Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: Trying to Shake the Panic

I’m trying to reconcile myself to the fact that August is rapidly coming to a close.  The thought fills me with a bit of melancholy.  My younger sister will be headed back to LA for her sophomore year of college at the end of the week, and I’ll be leaving for Santa Barbara in about a month.  In the meantime, I have a lot of work to do on the thesis, and I’m feeling that familiar wave of panic over getting this first draft completed.

I’m also starting to stress out about the workload that I’ll have to tackle in the upcoming quarter: finishing and defending the thesis, taking two seminars, and teaching two discussion sections is a lot more than I’ve had to deal with in a while.  I haven’t taught a discussion section in over a year, and while I love being in front of a classroom, I’m definitely a little rusty.  Add this to the fact that I’m actually just tired of taking classes (only 4 left till I’m free of them!), and it makes for a fair amount of trepidation.

Anyway, onto some positive things. The highlights for the week included:

  • Catching up on my CampNaNo word count.  tell me no lies is now 32.5k long, and I am slowly imposing structure upon the mad tangle of scenes that I’ve written.  Only 17,438 words to go!
  • Diagnosing the plot problem that has plagued Path to the Peacock Throne for the better part of two months.  The solution, however, means that the story is going to be a two-parter, but for the saga and adventure that I have in mind, I’ll need two books to tell Liandre’s tale.  It’s a lofty goal, but one that I can’t wait to tackle.  This might just be one of my Round 4 goals. 😀
  • Overhauling the “Novels In-Progress” page on the blog and adding new synopses for the three stories that I’m juggling.  This has been a goal for a while now.
  • Following the #ASA2011 twitter feed for the annual American Sociological Association meeting, currently happening in Las Vegas.  The venue of course means that there are many pithy observations about consumption and commodities, along with highlights from the sessions.  Someone has also gone and made twitter accounts for social theorists Emile Durkheim (@emiledurkheim) and Talcott Parsons (@talcottparsons), which are hilarious, and filled with lots of nerdy soc jokes.  For example:
  • Finally, I read a book!  This has been on my to-do list for a few weeks now. I devoured Elizabeth Redfern’s Music of the Spheres, which is a murder mystery that takes place in 18th century London.  It actually reminds me a fair bit of what I’m trying to do with tell me no lies, so it was both entertaining and useful.
Today is a hard-core work day, so I’m off to make some headway on the thesis, and hopefully add another 1600 words or so to my WIP.  Have a wonderful week, all!

18 Comments

  1. Oh how I miss the busy schedule of university. When I move back to an English-speaking country I will go back to school and I might never come out again… 🙂

    Good work on all your goals and tasks. You have a very full plate!

    • Nicole, I know exactly what you mean. I really don’t know how I’d survive outside of the university setting and schedule — it’s one of the reasons I decided to go into teaching at the university level.

      I’ll have to work hard to schedule time for all of my activities this year, but I am crossing my fingers that I can pull it off.

      Have a wonderful week!

  2. It does indeed sound as though you have a lot on your plate; it also sounds like you’ll be able to handle it all beautifully. 🙂 Best of luck with both the WIP and the thesis!

  3. Is it weird that I visualise an energizer bunny when I think of you at times! You seem to pack so much in! Brilliant word count for CampNaNo…keep up the good work!

    I hope the panic doesn’t get to you too much…I too am stressing about my work load in the autumn epecially in the month of November! Together we will get through it….we need to sort this support group asap!

    I

    • LOL, the energizer battery! Sometimes my brain feels like that — whirring on and on, and never quite shutting off.

      I am SO glad that we’re gonna have each other to lean on in November!

  4. Hang in there! I know you can tackle whatever is coming at ya. I can totally relate to a full plate. Between my WIPs, my full time job and my part time job teaching english at a local college (which starts tomorrow! o.O ), I’ve decided why not add a bit more and am heading back to school to finally get my masters degree in English. (I have no idea what I was thinking, but there isn’t any turning back now! lol) I am going to attempt to have a life in between all of that, but oh is this semester going to be interesting til I get back in the swing of things! Good luck with your WIP, and I love your site–the novels-in-progress page is brillant. It is very tempting to put something like that on my blog. It would hold me accountable for the WIPs I have going–if I have a synopsis out there for the world to see, I won’t be able to just push it to the side and procrastinate!
    And thanks for the comment on my blog–I totally will join the support group with you and Em, cause I think I will totally need it when NaNo rolls around in November!

    • Kat, I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who responds to a full plate by adding on just a teeny (or in your case, a lot!) bit more. Sometimes I find that it’s when I’m at my busiest that I get the most done — all of the pressure to get things finished and juggle my responsibilities helps me to tap into some secret reserve of energy that I didn’t realize I possessed, and I can kick it into gear.

      Yes, that’s one reason why I posted the novels in-progress page — yet another attempt at accountability! Now there’s no way to let one just sort of fade away, ever to be heard from again. 😉

      Hope you have a great week!

  5. You’re making incredible progress, Jamila. I don’t know how you find the time to juggle so many things. You will have to let us all in on your secret, one day, when you have a second or two 🙂

    Have a great week!

    • Thanks so much, Gene! I have NO idea how things are getting done right now, though I do have a bit of an advantage: no partner, no children, and no full-time job, so I can pull my crazy all-night writing sessions, and take cat-naps to recharge in the afternoon. 😉

      Have a wonderful week as well!

  6. Jamila,

    I’m so glad you got to read a book! What a wonderful release for you. 🙂

    You keep plugging, girl. You’re gonna be just fine.

    • Thanks for the cheerleading, Jenny! I managed to get a lot of thinking work done with the thesis (an overhaul of the current chapter, plus a new outline), so I’m feeling a lot better about things than I was yesterday.

      Have a great week!

  7. well done there – what a work load – I have to say I quite miss the deadlines and structure of Uni – all the best for this coming week

    • Thanks, Alberta! It’s going to be a bit of a transition, easing back into the schedule of school after so much time off, but I am looking forward to it.

      Hope you have an excellent week as well!

  8. Yes, that sounds like quite a workload, but you seem to be a gal with quite a lot of energy and drive. Keep up the good work and all the best for the coming week!

    • Haha, sometimes I am hard-pressed to figure out where all of this energy has come from! I definitely have my lazy streaks, but I think the pressure from Camp NaNo has really forced me to get myself into gear.

      Enjoy the week, Ruth!

  9. Jamila, you are amazing!

    I remember tackling grad school, on top of working 30 hours a week and being a teaching assistant. It is a tough load to carry! And I’ll admit, I didn’t start writing seriously until that last term — terrified of having to go out and get a boring day job that would suck up all my time and energy. LOL. It’s been seven years since grad school. Wow, time flies! I’ve been blessed; I actually found a career that fits my passions and personality, and they pay me. What could be better than that? (Besides writing full time. The ultimate dream. Sigh.)

    Here’s the deal: panic is the first step to preparation. You can handle a lot more than you think you can, and totally rock it. After reading some of your posts, I’m thinking you can tackle anything you set your mind to, lady! Keep it up!

  10. Busy, maybe, but you sound on top of things! Good luck for next week!

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