I'm slowly swinging back into art again.
Progress was a little slowed because my novel project, although I've made a lot of progress on that lately, which will give me more time for art again. 13 out of 16 chapters are done, 240 pages so far, and once I'm finished with that, it will be time to cross edit both of my novels for consistency, so I can start shopping for publishers! (It's a lengthy process, so the sooner you get on the ball, the better.)
It feels very exciting. My Sci-Fi story was in development hell for nearly two years, so this is uplifting to finally have it on rails. Even though the sequel has been done for twice as long, the finer story arc details were missing too much to be very compelling, outside of the sheer scale of the action and adventure itself. Now that the first story is reaching its maturity, it will be possible to go back to the sequel manuscript, and fill in the rather vague aspects that severely hampered the effect of all the plot twists; it's been a wild ride to say the least.
This is a dream to be able to do. I never imagined in my life being able to finish a complete story, from front to back, let alone writing a second one and planning its third entry along the way! The scary part now is whether it's something a publisher will actually take.
Self-publishing is an option too, but I'd rather experiment with that through a spin-off prequel to the third book I'm rewriting. I feel what I have is too big to settle for less than being able to say, "Yeah, I have a published novel!".
Outside of creative pursuits, I'm very happy to say my braces are finally off! (A bit late to announcing that here, I kinda forgot under all the excitement of talking about it on Facebook with family.) One of my aunts talked to my original orthodontist from nearly eight years ago, and because of my unique situation, he offered to remove them for nothing.
Not only was I blown away he did that for me, his work is so well done, that even after all these years, there was absolutely minimal to no damage on my teeth! I find it a real miracle in itself, and a testament to the quality of his team's work, that my teeth could survive several years without an orthodontist's strict supervision. (Even with my wisdom teeth growing in.) I would recommend him to anyone, he and his team are wonderful, patient people who do wonders for smiles; he changed my life twice over.
I cried at the sink, when I first saw how pristine they were all this time, perfectly healthy and happy. All of my nightmares of rotten or missing teeth are a thing of the past! Food tastes better, drinks are more savory, and I can sleep in any position I want in the bed without feeling like all the blood in my gums are draining away, or my eyes hurting. It's hard to believe how many little aspects of my life those braces affected, and I don't have to worry about it anymore.
It's a huge monkey off my back for sure. I feel like I can worry more about my GED classes, my art, and finding the right hairstyle for this bouncy below-the-shoulders mane I have right now.
Seriously love my hair!
I also moved to Ringgold a month ago.
This is where I grew up as a kid, and it's fun being back in the Catoosa area. Dalton was nice too, but I was only born there; it held few memories besides visits to Grandma's house. Of course, that's changed now, I have tons of memories in Dalton as well. I love my cousins and my grandma, they're fun, understanding people to be around.
Ringgold's such a beautiful, humble little place. If Pallet Town existed in real life, this would be it; not much traffic, a few neighbors, and a couple of old grocery stores that have stood for longer than I've been alive. Just look at the view from the mailbox alone! The ridge is a gorgeous blue at certain times of the day. Sunsets are so otherworldly here at times too.
The stars are unreal here. In Dalton, there's so much light pollution, you can't see much that aren't planets. Over here? It's like a jolly ensemble of celestial candles of every color and size, swaying ever so gently together in the night sky, all while the moon acts as their maestro. It's a very inspiring place for your imagination to happily run wild, without running empty.
The first night I was here, that the clouds weren't in the way, I stood out there looking up for hours, spiritually and emotionally lost in their wonder. There were moments I could have cried, it's so wonderful here at night, just like when I was a little kid playing with my first telescope. It brought back many memories of myself and my family learning about the planets, and seeing them with our own eyes through the lens.
All the stars I could never see before, now shine brightly before my eyes, and I feel like that's an allegory for my life. No longer am I basking in the glow of an artificial light, content with its limited, yellow radiance; I enjoy the full ocean of stars in all their glorious colors, their guiding light beaming brilliantly across the journey ahead.
The reason my eyes got so misty is, those stars make me think of all the wonderful friends I've made over the years, even those who I have yet to meet, much like stars I have yet to know the names of. I can't begin to articulate how all of you have touched and impacted my life, it's making me cry at the desk right now. Every last one of you are special, and I mean that with all the sincerity I can muster in text.
Lastly, a little art update. This canvas I've had on the backburner for nearly two months is back in the works! It won't be long now before I'm done with it, so I can move on to other art projects I have mind, especially some really big Freedom Planet ones I have in mind.
Oh wow, this is the longest wall of text I've posted in a long time.
If anyone reached the bottom, thank you for reading. While my life always has its ups and downs, things have only gotten better since this year began. I can't be more thankful for my family, my friends, and all those passersby, in real life and online, who remind me on a daily basis that we still live in a beautiful world with beautiful people.