Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On Career Choices, Part Two

Falling back onto what I thought was a solid plan B, my wife and I moved to Texas, hoping that she could find work in her Latin teaching career, and that my molecular biology degree could land me a job in the nearby research labs, especially since we had some contacts that we felt could help us. As it turned out, something I had repeatedly told my friends and family came dreadfully true. A Molecular Biology bachelors isn’t taken seriously unless you have a graduate education, medical or otherwise, to back it up. I was soon out of work, and while we were fortunate enough to have savings and a job for my wife, it was a little discouraging.

Nevertheless, I reapplied to medical school, hoping that this time, as I had started volunteering in the nearby hospitals, I would be more successful. Interviews came and went, and then the long wait came. Medical schools don’t reply right away, and can more or less sit on your application until May or early June of the next year. The phrase “the anticipation is killing me” falls well short of what I was going through.

In the midst of this wait, I decided to finish off a story I had started in Brandon Sanderson’s 318R class at BYU. Sanderson is an incredible author, and I have always been impressed by his work. His class had us writing a new novel, which broke me away from the traditional story I had been slaving on for years, and focused me on something new. It was a horror story set in a fantasy world that I titled Brellan. I soon started pounding away at the fantasy novel I had not yet completed, and managed to finish it by late December.

I had not been writing in the preceding time, what with the stress of moving, reapplying and freaking out over my life’s shortfalls. Starting it up again was like breathing fresh air after being stuck in a cave for months. Another idea for a new novel, this time a science fiction one, popped into my head, and I started in on it. Before I knew it, the first draft of
Wolfhound was quickly taking up more of my time, effort and enthusiasm than Brellan was, and grew into a story that I was much happier with. I finished the first draft around the same time, and put it through a hefty series of revisions. Around the beginning of February, I had a draft I was satisfied could be shown to the public, and allowed my wife to read it. Though she hates sci fi, dislikes space battles in general, and has told me to my face on multiple occasions when she hates my characters and scenes, she liked it and encouraged me to try to publish it.

So at this point, I have had people read through it and give me their opinions, and put it through a few more rewrites. Currently, I am sending out query letters to agents and hoping my efforts there produce a bit more response than my medical aspirations thus far have. At the same time, I’ll be taking the GRE soon, starting to look at master’s degrees in Molecular Biolgy, and continuing to volunteer in a nearby emergency room and wait on the medical schools that are still considering me. Hopefully, I am not trying to juggle too much at once.

So that’s where I am right now, and where I hope to be going. Probably boring to most, but I figure a small update or background might help frame my future posts more clearly. Until next time!


  1. Hey, it was interesting to me. I had been wondering what all the particulars were going on with you. Now I know :)

    Good luck!

  2. It was interesting to me too. I'm kind of in the same boat--graduated and unemployed, and although I don't have a wife to worry about (or to support me, whichever the case may be), I do have a poli sci degree...and an undying hatred of politics. Blegh. We'll see. I think you'll be successful with your writing, though. It might take a while, but I think you'll get there...eventually. =P