I’m in…

I'm in head-down-crunch-mode, my munchkins, so expect all quiet on this front for a bit. Between packing and Kriti planning (had a good meeting last night) and student packet responses and book promotion and and and I don't even know what but there seems to be an awful lot of it, I'm pretty much in go-mode from the time I get up until the time I go to sleep. Next week, Marjorie should be giving back her novel comments, so we add revision to the list. But packing should be done by then, and unpacking isn't nearly as urgent a process. We close on the new condo Monday (handing over a scary amount of money to strangers), and the movers come on Thursday. Eep.

I'm trying to keep a space open for a daily hour of exercise (Dance Dance Revolution is proving popular in this household, though we had to replace the dance mat), but other than that, it's pretty much work all the time. Thank goodness for takeout, since there's certainly no time to cook. Thai food for the last few days, stuffed pizza last night, and today I'm taking the last of my mother's food out of the freezer. At times like this, it's incredibly comforting to have your mother's curries waiting for you. I'm generally sleeping like normal again, at least, so while I'm tired, I'm no longer utterly exhausted and weepy. A definite improvement.

I'll note that Justine Larbalestier's post about mid-career writers sums up how I feel right now, even though by some definitions, I'm still a novice. (HarperCollins keeps publicizing my "debut" -- it is to laugh.) That WisCon discussion was incredibly useful to me, and it just wasn't a conversation we could have had with a lot of beginners and neo-pros in the room. It would have felt tacky. Sort of like fretting about whether your son's going to pull up his grades enough to keep from flunking out of high school, while your best friend is forty-two and desperately trying to get pregnant. Two valid sets of concerns, that just don't mix so well.

One of the things I realized was that my stress is not just a matter of being overbooked right now (though I am) -- it has a lot more to do with feeling like the stakes have been raised incredibly high (in a variety of fashions -- writerly, politically, etc.) I was content with the incremental little progressions to my career over the last ten years. Now I feel like I'm on a swing and someone just keeps shoving me higher and higher and higher and while I admit to being something of an adrenaline junkie, there also comes a point where the terror of abrupt descent outweighs the thrill of ascent.

Can we please slow this thing down?

5 thoughts on “I’m in…”

  1. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    It’s more the political than the literary stakes that are worrying me, I think. I mean, I could be writing nice children’s books, still good, but not potentially problematic in any way. In theory. It sounds less stressful, anyway…

    I should just write a long entry explaining all the political stuff that’s worrying me, but I HAVE NO TIME! Eep.

  2. > Can we please slow this thing down?

    That was my exact reaction to being on a couple of award ballots this year. Truly inordinate terror and dismay. And it does feel like it’s really tacky for me to complain about it!

  3. I’m on my second draft of a children’s picture book. It’s the hardest writing I’ve done so far. You have to use short sentences to create emotional resonance. I think children’s books can be a lot more political than adult fiction, because children are more impressionable. Most people have heard of _Heather Has Two Mommies_. I’m waiting for the poly version: _Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddies_

    On a lighter note, I just ran across Daily Dancer’s Blog which today features his first video. The Daily Dancer has lost weight since his first video. Both your blog and his blog have inspired me to try Dance Dance Revolution again. The mat never worked properly. Though maybe the mat didn’t work, because my PC was too slow. I’ve since upgraded my PC, so maybe now it’ll be able to keep up with my lightening dance moves! 😉

  4. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Oh, there are definitely tons of political kids’ books. I was thinking of the apolitical ones, though. The this-is-how-we-triumph-over-tying-our-shoes ones. I think everyone pretty much agrees that learning how to tie your own shoes is a good thing. 🙂

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