Storming again today –…

Storming again today -- the snow is coming down in vast sweeping gusts, or like rain; it makes me a little regretful that I promised to go to a grad student conference planning meeting this evening, since it would be a very good day to just stay inside with pyjamas and hot chocolate. Oh well -- I did promise. It'll be okay.

I got some very pleasant news this morning; they've accepted that proposal for ICFA, though we may end up tweaking it some before I try to write the paper. I'm exceedingly pleased; it's my first academic conference, and it makes me feel just a little bit like an academic, instead of like a student. If any of you happen to have been to ICFA, or any academic conference, and can give me an idea what to expect, that would be great. I'm excited, but also nervous. Also trying to budget carefully; my department will cover airfare, but not registration or hotel. I'm hoping to find someone(s) to share a room with; we'll see.

On another front, I think I'm going to send "A Gentle Man" out somewhat widely this time around. Heather C recommended Zoetrope, and I'm sending it to them (though it does bug me a little that they get movie option as part of the package), but their response time is five months. I'm getting impatient in my old age; I'm going to simultaneously submit (noting it on all the cover letters, of course). Now I just need to figure out where to submit to. If you have any additions/comments for my literary market list, now would be a great time. :-)

Time is crunching tighter and tighter as we get towards Christmas. Suddenly it feels like there's just no time left, and it's making me nervous -- at the same time, I love this time of year, and I refuse to just turn it all over to work work work, dangit. Here's an idea of what sorts of things are coming up in the next weeks:

  • today - 11/19: First revision of "Sister Mary", send it out for more comments, start post-co paper, grade all those leftover quizzes, revise Soros application and send it out, write Herotica afterword; book all the ICFA stuff

  • 11/20 - 11/26: Pre-Thanksgiving dinner with local folks; do a draft of postco paper; finish rewriting "Sister Mary"; see Tom/Roshani/Zoe briefly, ditto Kevin; Thanksgiving with folks; drive to New York and meet David's folks; stay with Alex; dinner with Shmuel

  • 11/27 - 12/2: Return to SL, grade 50 research papers, keep working on postco paper if time; do first revision of "The Emigrant", send out for more comments

  • 12/3 - 12/10: Finish postco paper, finish revision of "The Emigrant", grade 50 revision papers; host a little Christmas party, hand in final grades

  • 12/11: Go to Chicago for a week with Kevin; duplicate CD (and possibly record second CD). It gets much slower after 12/11 -- getting to that date intact is the challenge. :-)

I have to apologize for how list-ish the journal has gotten lately; making these lists helps me clear my thoughts, so I hope you'll indulge me. I think it's all manageable; a lot of the things I have to do are finishing-up things, not starting-new things, so they shouldn't take much time. But I'm a little afraid that there are just so many things that I'll forget something important.

I know people worry a little about me, and about how frantic my life is. They shouldn't, really. This is what grad school is like; being busy suits me to a T, and it's so incredibly much better doing work I like doing -- I can't tell you. I was on the phone with my mother a few days ago, and she asked how I was and I said I was busy but happy and she said really? And the best way I could explain it to her was that I spent years waking up and dreading going to work -- not every day, but at least one day a week, and I never really looked forward to work. I was constantly fighting the urge to call in sick and stay home, even though I got paid by the hour and really couldn't afford to not work. There are still days when I'm tired or overwhelmed or feeling in over my head, of course, but I look forward to my work now -- whether it's writing or teaching or editing or some other aspect of all this... That makes such a difference in my world.

4:00. Boy, it's tough to motivate sometimes. I'm not sure where the day has gone. I did finish reading the last novel for post-co, Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia. Smart, sharp and funny -- I think it would really upset my parents, and a lot of immigrants from their generation. I'm not sure, though. After that, I spent a while updating the literary markets list, sending out requests for guidelines, and doing cover letters for "A Gentle Man". I'm sending it out to eight markets tomorrow (I'm going to go to campus to copy it, since that'll be cheaper than doing it at home -- my printer gobbles toner). I read a few more essays from Sex and Single Girls. Ummm...that's it, I think. Most of the apartment's still a mess, several of the items on the todo list are undone; I don't know how this happens, really. Is okay, though. I'll live.

The snow has stopped, and we have blue skies again (mostly). It's very pretty outside, I must say. Even if I'm not a huge fan of winter, I do like the way the changing seasons so dramatically affects the appearance of the outside world. Especially from inside a nice warm apartment (though I just got the gas bill, which reminded me that I don't really need it to be 75 degrees indoors. I have lots of sweaters. :-)

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