70k Words, Finally!

I’ve been struggling to reach 70k words for the past 3 weeks and it’s made me miserable and cranky. On the other hand it’s also because I’ve been working on various articles and academic deadlines. Burned out on academic work by Friday so I’ve given myself permission to just focus on fiction this weekend.

So here’s the meter:

70108 / 120000 words. 58% done!

Onwards to 80k words. We’re at the harder part of the novel now, where things escalate and I’ve made a detailed beatsheet for it which helps but I don’t follow it 100%. I also introduced two new POVs which helped with the epic feeling I wanted to develop. The next three chapters in Part Two have also been roughly outlined so I know where I’m heading. And then it’s onwards to Part 3 (aka Book Three) for the final 30k words. I anticipate Book Two taking me up to 90k words. I do have a city to blow up and drown in Book Two after all…

Other things of note:

  • Considerable inroads into my introduction chapter for the monograph. I whittled it down from 10k words to 7k words because I’m inserting a new conceptual framework to augment the findings of my dissertation. Once I’m done with this in the coming week I can move back to the fresh new chapter I’ve been drafting for it — the one I was excited about.
  • Broke my submissions block by submitting two short stories. They’ve both now been held for consideration.
  • Have now got three stories for Issue 5 of Truancy. Still reading for reprints and poetry, also for originals for Truancy 6.
  • Withdrew my hauntology article from a local journal for Reasons. Have already made inroads into cleaning it up, improving and formatting it to be sent to one of the relevant postcolonial international journals. But really upset and frustrated still at circumstances that required my withdrawing it.
  • Got my psychogeography paper rejected when I thought it had already gone past into the editing stage based on my communications with the editor. But they probably do things differently abroad. Still recovering from that. I worked so hard on so many papers this year but at this rate, no publications. Very frustrated but you’ve just got to keep the momentum going. At least I know I’ve improved and will keep improving.
  • Line-edited one of the short stories I wrote this year. This one is solidly literary fiction and I’ve no inclination to add anything fantastic into it. May try Granta again after I’ve done more revisions of it. I rather like this story — feels like I’m developing my literary fiction voice and figuring out how to make it work for me.
  • After eating way too much for a week, put myself on a 1500-1700 calorie week. It’s going to last till Wednesday. I’ve exceeded 1700 calories twice though. Hunger happens plus my sugars have been lower because of reduced calories. But at 1706 and 1716 calories that isn’t too bad. Realized 1400-1600 calories wasn’t realistic so the current range is okay. I’m hungrier today because I think I may have used up the calories from earlier this week. Today’s morning weight however showed I broke another weightloss barrier. Yay. Onwards to the next kg lost. Have already lost 12kg since last year. Thursday will be an over 2k day. I shall feast.
  • I’ve been counting calories since March. No intention of stopping this time. In 2013 I lost the most weight because I was counting calories but I made the same dumb mistakes most people make when they start counting calories. I was counting calories but not paying enough attention to macros. Also I was overtraining which tired me out and caused me to burn out. It’s hard to focus on training, calories plus academic work and creative writing work. I’m still trying to find a rhythm that works for me but seems to be better this time around.

For this coming week I’d like to get to 80k words in Rosemirror, make more inroads on the monograph introduction, write the paper I’m presenting in Penang, and submit 2-3 articles. It’s a tall order. *deep breath*

Sunday’s going to be for more resting, work on Rosemirror and submission tetris. I miss getting acceptances 😛

I deleted this evening’s decompressing post. I needed to list things out for me, but it was more negative than I’d like for this blog.

Listening to: Ruins — Jim Copperthwaite

“Joseph Campbell and the Rolling Stones Couldn’t Give Me a Myth So I Had to Write My Own”

Been quite a week. I’m in a bit of a daze. Post-submission of stuff, grading and monograph chapters writing, post yesterday’s presentation that got pretty intense but I got to talk about the new things I’m doing with my research and that was very satisfying.

Anyway, I beat myself up about how I didn’t do as well as I wanted — and this has been a definite exercise in jump-starting my intellectual life which has been moribund in the past few years, and I could feel the brain-rot setting in. But a glimmer of hope set in though I’m not pinning too much hope because I’ve been disappointed re various things in academia so many times.

