Jennifer Loring

Horror/Dark Fantasy Writer and Editor

Time Enough

I am counting the days until June 30. That’s the day I graduate from grad school with a shiny MFA and begin the rest of my life. It’s been a mostly enjoyable couple of years, and I’ve learned a lot, but this term is especially labor-intensive despite having finished my thesis (still needs edits). I’m ready to move on, both from the book and from school. I suppose I wouldn’t feel this way quite so much if the process hadn’t led to the unavoidable neglecting of so many other projects. Since completing my thesis, however, I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to finish up a novella I began over 2 years ago, and to indulge in pleasure reading again.

But there is one thing I really, really miss and haven’t been able to fit back into my schedule yet. Art. You probably know by now that I have a BA in studio art. I draw, paint, photograph, collage… While I never pursued art as a career, it has always maintained an important role in my life. (And, since getting into the craftier side of things, I’ve become a junkie for Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology stuff.) I’m taking a leave of absence from work April 8 to May 6 in order to concentrate on my final project for school, but that will be the entire focus of my life during that time–as well as allow me to regain some of the sanity I’ve lost after spending 11 or more hours a day juggling school, writing, and my day job. In the interim between the end of class on May 6 and my final residency starting June 25 (with a 3-day jaunt to World Horror Con in between), however, getting back to art will be a major priority. I’ve got two collages-to-be sitting on my worktable already! And I want to get back into making music, which I started over 10 years ago. Maybe give my stuff a proper release on Bandcamp and probably for free.

I do have some good news–I’ve sold another short story. So, as of right now, I’ll have four stories out this year, three of them in anthologies. It’s pretty exciting, and since that leaves me with very few unsold stories left, I’m excited to get back to short fiction. I think short stories will always be my first love.

What about you? What are your passions, and how do you fit them into your life?

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7 thoughts on “Time Enough

  1. Oh, man, getting to read what I want to read, when I want to read it…I’m right with you on the near-total-lack-of-time. Before I started school, I was crafting a lot, and doing embroidery, and reading all the time. Now, I hardly do any of that! And the short stories–I had a goal for years to write a short story a week, and for most of that time, I’d write more than one. Then I started school and stopped writing them, stopped typing them up, stopped sending them out…

    I have managed to fit a little bit of side stuff in, inconsistently. I do some by getting up earlier. I get some reading in by reading whatever I want when I’m on the treadmill and don’t have a deadline too close. I’ll do miniprojects that won’t take more than a hour or two on a day off.

    But it’s rough! And it’s definitely exciting to get that time back!

    ~:)

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  2. I was trying to do the short story a week thing as well. That quickly fell apart last semester, and I’ve got a couple stories I never did type up.

    I don’t have to read anything for class this week, so I’m catching up on a book I started probably a year ago! And art…man, I canNOT wait to get back to it. Might try to squeeze some in this weekend since next week is shot due to multiple family commitments.

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    • Same here, short story-wise. I was going to make typing them up my side project for the month, but I just haven’t had the extra time, and I have to plow through the rest of the thesis and get it revised, so…

      I have a copy of Cold Days sitting on my shelf and leaning on my soul and I just don’t have time to read it. ::sadface:: But after June! After June, I’m reading everything!

      ~:)

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  3. Here’s to having enough time to work on other things! Congrats on the sale of your short story. I’m looking forward to seeing your collages and hearing about your music. I’m with you–can’t wait to graduate and pick up life where I left off.

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  4. Most of my passions you’ve already seen lain out on my blog, but finding room on the schedule to squeeze them all in? Honestly, it’s too hard once the semesters begin for me. In between semesters, I find myself art-binging and read-binging. I know that that’s the only time I can squeeze that goodness in, and if I don’t at that time, I know I’ll have to wait to get to it till the next break. :/

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