We’re getting really…

We're getting really tired over here. It's not the complete-falling-down exhaustion of the first three months with new baby, when you're just trying to survive on way too little interrupted sleep. Most nights, I get at least six solid hours now. But we've just had a long run of three or four weeks now with both Kevin and I busy not just during the week, but on weekends too. Almost no downtime -- I haven't had any time to knit (either on my own or in the weekly knitting group) for the past month, and I've only had about six hours for recreational reading in that same month, which is not NEARLY enough for my sanity.

It's almost over, I know. One more week of classes. And I don't want to complain too much about the long stretch of super-busy, because many of the reasons for the business are good reasons. Well, not the vast piles of grading, or the brutal cold that knocked each one of us out for about ten days. But the visit from Kevin's parents was good busy, and the AWP conference, and the choosing of house colors, and the LUCES conference yesterday. That last one was particularly fun. (If any of the attendees are stopping by the blog -- hi! Great meeting you all, and I wish I could've stayed longer.)

I was keynote speaker yesterday for LUCES (the Loyola University women of color conference), and it was both fun and a little scary. So many impressive young women! And I'm old enough to be their mother. I was simultaneously so proud of them, and also feeling a little under-ambitious and under-accomplished. At their age, I wasn't double majoring in anything, and I certainly wasn't giving up my valuable lounge-around-dorm-with-boyfriend time to go to conferences that might further my professional goals. I didn't HAVE any professional goals. It was years and years before I even started thinking about professional goals, which is a little bizarre, in retrospect. Did I just think the perfect career would just fall into my lap? Umm...yes. It took me almost decade of temp secretarial jobs to convince me that a fun and rewarding career wasn't just going to appear out of nowhere, and that perhaps I should take a few steps to make one happen. In any case, attending the conference yesterday firmed up my resolve (which okay, was already pretty firm) that I am damn well going to finish at least one book this summer, come hell or high water. I'm a writer, right? That means I have to write things. And hopefully publish them too.

And to that end, here's a little weekend present for you. One of my fantasy stories, a background piece for my YA fantasy novel that several of you expressed an interest in reading, has just been published online at Abyss & Apex. So please, stop by, read. And if you like it, you might consider donating a dollar or two to the magazine. You know I'm a big fan of supporting online magazines. :-)

Would love to know if you're read it, and what you thought! Would be super-motivating to get me to actually write the YA fantasy this summer (hint hint). :-) Writers love them some feedback.

5 thoughts on “We’re getting really…”

  1. Just posted a comment on Facebook ’cause I couldn’t remember which entry here you’d linked to the story from, but now I see it’s this one, so I’ll comment here too:

    Good story! I particularly liked the ending, and this line:

    “What kind of princess am I, if I can’t even protect my people?”

    I also like the mix of magic and (military) technology; I don’t see that often in fantasy. And, of course, the embedding in South Asian cultural stuff.

    I definitely think this’ll make a good book; looking forward to reading it.

  2. This story is really wonderful, Mary Anne. I suppose it is not the same YA novel you started several years ago and then stopped? I definitely want to see how this all works out.

  3. I love this story. The chess match and conversation with Ezi’s father, the elephant’s perspective, the natural constraints of political and supernatural powers, and an ending that makes me wish the novel existed already because this feels like a first chapter I could pass around to friends as a gateway drug.

    And Madhuri and Ezi as a pair have so much potential!

  4. Glad y’all like it! To be clear, this is definitely not the first chapter of the novel — this is backstory that won’t appear in the actual book, I’m pretty sure. A little bonus peek into the world. The main story is told from the viewpoint of two characters from our world who get pulled into this one.

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