State of the LQ, Summer 2017 Edition


I’m still alive! 🙂

Okay — what’s happened since my previous blog post of 9 May 2017:


I taught two, sequential online classes of ENGL 1302, the last one ending just this past Friday. In the first one, two students failed because they didn’t submit enough assignments. In the second one, everybody passed, mostly because everyone submitted everything. Hey, it’s summer in Texas – it’s too hot to be Professor Hard-Ass when I’m sitting in my own sweat.

I discovered – if I live a simple, homebody life for the next few months – that I will pay off my graduate school loan by the end of March 2018… seventeen years EARLY from Navient’s official payment schedule.

Without grad school loan payments, I can trade-in my ten-years’ old-and-counting car (a still-zippy but beaten-up Honda Fit) for a newer model car! I plan to buy a newish Kia Soul; that way, I can pay it off by the end of 2018 if I continue to live a simple, homebody life for another few months.

A couple of house flippers (folks who buy “as-is” houses just to renovate and then re-sell for a profit) really really REALLY want to buy my house because it is in a high-demand location. SO — once the kiddo’s done with elementary school (in summer 2019), then this last vestige of my past marriage life will be gone gone GONE.

I plan to move in a smaller place, a wee bit closer to my folks but still within my current city (so that my already long commute to work doesn’t become a WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!? long commute to work).

I recently returned to a previous young adult hobby of mine, just last week, and that is running.

I used to go on runs with my dad when he would be home on leave from his US Navy deployments (this was when I was in high school). I would also go on daily runs just to clear my head, and I even ran 10K to my then-boyfriend’s house, just to see if I could (I got a ride back home).  When I was an undergrad, I would jog about a mile or so just outside of campus, also when I needed to clear my head.

What’s funny is that a) I never formally trained in running, b) I never competed in races, and c) no one would ever see me as particularly athletic back then, when running was my hobby over 20 years ago.

But because I’m a goal-oriented person (and also a busy 45-year old working single mom instead of a free 21-year old munchkin), I need set goal-posts to stay motivated. So, I’m now officially training for my first race: a low-stakes 5K run in mid-October 2017, not too far away from my parents’ house. I’m really rusty – my running cadence is about 150 beats per minute – but I have plenty of time to build better stamina, form, and speed… I hope!

My next race – an 8K – will be in January 2018, and the one after (either a 5K or 10K) in April 2018, to celebrate paying off my graduate school loan.

I know: I should celebrate with cake or beer or both. But, hey – I’m weird that way.

After having written the short “Prologue” to Ye Olde Novel 2, I keep namby-pambying around on how to start the first chapter. I’ve been skittish about writing another dead-end first chapter because I had written about five of ‘em before I had a solid outline for the entire book done – a bad idea for a writer such as I am, who needs structure to keep on track.

This weekend, after watching three family friendly movies on Netflix, back to back (Trolls, Moana, Finding Dory) and then a not-so-family-friendly movie (Doctor Strange), I thought, “Fuck it, it’s a fairy tale. It starts ‘Once upon a time there was a little girl named Cora, and she lived in a perfect world. Or so her mother would tell her.’” So THERE. 


And that is what’s happened since 9 May 2017.

The LQ


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