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21 April 2008 @ 05:26 pm
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

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: busybusy
Evil Headdrivingblind on April 21st, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
Your schedule reminds me of why I made a NOTHING NEW DAMMIT proclamation a bit back.
kitmizkit on April 21st, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
This is my version of NOTHING NEW DAMMIT. Or I'm trying very hard for it to be. The whole thing may be reiterated repeatedly over the next few months. I hain't too bright sometimes, ya see...
The Green Knight: Businessgreen_knight on April 21st, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
Talk to autopope about the first rule of being a successful writer: don't die.

Honestly, you sound a lot like Charlie in his frantic phase, and nobody can keep running at that speed forever. Better you learn to slow down now than on an enforced break.

As for pools, the UK ones usually have a lane reserved for fast swimmers, and unlike German pools, they use far less chlorine, so they're actually bearable. For me, 'long enough' is a sticking point. I am using to 50m lanes in open air pools. My workout - long and slow, at least by your standards - is based on that. I miss them.
kit: swimmingmizkit on April 21st, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've often thought of Charlie during this insanity.

I'm used to 25 *yard* pools, so 25 meter ones throw me off. I've only ever swum in a 50m once, and wow, that's a different experience. I can see why it'd be hard to adapt to the shorter lengths.

Sadly, at the pools I've swum at here, "reserved for fast swimmers" is either totally ignored or ... they're just not fast swimmers compared to me. So it's frustrating. Grr. :)

The less chlorine, though, is a *total* win. I noticed that right away when I got into an Irish pool. Yay!
(no subject) - mylescorcoran on April 21st, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mizkit on April 21st, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylescorcoran on April 21st, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mizkit on April 21st, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Childlightchildlight on April 21st, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
Competitive swimmer...wow that is really cool.
I am a picky about pools in my own way too. I grew up with a nice size above ground pool in my parents back yard. It is a good walk from the house and surrounded by trees on three sides. The pool is 23 years old and I hold my breath every year that we will get another year from it. I love to float in that pool alone with a good book listening to the birds and watching the dragonflies land on my toes.
I just can not relax in any other pool.
kit: swimmingmizkit on April 21st, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
I wasn't especially fast, but even so, my idea of being a fast swimmer is based on people who were *really* fast, and so as I said once, sort of idiotically, "I'm only fast compared to most people," and meant that as "I'm not really all that fast," somehow. :)
Kristine Smith: gimme a breakkristine_smith on April 21st, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)

But, we just discussed this.

I've been at this since 1999--ok, a few years before--and I have five count-em FIVE books on the shelves. And given the time lag, esp between books 4 and 5, they are not all on the shelves of your neighborhood bookstore at the same time. I'm lucky they're all still in print.

I feel like such a slacker because so many folks who started well after me have blown past me, production-wise. But I think that's something I am just going to have to learn to accept. If writers were kitchen gear, I think I'd be a crockpot. Just shovel in the ingredients and leave it alone for as long as it takes. But I'm surrounded by microwave ovens. And griddles. And broilers. And the ever-popular gas grills.

kit: overachievermizkit on April 21st, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
Indeed, our discussion was part of what prompted me to write this, in an effort to club it into my head that really, it's okay to not kill myself with business.

I love the kitchen gear analogy. :) Especially since I recently re-discovered how *awesome* crockpots really are. :)
(no subject) - suricattus on April 21st, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Ellen Millionellenmillion on April 21st, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
I do not have to fill every damned moment of my time with New! Exciting! Projects!

Wait. You don't? This concept is foreign to me.
kitmizkit on April 21st, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
I know. I want you to print that out in big letters and post it to ... your forehead, possibly. :)
irishkate: writingirishkate on April 21st, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
would it help if I break your fingers after you turn in the last of the already contracted books? The sore hand slowed you down but the timing was wrong.

or handcuff your right hand to your thigh or something?
kitmizkit on April 21st, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
...no, I don't think that would help. o.o
(no subject) - irishkate on April 21st, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylescorcoran on April 21st, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mizkit on April 21st, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mylescorcoran on April 21st, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
darillian: SW Queendarillian on April 21st, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
You are not insane. Speaking as one who is used to running around like a bat out of hell, myself, it is habit.

I, unfortunately, am forced to slow down for health reasons, and donig so drives me insane. I would suggest you slow down and do other things you enjoy that do not have deadlines and stress. This likely contributed to my problems. It is *hard* to slow down when you are used to going a hundred miles a minute, and you never really stop. Even when you arent' doing it, your barin is.

It is kind of like what I think recovering alcoholics must deal with. You never really stop being a Busy Addict, you just force yourself to not take on so much. And then it drives you nuts the way others do things, so you want to do it yourself, and take more on, and then you have to stop agagin...

There is no *good time* to take a break. Just take one anyway and resolve not to stress about it or kick yourself for it afterwards. (You might anyway, but resolve not to.)
kitmizkit on April 21st, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
I think you've nailed it. And I'm going to *try* to break the habit. I really am. Because this is tiring!
(no subject) - kesmun on April 22nd, 2008 04:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
Michellemsagara on April 21st, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
You remember when you were in the horrible crush of deadlines last time, it was something like two books before you remembered that the reason you chose writing was because you loved it?

But I think it's easier to consider all the new shiny stuff because it's -not- deadline when you consider it, and the grind comes later.
kitmizkit on April 21st, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah. That's part of why I am determined to not go under more than two contracts a year. I think I probably can /write/, say, 5 books every 2 years, but one of them has to be Sheerly For Enjoyment. I can sell it later. As a stand-alone. Even if it could potentially be a series. *squinchy face*
Kate Kirbykirbyk on April 21st, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC)
Wait, is today a Holiday somewhere?
kitmizkit on April 21st, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
No, I was just considering the shape of my doom.
Mary Annepers1stence on April 21st, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
Remind me -- in your part of the world, do they drive on the "other" side of the road? And if so, do they swim laps the other way around too? (a friend of mine who used to swim was pondering that about the English the other day...)
kitmizkit on April 21st, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
They drive on the wrong side of the road, but they do not swim on the wrong side of the lane. :)
esperalore on April 21st, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
I totally understand you about the pool; I swam only one year of highschool, but six years or so club (usa swimming). When I was a kid, my brother and I would butterfly down a pool top speed (and run anybody over who got in the way) to clear it out so that we could actually swim. It doesn't work very well now that I'm older and slow and too embarrassed to even try butterfly most of the time.

"I'm only fast compared to most people"

I usually say "I'm only fast compared to people who don't swim", but its essentially the same thing. And I know just how slow I swim compared to serious swimmers, since my brother swam collegiate with olympians.

Year before last I was able to find a local masters swim team, which had the whole pool reserved, so I could swim with a few people who were decent. And they all understood lane splitting, and not being in the way of flip turns and such even if they were slow. Unfortunately the pool we were in was still crappy. I'm now closer to decent a pool, but with no masters team, so I've been lazy about getting over to it.
Brian: Bunny: readinglogrusboy on April 21st, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
Add to Things To Be Thankful For List:
- Not being the instructor at an MFA creative writing program when one C. E. Murphy wanders in with her ten (or probably more by then) published novels.
- Somebody is out there trying to keep Catie from breaking herself. Remember, the goal is to do almost too much.
kitmizkit on April 21st, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's the basic problem with getting an MFA: there is *no way* I would want to jump through their hoops.
(no subject) - logrusboy on April 22nd, 2008 02:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mizkit on April 22nd, 2008 08:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
mikecosgravemikecosgrave on April 22nd, 2008 12:10 pm (UTC)