NaNoWriMo, College, and what I really want..

Changes, they are a comin’. Is what I wanted to call this post, but, because my brain is swimming with different stresses, worries, and fears, I decided a brief outline would work better.
But changes are a comin’.


Mostly to Blood on the Quarter. Melanie has gotten a new last name, a new look, and a new back story. Much as I explained in my last post; Blood on the Quarter is still too complicated. Melanie’s and Elizabeth’s story have to be separated. What you see above, is a glimpse into Melanie’s story. A brand new story featuring my retelling of Red Riding Hood, Bedlam, and mad science!

It’s going to be good time. A straight up adventure/horror story that will probably paint me as nothing more than a serial writer who is about as deep as a damp washcloth. And that’s okay. It’s fun at the shallow end. Literati are for those who enjoy writing it.

A Lizzie drawing will come around eventually, my fingers started to cramp. Had to stop before they seized. A tablet pen is on my Christmas list. A good one. Not one of those crappy ones they try to pass off as quality material. With the fancy packaging and bold lettering. Pah.

Anyway. NaNoWriMo is coming! Have you signed up? You should! It’s going to be a fun challenge in which Blood on the Quarter née Nightly-Edition is going to be written along with:


Everyone, meet Untitled. As I see her in my head, anyway. This story I’m really excited for and, when I get permission from my writing partner, I’ll be revealing a lot more about her and her adventure.

Two books. One month. It’s going to be a fun kind of crazy. And now for the other side of the story.
I’ve recently been accepted to the University of Oklahoma. Which, as I’ve come to understand it, is one of the top 10% of schools in the United States. It’s awesome that I’ve been accepted into it. And, somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m excited to go. Really.


Just. Not for my Undergraduate.

Honestly? I could give a damn less. To me a college is a college (I know that’s not how the real world works. Shut up.) and it irks me that I have to pay 20K just to have a piece of paper that proclaims to the world I know what I’m talking about. But, the military is giving me free money to go and I’d be stupid not to take them up on the offer. That isn’t to say I haven’t been going to school. I actually have an Associate’s from Park University, I’m just not digging the college thing. Don’t ask me why, I could give you a whole list of excuses that would just fall flat. The reality is; I’m just not interested in the Undergraduate Program. The Graduate? Yes. I WANT to spend time working on a counter argument for something I’ve decided needs a counter argument and write my thesis paper.
THAT appeals to me.
Spending time in class, however, does not.
It’s also taken me forever and a day to decide, really, want I want to major in. History is what I’ve decided on. But, if I dig deep enough, it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life.
The drawings up there? That’s what I want to do.
And the writing.
Webcomics, animated book commercials, even an animated series, podcasting, radio shows, writing. Anything within the artistic field is what I want to do.
Problem is? Art doesn’t pay the bills.
Sad day. And that high school realisation sealed its fate as a full time career path for me. It hasn’t taken away the desire to learn, however. There is a lot about art, especially digital art, that I don’t understand.
Luckily, Oklahoma University has a fine arts program that I can apply to. The mechanics of painting have not changed from medium to medium, the theories still apply. I’m just missing a huge chunk of knowledge because I decided I was too good for art classes when I was a kid.
Didn’t want to take the time to suffer through the bits that I already knew to get to the bits I didn’t.


I suppose the real reason for this entry is simple fear. I’m terrified of going to a college campus. A *real* college campus. With other people. The Navy left me with anxiety issues that I’m not sure I fully dealt with in therapy. I am honestly scared.
Plus? I’m twenty five.
Getting my bachelor’s.
It’s easier to go to college when you’re surrounded by other eighteen/nineteen year olds. Same boat. Same age. Instant interpersonal link.
It’s the same on a military base, just a wider age range. It’s not uncommon to see someone in their thirties sharing the same desk space as a nineteen year old Airman. The bond is the military.
Going to a major campus, I’m going to be with kids fresh out of high school. Never mind all that, I’m going to be surrounded by a bunch of people.
Don’t do so well with that any more.
Not to mention the time frame. Unless I can work it so my first semester is spent online, I’m going to have to go back to the States right after the holiday party season at work, get oriented to a new place and a new school and then seven days later start my first class. All the while dealing with jet lag and the inevitable bout of migraines I’m going to suffer because of the change in atmospheric pressure/temperature.
Am I whining?
The argument out there about single mothers pulling two jobs and raising her kids and going to school, and I shouldn’t be complaining because, comparatively, I have it easier. All I have to do is go back to Oklahoma and start school. Free room and board (technically). Yes, there are people out there doing that. Because of their circumstances. And I admire them for that. My situation is not that.
I’m overseas, yes. It should only be a matter of packing up and going back. Forgive me if it’s all a bit overwhelming and unexpected. And maybe, just maybe not what I wanted to happen.
My dumbass applied for the Spring semester instead of the summer. Now, I have to live the consequences as much as they might suck and as much as I am looking for a bit of wiggle room within the constraints presented to me.

I suppose I should be used to this sort of thing, the Navy did it to me all the time. 72 hour deployment notices once in country. 48 hour shifts lugging boxes of .50 caliber and M240 parts up and down steep stairwells. Setting up, setting the watch.
But, this isn’t the Navy. And I don’t want my life to be run as if it is any more. I’m tired of the rush. I’m tired of the get up and go. And I’m tired of settling.

Maybe a History degree isn’t what I want for my life. Maybe it’s not the path I wanted to take when I thought about ‘what I want to be when I grow up’, but within that there is wiggle room.
And there’s nothing stopping me from attending two Universities. Full Sail is completely online and offers animation degrees.

Just, in this one thing, this college thing, I want to take a modicum of control and, if at all possible, take a few online courses before I have to uproot myself.

If not, then I’ll have to deal with the transition. But there’s always a chance.


4 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo, College, and what I really want..

  1. Yvonne Hertzberger says:

    I went back to university when I was forty and had two young kids at home. I loved it. And at twenty-five you are not THAT much older than the newbies. You’ll do great. And I love the illustrations. What talent!

    1. rjkeith says:

      Thanks Yvonne! Deep down inside I’m just afraid. It’s new. You figure with a military brat background I’d be used to the ‘get up and go and meet new people in the new place’ thing. Lord knows my mother enjoys it, but me? Not so much any more. I’m excited. But afraid. Granted, I’m 25 and still terrified of the dark…so. There’s that.

  2. JD Mader says:

    I started new schools my whole life (DAD was in the Navy). I also uprooted and went to college with no plans at 18. I wish I’d waited until I was 25. Congrats and don’t let the worrying part ruin the awesome parts (I give myself that advice a lot). 🙂

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