Anyway, whatever the outcome! The good news is I presented what I’m CRAZY ABOUT right now to a room of very intelligent people who sat down, listened to me and actually gave me intelligent comments and questions. That meant so much to me. Like a starving person arriving at a feast after being in the desert. So naturally I was anxious later I didn’t do well enough hahahaha.

For now I’m working on my hauntology article to send to an overseas journal. And well, I should chill at some point. Want words in Rosemirror and the monograph though.

So now. Let’s eat, and then let’s work, and then, let’s sleep.

Listening to: Everyman Needs A Companion — Father John Misty

“I’m Laughing Through My Tears, I’m Laughing Through My Tears”

Been awhile. Had my birthday writing retreat that skewed my body’s balance and sleep cycles a bit. Was lovely and restful in parts, stressful in other regards. Have doubts I’ll be returning there next birthday, but I can focus on the positives.

  • I did A LOT of research writing and planning, both for the rewrites to the Psychogeography article and for my monograph which now has a new lease of life.
  • Figured out that my swimming problems lately are not just because of being out of practice but because I seem to have developed aquaphobia. I don’t know if suddenly not being able to remember how to swim last year caused this phobia, or if the phobia caused my freezing in the water and forgetting how to swim. In any case, both can be linked to the heart scare I got because of those misdiagnosed meds. I’m okay now so hopefully my swimming will come back to normal.
  • I swam over 1km a day for 3 days (half that number for the first day), and I really like that pool because it’s easier to swim in (no weird currents) than my usual pool and the floor is non-slippery which helps regulate my weird terror. I even swam at night!
  • I did a lot of plotting and planning for Rosemirror. A lot more than actual writing. I’m already at 68k words but I was supposed to have reached 80k words this week. What happened? Well. We’re at the midway point in the second novel in a trilogy. The novel where things go wrong, people make missteps, the death count increases and we’re at the brink of despair. I had a chapter-long bereavement which was incredibly rough to write this close to Dad’s passing. And there’s going to be more body counts of characters I’ve grown to love. I knew I had to up the stakes. And we’ve reached the point where pacing and beats are incredibly important so I’ve made a detailed beat sheet. Can’t pants this, and discovery writing can’t cut it. So, slower writing.
  • Also one major thing I figured out during my retreat is how to use that aquaphobia to power through some of the difficult oceanic scenes. So I did that. Again, it’s not easy.


Another thing that’s incredibly hard right now: under 2k calorie days.

I’m skirting the edge today:

Exhibit A: Partially nommed dinner. I tried having a heavy lunch today because yesterday a light lunch meant I was super hungry for dinner and I wound up eating more than I should. But I still was hungry so I had an avocado/turkey slice (18 calories)/wholegrain bread sammich, a banana, 5 strawberries, some sunflower seeds, and a sugarless orange chocolate square (46 calories). Not pictured: 10 almonds, and 30g of golden raisins.

But also I was nearly going to be ill yesterday (sore throat, the sniffles) so I listened to my body’s need for calories and sleep so today I was right as rain. I also have residue soreness from my pushing my body to the limit on Sunday (breaststrokes nearly an hour and around 1.4km despite my fear) and my torso still has that twingyness.

Still, my face is filling out a bit so I hope I find a balance between the body’s need for food due to burning a lot of calories per swim session, and my need to eat less so I can lose weight.

Blood sugars are back to the 5-6 every morning that I was aiming for. My 5 night retreat had my blood sugars at 7-ish in the morning, which I found alarming. Next conference I need to try to either avoid hotel food or be even more careful. And I need to lose more weight, argh!


Anyway, the major triumph of the past two days has been my breaking of my block re the monograph’s first chapter. I started doing it but wasn’t happy with it. Now I am and I know the direction I want it to take. So I’ve tweaked the proposal as well. Will return to chapter that excites me maybe next week. Have a presentation tomorrow on a new research thing and am in knots about that.

Also trying to set up another research-related thing this weekend, but that’s partially social and I’m looking forward to it.

Anyway. Back to work on the presentation slides, I guess.


