The day is much…

The day is much improved. I watched a few recorded sit-coms; Frasier was particularly good. I wasn't getting sleepy, though my mood was improving. So around 6:30 I turned off the tv and made two eggs over easy, toast, tea, hot and sweet and milky. A fortifying breakfast. I lit a few candles to help me focus, put on some music (an Elgar cello concerto), and then opened up a story file. An hour later, I've finished second draft revisions on the story (now called "Tightness in the Chest") -- yay! I've copied it into the dissertation manuscript, and I think it's basically ready to send out too. I have rejections sitting on my desk from Yale Review and Kenyon Review, so I suspect one of them will get this. Will have to check the submission list. It'll be good to send a few stories out soon -- that's what I'll work on next.

It's very motivating, having the dissertation manuscript laid out. This is what the TOC looks like right now:

Bodies in Motion

(very tentative title)

Part One - The Journey Inwards

  • * Savitha
  • Minal in Winter
  • * Bodies in Motion
  • * Ramesh's Story
  • * The Light at Dawn
  • * Lulu's Husband
  • * Lakshmi's Diary
  • * Colombo, Oxford, Boston, Chicago
  • * Pieces of the Heart
  • * The Princess in the Forest

Part Two - The Return

  • Seven Cups of Water
  • * Sister Mary
  • Raksha's Story (unwritten)
  • * A Gentle Man
  • * The Emigrant
  • Ashok's Story (unwritten)
  • Vincent's Story (unwritten)
  • Tightness in the Chest
  • * Challah
  • Monsoon Day

Genealogy (for reference -- contains spoilers)

The starred items are the unrevised; as you can see, I have quite a few revisions left to do. I'm not entirely sure all of these will make it in -- I'm pretty sure "Challah" will be cut, and possibly the entire "Ramesh's Story", "The Light at Dawn", "Lulu's Husband" sequence (in part because they're weaker stories, in part because they draw a little too specifically on some actual events in someone else's life; stories I don't have permission to tell). It's hard for me to tell what should stay and what should go -- but that's why I'm putting this together for Katie and Francois -- so they can see the overall shape and help me do some appropriate pruning and restructuring. I'm excited about it, though!

I think I'll work on "Colombo..." next -- if I remember right, it's pretty close to done too, and I'm going from more finished to less finished, so I can give them as many stories in final shape as I can, given the time constraints. I'm not going to drive myself crazy, trying to rewrite all of them in time -- I've been working so hard for so long, that I not only want to take it easier for a while -- I need to. So I will. :-)

4 thoughts on “The day is much…”

  1. Hm? Nick, are you just teasing me?

    In case you’re somehow serious, I’ll answer that a few of the stories are pretty sexual — most notably “Seven Cups of Water” — and lots of them revolve around sexuality and/or marriage, but many aren’t explicit at all, and one or two don’t have any sex, and overall, they’re at least supposed to be literary fiction. 🙂

  2. According to their website, Kenyon’s not reading again until 9/2004. (They’ve got an amusing David Kirby poem up at today, so I figured I’d check their guidelines while I was at it.)

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