Les Semaines

May 29, 2011

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

 §

May Is Slipping Away

This May has been April-wet and changeable. We've raced through it, covered in cat hair and watching things bloom and get washed away in rain then shine in sun. Outside my study window right now the white lilac is in full bloom, bringing birds to nosh on the insects it attracts.

I'm crazy busy. Went up to Victoria to see my parents, ever so briefly, last weekend. While Jim and I made this a four-day weekend by taking Friday off, it has been busy with writing, Clarion West prep, preparing for my last teaching session on Tuesday afternoon, etc.

Basically, I've got a lot going on. Some of it just in my head.

While I've loved teaching again, I've realized that it may be the one job too many. I often feel like I'm torn in many directions and this is one more. I have my day job at the UW, Clarion West, my writing (which I can subdivide into fiction and poetry, or subdivide into the actual writing and the work around the writing like grant applications and submissions) and then the teaching.

The students have been asking if I'll do it again, as has the colleague who involved me in this in the first place. I'm not saying never, but next year's book is a trio of lectures by Richard Feynman, and I can't imagine myself using that as a text. So, we'll see.

In the meantime, on with the last week of classes. Then exam week. Then break week. Then for the next six weeks I'm down to just two jobs: Clarion West and writing. Writing writing writing.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing

Listening

Such much great music recently (click links for more of my comments on the albums:
last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Reading since the last time I posted (* = will likely make my end-of-the-year-favourites list)
  • * Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Witch (young adult fantasy)
  • Malinda Lo, Huntress (young adult fantasy)
  • Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen (contemporary fantasy)
  • Cindy Pon, Fury of the Phoenix (young adult fantasy, sequel to Silver Phoenix)
  • * Alison Goodman, Eona (young adult fantasy, sequel to Eon)
  • Judy Blundell, Strings Attached (young adult historical)
  • Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian (paranormal historical)
  • Kelly Keaton, Darkness Becomes Her (young adult paranormal)
  • Susanna Kearsley, Season of Storms
  • Sheri Reynolds, A Gracious Plenty (literary ghost story)
  • M.K. Hobson, The Native Star and The Hidden Goddess (historical fantasy)
  • Alice Hoffman, The Red Garden (literary)
last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Argh! Back to first person on the novel. I just thought I'd try a chapter, and it felt right to my and my alpha reading confirmed. So here I go again. I changed it to third person, from first, years ago. Sigh.

While I'm thrilled that all the work I've done over so long has always, always, made the novel better, I'm pained that it has taken me this long and I've had to learn so many, many lessons along the way. I keep plugging it at because there's still something important there for me, but I waste a lot ot time wondering if I'm kidding myself and shouldn't have just given up on this one years ago. It's hard to be still working on it. I can do this with poems and it doesn't bother me so much. I'm not sure why--I guess because I have other validation of myself as a writer of poems, while two published short stories--both many years ago--is not very much validation as a fiction writer and I really do have serious doubts.

Some poetry revisions. Some submissions back in, some out.

Oh, and if you want to hear some tracks from my poetry CD, the ones from Spells for Clear Vision are available at Brick Books page on audioboo.fm

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Still nothing here.

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

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745 people have wandered through this week with me