Listening to: I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying — Sting

Notes Prior To Birthday Writing Cocoon

How am I spending my birthday weekend thusfar? Let’s see: I was going to get up at 5am but slept on until 645am — which has pretty much been all week. Wake up at 5, check fitbit, see I only have 4-5 hours of sleep, decide I need a bit more. And so forth. But at least last night I slept by 12:15. Past two nights I slept really late. Last night by 3am! I blame deadline stress and feeling uncertain about the monograph. Oddly, my first emotion after I got baffling email was that I was sleepy, lol but not in a depressed way but in a sleepy cat way. I’m really stressed and anxious about the monograph. I think it’s mostly because I have 2-3 projects I want to see published so I really shouldn’t mess up the first one.

I have to say, one of the reasons why I am an article-writing machine this year is I’ve belatedly discovered something — peer-review feedback, and yes, having academic editors, is REALLY helpful to jolt me out of my inertia. Even when they’re annoying peer review feedback. I’ve been stonewalled a few times here. Research grant proposals that don’t get anywhere while mediocre ones get approved, not getting my sabbatical approved when I’m waaaay more published for the assessed publication year than people whose sabbaticals got greenlighted. Kept here until my period to do my postdoc lapsed. And now placed on the backburner until it looks like I’m the lowest achieving member of the team, ridiculed, dominated even by my juniors and put down constantly. Maybe I should be more assertive, I tell myself. Been there, tried that — the moment you show even a smidgen of assertiveness they paint a picture of you as being difficult — they’ve already been spreading negative rumours to serve their own ends because clearly that’s easier than doing the actual work academics should be doing. So, I keep my counsel and save my energy for my intellectual and creative endeavors. I avoid as much as I can, interaction with certain quarters.

What do I do? I pour my intellectual energy into these works. I get feedback. Not all of it is positive but even the negative ones push me to do better. And I know what I want as an academic/researcher. It’s not about those fancy titles. It’s about why I wanted to be a researcher in the first place. We’re all (those of us dedicated to what we do) in some ways looking for a metaphorical Holy Grail in the wasteland. Mine comes when I’ve made a theory make sense, when I’ve pushed myself a bit further, when I understand a bit more about fiction and the mysteries of how stories are made.

I come at it from both ends — as an author/creator, and as a reader. Because that process of writing is an alchemical process that draws from who we are, our influences, our memories and overlapping histories — but it also involves implied readers and actual readers. It involves people we’re writing for, people we’re invoking and legacies we want to leave behind. Is there creativity in academic writing? We’re not supposed to be creative, which is why I get some puritan/purists feedback sometimes about my writing but you know what, some of the best academic works I have read have pristine and delectable prose. I’m still figuring out my academic writing groove here — it needs to be a balance between scholarly and intellectual rigor but still with sentences so sharp it could slice hard cheese and so delectable you want to put a cherry on top of it.

The process of being a deep reader is satisfying in a different way. I love books, I devour books, they’ve saved me my whole life — being a literary scholar allows me to deep dive and I don’t want to be anywhere else, do anything else. So if I’m not allowed intellectual satisfaction and advancement amongst my immediate peers, I must find it elsewhere. It’s not quite my dream of literary academia but that dream seems so far away from where I am now — situations at work I cannot entirely write about here. It feels like rock bottom, honestly. And these works are pulling me up from the well.

I’m going to be working on psychogeography and spatiality this birthday weekend, also allocating 2.5k words a day for the novel, and another 1k for the novella. It feels apt to do so. I’ll also be eating good food. Tempted to go for a massage and pedicure also. I think I deserve some pampering.

Gifts I got myself this year:

  1. My Some Kind of Wonderful Swarovski Crystal Earrings! (okay, I got an assortment of earring studs because I’m now into simple stud earrings after years of dangly earrings being my groove)
  2.  the fitbit Versa
  3.  bluetooth speaker <3
  4. Perfume: I’ve been lusting after L’occitane’s Terra de Lumiere since it came out. Since L’occitane gave me a birthday discount and RM30/- to spend, I got the perfume and am wearing it everyday.
  5. The Faerie Magazine subscription plus the Faerie and Mermaid handbooks.
  6. New swimsuit for a mermaid who was out of the water for nearly a year!
  7. I’m going to count that literary monograph ebook I bought yesterday as a birthday gift too since it was effing RM185.
  8. I probably should count the two tarte (Mermaid and Rainforest) palettes and brushes plus lip glosses as part of the birthday haul but really I got them when I broke my toe. That whole time in ER waiting to be treated, I was thinking “When I get home I am buying that effing Mermaid palette!”

