Schoolwork is Hard

I fear I will be a very poor hostess this week. Unlike my undergrad years, I’m attempting to not be a procrastinator with my MFA program. Actually, I’ve largely left my procrastinating ways behind*, so it is possible. I think ultimately it came down to HATING the feeling of a deadline being right on top of me, about to squash me flat, with no room to maneuver, or time to rewrite the whole thing if need be.

So, mostly, I avoid putting myself in dead-heat, last-second situations. I get plenty of those at the other work, and I enjoy them when I do. With writing? Not so much. I can do it, I just don’t like to if I don’t have to. This means I’ve been busy beeing it for the last few weeks (it feels like years ago I was in Vermont, but it wasn’t), so that when the deadline to turn in my first packet of work rolled around (this Friday), I’d be ready. And I more or less am, but I’m still planning to spend the week fine-tuning everything.

I still need a better voice for The Voice (you know, the disembodied kind that tells you what to do) in the first bit of my novel Aztec Dance TunesMonster Nation, to polish off the annotations on my reading (some of which I can’t wait to talk about here — great stuff, most notably Ysabeau Wilce’s wonderful and zippy Flora Segunda), and to ensure the blah-blah-blah on my essays is sharp enough (essays of doom). All that said, this is turning out to be a great deal of fun. Which probably means I’m insane.

One of the negatories of all this work work work all the time, though, is that I hadn’t seen the inside of a gym in, oh, a month or more. Last week, I broke down and bought a recumbent exercise bike, which Christopher put together for me (thanks, sweetie!), on which I can now get some much-needed cardio at o’dark thirty every morning while reading or watching the television machine. I know. I know. I still have a natural aversion to people talking about exercise too, but can I just say what an immediate and huge lift in my energy level this has enabled? I just was not going to have time to make it to the gym, EVER, and still walk the dog at night, so this is a good solution. (We got some little hand weights too.) I’m truly against early rising; I believe it is the devil’s work. But, if I have to do it, I may as well not feel like everything that happens afterward is careening out of my control. This helps. And I’m less tired than usual today on a couple of hours less sleep.

Anyway, all this by way of saying that I may be scarcer even than usual for the next few days, but there’ll still be TV talk. And book posts at some point soon.

p.s. Several people have emailed me lately thinking I’m still in Vermont. The program is low residency, so I’m home now in Kentucky, and will be at all the usual haunts (except BEA, which I don’t think I can swing this year) this spring, and then back to Vermont in July.

*Y’know, except for the Internerd and blog reading.

2 thoughts on “Schoolwork is Hard”

  1. Aztec Dance Tunes is now titled Monster Nation? Did I get that, or miss the point entirely? Not sure why you went with the campy title, but I ain’t seen the book. I was just curious– I did a similar thing with my own, short book, going from a wacky zinger of a kiddified title, which nobody ever really got except for its occasional usefulness as a deprecatory jab when you sort of juggled the wording, to a leaner, slightly edgier, gross’em-out title. I won’t reveal them here– that’s how swervy I am about it right now.

  2. Basically, I’ve cut the Aztecs out of the book, so I needed something new as a working title. This won. The book is about America, and it has lots of Greek mythology and monsters too. Thus: Monster Nation. But it could still change.

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