Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Time travel

Missed the new year by a few weeks, I guess.

The applications are in. My mentor told me to let him know "when" I get the good news. It's nice to have people believe in you.

Now is also about the time that I start sending emails to publishers I submitted to back in the fall. Missives to the tune of "Hey, so... I sent a submission in. The three months have passed. Did you guys get it?" It's a pretty fragile situation. They could have gotten it, and they could still be mulling over its merits. Or, it never arrived, or worse was long discarded into a slush pile somewhere. Either way, it's just as likely that they will have never heard of me. I guess it's not so nice to not have people believe in you.

Work has started back up, and this time around I got a chance to sit in on some of the conversations the counselors have with the students. They pull up graphs and charts and talk about what's against them, things they didn't even realize, and how slim the margin of error is. Here recently I have come to realize to what extent I personalize a lot of things I come into contact with. I'm on staff. I'm supposed to be an example they could aspire to. But I think about my own margins of error. Sometimes, sometimes whether I'd start over and do something different if I had the chance.

On the flip side, lots of story ideas. I happened upon a strange technique that I'm pretty sure wouldn't work for a game I could run, and with no way to test it out before I attempt it. Lyrics of a song come to me when I think about it, "I live my life without rehearsals." Another idea I had involved another segment in a string of stories I'm writing about a future world. Two of them were in my submission packet for graduate school. With another I wrote and didn't send (though I did submit it to several contests, and after it failed to place, I placed it here) this would make four stories set in such a way as to present a panoramic view of a time beyond now. I think about having time to write all these things down, and I think about where all my time is going that I don't know if they'll ever live.

I'm up to chapter 18 or so in the novel. I say or so because the amount of focus I've had for that lately is commensurate with the accuracy of the statement. Viewed by the number of pages and words and chapters, I'm fairly close to finishing. I fear in my heart though, I might be much closer to done. This last book is difficult because it is filled with murky depths of the kind of sadness that can stick with one, and affect the dreams. It isn't necessarily my intent to plunge the reader or myself into some depressed malaise. I realize now, maybe like I should have realized from the initial writing of the first book, that it just isn't a happy story. And now I can also see that the ending is about the same.

I wish I had some sage advice, for myself and others. I do have a voice recording of my mother saying how much better 2014 will be. I decided to keep it, not to listen to it over and over again, but just the once, come this time next year.