What, no storybooks? To that I say, the weekend is still young and the traditional visiting of certain bookstores on my birthday may yet happen.


I may be older but I’m not too old to rise. I’m healthier this year than I was last year. I’m lighter (and cuter, if I say so myself) than I was last year. I’m more published than I was last year. I finally got myself out of my academic writing rut. I’m doing things.

I have to remind myself of all these things because I always feel like I haven’t done enough in life, especially on my birthday. Two days to go. Let’s make these two days count.

Woke up with Joni Mitchell in my head so I’m listening to Blue right now.

No more postings here until after my birthday 🙂

Listening to: All I Want — Joni Mitchell

Friday Fricatives aka The Plot Thickens (jeng jeng jeng)

I am very confused person.

First editor has emailed an answer to all my questions, says he’s looking forward to seeing my work in due course and does he not know about the other editor? Did he not pass me on to them?

o . O

Anyway, I decided the wise thing to do is just focus on my other work for now and then write a carefully (very carefully) worded and polite enquiry about it. I mean, it could be a miscommunication or like, maybe it got forwarded to another division by mistake? We’ll see what’s going on next week.


In other news I’m going to be working on the psychogeography paper on my weekend retreat. I did tell editor I’d rather send it today when she told me to send it on Monday, because Monday is my birthday. But the thing is, my diving into research and theory got big and I’m really super excited and …I don’t wanna stop. So, I’m equally in love with writing academic lit theory stuff and with writing fiction. If this is going to be precious me time weekend why not indulge in both of my loves? I should be able to send it by Sunday. I’m turning off everything except for Slack because both my workspaces (Codex and our cozy little workspace for mythic wimmin/enbies etc) make me happy for different reasons. Uninstalled whatsapp because too distracting and stressful but will reinstall on Tuesday!

In other news, nice editor who solicited novellas from me last year has emailed to say she’ll read it so yay! Not an acceptance but I guess a notification? Anyway, the only way to do things right is to do things one at a time. And to look after my health. I only had 4 hours sleep last night so now I hope to sleep early, work early and then dive. Dive! Into the rich loam of my creative and intellectual endeavors.

Yeah and try to avoid distracting thoughts about sweet chilli sauce.


Listening to: Show Me How — Men I  Trust


Hangry Ninny Is Not A Stale Dinner Roll

Huh, got a relatively quick response from the series Commissioning Editor re my monograph proposal indicating an interest and I now have to give a sample chapter next month. Panics galore. Apparently my project more appropriately suited this series/catalogue. Okay so I stop thinking of it as a rejection (doesn’t matter even if it was, Editors have a right to decide what is suitable for their issue/imprint/whatever), and I’m not quite stale dinner rolls. Anyway, I am quite convinced my oddball enthusiasm scared the first Editor so I shall be very restrained with this new Editor for the good of my monograph. Like I said, academic publishing people are an entirely different kettle of fish from my SFF tribe. I have problems enough trying to restrain my nature at work because people seem to disapprove of my enthusiasm and lack of ceremony.

Anyway, glad the email arrived today since it perked me up a bit. Woke up in low spirits for no good reason, which worried me. But my blood sugars were low-ish this morning so that could be why. After I had more fruit during elevenses I was slightly less dull.

In other news, I wrote about 400 words in Rosemirror this morning to get my writing juices going and then worked on the Psychogeography article but then my work internet that kept dropping on and off would not come back. So I brought my work crankily back. It’s not like “yay I go home now”. It’s more like “shit, now I have to drive all the way back and it’s going to upset my writing rhythm”. And so it did. I’ve been struggling all afternoon and overposting on twitter.

I am happy that I’m still in the running re proposal because getting published by this company is on my bucket list. Well, and getting multiply published by them so I’d better behave myself. Ninny, behave herself? Don’t you know I’m a wild child.


In case you’re wondering what’s happening on Birthday Weekend, I’m going to be on SUPER PRODUCTIVE lockdown, people. Though I may appear on my slack workspaces. Because this weekend is for me, and is for writing up a storm both in my novel and the novella I intend to lob at Tor.com whether they break my heart or not.


