Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year, New Industrious Hygienist

Sincere apologies for the months-long delay between posts. I don't really have an excuse, except the last few months have been busy with work, writing, and attempting to learn how to use my new manga markers. I'm stuck trying to figure out what this blog should become, now that I'm not consulting anymore. 

  • Is it yet another "life as a professor" blog? (meh, we don't really need more of those) 
  • Is it me trying to become a manga artist and posting my awful art that slowly becomes better and more my style? (maybe, but the internet doesn't deserve that right now)
  • Is it more sock puppets? (these take a ton of work/time, so I hope not)
  • Is it (please say it isn't) another "I want to be a writer, so I'm writing about writing instead of actually finishing my own work" blog? (nope)
  • Is it my random thoughts on safety and human factors? (sometimes, probably)

When I figure out what this blog is, I'll feel a bit less anxious about it just sitting on the internet, gathering a tiny amount of views. I'm more or less over drawing the Industrious Hygienist (#industrioushygienist) mangas for now. While there are a ton of consulting malarkey stories I still need to tell, I'm not a good enough manga-ka right now to do them justice. Plus, as I've noted before, I'm still slow at the drawing, inking, and coloring, so each 8.5"x11" page takes me 6 to 8 hours from start to finish. Currently, I don't have that kind of time on the weekends. 

My point of pride for the end of the year: I went on a Naruto (#naruto) and Bleach (#bleach) anime spree over winter break. I'll blame the fact that I was sick for 8 days right after winter break started and I'd submitted grades for my classes. Trying to figure out the jutsu hand seals while hopped up on Day-Quil is ... funny and surprisingly difficult. Turns out that I am not very coordinated on cold medication. It was strange to try and explain to my parents and grandparents that I was not just "watching cartoons" and this is completely normal behavior for adults in Japan.

As is my habit, I like to spend New Year's Eve doing something I don't normally have time to do, while pondering how the year went. I started out drawing one of my characters from a short story, but it somehow became a manga of me. I didn't realize it until I was drawing the necklace, so that was sort of weird, but nice to be in the "flow" of the art. The new markers are fun to use!

The Industrious Hygienist in her "professor" look.
Yes, that is a flannel shirt - we're in the PNW, after all.

In 2017, I accomplished or learned the following: 

  • I'm officially a published author - thanks to @dreamingrobotpress for their awesome 2018 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide and the opportunity to share my short story, "On the Lam on Luna" with middle grade readers.
  • I submitted another short story yesterday to the 2019 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide. It was co-written by me and the exceptional spouse, and is awesome. We hope they like it. 
  • I started a doctorate in March 2017 and have completed 3 classes so far. It's a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Health Professions from A.T. Still University. I have all A's so far, but am dreading the quantitative analysis (statistics) course.
  • I started my second year of working as an Assistant Professor of Safety and Health Management at Central Washington University. Contrary to what I believed last year, the second year has not been easier and I've been working harder than ever. 
  • I bought almost 4 hours of J-pop music (mostly songs from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Naruto, Bleach, and Vampire Knight) and have the tunes and sounds memorized. Now on to trying to learn some Japanese.
  • I bought a new oven (ours died a slow death) and am not worried about giving myself food poisoning from undercooked food anymore. 
  • I started exercising at least four times a week, getting up at 5:30am to be ready for work by 8:00am. Imagine me on a mini-trampoline, watching anime while I jump around like a goofball. I've been boxing too, which is a very satisfying experience.
  • Over the summer, I completed the first draft of a historical fiction novel co-written by me and the exceptional spouse. The spouse has it now, and after a merry game of tug of war about whether I would give him the actual manuscript to track changes on, he is making edits and finding ways to improve the scenes. More on this when it is done and ready for Kindle...
  • I spoke at Safety 2017 (annual professional development conference for the American Society of Safety Engineers) with a colleague. Our proposal to speak was not accepted for 2018, so I'll be staying home from conferences next year. I plan to spend the entire summer writing, drawing, and playing the piano, violin, and clarinet. Maybe a little bit of class preparation, but only enough to not feel stressed when fall quarter starts again.

There are probably some other things that I've forgotten to list, but those are the big ones. My realistic goals for 2018 are to: 1) keep getting A's in my doctorate classes, 2) finish the historical fiction book(s), 3) keep exercising, 4) take a real vacation with the exceptional spouse, and 5) figure out what this blog is going to be. Perhaps I'll also determine my manga style and get better at drawing with some more practice.