So, my book is now all official-like and everything. The launch went well, we filled the shop - okay, the shop wasn't particularly big, but still. Besides Dave and the boys, I had a bunch of friends from work and life. I made a speech - of which I remember very little. I answered a few questions, which I remember even less of, and of course, I signed books. I think signing a queue of books was probably the most fun. I tried to write something a bit meaningful. I really hate receiving a signature which just says something like, 'To Sif, X'. It's so perfunctory and leaves me a little cold considering I bought the book and stood in line for however long. Mind you, I realise if you're somewhat more famous than me - which would really take nothing at all - and have to sign a hundred or more books, you might get a bit bored by it all.
In other news. I submitted a paper proposal for a peer reviewed paper on Friday. If that is accepted and the paper reviews well and is published, I might potentially have had two papers published this year. That would be more than I ever had published in any year of my degree - in fact, it would be more than I had published in the three and a half years I put into the degree. These submissions are basically to get some practice and experience. They are warm up papers, so to speak.
I have plans. I'm hoping to get a few papers published in respected international journals, and approach a university to see if I might possibly have a go at getting a PhD by publication. Now, we might be talking a long time here, but it would be all real-life work. If I can pull this off, I will have properly proven myself as a researcher, and I will have much more than just a thesis to show for my degree.
Eight months out from withdrawing, the trauma and numbness is subsiding and in its place is a rising, red-hot determination. I know I have what it takes to be a researcher and to contribute to the research of Flash Fiction as a form. I know the area needs far more publication in English than is currently available, and I know I have the passion for the format to drive filling that gap.
My next book is also underway and will incorporate Flash with an overarching narrative - this will be the basis of one of my papers. I started paving the way for publication of that book on Thursday. Having met the publishers face-to-face, and having gotten along famously with the publisher's wife, who shares my passion for short forms and all they have to offer both children and adults, I feel the networking on the night was very beneficial. Who knows, I may have happened on a new comradeship as well, maybe.
I'm feeling quite a buzz for what I'm doing, right now, on the writing front. I feel like I haven't had to give up on my plans just because I walked away from the PhD. Oh, by the way... In the end, it turned out there was no problem with me peer reviewing that paper submission last week, so I handed that in on Tuesday. Another little piece of experience under my belt.
It is amazing to me how many doors have opened up since I decided to withdraw from the PhD.
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