Pathetic Much?

Books to be returned...

(Photo credit: hashmil)

Go figure my last post on “productivity” should date back to over a month ago. Hm. Sure, we writers don’t have to write every day, but maybe we bloggers should post more frequently than every six weeks. Sorry, folks. Thanks for sticking with me if you’re still out there. 🙂

As per usual, I’m full of excuses, excuses. Back-to-back writing and editing projects have proven more of a workload than I’d anticipated, and my personal writing projects have suffered for it. And summer is not proving helpful so far as hosting and traveling has predictably kicked into high gear. One unanticipated trip I recently took was home to Chicago—a force larger than myself compelled me to go, I think, as I couldn’t stop dreaming night after night about going there and hugging my family. Waking up was never so tragic. So thank you, frequent flyer miles.

The price I paid for that, though, was the hectic situation that was returning just before taking in another visitor, a former student of mine whom I’d taught as a freshman in high school and will now be a sophomore in college. But it was so special to have that time together and introduce her to the literary and historical wonders of London, and we experienced a phenomenal performance of Les Miserables last night. As she departs for Chicago today, I leave for Paris tomorrow for a week-long working holiday—or “worliday,” as one journalist so obnoxiously put it, considering that, to me, the concept of “working holiday” is obnoxious in itself. Yet, alas, often necessary. At the very least, my husband and I will finally have an easy enough getaway for just the two of us (perhaps sipping a little absinthe in a few old Hemingway haunts) while still keeping on top of real life.

And THEN we return to the Olympics. Tickets to volleyball, basketball, and track & field, two of which my in-laws are coming in town to view as well. After a week hosting them in London, we’ll travel with them a week in Istanbul. Another worliday, I expect. Then two weeks after that this selfish bastard finally caters to someone other than herself by volunteering a few days in southern England for Honeypot, a children’s charity that provides respite breaks for child carers—i.e., gives some semblance of childhood to those who’ve had to grow up too fast. I’m also initiating the process for a potential return to the classroom this fall as an English teacher, short or long-term TBD. Well, all of it TBD, really. Just exploring options.

Amidst all of this, I can’t determine when. To. Write. It’s awful, I know, and maybe I should have my “writer” membership card revoked. But you know what I’ve been escaping to in the meantime, whenever I can catch a break? Books. I’ve been reading again and reading often and reinforcing if not rediscovering my love of it. It helps me as a writer, sure, as reading does for us all, but it’s also become a source of great comfort in view of that challenging writing and publication process. As long as reading books still gives me joy, I won’t despair if I myself never publish one. As long as I can appreciate the talent of other writers, I won’t lament if my own talent never develops to their calibre. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying—oh, HELL no! I love writing, and I still have characters and situations swarming around in my head that need a place on the page. I’m set to begin querying again on manuscript #1 and hope I can get manuscript #2 ready for it, too, by autumn. My writing life goes on, that’s for sure; I’m simply saying it won’t die an agonizing death if doesn’t go beyond my computer.

On a side note, the small publisher I edit for has just seen one of its titles make the New York Times Best Seller list and another climb to an #11 Amazon rank in its category on Kindle (#23 for the print book), which is exciting and promising for the joy I reap from editing as well!

“So long as books are open, minds can never be closed,” Ronald Reagan once said, and so long as my mind is open and life full, there will always be ideas for what to write next.

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About thefallenmonkey

Primate that dapples in writing when not picking others' fleas or flinging its own poop. View all posts by thefallenmonkey

7 responses to “Pathetic Much?

  • Alannah Murphy

    Always nice to hear from you. Don’t worry about how long it takes, those of us who love your blog, will ALWAYS be here.

    Sounds like a hectic life! Glad someone is looking forward to the Olympics. I am NOT, cannot stand sports and could care less, so I am amongst the many Londoners moaning about the disruption and hassle, whilst counting down the days until the whole thing is OVER…meh

    You still working on your novel? I am “trying” but I keep being busy with my music blog instead…oh well, the novel will get re-written one day….

    • thefallenmonkey

      Helloooo! Now I have to apologize for taking ages to respond to comments, too! I appreciate your loyal comment oh-so much and am hoping to see the light of day in perhaps another two weeks. 🙂

      Did you thoroughly avoid the Olympics or catch some of the spirit since Team GB did so well?!

      I suppose I’m still “working” on the novel in the respect that I do think of it time to time and submitted a couple more queries recently. As for properly sitting down to more revisions of the one and finishing the last chapters of the other, uhhhh…not so much. My schedule of late has put a real block in my head – perhaps it’s foolish of me to keep waiting for a wide open window to write, that I should write when I can even if it’s just a sentence or two, but I’m so burnt out with writing soulless copy for work, the spirit just isn’t there.

      At any rate, I need to carve out some time soon to see all you’ve done with your music blog! Please know that even though I go MIA for long stretches, I still love reading your blog and will always be a follower!

      • Alannah Murphy

        No worries, take as long as you like, I ain’t going anywhere 🙂

        I avoided the olympics like the plague, except for attempting to watch online, the opening and closing ceremonies, but only after olympics had finished. Found things tacky and cringe-enducing, so I could only watch bits of it before I started gagging. Only amusing thing was Mo Farah and the hilarious website that popped up called Mo Farah Running Away From Things, google it for a laugh…

        My dear monkey friend, I often forget you’re London based, not quite sure what kind of music you’re into, but check out the blog sometime, there might be something you like, I’m about to post something soon, about an upcoming acoustic gig in Tufnell Park…

  • Tahlia Newland

    Reading and writing go together. Reading helps you write better, so I figure it’s part of the ‘job’. After reading heaps and reviewing for a year, I read Lethal Inheritance again and decided it needed improvement. Yep, I’m preparing for another revisit & told my agent to expect a new draft. If I hadn’t done all that reading, I might not have noticed all those clunky bits.

    • thefallenmonkey

      Apologies for the massively belated response! I’ve dropped out of the blogosphere again for a while and am hoping to get back up in my tree and swingin’ before too long.

      Anyway, I like how you put it – that reading is part of the “job” – and I’m happy to hear you’re at work on Lethal Inheritance again! I haven’t looked at my first manuscript in months so am hoping to likewise identify weaknesses with fresher, more critical eyes, too. I wish you much inspiration as you rewrite!

  • writeinberlin

    Congratulations on the successes of late. That’s amazing news!
    Don’t worry about your blog. The people who matter will stay. Especially those with a quite dormant blog on their own 😉
    But loads of energy goes into my fb page these days, just seems to be the medium serving my book better.

    Anywho – seems your life is full with (mostly – sorry about the painful aspects :() good stuff, great to hear! And you also seem to consider staying in Europe for a while longer. Am all for it!
    Reading — yeessss, great stuff! Just think of a musician not listening to music. Doesn’t work! I like to call reading the input-part of writing. So totally agree with Tahlia there. Swing on, monkey!

    • thefallenmonkey

      “a musician not listening to music” – That’s wonderful! Thank you as always, m’dear, for such perceptive insights and, of course, the loyal to my sorry lil’ sickly Monkey here. 🙂 As is obviously by my belated responses to everyone’s comments and pending comments on YOUR blog, I fell off my branch again but hope to bark back up that tree before too long. 5.5 weeks of travel and hosting is now behind me, leaving me to a monster deadline to knock out of the way before I leave town again to volunteer for a few days. Here’s hoping that September brings an open window of writing and more of that beautiful reading…

      Nice work dedicating your energies to your FB page – I hope it’s bringing your novel much notice!

Pick my fleas!

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