Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

(Locked Patreon post here.)

Sorry for the delay in writing here. There’s been a lot going on, but some of it has to do with contracts, and some of it with layers of if-thens. And travel — I like going up to see my mom, but I wonder if I can sustain five-six days once a month without wiping out. I may have to dial back a little after the summer.

But meanwhile, I noticed something yesterday. I always have a LOT going on, and my planner shows it. Usually there’s a number of things you might think of as big-picture, huge projects that break down into many, many smaller items, which eventually filter onto my planner as part of the week’s work. For example, most springs, I have a lot of graduate-student support, being a committee chair or member and the pre-work for that, teaching advising, letters of recommendation, etc., etc. It’s spread across up to a dozen people, each with their own unique combo of to-dos. I have classes, which are cluttery and time-consuming. I also usually have a lot of school stuff: annual reports and diversity and harrassment training and departmental meetings and rubric forms etc. etc. Writing stuff usually sorts into projects — here’s all the collection stuff; here’s all the crow stuff. Until recently, summers were complicated: workshops (ads, direct emails, answering questions, selecting attendees, housing and other negotiations, supplies, etc.) and the summer Campbell Conference, now dead and gone, alas (guests, the Sturgeons, ads, catering, blah blah blah). And so many things I needed to do, each of them multilegged and squirmy.

Part of keeping it all manageable is that I usually only have a handful that I consider the big things, and everything else slides into the slipstream wherever it can — and part of THAT is that every so often I identify what the big things are.

I did this yesterday, since I was feeling a little harried, and this was the list, though parts of redacted for NDA reasons:

  • summer novel workshop/repeat offenders
  • the 351 class
  • interesting publishing thing
  • interesting game edit
  • mom visits

And this is completely different than it would have been last year. So much less cluttery, so much less stressful. Things that feel productive and positive. Still lots of slipstream things that slide in there — but this is great. I even visualize a day where “that one story” is on the list again!