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Khali’s Corner: Grad School & Writing

Hey, y’all!

This has been a crazy 2 years, and I hope that if you’re reading this, that you are somewhere safe, warm, and feeling loved (and if not, then I love you!) With that being said, I’m starting a small segment called Khali’s Corner where I will give a few updates about myself and what’s been going on with me and my writing. I also feel like doing this every month or so will help me to somehow have a better connection with you as my audience, whether you are visiting because you’re interested in becoming published, or you’re visiting to read the different pieces of art (FYI: books and stories are art), or maybe you just want to know who is behind the curtain of Lemons & Gold Publishing.

The catch to this is that after this Khali’s Corner, you will need to join my email newsletter to keep up with what I am doing every month as a Publisher, a Student, an Author, and so forth (I wear a LOT of different hats in real life!). So, after this blog post, make sure you sign up for our email newsletter for Lemons & Gold Publishing.

As a Student

Most of you all know that I am a student in grad school. I am a full-time student and the reason I’m even typing this is that we’re on break, and I pulled my back, so I can’t do anything else right now but write…which is great! However, grad school is kicking my ass HARD! I am completing my MFA in Creative Writing with Southern New Hampshire University and, I don’t know if it’s due to my neurodiversity, but the workload has been kind of hard in the last 2 semesters. I had a lot of other deaths and changes in my life and family in the past few months and so no matter how much I planned and used my planner and tried to stay on schedule, I just couldn’t get with it this semester. I still got good grades this semsester, my GPA is down to a 3.7 from the 3.9 I had earlier in the year.

So far, my mind has opened up to all the possiblities of what I can participate in, in the literary world. A lot of my classes have been about learning different genres, learning about how to publish stories whether you decide to do traditional publishing, self-publishing, (or join me and get published with a small press!) or do the hybrid route as working with a publisher and deciding on what you want control over, just have them publish for you.

I have realized that I am definitely a Speculative writer. My classmates even agreed unanimously that I am definitely, for sure not a contemporary writer…but I do great work with contemporary elements. I love to write magical stuff, I use a lot of magical realism and science fiction in my work. I thought I was a contemporary writer and it’s the equivalent of saying “I like my coffee in my sugar”, I like having fun in my stories and so I use contemporary elements sometimes to set the story, and then add sprinkles. Lots of them!

I will be going into my second year of grad school in just a few days of writing this post, in January. So there will be updates along the way, every month. I will also be keeping up with the details of my writing projects, especially Scribe because that beloved novel of mine that I have yet to finish, is my thesis for my program. So, I do have to meet word counts with that by different deadlines. So, you’ll be hearing about me army crawling through the house just trying to survive the rest of the year. I will be graduating in October 2022 with my Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Yes, I want to be a Professor.

As an Author & Publisher

Okay…so, I feel this is going to go hand-in-hand with my decision to become a Publisher. So let’s just say it…

We all know how the job market is right now, right? Okay, so I spent the first half of 2021 as an ESL teacher. I was happily teaching kids in China online when life happened and I had to quit the job in June, hoping I could either land another online ESL job or just find a job somewhere. I currently live in the middle of nowhere, Florida, so finding a job in person has been extra hard, and when you’re a person with disabilities, it becomes extra hard to find a job that you can even tolerate…but I tried! A lot of jobs turned out to be scams, a lot of jobs that I used to do I became overqualified for, and there are a lot of jobs pretending that they need help and lying to get it. I got extremely discouraged because it seemed like I would never find anything. 

So, I prayed about it and received the revelation that I have all the skills I need to open my own publishing business. I wasted so much time this year on nonsense, I haven’t been able to read for fun or even enjoy Netflix or anything this year, just be a student and find work. I told myself that I will not be living like that anymore, so I am focused on running my own publishing company and being a full-time grad school student. I have the knowledge now on how to market and do social media marketing and copywriting and SEO for different platforms, I know how to create nice book covers by genre and niche (like the update I did for the Visionary Chronicles? I did that by myself!), I know what makes a good story, I’m a trained editor (I’ve taken a Technical editing class in undergrad, but will complete another editing class in 2022), I have a background in retail & call center work and have always had a position as a trainer, supervisor, or other position of leadership and I love to give valid feedback that will help the person improve, not just opinions, so why not publish other authors and help them find their way as well? So here we are!

As an author, I have been pinpointing my weaknesses as a writer. I’m not that much into worldbuilding, but I make some great fast-paced scenes, I’m great when it comes to creating action and making the reader think twice about what they just read. I like writing to have fun, to entertain, and to learn something…like fables for grown folks.

I was going to write about the 2 projects that I have planned for 2022 coming directly from me, but that will be in another post. I’ll see you there! Be Blessed! (Join the newsletter! Don’t sleep!)

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