Only 8 Working Days Till Spring Break

It’s called Easter Holiday here, but that does not clearly express the sense of freedom and liberation that is a 3-week spring break. Plus, I’m not Christian or pagan, so Easter just means more Cadbury mini-eggs to me.


It’s been stressful so far in the term. I’m surviving, but barely. The triathlon training is finally taking its toll, and I’m grinding my teeth in anticipation of a job – any job – coming up on the boards that will allow me to continue my studies and hire a housecleaner. I hate cleaning house.

I’ve adopted a strategy that I hope will allow me to meet my targets this semester: I’m writing for 20 minutes a day in timed sessions. So far, it’s working. The story that would not budge is budging – moving and flowing even. It’s a shitty first draft, but it’s there.

The good news of yesterday – being a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Awards – is already stressing me out. People are excited for me, and I’m really grateful for all my friends’ and family’s support. But this contest that I barely remember entering, and never gave a second thought to, is now pressuring me. Can I win? Can I get to the next round even? What does that say about me if I don’t win? Should I enter next year? Should I push to finish my current WIP, aside from the PhD, so I can enter it next year? Because that is a MUCH better book, and if I can make it this far with an early career novel…

I’m making a vow: this is the last I mention or think about this contest until April, when the semifinalists are announced. I have more pressing things to worry about, things I have some modicum of control over.

Like teaching. Like the husband, sick in bed. Like the dog who won’t stop her whining for a walk. Like that silly little PhD thing. Like friends who are ill, family members who are struggling in a recession.

And back to our regularly scheduled cynical, pessimistic program. 🙂

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