Food notes:

  1. Breakfast: Fried egg and tomato sammich again  because deadlines. Pineapple (because my body craves the good bromeliad), 5 almonds, decaf.
  2. Elevenses: tuna pasta salad, pineapple, cherries.
  3. Lunch: It was going to be tuna pasta salad again (I made two small containers) but I was hangry and irritated with work internets so I had my first asam laksa in 4 months. And bought a mini chicken pie (about a third of a size of a regular chicken pie).
  4. Tea: Sugar-free chocolate segment (110 calories), diet cherry soda (no calories), 10 almonds.
  5. Dinner: 2 slices toast (181 calories), second 1/3 of that can of chicken soup (78 calories), a teaspoon of low-fat dairy spread. A nice mug of milky decaf with a pinch of salt. IDEK why I suddenly wanted salt but it did add body to the decaf and maybe I have some sodium deficiency because I’ve been SUPER healthy? Haha.

Around 1943 calories today because I was hangry and needed my asam laksa fix. And then pie.

I don’t know why I’m so chatty today. Could be deadline panic.

Listening to: Samorost 3 Main Theme — Floex


50% done!

Met my brief for today and even did my Psychogeography article work. I kid you not, I dreamt last night I was walking through alternate dreamscapes of Ipoh and Penang, and I was doing it in a dérive way — and composing paragraphs while I was perambulating backlanes and tunnels. So I got up and hammered some words earlier.

It’s been a very distracted day. I was upset about the Fitbit charger so I went to another mall for lunch, and wound up getting the Versa. And then I got back to the office but Windows Updates took an hour. Sigh. ANYWAY.

60064 / 120000 words. 50% done!

I’m getting good at writing novels according to schedule. Good, because once I get an agent I want to be one of those authors who put out a book a year.


Dinner was Salmon curry w/ cherry tomatoes and okra. Also cooked some gorgeous long-grained basmati rice (I opened the packet today), and it’s so gorgeous I want to make briyani with it.

Anyway, I had fish and chips for lunch but was so scared at having two huge cod fillets that I did not finish my lunch. I have therefore eaten under 2k calories for two days so far. There’s hope for me yet even if my rhythms have been pushed out of whack because of Eid, deadlines and being rather emotionally unsettled due to various things I’m waiting to find out more about.

Anyway! I now have a tracker for swimming. Onwards and upwards! Goal for the week: Grade those proficiency papers, submit Psychogeography paper, get to 70k in Rosemirror by next Monday.

Listening to: Valley Boy — Wolf Parade

Monday Draft Zero Check In #3

I did mention last week that I didn’t think I’d get to 60k today. But I did try very hard.

And now we’re here:


58865 / 120000 words. 49% done!

Getting there, although I’ve numerous other things to complete. The further extension to the Psychogeography (because of a hold-up on the other end) article means I get to submit it by Friday and I’ve been doing my background readings and want it to be super good.

It was so silent at work today. Only two other people seemed to be around on my floor and the general office was dark. I worked steadily throughout the day and went to the mall for lunch + to look for my fitbit charge 2 charger. They don’t have it and say that I need to order it online, which means I may be fitbit-less for a bit. Unless…unless I give into the urge to get the Versa which can be brought swimming. We’ll see. I don’t really want to spend more money right now, even with a birthday around the corner.


Speaking of birthdays, I am mildly tempted to get cubic zirconium earrings that look like the diamond earrings in Some Kind of Wonderful because IDEK it’s a John Hughes movie and I’m all about the popular culture references. But I probably won’t. Why cubic zirconium? Why, because unlike that oaf who wanted to squander his college fund on earrings for a pretty girl, I don’t believe in throwing away money for shiny baubles. Which is why for most of my life I’ve been content with costume jewelry.

Last year however, I thought that now I’m a fortysomething spinster I should probably think of investing in some “real things”, so I bought my first set of saltwater pearls. But I bought them in Sabah and so got them relatively cheap. Honestly I spend more money on books and tech stuff.

I know people are all about the diamonds but I loathed them when I was younger, and now I do think they’re awfully pretty but I don’t think I could ever in good conscience wear them or buy them. They’re such cruel, unethical sort of stones. So I guess it’s a good thing I’m forever alone, ha ha.

But still. Yeah. I keep thinking about those Some Kind of Wonderful earrings. I don’t even know why. I just also feel Watts’s behaviour at the end of the movie was so Un-Watts-like. Or maybe it’s because when I watch these movies I just revel (and yet oddly mourn) that I’ve never been the kind of girl/woman that guys get silly over. There’s a freedom in that. And maybe that’s why I like to commemorate that freedom by buying myself nice things with money I earned with these hands, this  brain, and this fierce will.

