Take Good Care of Yourself

One week from today I turn 43. My body is sending me signals of mortality. This year my gall bladder came out. I have some trouble with my feet, my legs, my guts, and my ears. No, this isn’t one of those old woman rants about crummy health. You actually have to visit my other journal for that. What it does remind me of is the finite amount of time I’ve got.

My dad died at 53. Mind you, he was the poster boy for stroke: a heavy smoker, obese, living a stress-filled life style. I used to spend a lot of time obsessing over what I wasn’t getting done in my life, given such a limited span. We type A people do this thing. It doesn’t matter if we climbed Mt. Everest twice last weekend. What we’re thinking about is how our living room isn’t clean, or how we haven’t written the great American novel yet. That should have been written when we were 32, dammit, somewhere between getting married and having a good relationship, and your 3rd major vacation to the European continent.

Last year I felt very sorry for myself, thinking that writing would have to wait for my retirement from professorhood. Last week I re-watched one of my favorite movies Pleasantville. Mr. Jenkins and Bud (David) talk about how Mr. Jenkins doesn’t want to make hamburgers any more. Jenkins tells Bud what he really looks forward to all year are the Christmas decorations he paints in the window each year. He suggests that it’s a waste to spend all year waiting for that one moment. Bud tells him not to think about that. Don’t worry, Bud will later transcend that statement and come around. Obviously, I did too.

Caroline Stevermer made a statement about working last week at Wiscon. She suggested that most of the money she made while working was spent to numb the pain of working. I’m only going to be 43, so that statement ends up taking a back seat to tangible things, like the amount of money I owe, or intangible things like the good I can do for students while working. But, you know, she’s right. Nothing makes me feel better then sitting down, popping my wrists, and keyboarding my way through a story. The trenches of revision, even, are very satisfying.

It’s amazing how we feel when we take care of ourselves. My medical problems are the kind that go away if I drop weight and if I eat right. Well, the ears I may have to live with, but the rest I can do something about. And it’s amazing how good I feel if I devote some time to writing every day.

When I remember that I should exercise, eat right, and just write, I feel like I’m on top of the world. It even makes it easier to do those other things, makes me get off the treadmill, even out of the habitat ball. You think you’re giving other people what they want, maybe. In the end, you’ve got to nourish your own body and soul.

Happy 43rd birthday, Catherine. Now, go get your hearing checked.

Rapid Fire Reading at Convergence

I’ll announce this later closer to the event, but

I’ll be taking part in the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading at Convergence on July 5th from 3:30-4:30.

If you’re at the convention, and you want to hear Sister Night, Sister Moon, or rather an excerpt thereof, please come by the lit programming room. I’ll be reading with other fine Broads, including Catherine Lundhoff, Sharon K. Richards, and Ruth Souther.

In other news, living with a sleepwalker certainly makes life entertaining. Sleepless, occasionally, but entertaining. Last night we were haunted by many ghosts. Since my husband is mostly James Randi’s man, I am amused. And tired.


ETA: Alexia Paul and Kelly Sonnack sent along rejections

Ins and Outs: YA Input

This week’s outs:

Cori Deyoe of 3 Seas
Marcia Wernick of Sheldon Fogelman
Robin Straus of Robin Straus
Matthew Bialer of Sanford J. Greenburger
Jennifer DuVall of Schiavone

This week’s ins:

A request for a full. 🙂

We still have a partial out with Agent C from April. Agent D just had the entirety of Substance sent off today.

So, it’s been a better than average day for the queriverse. Remember, it only takes one yes, and you’ve got an agent.


The Japan trip can not stand up to my mighty organizational skills, and slowly I’m packing and making calls. Now I have to organize some things on the domestic front, like cat care and lawn mowing. Ah! how I shall miss lawn mowing. I’m also starting to get things around for Convergence, and here’s where you all can help me out.

I’m on a YA panel. Yup, the obligatory YA panel. I do know some things, but what I’d like are some good recs from y’all, and commentary, so I can do a better than average bout of research as I put my notes together. I’m not the head of this panel, but I want to represent the field in a balanced fashion. I’d like to have this bad boy put to bed before I head out to Japan.

If you have opinions, spill! I will, of course, credit your sage wisdom.