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.


January 11. 2012

The beginning of this Round has thrown me for a loop.  During the break, I realized that I had to organize my writing more than I had in the past. I decided to take a new job the day before this Round started, so I realized that I had to organize my detritus.  Still, for the past week, I have felt as though I’m swimming in molasses. Some of it, I’m sure, is the allergies exacerbated by working in the dust and dirt of the garage over the weekend.  However, I recognize some of it as feeling rudderless in the face of so much change.

I made the grand statement at the end of Round 4 last year that I was a writer who works as a librarian, not a librarian dabbling in writing.  I still feel that very strongly, but I am not sure who that writer is.  I’ve shoved her into closets for so long, it’s a miracle she’s alive.  I realized one way to find out who she is would be to let her write; I’ve been  intrigued by Kait Nolan’s test mile concept, and I think it might be time to strap on the running shoes to see what happens.

As further disturbance to the comfort zone, I ran across Chuck Wendig’s post on 25 things writers need to stop doing.  It seemed to be the final push to make me sit back and think hard about my life.  Jenny Hansen’s post this past Monday on fears was a great follow up to a series on fear done on the Writers in the Storm blog; all these ruminations and fears and nervousness and change boiled over when I read the 25 things post.

I am so scared, I’m gibbering in fear.  I’m scared of success, I’m scared of failure.  I’m scared of the move to a town in which I’ve spent less than 36 hours.  The new day job is a step up in responsibility, which my logical mind knows I am thoroughly ready to do, while my inner child is cowering in the corner.

Perhaps because of all this teenage angst (and I’m middle-aged, so it doesn’t seem fair) about who I am, I have totally dried up on writing.   I hope that letting myself write a test mile of 500 words a day, I can find out what the heck I want to write.

So, for the next few weeks, I think that is all I’m going to do with the writing goal.  While I feel the pressure of promised reviews and blog posts, I don’t think it will work to have an assignment every day. I need to dig out the well a bit, and wait for the water to clear to potability.

I will continue the other goals, as they are helping quell the craziness of my life a bit.  While I wish I had progress to report, I find it very helpful to have the accountability to all of you.  Please go cheer on all the other ROWer’s here.