Friday, March 30, 2012

McDevitt Day

For those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you may have heard me mention McDevitt Day.

Let's make this clear beforehand:  I have the best parents in the whole world.  I love them.  I don't deserve them.

McDevitt Day is the biggest scholarship day that the Mississippi University for Women has to offer, the largest being the McDevitt.  Honestly, I doubt I'll get that one, but I was supposed to walk away with something.

So, because I need money for college, I applied to attend.  I was told time that, no matter what, I'd walk away with a scholarship.

We all went to Columbus, MS.  Mom, Dad, Vin and me.  We couldn't find the hotel at first, which was a bit annoying to all of us, but once we were settled, we were settled.

The next morning, I got all done up.  My hair was straightened, Mom applied some make-up, and I was wearing a dress shirt and some high heels,  And dress pants.  I guess I should mention I was wearing pants.

< Obviously, I had to take all of these on my phone.  These I had to take in the mirror.  Don't I have the evilest tilt in my eyebrows?  I promise, they're shaped that way naturally. >

So, we got to the college this morning and registered.  I met up with some people.

McDevitt is strictly transfer scholarships.  All the reps were freshmen, as in, people not juniors or seniors.


My paper said I would be meeting with Committee 7.  I had to ask the reps about that.  I would be going up in front of a committee?  Like a jury or something?  And it wasn't until 3:45, so I had plenty of time to have a panic attack.

Anyway, the rep assured me I would only have to face 2 people.  Thank you, God.

In the meantime, we had lunch and a campus tour.  The dormitory looks like a nursing home. Or a prison.

But the dorm mother seemed like a real mother hen, so Mom would be really happy if I stayed there.  I kind of agree, I would feel okay with the dorm mother.

Lacey, because she refuses to get rid of her little pedigreed mutt (a Maltipoo), wants to live off campus.  She didn't come, but we're going to go visit soon.

Cramped little cell-like dorm or living with Toby?  I asked Lacey which would be the lesser of those two evils.  ;)

My parents were mostly concerned about, "How much will it cost?"  Which, I was pretty relieved when Dad and Vin dropped me and Mom off.  Handling Mom was one thing, handling Dad's insensitivity along with Mom would've driven me crazy.  He laughed and told me I'd never make it when I told him I wanted to major in Culinary Arts.  I just told him what I always tell him when he says something like that, "Thanks, Dad."

Needless to say, my parents are not happy about it.  My mom says, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."  They'd be much happier if I went into education (as I had been planning) or the medical field (I'm sorry, but I hate going to the doctor--they weigh you!--why would I want to be one?).

But no, Jadi, the booksmart one of the five siblings, wants to be a chef.  That was one of the questions I asked the rep, "What do I tell people?"

If I had gone talk to the rep from the Culinary Institute, I may have met other Culinary majors, but I didn't and I didn't.  I saw one other Culinary major.  Everybody else was nursing, and maybe there was one education major.

When it was time to see social clubs, there were 3 Christian organizations.  One of which was Chi Alpha, which is based out of the Assembly of God churches.  When I do go to church, that is the sort of church I go to.

I asked one of the people there is there was a writing or book club.  While they didn't have a booth there at the McDevitt Day, there was one of each.  I was happy about that, obviously.

While waiting for my interview, we got to talking about chickens, well, farming in general.  But after one of the women who had started the conversation had left, I really got to talking.  And then one of the women interviewing me came out and joined in the conversation.

Finally, I was the last interview.  On my questionaire, I was asked what my favorite show was, who my favorite person of the past was, and things like that.  My interviewers asked about my answers.

My favorite person of the past is Jim Henson (I don't like the new Muppets movie), and my favorite show is, currently, Once Upon a Time.  Both interviewers liked it too.  Good sign.  Oh, and they liked Cajun food, so when I said I wanted my own place someday and that I was ethnocentric and I'd want a Cajun place, we got to talking about Cajun food.

Two problems:  1)  Their library is more of a research center than a place for books.  I live at Perk's library.  I'm not just changing colleges, I'm changing libraries too.  The library there isn't that impressive.  When I asked about it, they wouldn't even bother showing it.

2)  I was told I was guaranteed to walk away with a scholarship from McDevitt Day.  Today, I was told I would most likely get one.  I find out what I get in three weeks, if I get anything at all.  But it's a most likely.  If I put my parents on the road for 4-hours both ways and had to get lost in Columbus for nothing, this girl is going to be angry.  No money = no going.

The campus is really nice.  Really pretty.  The people were really nice.  They pulled out all the stops.  A nice lunch.

I guess it should be with the way their dorms were.  Anyway, I did go home with a padfolio, with a legal pad and a little pad inside, and my nametag.

If I get enough out of McDevitt Day, and other scholarships from other places, I will go.  The public library's nice and there's a Books-a-Million and a movie theatre in Columbus.  They have all sorts of jobs around campus.  If I want to work, I can.

Despite my little issues, it was a great visit.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thinking About Testing the Waters

In this day and age, anybody can upload a story (in some places, after a fee) and call themselves a published author.

