And such a few weeks it has been. I (1) lived in a dorm, then (2) moved to another room in that dorm when the airconditioning failed, then (3) moved at last to my new place after (oops, forgot where to put this, let’s say 3a) unpacking everything. I (4) led the Repeat Offenders workshop, and then (5) cotaught the Novel Workshop with Barbara Webb, and (6) did stuff for the Sturgeon Award and the Campbell Conference in there somewhere as well. I (7) helped the summer workshops move all that bedding and kitchen stuff and refrigerators and ocelots (checking to see if you are reading this at all). I (8) read emails that had gone unanswered and answered them — well, mostly; I (9) prepped for the Creative Writing Pedagogy class I am teaching next week and the week after. I (10) sent a story, “The Apartment Dweller’s Stavebook,” out to a mainstream(!) market. I (11) wrote a crow lullaby and a crow joke; I (12) outlined a novel; I (13) heard back from people about an older novel, Kylen, and whether it’s worth fixing and trying to publish. Some other stuff, too: we’ll call them items 14 through infinity on this list.
I also have been working on my anxiety. I have spent most of my life tormented by stress, but in the last few months I was able to start pulling this apart: family of origin, protective and coping strategies that were effective amelioratives but not actually fixing things, the ways excitement and anxiety bleed into one another. Is it working? It’s weird: when I was at the workshops, two people said I seemed tired — which I always am during that month; but I also wonder whether those people identified a lowered anxiety level as fatigue, because that’s the only way they ever see me as not stressed out. Mind you, there were a million reasons for anxiety — see items 1 through infinity, above — but it just didn’t feel like the same corrosive stress.
Finally (for now) — I have been reading lots. Most recently I am reading the finalists for the Endeavour Award, which is given to PNW books. I am touched that I am still considered sufficiently PNW to judge this, and enjoying myself a lot. These are authors I haven’t read much before this, so it’s a great way to freshen up my tastes.
I am so glad to be here in this soaring living room, at this little writing table, looking out into the middle levels of a forest currently dripping with rain. It feels as though it might be home.