Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | May 18, 2014

Presentations, muses, and fear

The last two weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions, but things seem to be settling down again.  I gave my paper on Mother’s Day. I was very nervous beforehand, in my usual imposter mode of neurosis, but it went well.  The audience was very supportive, and several people came up afterwards to talk about and/or correct or add to my hypothesis.  It was the last session of the conference, so there wasn’t a lot of time to hammer out things with people, which was a bit  of a disappointment.

Also, it was Mother’s Day.  I had visited our daughters on Saturday, which was a bonus of going to a conference in the Midwest.  My sons honored the day in their usual, different, ways.  Although my mother didn’t recognize me last May, I felt her absence this year, only a month after her passing.  We had rituals for Mother’s Day when I was growing up, wearing red roses for our mother, who wore a white rose to symbolize that her mother had passed away.  The thought of having to pin on a white rose this year felled me.  It is so strange the little things are the ones that hurt.

The drive back became longer and longer as we became more and more tired.  We finally straggled back into town about 3am, so the beginning of my week was lost in the fog of sleep deprivation. I also found out that the article my co-author and I submitted last fall, then edited and re-submitted in February was rejected.  Sometimes academia grinds slowly and not well.

I need to write another article this summer, since I have to go up for tenure in January.  Although I do find academia the most suitable place for me, I sometimes wish I could avoid the fiery hoops with which it is replete.  The good news is the conference invigorated me in the way that networking with fellow geeks of whatever stripe often does.

The other good news is the invigoration extends to my fiction/narrative non-fiction as well.  There are many interesting characters, subplots, and plots hidden by language or time just waiting for someone to unearth and investigate them again.

I’m adding one goal to my ROW80 set: I want to spend one hour a week pulling together my dormant/moribund blogs and figure out my voice.  I stumbled on WordPress’ Blogging 101 and 201 too late to fully participate, but I am mining it for all I’m worth.

ROW80 is a blog hop.  Please go check out and encourage the participants here.

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Responses

  1. The little things do get you. My FIL past away in Nov. Yesterday we were at a family wedding. They had a memory table with photos of relatives no longer with us. My husband’s aunts and uncles lost it when they saw their brother’s photo and they had to take it down. It reminds us that our grief stays with us and it’s most definitely a process. ((hugs))
    Here’s to a week of progress. 🙂

  2. My sympathy for your loss; I know you feel the absence of someone you loved for a long time after their passing.

    It sounds like the conference was a great experience. Best wishes with your round and getting back on track with sleep! Have a lovely week.

  3. Rollercoaster sounds like a good metaphor. Congrats on the conference presentation. Those can be so nervewracking and so often for totally no reason.
    There are fiery hoops in every part of life and the corporate world has their own share in different names. I wish you the best in finding your voice on your blogs and in your writing in general.

  4. The fiery hoops seem to find us in all walks of life… It sounds like some of the emotional somersaults you’ve been doing have been through more than one hoop here and there too.

    So wonderful to hear you’ve recovered your inner energy from the conference though. May it bring you past academia’s pyrotechnics and carry you to the center stage with a rousing ovation.

  5. Good luck with the publishing or perishing hoops! Hope you’re feeling better again soon.


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