Two years. That's how long it's been since I last wrote a bit of of fiction. Let the taste of that roll around in your mouth a bit. Kind of bitter, eh? I was going to school for an MBA at night and on weekends, while working and generally being a member of my family. There was simply no room to write for fun and maintain any level of sanity. All the writing since the spring of 2011 involved term papers, case studies, threaded discussions, and the like. Ask me about APA format. I may begin to twitch.
I attended Centenary College here in New Jersey, and though it was relatively local, I chose to complete my studies online via the ol' Interwebs. I figured it would fit into my pretty busy schedule. Little did I know just how much more work would be involved with doing it online. The advisor warned me - she said would be a lot more writing. She wasn't kidding. It was a lot more everything. Look at it this way. Most working adults who go for an advanced degree the traditional way spend three hours per week in a classroom, plus time on homework and team assignments. When you do it online, they want to make sure you put in the same amount of time or more. Definitely more.
On a rainy Saturday in May, I walked beneath and out Centenary's hallowed gates of learning, adorned in a cap & gown - a weird master's degree gown. There was a guy with a really big scepter, and a troupe of musicians dressed in colonial-era garb playing the processional. The honorary degrees were given out, and one honoree -- a Centenary graduate some 70 years prior -- talked of "courtin' and sparkin'" on the one piece of furniture that remained from her days at the school. The keynote speaker was... I can't even describe it. Let's just say the dean had to interrupt the fellow. The graduates were ultimately brought on stage - there were a lot of students graduating with a B.S. in Equine Studies - curious about the overall demand in that field. At the very end, they hooded me, and with a handshake and a smile, I walked off with my fake diploma. The real one should arrive in the mail soon.
It has been two years since I last thought about zombie mermaids. That's twenty-four months since I indulged the voices in my head. Would those voices come back? The other night, I dusted off Ghost Fishing, reread much of it, and found myself editing the crap out of it. It turns out those voices never left. It turns out.... those voices are cranky. They have turned into Jeff Dunham's, Walter.