holiday? what’s a holiday?

We went by the Mardyke Arena, which is the University College Cork’s gym facility, to find out if they allow day passes to the swimming pool, which I suspect is the only pool in Cork worth swimming in*. They don’t, or rather, they do, but only if you come as the guest of someone with a regular pass and who won’t leave your side for the duration of your swim. Or something like that. Except in July and August, when they do day passes because the students are gone. Ted said, “You should just go back to school,” which might in fact be cheaper than buying a pool pass. Sadly, they don’t have an anthropology course, just archaeology. Which would be cool too, but if I were going back to school for another BA my first choice would be anth. Hm, they’ve got a geology degree, too. That’s also on my short list of degrees I’d like to have (which, alphabetically, run: anthropology, art, geology and theatre, with some still-functional fondness for an MFA in creative writing and perhaps a PhD of some kind in history or literature or something someday). Wonder how many classes you have to take to qualify for gym membership. :)

On the way home, though, we ran into Sammy & kidlings, and the Elder Kidling has swim classes at the Mardyke on Mondays, so at the very least I can join them for a while and see if the pool is actually worth paying the gym fee for. So that’s lovely. :) (And, y’know, this whole bloody insane writing madness should be boiling down to a steady simmer by this fall, and going back to school would be a way to get myself out of the house & to meet people, so it’s not an inherently bad idea. Don’t know that I’ll do it. But not a bad idea.)

Speaking of steady simmers, I was trying to figure out when the hell I was actually going to take a break, and man, I just don’t have an off button, or something. Yeah, okay, I’m out from under contract to Del Rey with the delivery of THE PRETENDER’S CROWN, but I’m going to be submitting a proposal for the next books in the series, y’know, ASAP. Which means writing the proposal. Which needs to be done sooner rather than later, once the book is done, because the longer I put it off, well, the longer it takes for them to potentially offer me a new contract. So, ok, finish TPC rough draft, write proposal during the week to take a step back from the book, do TPC revisions, turn it all in. Okay, that’s do-able.

Subterranean Press short story: due mid-May. Okay, assuming I can come up with a plot (I have a title, a plot should be easy! fnrt!), I could also do that during the write-the-proposal week. Not too bad.

Ok, CAULDRON BORNE, 4th book of the Walker Papers, is going to be late. This is how it is. It’s due June 1. There’s no way I’m turning it in on time. (Need to email my editor about that.) So perhaps for sanity’s sake I should just step back and take a week between turning TPC in and starting CB.

Oh wait, damn, there are Chance scripts to do. Okay, writing one or two that week of May would…not be very much like not writing. It’d get me a little ahead of the curve for the scripts. That’d be good. But is it good enough to sacrifice Time Off for? Does it matter? Am I psychologically capable of taking the damned time off? Is writing a couple 5000 word scripts enough like days off to trick myself into thinking I’m on vacation?

CB: a measly 110K novel, the first 10K of which are already written, at least in rough draft form. Hahah! I can write a 100K novel in four week! I will be done by mid-June! …wait, bozo, you can write 100K in 4 weeks when you’re in top fucking form. Maybe nobody told you, but you’re not in top form right now. Better give yourself a more realistic eight weeks. And eight instead of twelve only because you really want to go to ComicCon, and really want to turn the book in before you do that.

…crap. The 6th Chance script really *does* need to be done by July. It’d be *really good* if the 7th was, too. Which means that week in May really should have at least one script worked into it. Shit. Well, all right, nothing to be done about it. Maybe aim for one then and another right before Comic Con? Is that sane? No, of COURSE it’s not sane, but it may be all there is to do about it.

August: wait, what’s this? No books due? Hooray! I can write Chance 8-12! I can revise Angles! I can eat Fred’s brain and discuss Electricity and WWG! I can pitch the Super Sekrit Marvel Project Idea! I can finish TRUTHSEEKER! I can–

…I can has lobotomy, maybe. That might help. The Chance scripts, yeah, those have to be done. The rest of it doesn’t. I can take a freaking break. I can slow down and breathe for a while. And then I can maybe sign a new Del Rey contract, and approach it at a more leisurely pace than this one’s ended up being. If (*sob*) that doesn’t happen, I can get a little ahead on the Walker Papers instead.

I do not have to fill every damned moment of my time with New! Exciting! Projects!

Literally everyone around me–my husband, my parents, my agent, my friends–have been told to remind me of this, and to not let me pile this much stuff on my plate again. I don’t know why it’s so damned difficult to back off, even just mentally, from this snowball from hell scheduling. Part of it’s habit. I’ve been running so hard so long I just keep thinking in those terms. Part of it is apparently overwhelming, idiotic ambition, although I have *succeeded* in building the shelf presence I wanted. This time next year I’ll have ten CE Murphy books out. That’s a pretty big chunk of space in a bookstore, even at just one copy each. Part of it is the New! Shiny!, but God, even New! and Shiny! ought to wear thin at some point. I think the largest part of it is that I’m just batshit *insane*, and need to be saved from my own enthusiasm.

…there is no point to this rant, other than, as Sammy said, the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. This personality quirk isn’t news to me, but the harder I nail it home, perhaps the more likely I won’t drown myself again.

Perhaps. :p

*I was a competitive swimmer in high school. I have a very narrow range of what I consider to be a pool worth swimming in. It’s much colder than most people want to be in, doesn’t allow annoying children to get in my way, *and* has other swimmers in my lane who are familiar with the concept of either splitting the lane or circling, and who will get the hell out of my way if I’m faster than they are.

ytd wordcount: 179,800
miles to Minas Tirith: 288.9

1 Comment


  1. I grew up in Florida with a community pool(fee freee). Now I live in Viriginia with the only desent pool is over 5 miles away and costs $50 dollars a month. I so miss the feel of water sliding over my skin.

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