Les Semaines

September 25, 2005

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal



This time of year is always crazy, but this year seems worse than most. In previous years I've been able to do an amazing amount of work in September; this year not so much. This is sad as I've had various deadlines I've been trying to meet and it looks like I will miss at least one of them: I don't think I'll have my book ready to send out by the end of the month as I'd hoped. Actually, I'd just said September, thinking I would be finished at the end of August, but August slipped away with painting and visits, so I thought I could count all of September as "September" but now September is slipping away, too.

Some of it is my own lazy-ass fault, and some is like this week when there just as been so much going on that I'm so stressed that I feel like I'm getting sick. I hope I'm not, though so many people around me have had horrible colds that I may be. I'm sure my blood pressure is through the roof. I'm not going to check to find out. I sure have got the aches, though.

The big pressure added this week has been serious family issues for Jim. It's all happening across the country from us, which has simultaneously made it both easier to handle (distance, so we're not directly involved) and more difficult to handle (distance, so we aren't to control anything or help out). It has been really rough waiting for news of how it has unfolded, and worrying about everyone involved. We think, though, that things are going as well as they possibly could right now. Sorry to be vague, but it's not my story.

So last week was full of various student group orientations, and so will next week be. My days were busy and tiring, and I was a little wired from it and had trouble sleeping, so trouble getting up, so when I got home and tried to write I tended to fall asleep. The afternoon naps were the only things that kept me going, but it meant that I wasted most of my writing time, which is frustrating.

I did have some fun this week. Devin came over, and we chatted and drank Jim-made smoothies (Jim's new beverage talent, added to his long espresso expertise), and Amelia the sugar slider ran around under my shirt, tickling me. Ack!

Zac (the friend, not Zach the cat) came over to watch Lost on Thursday night and brought a lemon cake he'd made. Saturday we went to Tamar's and watched it again because Jim and Tamar had been at a concert and missed it, and Zac and I got to see the beginning part which we'd missed because we were messing with the antennae trying get our uncabled TV to get the station in better. Tamar and Jim and I had Cajun salmon burgers for lunch and I discovered the joy of balsamic vinegar on fries (danger, danger!).

Thursday night we celebrated Zac's birthday at a local restaurant. The company was terrific, and Zac practiced a hobbit birthday and gave us all gifts. He'd said we weren't allowed to bring presents for him, but that was just too tough for him because I didn't get that email until after I'd already bought his (and Tamar and I had got him a joint present back in June at the Fremont Fair). Great food, too, except an uninspiring dessert.

Jim and I also had a couple of quiet, unbooked evenings, which were heavenly and necessary.

Chronicles of Sloth: Episode 4

  • Email inbox down to 286 messages (down from 305 last week and from 380 when I started tracking this about a month ago)
  • Still working on novel revisions, and synopsis is 2/3rd done, so despite missing my deadline, I am approaching the goal
  • Have done all the easy paperwork for the October 1st grant deadline, have a draft of my write-up and work sample, now I just have to refine them and mail it out before Friday
  • Have to clean out car and advertise it for sale now that it's all fixed. No more excuses. Having three cars for two people is nuts. (Anyone want a very easy-on-gas vehicle?)
  • Four medical appointments to arrange (3 checkups for me [2 are embarrassingly late] and one for Sophia [also very late])
  • Sent out two more batches of poems, so there are only 4 poems needing to go out. I have a total of 5 batches out, one of which has been out nearly a year. I ought to query.
  • Haven't touched 2 large stacks of CDs to ready for review but the extras on top are starting to thin out
  • Moved two items off the huge pile of papers to sort through + 1 papered-high inbox of perilous proportions still untouched
  • Went through a couple more of the CD pileup (keep/toss/add to ectoguide)
  • 1 red cloth bag of tapes (+ a bookcase) not diminished this week
  • 2.5 friend's novels still waiting to be read & critiqued
  • and there's still the lurking, unexplored more
last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing


Dammit, Jim has finally got me liking The Decemberists. I resisted liking them, but I guess I finally have to admit that yeah, I like them. Curses! They remind me a lot of the quirky best of Robyn Hitchcock.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Alice Hoffman's The Ice Queen is a strange and beautiful novel. Her work has been growing on me more and more. I don't know if her writing has moved more towards what I like or if I'm simply getting more appreciative, because for a long time people were recommending her to me and every book of hers I liked but didn't love. I'm getting closer. This is the story of a woman whose father ran off when she was very little and whose mother dies in a car wreck. She and her brother are brought up by their grandmother. They grow up and go their own ways. She lives a kind of semi-isolated life and after the grandmother dies the brother moves her to Florida near him. Then she's struck by lightning. She feels like she's made of ice but then she meets a man, also struck by lightning, who feels like he's made of fire. A cool story.

Kathleen Tessaro's Elegance was intriguing enough that I thought I'd read her new one, Innocence. While I liked the main character in this one, I still have some reservations. Why is everyone always beautiful and immensely talented? Why do they have to be saved from frumpiness to realize it? I'm beginning to wonder if the author is stuck on beauty. Anyway, this is the story of a young American woman who moves to London to go to an acting school. There she has two roommates, one of whom is a strong and damaged person, and a beautiful guitarist/singer that she falls in love with. Parallel to that story is the tale of her in her early 30s, along with a young son, hiding away from her life (a theme!). The roommate, who was killed in an accident, is haunting her. A mixed bag.

last week's reading § next week's reading


Poetry workshop Monday. I worked and worked and got a ready-to-show people draft by workshop time. I had fun with it, and it was pretty well received and I got some good ideas for improving it.

Two more poetry submissions out.

The synopsis got a good jump forward at my writing session with Karen, but I got very little else done on it this week. Very sadly going to miss my self-imposed September get the novel out there deadline.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Sorry, I still haven't got my act together to do another entry.

last week's old journal § next week's old journal

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