Need A Vacation, But No Break in Sight

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Worked with students yesterday, did some schoolwork, worked on proposal. Cut the essay by 2/3 and got it to my editor with 3 words’ wiggle room. It was a challenge, but it still holds together well, and is yet another example of how much one can cut.

It’s not the amount of words that gets the point across, it’s the specific words you choose.

Realized I pitched for a job I don’t really want, so I hope they’re not calling me. Ripped out the last vestiges of the tomato plants — there’s still some basil I can harvest. Cooked the last of the eggplants and tomatoes last night — yum. Went to the library. Forgot to look for the books I meant to get as research for a long article, but I’ll be back there before the end of the week, so that will be fine. Read a mystery by someone whose first book in the series I liked, but this was illogical and flat. Made some business decisions I didn’t want to make, but had to do in order to keep the money flowing in on time.

Today, I have to work with students, put up some more lectures, polish lectures for Saturday’s class (The First Three Pages: A Dynamic Opening — information here), work on the proposal, work on the edits for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, get started on two papers, and a couple of articles (so that the money is actually coming in to pay the bills).

I have to say, the whining on some of the course forums is working on my last nerve. We are studying with Ivy League professors — it’s not supposed to be easy, and we are supposed to meet deadlines when those deadlines are set. The workload is clearly stated for each class, and it’s in HOURS, not MINUTES. Deadlines and expectations are clearly stated early on. Welcome to the real world, asshats, where there are actual consequences when you don’t manage your time! And guess what? Saying you didn’t get an email alert is no excuse not to know what’s going on — it makes me froth at the mouth when online students say this in MY classes (especially, since on DAY ONE, they are told not to rely on them, but to check the fucking forum regularly), and it’s no excuse on these Coursera forums, either.

You see this in class situations, and then you realize why so many of the clients behave as badly as they do. But it sure as heck makes you appreciate the good ones! 😉

Things that make my head explode #84: When detailed conversations and scheduling held over weeks are suddenly news to some of the parties involved.

Things that make my head explode #85: When things gone over in class and then needed to be put into practice in the real world are suddenly treated like this is the first time anyone’s ever heard of them.

It’s that old adage: Your disorganization is not my emergency.

Your time is not more valuable than mine, and I am not readjusting everything to suit you, unless you’re paying me a boatload of money so to do.

Especially not right now, when, between now and early December, 18-20 hour days seven days a week are the norm. I am not cleaning up anyone else’s mess because they weren’t paying attention. I’ve got to build some down time in there somewhere or I will lose what’s left of my mind (and trust me, there’s not much left), but I don’t see how right now.

Tried to relax last night by watching REVOLUTION, but the logistical gaps bothered me. There’s no power, no windmills, no water wheels, but suddenly there’s a steam train? The scenes between Rachel and Bass have gotten too repetitive. I understood it the first time, I would have lived with it structurally three times, but now it’s five or six, and it’s overkill. Miles & Tom finally had a good scene together, and a lot of the moment-to-moment work is very good. But the things that are not working for me are starting to have more weight than what is working. Which is a shame, because I can see echoes of the themes in the Sustainability course, the World History Course, and even the Mythology course, which I find interesting.

Okay, I have to let go of my general frustration with the world today and focus on the work that needs to get done.

Devon

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Waxing Moon
Snowy and slushy

So far, it looks like we didn’t get slammed as badly as some of the other areas. We had a coating of snow and now it’s a snow/rain mix. I can still see some of my driveway and front walk. It will be a pain in the ass to shovel that wet, heavy mix (too wet for the electric shovel; I’ll have to do it by hand). I don’t want to go out in the rain, so I’m going to wait a few hours before I tackle it.

As long as the power stays on, we’re good, and the chat will go forward.

I’ve made hot water bottles and put them in the bed and will refresh them every few hours, just in case, and I’ll probably put up thermoses of hot tea and soup. Got flashlights, batteries, candles, books, writing — I can just wait it out.

Got to the dump yesterday; disposed of the garbage (only one bag) and the recycling. For some reason, the guys who work there find me highly entertaining. Glad to bring some sunshine to their day.

Wrote a bit, commented on my students’ work (this group rocks, they’re willing to take risks), but, for the most part, I lay on the couch and read Susan Cheever’s biography of Louisa May Alcott. Louisa and Harriet Beecher Stowe are two of my idols, and have been since I was about seven or eight years old. They are part of the reason I became a writer.

There’s a passage Cheever wrote on p. 107-108 of the book that I plan to print out, source to her (of course) and hang in my office: “Good writing is almost always subversive. It uses the nuts and bolts of the texture of everyday life to communicate truths that may be as disturbing as they are original.” Thank you, Susan Cheever, for reminding me of that.

Wrote a proposal for something that would be a Very Big Deal if I decide to actually pitch it. A huge commitment of time and energy for a long-term commitment-phobe like I am. The money would have to be right and my own mental preparedness in place for me to do this. But it would also be a transformative and productive experience for those taking part. I sent off the first draft to people I trust for feedback, and I’ve already thought of some other points to include overnight.

I’m worried about the commitment because I have to keep up with my other freelancing and also the novel and play contracts, AND with the garden and running the house, AND I want to go back to school at some point in the next year to get certified as an herbalist. Of course, this proposal would pay for the schooling. But could I handle them together? That’s a question I have to answer for myself before I can pitch it. I have to be really, really sure to the bottom of my soul and the tips of my toes that I can see the commitment through.

As long as the power stays on, the live chat for tonight at 8 PM is on, over at Savvy Authors. I don’t know if it’s open to the public or just for members — I’m just showing up and saying a few things, and then taking questions. Let’s face it, people don’t want to be talked at for an hour — they want interaction. So I’ll “talk” (type) for ten minutes or so and then take questions for the other fifty.

On the agenda today — writing as much as possible. I’ve set today aside to be primarily a writing day, in and around the shoveling!

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to read about my seed-ordering dilemmas!

Back to the page.

Devon