My second guest blogger during my semi-hiatus is KD Sarge, a science fiction and fantasy writer and fellow Turtleduck Press member. KD is a working single mother who somehow finds time to write — a lot — because it keeps her sane. She’s also a dear friend. I knew she’d been through a lot, but I didn’t know what she’s about to share today…
Twenty years ago I was on my own for the first time, living in a tiny ugly studio apartment where most of my neighbors spoke a language I didn’t. I was working forty hours a week, and I was going to school full time—more than full time. I was taking eighteen credit hours. I was working nights, getting home at one in the morning and three days a week my first class was at 7:30 a.m.
What can I say? I was young. Not only did I want to know everything, I wanted to know everything right now. And working my butt off unnecessarily was romantic! As my high school English teacher used to say, not “kissy-face huggy romantic” but adventure! Excitement! I would look back on that time, I thought, and laugh about it. It’d look great in my author bio when I got published.
You know what happened, right?
In…oh, I think it was late November (only three weeks left!) I stopped going. To any classes. At all. Aside from going to work, I pretty much curled into a ball for several months. Except for when I watched movies from my bathtub.
I’d been warned, but nooooo. Being reasonable is for other people. KD is superwoman!
I felt like an idiot. Like I should be a college dropout. I never went back. I worked at a succession of fast food jobs, because at least I knew I could handle that. Clearly I wasn’t meant for college. School of Hard Knocks alumnus, that’s me. I never gave up on my writing, but college? That was for other people.
Eventually I did make it into a “real” job, with benefits and sick days and everything. I married, had a child, lost my husband, wrote books, worked, moved a bunch of times, wrote some more…
Somewhere in there I joined a writing forum with members who average a lot younger than me. “Oh,” one of them might say, “I was in that bookstore where I want to work today, and I forgot to get an application. I fail at life.” Or “I tried to talk to this official person but I forgot half my questions and had to go back and they think I’m an idiot now. Fail!”
I’d tell them it actually takes a lot more effort to fail at life. That you’re never a failure till you stop trying. And whattaya know? Eventually that sank in.
For twenty years I’ve been a college dropout, but in a little less than two months I’m going back. I’m going to take it easy—I’m only taking two classes. I’m planning ahead for how I’ll handle homework and time crunches, interruptions—my daughter is 13—and episodes of KD don’t give a carp. I bought a backpack that should (fingers crossed!) hold everything. I’m wrestling my way through the paperwork of financial aid. I’m trying to work out a writing schedule, ’cause nobody wants to be around KD when she’s not writing.
I’m scared, but I’m hopeful. And I’m determined. I don’t know what I’m determined for, exactly, but I am determined. This time I know I can do it, because the only way to fail is to stop trying.
Bio: KD Sarge writes for joy and hope, and works for a living. She has tried her hand at many endeavors, including Governess of the Children, Grand Director of the Drive-Through, and Dispatcher of the Tow Trucks. Currently KD labors appreciated but underpaid in the public school system. She has five universes under construction, writes science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, smut (in many genres), and means to one day undertake a cosy mystery.
Knight Errant is the story of a brash young space pilot with a sense of duty and the man who makes him question everything. KD’s writing, including Knight Errant, can be found at Turtleduck Press. For more about KD, visit her author website.