Ashley’s Awesome Day

We interrupt this Lyme retrospective to give you breaking news!

I am having an AWESOME day.

Like this. Except, who would wear a dress on a day like that? Talk about chafing…

I’ve been having a lot of trouble with depression for the last… Well, the last year or so, and I’ve been having a tough time lately. But today has been great. And since one of my great joys in life is getting things accomplished, along with talking about myself and my life (don’t we all love that?), and because I’ve been working really hard on internalizing my accomplishments and giving myself credit for them, Imma tell you aaaalll about it.

It started with an unexpected day off. I’m a day-to-day substitute teacher at the moment, and they’re low on subs, so I end up working basically every day that I don’t purposefully take off. So I fully expected to be awakened at 5:30 this morning with a call to sub today. But instead, I got the day off and slept in until 7:30!

All fantastic. Except for the part where I dreamed I was trying to get a bundle of snakes off of me and I kicked my bed and woke myself up…

I had a couple of things to do in town, so I went ahead and got that done this morning, then finally bit the bullet and looked at my readers’ reports. I’ve got a nonfiction book–my revised dissertation–that has been accepted for publication by McFarland for 2017. So I sent in my full manuscript in late July/early August, and they sent it to two readers who are experts in the subject matter (fanfiction). These two readers sent their thoughts and recommendations for revision back to my publisher, who made sure they were entirely anonymous, and sent them on to me on Friday.

Now, I severely dislike revision, I’m very sensitive to criticism, and I’ve got an anxiety disorder that’s been playing up on me alongside the depression. So I REALLY didn’t want to read these reports. I read the brief summaries a couple of days ago, but hadn’t looked at the more in-depth, line-by-line comments the readers put on the manuscript itself. So this morning I finally decided I needed to screw my courage to the sticking place, and I read through them.

Reader 1 was extremely helpful. Most of the problem areas she noted were either things that I knew deep down were problematic (and shouldn’t be THAT hard to fix), or she’s obviously right about them, or they were “you could talk about this!” notes that were usually followed a couple of pages later by, “okay, you did. good.” A couple of her notes even agreed with my writing and made snarky comments, which made me laugh.

Thank you, Reader 1!

Reader 2, while still somewhat helpful, was also a bit annoying, because he (I assume he’s a guy) just really didn’t get certain parts of my argument, or got really defensive about certain gendered arguments (which is why I’m assuming it’s a guy) or like, really didn’t read certain parts carefully. So I can definitely use his comments, especially to find places where I need to be REALLY clear and convincing, but he was a LITTLE annoying. But I shared these little annoyances with Jen, who was online at the time, and snarking about them together really helped. So reading the reader comments wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be.


I wrote up my “plan of attack” for my revisions and my projected timeline, and sent them to my editor, who said everything sounded good. So I’m on my way, and feeling a lot better now that I know the worst, the worst isn’t that bad, and I’ve stopped procrastinating (which was making me feel guilty/anxious about when I was going to get this done).

Feeling relieved and accomplished, I took a lovely little walk, because it’s gorgeous out. I haven’t had enough exercise or sun lately, so that was great.

That’s when this happened.

There were two scholarly articles that Reader 2 suggested I take a look at, and one academic book I wanted to read through for more material. Getting these things is a bit of a problem: when I was enrolled in grad school, I’d just get the book from my college library or through its interlibrary loan service, and get the articles off of the library database. But since I’m no longer enrolled (and thus can’t sign in to the databases)–or even living in the same state as my latest school!–all these avenues were closed to me. I’ve got cards for two college libraries, though: a guest card for Shippensburg University, in my hometown, and an alumna card for Wilson, which is right down the road. So I did a bit of research. Turns out that my Wilson card, which was free, is a heck of a lot more useful than my Ship card, for which I paid $10 and which is only good for like a year. At both schools I would have to go to the physical library to use the databases, but there’s like ZERO parking at Ship, and there’s plenty of guest parking at Wilson with shorter walks across its smaller (and prettier!) campus. Also, while neither school has the book I want, Ship won’t let me use their interlibrary loan and Wilson will. So as soon as I ate lunch, I drove up to Chambersburg to Wilson.

It took me less than five minutes to order/email to myself the stuff I needed, and then I thought, I might as well take advantage of being here, since it was a half hour drive! I hadn’t been in the Wilson college library since they’d build on the new wing, so I walked around and explored, taking stereographic photos (these are 3D photos, which you can take with a normal camera if you know the technique. I have a whole Tumblr dedicated to my stereograms, and here’s how to view them: it involves crossing your eyes).


Cool view, huh?

In the basement of the library they have a small store, and I bought a t-shirt because I’ve always wanted one with the Wilson Phoenix on it. I also went over to the new science building, which I’ve only been in like twice before, and took some stereograms there too, including a couple of the horse skeleton!



I ran into one of my old English profs while I was there, and while I only got to talk to her for a minute before she had to hurry off to a meeting, it was really nice that she knew that I’d graduated and published my first book in the last few months!

Finally, I headed off of campus. On the way to the interstate I saw a Five Below that I’ve been meaning to check out for awhile–I’d never been in one before. So I thought Why not? and headed in. Bought a tie with rainbows and a pegasus on it, a display thing for some jewelry for my next couple of craft shows, and three bottles of fingernail polish–something I haven’t bought in literally years. On the way home I stopped at Sheetz and got a free coffee with a coupon: a Cinnabon mocha frappe. And yes, it did taste like Cinnabons. And was super, super sweet–almost too sweet.

Now I’m back home putting my photos together into stereograms and watching Limitless on Netflix. All in all, an excellent day! I’ve taken tomorrow off for a doctor’s appointment, as well as having a counseling session in the afternoon. Then Wednesday, I’m only working half a day–in the afternoon, so I can sleep in! I’ll probably work Thursday, and then Friday I’m driving out to Bryn Mawr to see Jen and wear the AWESOME Elizabeth Bennet costume she made me for our friend Carrie’s Halloween party! *dances*

So that was my Exceptional, Fine, Magnificent, Capital Day. 😛


And here’s one more picture of the horse skeleton, marching into your nightmares…

Get it? Night-MARES? Teehee.


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