Friday, March 10, 2017

I Swear, I Haven't Died... Which Is Kind of a Surprise.

Hello everyone! I realize, as evidenced by the dust swirling around my blog's header, that it has been a bit since I have been on here. (Yes, yes, I know. Bad author! No author cookies for you!)

First, thank you to everyone who read Life is a Roller Derby Run by a Sphinx, the feedback I have gotten has been rad!

One Amazon customer wrote, "This is the first book I've read by Hawn, and I loved it. Her wit, sense of imagery, and use of irony carried through each story. While I typically don't read short story compilations, I enjoyed her most recent installment from cover to cover. Whether I was looking for a quick break between studying, or comedic relief during a long work day, or to snuggle up with a good read before bed, "Life is a Roller Derby..." hit the mark story after story."


So why has it taken me so long to post on this blog again? To be truthful, life over the past few months kind of hit me like a tsunami comprised of hornets and terrible European club music. 

What have I been up to? Well, here a few bits and pieces.

1. I've been kidnapped by a project known as a thesis. 

I'm not sure when it happened, I don't exactly remember it happening. But somewhere in the midst of trying to complete this Master's Degree I was knocked over the head and awoke to find myself writing a 220 page monster of research and academic integrity. 

Just One Draft of the Monster
The thesis itself, which is on portrayals of women in domestic roles in American advertising, has taken a majority of my free time in the past few months. Not only because to get a decent data set I ended up watching over 2,000 American TV commercials (I will never get some of those jingles out of my head), but then I had to write about them. 

It got to the point where I had done so much research and writing that Word popped up with one of those "helpful hints" while I was editing one day suggesting I "Justify the Text," and I lost it, ranting at my computer screen about my 9 pages of sources and the research I had done, before it dawned on me what it was actually asking for. Thank heavens I defend next week.

2. I've been working 4 jobs. 

Education isn't cheap. And in a bid not to be in debt for the rest of my natural life (and maybe even after I've died), I have been working on average 50 to 60 hours a week on top of my Master's Program work to both pay tuition, and, you know, eat. 

The picture, by the way, is from a security gig that I worked out in Arizona's heat. Your eyes are not deceiving you, my shoes melted, like the Wicked Witch of the West, to the pavement.

3. I've been competing as a sponsored athlete. 

As I have written about previously, I am a Highland Games athlete. For those who don't know what that is, I put on a kilt and throw heavy things. Sometimes I throw them far, sometimes I throw them high, sometimes they get stuck on my shirt and I throw myself with them, but I make heavy things move. 

This past year I was picked up for sponsorship by D.W.A. Lifestyle (D.W.A. standing for Determination, Willpower, Attitude). Over the past year I have competed in Highland Games competitions throughout Arizona and several other states. It has been a fun and wild ride thus far, but a lot of work. 

4. I got into a PhD Program!

I have spent the last several months pouring my efforts into applying for PhD programs, and it paid off. I will be starting a PhD program in Communication at the end of this summer!

5. I have been volunteering at a community garden that provides food to homeless shelters. 

This past year I discovered that I'm actually not terrible at gardening (this is surprising since I come from a long line of herbicidal maniacs).  

But hey! I managed to actually grow zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, peppers and a variety of other veggies and herbs and no one (including myself) died! It's like a sign of the Apocalypse.  

This of course is not an exhaustive list of my activities over this past year, but I think provides at least a snapshot of why, maybe, just maybe, I may have let this blog slide. 

Going forward, I promise to try to post more regularly, however, I cannot promise it will be with the weekly regularity it once was. However, if you are wanting to still follow my adventures (of which I have many) follow me on Instagram (@Atillathehawn), Twitter (@AllisonHawn) and Facebook! My books can also be found on Amazon!