Day: April 20, 2020

Grump Nuggets

— I’ve been in a foul mood today, so not much to discuss. I did manage to (in no particular order) cook a ridiculously large amount of food, go for an hour-long walk followed by an hour-long shower/pamper routine, supervise kids’ school work, and work on a book chapter. It wasn’t a total loss, but I’m pissy and just want to be left properly alone, the kind of alone where there’s no chance of people interrupting you, needing stuff from you, or looking over your shoulder.

— I hate to admit it, but some short-story rejections are getting to me. I am a sucker for punishment — as if all the paper and grant review bullshit isn’t enough, so I had to chose a serious hobby through which I get subjected to even more rejections! I have one piece that is the bee’s knees, but it has an unusual narrative structure, so it’s been raking in close-but-no-cigar rejections and that’s messing with my mood.

— I’ve done flash sprints with a small writers’ group twice now. The way a sprint works is a prompt drops (so far both have been visual prompts), you have an hour to write a story of up to 1000 words, then they’re voted on over the next 24 hrs, and whoever wins gets to be the sprint master the following week. There are people who can write a great, long story of 800-1000 words in an hour. Mine have so far been around 500 words; the second one it took me 15 min to come up with a story arc I didn’t find totally boring, but the time was short, and I ended up with a really rough draft, with a few great lines, but still lots of work needed. Being that I am an overachiever, I hate it that I’m not killing it (yet). People say you get faster with time, but to me a visual prompt is like 732 actual prompts and it takes me a while to sift through all the ideas and commit to one, whereas people say have to just pick one in 5 min and that’s it; I generally edit as I go and spend some time finding the voice at the outset, and once I do, things unfold quickly, but if I lose 10-15 min on the first couple of paragraphs, and it took me 15 min to think of a full story arc (both true last time), I blink and the time is up. Ugh. I hate not being able to immediately do stuff with¬† an arbitrary level of excellence.

— One good thing: Several colleagues outside my institution have written just to say hi, share how they’re doing amid the lockdown, and ask how we’re doing over here. I found this heartwarming even though I am in the middle of an acute misanthropic episode.

How’s it shaking, blogosphere? How are you doing overall?¬†