Feeling overwhelmed by…

Feeling overwhelmed by how many items are on my to-do list, how much of a mess the place is, how much weight I've gained in the last week (the scale claims three pounds, which seems implausible and quite depressing), how little exercise I've had in the last three weeks, how much more revision I have left on the novel. I've been working steadily for the last two hours, and made some in-roads on the dishes and the backlogged e-mail, but oh, so far to go.

At least my mom sent me home with curry, so I don't have to worry about cooking for a few days. Though there's a downside to that, too -- her curries are much richer than mine, since she doesn't stint on the oil and coconut milk, so I have to remind myself to take less food than I normally would. I'm feeling a severe lack of willpower these days; it's taking everything I have just to get done the things I absolutely need to get done, never mind everything else. There's not much discipline left for watching what I eat or for exercise.

We did have a good class last night, discussing high literature and popular lit., the sources of reader pleasure, the value of rich, descriptive writing, the dangers of sliding into sentimentalism. We put our favorite books up on the blackboard and talked about why we loved them. We did two writing exercises; one on setting, describing the place you come from, and one on beautiful/emotional writing, about one of the big topics, love or death. In retrospect, it was maybe a bit disjointed, and I wish I'd pulled it together more coherently. But for the first class, not bad, especially considering how tired I was from the day of travel and not sleeping well (due to excitement and anticipation, I think; I kept waking up Sunday night thinking about course prep every hour or so). There's a little Japanese place at Michigan and Van Buren that sells incredibly mango smoothies with lots of fresh mango on top; that sugar boost was what kept me going. Next class, a more in-depth discussion of setting, and actual critiques. :-)

Hmm...what is there actually to say about setting? Time to go poke through my writing books. Suggestions welcome.

2 thoughts on “Feeling overwhelmed by…”

  1. Your class sounds like it wonderful. I don’t think it sounded particularly disjointed. Rather like what I’d expect for a first class when course covers a lot of ground. A good “getting to know you” exercise for both you and the students.

    Don’t stress about the housework. Honestly, it won’t grow legs and walk off. It will still be there when you get to it.

    Give yourself a 1 hour vacation. Forget about chores and recharge your batteries with a cup of tea and a favorite book. 🙂

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Heh. That’s pretty much what I did, though I hadn’t read your comment yet. I took Barbara Kinsolver’s book of essays, _Small Wonder_ up to the roof, watered and pruned my plants (okay, that’s housework, but at least it’s pleasant housework), and then read for half an hour. Discovering in the process that she’d written a charming essay on the value of sex writing. 🙂 Yay, Barbara!

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