New Life, New Chapter… In Sterling

So, I haven’t been ignoring you. I promise. Life just takes unusual and often unexpected turns on its way to finally deciding to tell you what your fate is in life.

Take me for example. Shortly after my wedding to the beautiful Megan (formerly Cunningham) Graff, we needed to get to Sterling to move into our apartment so we could have things ready by the time she started her career as a music education teacher at the Lone Star School. If you haven’t heard of it, not many people have. It’s in between Sterling and Otis, nestled in a sea of cornfields. Last year it boasted a record enrollment of 117 students.

But, that’s where she is teaching as of the 23rd of August. I, on the other hand, am currently looking for work. The two good looking prospects so far are: Gamestop and The Buckle. One lets me glut my inner child, and the other will let me put my salesmanship to work and get me extra perks. I’m not sure which would be cooler at this point.

I will also start school at Northeastern Junior College in the following week. Thankfully, most of my credits from Pikes Peak Community College transferred over. Otherwise that would be the third time I’m starting from square one in my post high-school education. A word to all you college students: This is not a path you want to take. There are a number of classes I had to retake simply because one college didn’t like the other. Blasted colleges not getting along. If I had my way, I’d send them to time out while the colleges that could play together got cookies. Just saying.

And, as if a Victorian apartment, college, and a hot wife weren’t enough, I’ll also be working with the folks at Sarah Brown Publishing for the release of Hallow Terrace, book two in the Juniper Crescent series. I’m pretty excited for this one. Juniper Crescent is a pretty big world. So much so, that I couldn’t tell it all using Oksanya, bless her heart. So I get to introduce you to Kora. She’s the tough girl who doesn’t take crap from anyone. Kinda like my little sister, only Kora’s mixed with a lion and didn’t join the navy.

Some of you are reading this and are still stuck with the question “Where is Sterling, anyway?” Well, imagine that the screen you are reading this on is the state of Colorado. Denver is about where the Twitter box is. Now look at the red X that closes this window.

Don’t actually close the window.

That’s… more or less where Sterling is. It has all the landscape wonders of Kansas, while still being a part of colorful Colorado. Last time I checked, the city had about fifteen thousand people living in it.

I guess what bugs me the most about a city like this is the lack of variety. There’s only three stores to get groceries at. There’s Walmart (of course), Sunmart (it’s the dwarf love child of Safeway and Sunflower Market), and Grocery Mart (it’s a flickering light away from a horror flick.) While it’s pretty cool that two of the three are within biking distance, I kinda miss having Asian markets, Latino markets, and my personal favorite, Bargain Mart (think Aldi but cooler. They have Take 5 bars all the time for dirt cheap.)

Despite the lack of grocery store variety, the inner writer is pleased. Here, there are less distractions. True I do have a wife, hopefully a job, and college, but this is very much the same setting that spurred Juniper Crescent into existence. While I loved Colorado Springs, there’s just too much there. I was living with a fully stocked kitchen and an even more fully stocked entertainment center. I could go for weeks and not say that I accomplished anything aside from work and listening to another great book on CD. (I’m currently on Alcatraz versus the Knights of Crystallia. Totally worth it.)

Out here, there isn’t that same distraction. There aren’t all the voices and things wanting my attention. I have time to sit and write. I don’t have a PS3, or an XBOX, or cable, or a bazillion movies. Megan and I have a PS2, but the only games we have are DDR (hot date, let me tell you.) Otherwise, it’s for movies.


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