I hate July. Because it is in July that I start getting all angsty about the fact that the summer is Almost Over and soon I will have to start gearing up to go back to school, it is in July that there is the absolute worst weather for my productivity (living in a miserably humid location plus the fact that my biggest seasonal allergy is to mold means that all I really feel motivated to do is to take allergy medicine and lie around in air conditioning), and it is in July that I start beating myself up about all of What I Haven’t Accomplished instead of celebrating what I have accomplished. Now, the good news for me this summer is I really have built fun things into my summer, and that’s grand, but then that also exacerbates the angsty feelings about not having enough time left and not having done enough. Blech.
But so, as you might imagine, I’ve stalled out a bit on progress toward getting the complete draft of the book manuscript done. I do think that it’s reasonable that I will be able to complete the two halves of chapters that I’ve already got underway, and (if I really push myself) get another chapter done by September 1 (all of the research and reading and outlining/argument stuff is done – it’s just a matter of the pesky part of writing). But then, I still have either one or two body chapters to write, but I can’t know if it’s one or two until I read a book that comes out in September (the problem with working on contemporary authors is that they have a pesky habit of writing new books), but that chapter or chapters should write up quite quickly because there just isn’t much research out there on this author, and what little there is I’ve already read (which kind of makes up for the problem with the author writing new books, since at least you don’t have all of the pesky scholarship to deal with). But then that leaves me the intro and the conclusion to write, though to be fair I’ve been making notes for those throughout the process, so I’m actually feeling pretty positive about how quickly I can manage to knock those out, once the body of the manuscript is done. But I can’t kid myself: it is going to be a MAJOR push to get this monstrosity in a shape that I could submit it to a press by Dec. 31 (which is my goal). And I might not be able to achieve that, even with making a major push – not while teaching four classes and, I dunno, sleeping. But if I try, I figure that I can manage to get it done within a couple of months of that goal, which is still pretty great, frankly.
And while I’ve been a bit stalled on the book stuff, I haven’t been stalled on everything. For example, I somehow managed to apply for an internal grant for which I actually hadn’t originally intended to apply, and I just learned that I was selected for it! Huzzah! So for completing an application that took me maybe two hours, and for agreeing to share what I develop (which I will have support in doing any of the tech stuff that is beyond me), I am a thousand dollars richer. Really for doing work that I have been doing anyway for free for years (out of enjoyment more than anything, in truth) just because I wasn’t aware that I could do this sort of stuff and get compensated for doing it. And this is the thing: I would so much ratherbe spending my time doing this sort of thing than doing the stuff that I’ve been doing for the past four years! And sure, it’s annoying to have to apply for every little thing in order to get the resources that are there, but I’d rather spend a couple of hours doing a slightly annoying thing than spend my summer teaching! Or than do work for free!
So anyway, that’s what has been going on with me. While I’ve been a bit stalled on the book, I’ve been accomplishing other stuff in the meantime. And next weekend A. will be here for our annual Vagina Power Weekend (do you know that it will be our sixth?!?! I’m so excited), and then the weekend after that First Love will be here for a visit (which reminds me that I need to call him up and get him to solidify his plans because it’s not like he lives around the corner and his procrastination about getting a plane ticket makes me crazy – I’m not even entirely certain what days he’ll be here, which, that information would be nice to have not only so that I can plan stuff to do while he’s here but also so that I can plan my writing schedule for that week, because it’s not like I’ll get any work done while he’s here, and also he really needs to tell me whether I’m supposed to be going to his high school reunion with him, because that’s been a topic of discussion, and it’s not like I want to go to his stupid reunion, but if he wants to go I don’t think he’ll go if I don’t go with him, and so I basically need to know what’s up with all of that – by the way, don’t think it hasn’t occurred to me that it’s kind of a pain in the ass to have a close relationship with your high school boyfriend.) And then maybe I’m going to NYC for a few days, and then school starts, and then one of my oldest friends C. (A.’s sister, actually) is getting married so I need to go to hometown a couple of weekends in September, and sandwiched in between that I am going to Chicago for a weekend for this, and then in October I’m going to see Fiona Apple in concert, and somewhere in the middle of all of this I’m getting my kitchen redone (which promises to be an adventure because I have agreed to use the Lebanese connection to get it done because it will cost me much much less, but that also means that I have no control over when it’s done, and it means that my stepdad G. will be here to supervise it, and who knows how that will turn out).
In other words, I really need to get myself on track because I’m a busy lady with a lot of things going on aside from writing a book.