Don’t mind me, I’m turning 43 and I’m thinking those thoughts again — how many regrets do I have? And then I turn around and snarl at myself that I’m not quite THAT OLD YET.


Maybe cut quartz. Those I could get behind. If I don’t invest in a Versa because that will be investing in a fitter, healthier me who keeps track of her swimming strokes.

Anyway. Time for bed. The plan for tomorrow is to hit 60k words first thing in the morning, then the rest of the day is for the Psychogeography article.

A Moment of Goth Silence on Hipster Raya

Pretty much resigned that this week is not going to be a beneath 2k calorie week though I managed to do 3 days of under 2k. Tomorrow I’m going over to the maternal home again since I’m eating things in small amounts haha, but also to keep her company before work starts again on Monday. Today I had another half-serving of nasi minyak for breakfast w/ opor daging and acar timun. Then laksa pahang for lunch, and then nasi impit, kuah kacang, 1 karipap + about 20 grams of paru goreng berempah (such a winning combination) for tea. That’s serious calories there. Also kena makan  custard cookies, kannn?

Anyway, because I was lazy to beli kasut raya, for the past two days I’ve been wearing my baju raya w/ onitsuka tigers. Hipster raya betul. To cap it all, I went digging into my teenhood trove and found my tattoo bracelets from my goth grunger 90s. Immediately wore them, though I had to throw away my goth nail polish from the 90s. Unusable (I tried). I had a moment of goth silence for the goth makeup of my undergraduate days. The black nail polish, the congealed blood red nail polish, the dark blue nail polish with the congealed blood patina. Ahhh.

In other news, I just realized this morning I actually have FOUR baju raya this year. How did that happen? So this is my first proper raya in years. Kinda a weird feeling, still processing.

ANYWAY, I managed to get quite a bit of reading for the Psychogeography paper done while I was there since tired mothers have their afternoon naps. And padded about the kitchen, as you do. I did do a lot of cooking in that kitchen since the `90s. Anyway, so that was my weekend. Now trying to catch up on words in Rosemirror.  So I was happily pulling out stuff (nasi impit, and paru goreng berempah, and karipap) from the fridge to heat up in the microwave for tea. Aiyoh. This coming week must really be strict with myself.

Not going to think about the monograph until after my birthday next week. Mostly because I’ve too many other deadlines to worry about and I’m not going to drive myself bonkers about “what does it all meaaaan?” re the email from the publishing company etc. Okay, so I am driving myself bonkers a little. Ninnybrains, you know?

SFF people put up with so much of my silliness but these academic publishing types scare the dickens out of me. I’ll just be in the corner over there biting my knuckles. You know I’ve been angsting all weekend over this. You just know it.

Okay. Back to Rosemirror writing. And reading before bed. Graham Joyce’s The Silent Land which is creeping me out in a major way.

Oh yeah, it’s Bloomsday. Still wistfully wondering if I could do Bloomsday next June but Worldcon is only in August and how do I get an Irish visiting research fellowship for 3 months? Also, how do I afford living in Dublin for three months? Also, what is my fate at the uni overall?

Listening to: Distorting — Ryan Vail

The Past Two Days

The past two posts that I’ve deleted were perhaps a little too angsty, a little too heavy and not at all what I’d planned for this version of Growing Fins. It was more v.1 than v.2. And you know when I start weaving in metaphor and patterns in a memoir-ish kind of way, people start misunderstanding and misconstruing left and right. And I start feeling oh-so-exposed. Ohnoez!

So in the interests of proper curating, I’ve deleted the posts.

