It’s been a time! I didn’t post anything last week because, to be honest, I was struggling. I don’t seem to get depressed the way I used to, but the severe anxiety remains–when there are reasons for it. And there was a lot going on. KU’s fiscal crisis has immediate, personal effects on myself and the people around me. There are things going on with the Center that I am wrestling to cope with. I miss Jim. Spring is always my busiest time — and this year, everyone is flailing more even than normal, all for perfectly understandable reasons. I have spent a lot of these last two weeks swinging between trying to solve problems and trying to understand and counter my feelings about the problems.
But life goes on, and I think that’s what I want to emphasize right this moment. So here are five things….
I have a vaccine scheduled. Moderna, first shot tonight, next shot in a month — and two weeks after that, I will drive to my mom’s house (in my new car!) and see her for the first time since January of last year. I am so glad and grateful.
Writing has slowed down due to the stress, but I did finish Chapter 11. I have a sketchy plot for Chapter 12, and about half of 13, the last chapter, written. I am blacking out this coming Friday and Saturday and spending it all in a shameless word-grab, figuring a terrible Chapter 12 is better than no Chapter 12. I want the draft finished by the end of semester, so I can spend the summer rewriting.
I started making plans for the next while. Barbara and I are planning a new-format remote novel workshop this summer. We are reinviting the people we had accepted for the 2020 f2f workshop, which we were unable to do, of course. Once we find out how many decide to come, we’ll let the people who have contacted us know about the open slots, and we’ll make our final decisions withing the next few weeks. (We’re also doinga small, invitation-only Repeat Offenders.)
I just got the news that I’ve been accepted for Gullkistan, an artists’ retreat in Iceland. This will be over the holidays, since I have to sandwich it in between my semesters. Elizabeth did it a few years back, and she’ll join me there, I think — along with Paul, a friend from here at KU. I am thrilled at the chance to return to Iceland at last. Now to sort out the finances. Barbara and I had talked about travelling in October, and I suspect I can’t do both trips — and since this one is a writing retreat, it makes sense to take the writing. But, Barbara!
We are officially halfway through the semester. I have a dissertation (possibly two, but I sort of doubt the second one), a thesis, and a couple of doctoral exams to see to completion over the next eight weeks. I also have a labor-intensive departmental committee to finish up.
I am sure there’s lots more, but I decided it was better to write something, however brief, than to wait until I am in a position to wrote something long, thoughtful, and (one hopes) articulate. I’ll be back to weekly (or more) after this!