Being a full time writer used to be a really big dream of mine, and it still is, it's just not my biggest dream anymore.  I wanted a Big Publisher to read my work and fall in love with it and give me a big advance, and everybody would read my work and love it because when they stopped reading, no maybe their life didn't change, they knew they had just read a great story.

At least, that's how I feel after I read most books.  Like Lawheads and Alexanders (both of Lloyd and Victoria--no relation, I think).

I have a short story I'm editing, and if I ever self-pubbed, it would probably be that one.

And I'm seriously considering it.

But...there's still a stigma (at least to me) with self-pubbing.  I mean, I've read some of the self-pubbed stuff on Amazon and Smashwords. A lot of it's not that great. Not bad, but not great. I've never seen so many stories get 3-star reviews. Sometimes, they get lower. I don't want to join that group.

But...there's very little market for this kind of story, it's just a short story,  I can always try traditional publishing with the novels...

Anyway, I'm kind of torn.

I want to put something out there, just to see what sort of reviews I would get, but at the same time, I don't, because what if it's bad reviews?

As is, the story I'm working on is at least a 3-star, but I want 4-stars.  Actually, I want 5-stars, but I'd settle for 4-stars.

So, so, editing I go.  Maybe.  Unless a magazine market magically opens up.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Mom's been letting me drive back and forth to the college.  It's seven miles down the road, and really not that far, but it's a start.  And it's only when Dad's home.

Today was the fourth or fifth.  Anyway, the first time, I was so excited.

Kids can't drive their moms around.  At least, not around these here parts.

So, I cranked up the radio and took off, relishing being alone in a car with my newfound sort of freedom.  I made it to the college safely, I parked okay.  Nothing bad happened.  I keep a Bible in my car, sort of for good luck.  Especially considering my car's name is Christine and she does misbehave from time to time. (That's a whole other blog post.)

I dug in my backpack to discover I had forgotten my license at home.

All that hype deflated for a moment.  I texted my mom and sister to tell them I had arrived safely.  I didn't tell them about the license thing.

But I told everyone else.  And yes, we all got a kick out of it.  My first day of freedom, and I forget my ID.  How smart of me!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Vow

I would've written this last night, but I didn't come home last night.  For the record, I don't generally go home with people when they buy me dinner.  But in my defense, nobody would open the door at my house.

Lacey and I caught The Vow last night.  (Oh please!  I would never go home with a man.  That would entail me attracting someone.)  I didn't like it.  Yes, it was a good movie.  Yes, Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams are great actors.  Blah blah blah.

Spoiler alert:  She never gets her memory back.  It works out in the end, but...

They told the wrong part of the story.  It ends...well, anyway.  It is a good movie, but I'll never watch it again.

While Oprah book club people may like it, I didn't.  I hate stories like that.  I don't like hearing sad stuff where there's nothing I can do about it.  That's wasted heartache.

Lacey, I think, was of the same opinion.  I could only say, "That was so messed up!"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why I Don't Like It

We got one of those Love Inspired mailing list things today.  They make the Larger Print books magazine-size.  I've read one Christian fic (out of 27) this year.  I've attempted one or two others and just quit them.

I don't like Christian fiction.  I don't hate it, I just don't generally care for it.

I don't like people who have it all together, who don't get afraid their faith is so strong, la dee da.  I can't relate to it and it's just annoying.  "Perfect" people annoy me.

I like people whose cheese is falling off their cracker.  I like people who don't always see the bright side.

Thank God not all Christian fiction is annoying.

Allie Pleiter's Love Inspireds are usually pretty funny with quirky characters.  Shoot, make me laugh and I'll be loyal forever.

Deeanne Gist's characters are, well, if not realistic, at least likable.  They're inconsistent and they make mistakes.  They doubt.  They don't always have everything together.  They're flawed.  Not to mention Gist has a real respect for history and researches a lot.

Stephen Lawhead's books aren't that Christian.  The religiousity in his books isn't overbearing.  Because he writes historical/speculative, the religion seems more part of the culture of the world/time than preachy, if that makes any sense.

I'm not the only Christian who doesn't care for Christian fiction.  But the ones I do like, are great.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm Supposed to Know Where It Is?

For the record, I hate online classes.

One of which is New Testament Survey.  The text is full of stuff I should already know, most of it I did already know. 

I grew up in church.  Some things are forced down our throats at a very, very young age.

Well, I knew all of it was there, somewhere, I just didn't know where, and I skipped the references in the textbook.

My proctored exam was today and it actually asked for specific verses.

I guessed.  I made educated guesses (I grew up on this stuff!), and thank God it was multiple choice.  I felt kind of bad, worse than I usually feel, because I really should've known where they were anyway.  What good Christian wouldn't?

I'm a bad, bad Christian.  So, I berated myself for not knowing and I should go home and actually crack my Bible...  

I love giving myself a hard time.

At the end of the test, when it showed me which ones I had gotten wrong, two of the three I had missed had nothing to do with verse references.  I can't remember what the other one was.

Sweet irony.