August is zooming past like some crazy high-speed bullet train, and while I have some things to show for it, I would be quite grateful if it would slow down just a little bit and allow me to take a breath. Or two. Would three be too many to ask for?
I’ve been wandering around in the hangover-like daze that too much caffeine, not enough sleep, and non-stop writing can produce. I am skittish around loud noises. I avoid bright lights. I am more than a little cranky and somewhat anti-social, though of course Napoleon has remained in my good graces.
The upside to all of this is that I have successfully banished the Doubt Monster using the soon-to-be-patented Doubt Monster Defense System ™. In case you would like to create one of your own, you will need the following supplies:
Glitter bazooka, 1
Bubble gun, 1
Photos of cute animals (like this puppy dressed as a lobster), unlimited
The result? The Doubt Monster’s pure and utter ruin, as Lauren Garafalo proclaims:
So I can happily say that I have words in my head, which is a welcome improvement from the yucky bout of writers’ block with which I was contending at the beginning of the month. But there are not enough words, or I am not writing them down fast enough, or time is passing far too quickly for me to finish… It is complex.
At any rate, here’s what I’ve accomplished since the last check-in:
Day Job: I finally finished my Very Very Large Paper, otherwise known as the “comprehensive exam,” one of two requirements needed to advance to doctoral candidacy. This was a revision of a previous paper I wrote on the history of Catholic women religious in 19th century America. There was lots of editing, lots of rearranging and rewriting, and I am happy to say that the final product was about 41 pages, as compared to the original 27. Still waiting on feedback from my committee, but I have my fingers crossed that it will be positive.
I have another, much smaller paper, to complete by the weekend. Have I touched it? No. Instead I have been obsessing over my dissertation research, which is taking me into the archives of a half-dozen religious communities in the Bay Area. The highlight of the past few days has been seeing the historical annals of the Sisters of Mercy, dated 1854-1885, written in the hand of Mother Mary Baptist Russell herself. Russell led a small group of 6 sisters from Ireland to San Francisco in 1854, where they started countless social services, including the first private-run hospital in San Francisco. These archives are located on the campus of my old high school, so getting a chance to dig into this old history is exciting on both a scholarly and a personal level.
This week’s goal: Finishing the dreaded paper; typing up and organizing all my handwritten notes; working through the never-ending stack of reading on my shelves.
Writing: The day job has taken precedence over my CampNaNo goals, but I am slowly but surely catching up. I’ve written almost 10K in the last week, bringing me up to a little over 13K for the project. If I haul butt and write 2171 words each day, I’ll be able to finish out the month with 50K… we’ll see how that goes. Since I’m participating as a NaNo Rebel this round, the total count for STRANGE BEDFELLOWS is actually 28K, which isn’t too shabby.
This week’s goal: 2171 words each day, every day. *feels breathless just thinking about it*
Social Media: I’ve been lurking around the blogosphere for the last few days, reading and commenting on blogs when I have a spare minute. And I started drafting a few blog posts, including my first-ever book review. Now all I have to do is find some time to type them up (seriously, is there a time turner in the house?!).
This week’s goal: More blog reading/commenting. More tweeting. Polish up the book review to post next week.
Exercise: I’ve been averaging 2-3 days worth of exercise each week, which is still down from my goal of 4-5 days, but least I’m moving. I may have developed a really terrible habit of stashing mini peanut butter cups in my desk drawer. And, um, maybe almond biscotti? Also whole wheat saltines. I may have to work on cutting back… *twiddles thumbs, looks around innocently*
This week’s goal: At least 2 more workout days, more salads, fewer peanut butter cups.
Whew, and that’s it for the moment! I am looking forward to mid-September, when I advance to candidacy and can cool it a little with all the paper-writing. In the meantime, I hope everyone’s having a great week! Don’t forget to visit all the other brilliant ROWers here!