I don’t know if I can really explain all the thoughts swirling through my mind, so I apologize in advance if this just sounds like a mess.

As you may have seen, I turned 30 recently. This birthday called for some self-reflection, but even before the new decade I was starting to notice differences in myself. Some of which scare me a little and I am not entirely sure how to process.

First off, I have spent the past few years working on a novel that I want to be the novel I start my young adult writing career with. I recently queried four agents and one editor for said novel, and after two quick no’s (one which gave detailed feedback) and receiving feedback from the most recent SCBWI Midsouth conference, I realized it wasn’t quite as ready as I thought it was. Still. After so much time. I went back to the drawing board.

Yet life has interrupted a lot. I mean, yes, there are definitely times I could have sat down and edited and I didn’t. I won’t promise I have used all of my time efficiently, but I also can’t deny that I have legitimately been a lot more busy lately with responsibilities that currently take precedence over writing.

My reading time has suffered too. I’ve read hardly any outside my lunch hour at work, and even that reading has been truncated with errands or going out to eat or catching up with work. Oh, and then let’s not talk about the fact that I’m suddenly feeling kind of worn out on YA, which feels kind of problematic when that’s when I want to write. I’m not sure what has caused this exactly, but sometimes I wonder if it’s that number 30. I have always firmly believed that you can read YA until you’re 100 if you want to, so why these sudden feelings?

But maybe it is just burn-out. Because then today I went to Barnes and Noble to explore not my typical YA section, but the children’s section. I browsed all the picture books to find the perfect ones to get for my friends’ daughter’s upcoming birthday and it was just wonderful. I knew it wasn’t literature geared for me, but seeing just the delightful concepts and the art and the creativity was a breath of fresh air.

And really my whole day was like that, doing things outside my routine. Going out for breakfast. Going to a local coffee shop. Things like that. All in a cooler temp we haven’t gotten much of lately. It’s been a refreshing day overall. (Except when I came home and opened boxes I’ve neglected for months and remembered how much crap I have that I need to get rid of. HA.)

Back to my novel though, I’ve been worried lately that I’m not going to make it work. But I don’t want to give up before querying more because I have only queried 5 freaking people and I haven’t even heard back from 3 of them (though with the amount of time that has passed that’s not promising). There is still a chance. But I’ve already been hit with self-doubt. They aren’t kidding when they talk about perseverance being the key to getting published. If I lose hope that quickly it’s not going to happen. I do have to keep going.

But I think it’s OK to step back sometimes and do things outside the norm. Maybe I should spend a little time on a new story, read something other than YA, and just do different life things in general. Earthbound will still be there when I’m ready for it. It really is OK if I don’t get an agent this year or next year, and I have to remember that. It’s even OK if I change my mind (if I do it FOR REAL and not because I’m scared… but after changing all my social media names to have YA in them I would kind of like to stick to that, ha ha). Sometimes priorities change and that’s OK so long as you’re not neglecting the most important things, like family.

So no, I don’t know where I’m going exactly. But I know that the not-knowing is not something to be scared about. It’s important to hustle, but it’s also extremely important to rest. So for now, I just may need to reset.

My Top 5 Episodes of DS9 Season Five & Voyager Season Three

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene. See her favorite episodes of Deep Space Nine Season 5 and Voyager Season 3

Deep Space Nine, Season Five

5. In The Cards


This is a fun episode before everything goes to heck, where Nog and Jake do favors for members of the station’s crew in exchange for something that will help them obtain a rare baseball card for Captain Sisko.

3-4. In Purgatory’s Shadow and By Inferno’s Light


In this epically named two-parter, we find out Bashir has been swapped for a Changeling, who Garak’s father is, and just how tough of a warrior Worf is.

2. Dr. Bashir, I Presume?


I was a big Bashir fan from the moment I first saw him in TNG, and it makes me sad that Alexander Siddig doesn’t like this episode and the direction it took his character. While I enjoyed the overly enthusiastic, young doctor, I feel this episode really makes his character richer and more complex.

1. Trials and Tribble-ations


There’s just no contest. Everything about this homage is pure perfection. I could fangirl over it all day.

Voyager Season Three

5. Worst Case Scenario


This is a fun one where we get to see how the Voyager crew would have responded to a Maquis coup on board the ship.

3-4. Future’s End, Parts One and Two


I mean, what’s not to love about Voyager traveling back in time to 1996 and Tuvok’s do-rag?

2. Blood Fever


This one definitely has awkward moments but the relationship development that takes place is everything.

1. Before and After


Something about this episode just sticks with me. It’s an interesting look at alternate timelines and seeing Kes’ life play out completely differently.

What are your favorite episodes from these shows’ seasons?