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When Life Hits Hard

by Carlton Hughes, KCWC Planning Committee Member

I had a moment about a year ago. I had signed up to attend a writers conference, and it was about a month before the event was scheduled to begin.

People were flooding the conference Facebook page with all the things they were doing to get ready for the conference.

“I’ve been working on my notebook, compiling everything in it.”

“My one sheets are complete for the multiple projects I am pitching.”

“I’ve just finished my latest proposal, ready to go for my conference appointments!”

Meanwhile, I was over here in the recliner like, “Today I answered 50 emails, graded a bunch of papers, had a virtual meeting in which numerous students gave speeches, and ate a bunch of M&Ms in between. Word.”

I guess you could call me a “Bi-Vocational Writer.” That sounds important, doesn’t it? It means I have a day job because I enjoy luxuries like electricity, food, and a roof over my head. I definitely feel called to write, but I also feel called to my job as a college professor—not to mention, the prof gig pays those bills.

Because I am teacher, I measure time in “school years,” August to May. This year has been one for the books, like none I have ever experienced.

Fall semester was business as usual: teaching at three different course sites, pulled in so many directions I felt like Stretch Armstrong at a ‘70s birthday party. Then the spring semester happened.

I started that semester bedridden with an injury. I was on medical leave for five weeks, still conducting my classes online. I was able to return to the classroom and the traveling for three weeks before the pandemic forced a move to remote instruction, which made me busier than ever, albeit at home, trying to keep up with everything.

In the midst of all the madness, I have been able to do some writing—devotionals for a project, pieces for this blog, posts for another blog, and other stuff for local publications. Oh yeah, I also had a book to release in the chaos, but that’s fodder for another blog post. It’s been anything but easy, but, in my weakness, God has been strong.

I know this hectic, crazy-wacky year represents a season in my life, and it won’t always be this way. I see being bi-vocational as a blessing, as my day job and other things in my life give me PLENTY of writing material. I may not have a lot of extra time, but, boy, do I have stories ready to tell!

Carlton Hughes is a KCWC Planning Committee Member, and will teach a workshop at the 2020 online conference for “newbies.” Carlton’s work has been featured in Let All Nature Sing, a 365-day devotional from Worthy Publishing, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game. Carlton is KCWC’s blog administrator, and  a regular contributor to two blogs, and He has won awards for playwriting from Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and for his work in children’s ministry from the Church of God denomination. In his day job, Carlton is a professor of communication at Southeast Kentucky Community College and a site coordinator for the dual credit program at Harlan County High School. He is the children’s pastor at Lynch Church of God and a year-round volunteer and Relay Center Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child. He and his wife Kathy have two sons, Noah and Ethan. Carlton is a fan of chocolate, good books, basketball, and classic television shows like “I Love Lucy.”

Carlton’s most recent book is “Adventures in Fatherhood: A Devotional” published in April 2020 by Ellie Claire Gifts. Click the book cover photo for a link on Amazon. This would be a fabulous Father’s Day gift!

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