2022 has been galloping through, so far. There’s been a lot going on for me on the professional and personal front. I won’t say anything about the pandemic except that it’s really not good for everyone’s mental/emotional health, particularly not for emotionally fragile creatives with anxious dispositions.
Stuff I’ve done:
- Completed both my MA and PhD examiner’s reports. These things are serious responsibilities, not to be taken lightly.
- Apparently acquired another two (one incoming, the other registered) PhD supervisees. I am one supervisee short of ten now, though I’m only principle supervisor for about 6 of those. But one is going to finish soon.
- Working on chairing/coordinating TWO webinars/online symposiums this year. One of those will be the Fairytale Salon Series III, the other one will be a Memory Studies webinar, which I am putting together mostly because at least three of my supervisees are working with Memory/Trauma studies — and it does seem like I am returning to my “roots” as a literary scholar/critical theorist because of this. So a lot of my reading lately has been related to that.
- Working on three articles as sole-author, and another 3-4 as co-author/corresponding author. Hope to submit three by April, when semester starts and when I’ll be teaching four courses, three as coordinator! There’s going to be a steep learning curve particularly since I’ve been given a new course to coordinate, and some frantic scheduling issues. But I think I should be able to handle it. My policy is “better to teach more courses than less” because “that’s part of what they’re paying me for”.
- Working on the edited collection, far too slowly for my liking because of all of the other things that has been happening.
- Putting together a research grant proposal, and working on the current research grant-funded project which has a ton of red-tape I’m not done wrangling yet.
- Working on a journal special section that I’m co-editing for my research cluster here at the research centre.
- Got appointed to another committee, but I find the work interesting so I don’t mind. I like doing things that make a positive difference to the postgraduate student body.
- Been reader for various PhD proposal defenses. This took a lot of time but again, I don’t mind doing things that’ll help postgraduates. It’s my way of paying it forward for all of the kindnesses and support I got as a PhD student oh, over a decade ago.
- Finished grading everything, finally! I celebrated this today with some Godiva chocolate and home-made dumplings. I’m getting good at making dumplings! Yum.
- Introspecting about my monograph proposal — but I’ll only finalise this after I get all of the other things out of the way. I jettisoned 2018’s Schrodinger’s Monograph for various reasons I won’t get into. Also, I wasn’t sure about that particular research. And I’m glad I jettisoned it because it doesn’t fit the narrative of where I want to go as a scholar. I didn’t want that to be my first monograph. Still, I’m nearly a decade since I got my PhD and I still have no books to my name, so, that’s going to be a serious undertaking for this year. Do I have a monograph idea? Yes, already started work on the proposal. And I’m excited about this one. I feel I am regaining my mojo and momentum as a scholar again and I want to keep going. But, get the main articles and the collection out of the way first.
- Novel: Watermyth revising still goes very slowly and in typical me-fashion I’m now secondguessing the self-publishing route because as the novel gets even better I’m wondering if I want to try to get representation for it anyway.
- Short Fiction: Have several ideas to revise stories that have been static for years. Also worked on that space opera I’ve been whittling away at for the past two years. I hope to be actively submitting short stories again by May.
- Blogs: I have not uploaded February’s short story reviews yet, but I have started blogging about my chess and language-learning adventures again, over at Bibliotheca Luminis.
I also really need to get around to submitting poetry again. I’ve got more than 200 poems sitting pretty that should be sent out, or turned into chapbooks. Maybe 300? Don’t know. Stay tuned. But the most important thing is that slow as I am, I’m writing again, and I haven’t lost momentum yet, despite how busy I am, despite everything that’s happening in my life right now.
Not going to lie, around February, my deadlines really frightened me to the extent of having a panic attack but I’m now exhaling a bit because I got quite a lot done already. Scheduling things remains an issue because I need to have emotional/introversion buffers but sometimes you just don’t have that luxury. Time is at a premium as well as my emotional/energy resources.
There’s still a lot more stuff on my to-do list but I’m also really, really determined to finish some short stories and at least two more chapters of Watermyth before I decide, one way or another, if I want to continue with the self-publishing route or give it one more chance with agents (mostly also because I don’t know if I have the time and energy to do all the work required of self-publishing — and the money!). Stay tuned.
As always, I hope you are all doing fine, and hope that when I finally have short fiction published again, you’ll like the new stuff I’ve been percolating while I’ve been hibernating as an author. In these dangerous times we live in, please stay safe, try to stay positive (though not toxic positivity) and kind to each other.
Love, Light and Healing Thoughts,