The good news is that about 5 months ago, I started working at a new place. I may post more details under f-lock later, but suffice to say that the money, coworkers, and overall environment are now significantly better than they were. In fact, it's exact the sort of place at which I envisioned working as I was finishing school. Career-wise, while I wouldn't call myself completely settled, I do feel that I'm finally starting to reap the rewards of all the dues I've paid since March of 2011, which was when I finally bit the bullet and went back to school.
Here's the thing... At first, I was very busy after I started at the new place - learning the ropes, getting used to the hours, and generally learning the culture as one does when one is just starting a new job, which was my excuse for setting my writing aside for a time.
I also made a number of resolutions when I left my former place for this one, but one of the biggest was to keep my head down, avoid drama as much as possible, and not get too involved with my coworkers' lives. This has served me well.
Very well, actually. So well that my overall stress level has decreased considerably, which is awesome.
Except that apparently, I can't write when I'm happy. So once again, the sequel to "The Perfect Storm" has stalled, which is, naturally, the bad news. Well, that and the bridging chapter, the one that is absolutely essential in order for anything I've written that takes place after it make sense, is nearly 20,000 words of utter dogshit. Thanks to beta reading, it's getting better, but for some reason, the words simply aren't there, the story doesn't flow, and I feel as though I'm leading the characters instead of the other way around, something that I've sworn from the beginning that I wouldn't do.
Long story short - I haven't forgotten, I haven't given up, but I'm really hoping that something terrible doesn't have to happen in order for my muse to return from where it seems to have retreated.
Thank you to everyone who's been so encouraging and patient - it means more to me than I can say.