Photo: I got an email from a dear reader asking about that sock class I took in January. Welp… that’s my unfinished first sock… Lordy. I really enjoyed the class, but I haven’t made time to finish this “quick knit” and now I’m on my own for the dreaded kitchener stitch. My knitting partner claims that it’s not so bad. I guess I’ll find out.
The only thing you could hear in MetroWest today was the clucking of all the hens and old-timers. We’ve been watching the news for a week, wringing our hands over the forecast. People in the grocery store had things to say about everyone else being in the grocery store (“it’s just a March storm! Why are you panicking? Is that three gallons of milk?”) (Why yes, yes it is.) while all the mothers complained about school closing decisions and non-decisions (“Anyone else pissed the kids were dismissed early and it’s barely even snowing?”). Texts flew from this end of MetroWest to the next. All the Moms are fed up. We’re all drinking wine too early in the day. None of the Husbands (or Partners) can do anything right. Cluck cluck cluck cluck peck.
I was out of my house for two reasons: to purchase a new set of sheets (long story) and to pick up condiments to make my husband remoulade to dress up tonight’s catfish po’boys. I walked into my local pantry grocery store (not my Weggies, that was yesterday) and it was a gloom and doom festival. March is mean month around here. Spring starts showing up everywhere else, but it’s still cold and snowy and miserable, with nothing much to look forward to. I ran into another mom from school who I’ve hung out with once or twice and she practically accosted me.
“Where have you been? You never text me! I figured with the winter there wouldn’t be anything going on and we’d be hanging out more!”
Which is like… what? Why would you think that? Do I give the impression that I’m not up to much? I really should work out more or something…
While I didn’t need to justify my existence (or non-texting), I filled her in on my last few months.
I feel like I’m chasing a lot of rabbits. Aside from the house stuff and the lives of the boys, I’ve been writing and pursuing writing things. I decided to apply for the Grub Street Emerging Writer fellowship and I completely rewrote a short story of mine for the application… and found out that despite my efforts, it was entirely too long for the application (the website description said 20 pages, but the application itself asked for 10). So, I took the rewritten story that I’m very proud of,and submitted it to Glimmer Train. Then I did my best to polish a shorter work of mine and used that to submit to Grub Street.
I’ve been out of practice when it comes to short stories and submitting. It’s hard work, and the process can really make you doubt yourself and your abilities. It’s also expensive, too, as submitting usually comes with a fee of some sort. They are small individually, but they can add up quickly. Two years ago, I got frustrated with the process and decided to focus on longer works. I’m not quite sure that was the best strategy. I decided that I’d get back to putting myself out there this year, working on new pieces and sending out pieces that I have that I think could be worthy of being somewhere.
I just so happened to be on twitter at the right time on Saturday, and I came across Kima Jones discussing her Jack Jones Retreat for Women of Color. She discussed who should apply and why. I know many of you dear readers are other women writers of color, and if you haven’t heard about Kima, Jack Jones, or the Retreat, I strongly suggest you check out the link and read up. I’m preparing my application now. I have to get back to working on my novel anyway, and this is a great way to jump back into the world and recommit to it.
I haven’t touched my novel since January. I keep telling myself that I’m going to get back to it, but I haven’t made the time for it. My story coach reached out to me this week and gave me a kick in the pants. It’s time to get this draft written. No more excuses.
So I owe her a roadmap outline of where I am and where it’s going on Friday. Then I owe her a first draft on June 30th. It’s so little time… but it’s the pressure I need. I hope and pray I can rise to the challenge. I really just hope that I can maintain the right headspace and honor my own time by not filling it up with other stuff and instead just focus on getting the words written.
I’m not going to lie–I feel like I fail a lot. It’s frustrating. I want to achieve this so badly, but I seem to fail a lot. Hopefully not this time.
Anyway, I need to get to it. I need to put my edits into the computer, I need to draft my answers to the other retreat application questions and ,yeah, I need to sleep.
What rabbits are you chasing right now, Dear Reader?
I’ll see you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.