Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

This is not the optimal way to live, of course, but right now exciting things are in the future — or potentially in the future — and it’s hard to stay focused in the now. Anyway, Future Me will thank me when and if some of these things come to fruition:

I applied for two fellowships for next year. I applied for the same fellowships last year and got neither of them, so I am trying with a different project. Actually, two projects, one for each fellowship, since they’re for different amounts of time. I will hear before I go to Iceland, I expect.

I am working on a five-year plan right now, so there’s a lot of, if (A) then either (B) or (C); if (B) then either (D) or (E), and so forth. I have lots of possibilities in the next three or four years, but they don’t all fit together. Every time something changes, a timeline shifts or potential options vanish and are replaced. The fellowships are one of the larger moving pieces.

I also am waiting to hear (at last) from the editor about American Tour. He seems to like it (or so he scribbled on the bottom of the cover letter for a royalty check), he promises to get to me any day now. I have plans for fixing the things I wasn’t thrilled about anyhow, but there’s no reason to do so until he gets back to me and I can fix everything at once. But meanwhile I can’t concentrate on any new writing — and the deadline in my head, for having this out of my hair before Iceland, gets shorter and shorter….

And Iceland. I still have a hard time visualizing this yet, but tickets have been purchased (and also trekking poles and a headlamp), so I guess it’s a real thing. Five weeks writing! Not rewriting. But, if I can’t get American Tour done before I leave, then will I at least be able to work on anything else while I am there? If so, what? Not the big project, anyway, so what is doable? Depends on how close to done I am with AT before I go. If A, then B or C.

Is there anything else happening? Well, it’s fall at last, and that’s pleasant. I was able to dig out some turtlenecks and wear them without second thoughts in the afternoon. I was in Rice Lake, visiting my mom for a few days, and that was successful. I have been reading old French Weird novels like Renee Dunan — and now I have moved on to a 12th-century Chinese classic, Outlaws of the Marsh, which I have read before and remember nothing about. I usually lean toward foreign and older books when I am on hold for the future; in times of great kinetic energy (as opposed to potential) I turn back to familiar favorites.

We’re halfway through the semester now, and this doesn’t seem real, either. Why are there still so many weeks to go? How can we already be half through? How can both of these be a surprise to me? Once I am done with this post I’ll go downstairs and start prepping for tomorrow’s classes.

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