Relevant stuff that happened these past two days in bullet points, I’ve redacted the more personal and family-related matters:

  • I’m working rather desperately on the psychogeography article even though it’s Eid (I’ve already done the Eid thing and survived it, fear not gentle friends).
  • Got an extension on the article from the super-cool prof who invited me to join this grant-funded project’s special journal issue.
  • Yesterday some mad bug bit me and I submitted my monograph proposal because I was fed up of inertia and being scared to submit it. By this morning I got a note from an EA from another division (I think) that the proposal had been transferred to them. Suspect it wasn’t right for the imprint I’d submitted it to and I’ve been passed on like stale dinner rolls. Also got told a bit about the process. To be honest, given that I’d sent one email with about a gazillion questions, and then another email with the proposal sans sample chapter I’m a bit surprised I haven’t been instantly rejected. It may yet happen! How do I feel? A bit flattened, to be honest. But also oddly relieved — like whew, that’s a load of pressure off? I am glad I won’t have this hanging over my head and I’m in the system of a big academic publishing house — albeit briefly. Even if I get rejected it’ll be educational. Also I finally got off my ass and stopped fear-procrastinating over this for the FIRST TIME SINCE I GRADUATED WITH A PHD. So yay me. (in the meanwhile younger people have monographs out way earlier than me so I really really need to do things faster like, yesterday).
  • Pumped because of my double acceptances at Kaleidotrope plus that revision request over at [redacted pro magazine], I finally got over the funk I’ve been in since that heartbreaking rejection of my novella after over a year and being #1 in queue. So I submitted it to the very nice publishers who solicited novellas from me last year. Actually I got solicited for novellas by THREE separate sources so I’m doing okay, you know.
  • I don’t think I’ll hit 60k words in Rosemirror by Monday because of the psychogeography article. By Tuesday? Maaaybe but it’s going to be a very busy week. The Malaysian Gothic chapter has minor revisions, I’ve got a ton of grading to do, I want to submit some more short fiction and maaaybe attempt to get something ready for Tor.com’s novella submission period in July though they’ll likely break my heart and stomp all over it again but you know I never say die.
  • I did the gauche thing of writing a thank-you note to former Dream Agent who sent me that wonderfully kind rejection that said a great many fine things about my novel sample + writing, plus some incisive comments of how to improve it. She wrote a very sweet note in response which was super-encouraging. I’m still very comforted by that. If you know in what high esteem I hold her work, you’ll know why it means a lot to have someone like her say she expects great things from me. Still waiting to hear back from other agents. Though recently I’ve been getting better rejections. That’s comforting. Still, getting an actual agent would be better 🙂
  • After I am done with the article and the chapter I’ve got to start working on some other things. Three conference papers that will also become articles. A chapter for an ecocriticism book that’s with the same publishers who have my monograph (if it gets approved), a rewrite of my fairytale article that I’ve been putting off since 2015 because I was still a baby ECR then, also was very busy with being a baby pro author and life stuff. Now that I’ve powered more than one article through the peer review process I feel more confident about approaching this one. I’ve pretty much been an article writing machine all year. Feel oddly proud of myself for that.
  • Got idea for a monograph that might be a real passion project for me — that’s the real reason a fire got lit under my butt yesterday to submit. Like, the idea just came into my head and I was breathless. It was a bit like being in love. But I need to honor my commitment to this project first. Next year. It would be good to get current monograph out of my system first and I can do side research and concept storyboards for new one while I learn stuff writing this one. To be honest, I’ve already started. I’m so good at conceptualising monographs, so so very bad at being brave enough to get to the next step. So for that at least, for putting one in the system at least, I deserve a pat on the back. Even if they reject it. They probably will.
  • Reading Notes: I finished Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures earlier while wrapped up in my comforter in utter exhaustion. A story about Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot. It made me miss Lyme Regis so much. I spent two entire days along the waterfront, walking up and down — even though I was too chicken to stroll along the Cobb. Superstitious fear. I’d spent an afternoon poking about the Lyme Regis Museum. And I stayed in an Edwardian B&B that had a family that reminded me of the Bennetts. It was magical except for being trailed by cops because apparently I’d not had Polly Jean’s lights on. That scared me but since I’m such a helpless female sometimes I asked them for directions, advice on the car (it was way more high tech than Elena which confused me quite a bit), complained about the spooky road and they kind of did that thing men do **rolls eyes** and gave me directions, some avuncular advice and sent the not-so-little lady on her way. God, I mean I loved the French Lieutenant’s Woman but never quite expected to have my own brush with “the wild side” in Lyme. ANYWAY. ABOUT THE NOVEL. IT IS EXCELLENT AND BROKE MY HEART AND OMG I NEED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ELIZABETH PHILPOT RIGHT NOW.  And I need to figure out how to visit Lyme Regis again without having these kinds of adventures.

Listening to: That’s a Lifestyle — Dirty Projectors