wasn't compatible. I want to live abroad, preferably in England. I want to live by the coast. Watching her weep because of my inability to let go of that future image was sickening, and it made me wonder if I was being (forgive the language) a bastard. Like all things in life, I spoke to my best friend about it. They were proud of me for sticking to my guns and not taking the "easy way out"... and I confess it would have been very easy. To have children and a marriage with a beautiful, compassionate, intelligent, creative woman? How many could be as lucky as that?
But I just couldn't see it working out... and she deserves someone who is fully and utterly hers. I just don't know if someone like that exists for me. In a way, I wonder if my strong creative spirit and my machine-like mind have created a monster that cannot be settled down.