Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Calling for the Check

It seems that there are any number of pithy phrases regarding stress. There's the one about the two-ended candle, the one about recompensing the piper, and so on. Well, it seems that I delayed payment as best I could, but that finally my bluff that "I never got that, so I shouldn't have to pay it; can't I at least have a few extra days; oh, that - that's in the mail" was called by The Powers That Be. I've been revealed as an inept juggler who tried a couple of balls too many.

In short, I'm a stress-puppy just now. I've been one for the last week or so and probably will be for another week or so. I know some people thrive on pressure and I do tolerably well, but it's not something I actively yearn for. My friend Stacked Librarian has a theory that this is just delayed stress from the book-writing project bubbling up to the surface. I'm not sure, but I think that no one is indispensable and right now, I'd really like to take about three days off to test the theory. Alas, I teach and that's just not an option. I like teaching, so I don't want to not be there - substitutes never do things quite the way I want them done. (Did I mention my tendencies toward control-freakism that are also plaguing me just now?)


Oh, for a late-February snowstorm. As it is, I'd better dig out the karmic checkbook - that piper's starting to glare at me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Callooh, Callay!

While I don't think I've actually slain the Jabberwock, it may at least have been the Jubjub bird. So please - join me in a moment of well-deserved celebration. The book-beast has been delivered unto the publisher, properly updated and indexed (which is sort of the publishing equivalent of the twelve-pointer being trussed and wrestled into the bed of the pickup). Yep, the final edits in manuscript form are done and everything is indexed and even (mostly) cross-referenced. Never having put together that sort of index before, I can tell you with confident authority that the alphabet is harder than you might think it is.

But it's done. Sent by me and received by the publisher, so now it's a waiting game. I won't actually believe it until I hold the final product, bound in a shiny cover (and yes, I've seen the cover art. Squeee! I'll say no more), but it seems I'm an author now. How can I work that onto my business cards? I don't want to give up "Notorious Adventuress" but perhaps something will suggest itself. Maybe "Loquacious Wordsmith."

Hmmm. Maybe not. Well, I'm open to suggestions.

I appreciate that not many people in the world give a rip about this project - it's hardly likely to be a best-seller or a "beach read," but by golly, I'm pretty proud of my baby. And if you're going to be so much of a sheep as to live by the standards and opinions of the rest of the world instead of trusting your own lights, well, they might as well make a sweater out of you.

Yeah, I know. Easy to say, hard to do. Still, at least for the moment - Callooh, Callay!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Rhetorical Question

. . . that's been bugging me for the last few days.

Why do all things electronic seem to resent me? I'll admit, I don't understand binary code as a primary language, but I know enough to identify the slidy-out-thing as a place to put a CD or DVD, rather than thinking my computer comes with a handy cupholder.

Alas, it appears that more is required of me. At this moment, my home computer is poxed with - well, something. Whatever it has, it's got it bad. It'll try to connect to Windows, but will then give the computer equivalent of a death rattle and - well, it's bad. Further, my laptop (it's work related; I travel for my job) will, for some freakish reason, hop on a wireless connection with no problem, but really doesn't want to connect through a cable and my house doesn't have wireless. So I'm at the coffee shop. I've been updating student rolls and announcements (long story that really isn't interesting to anyone who isn't me, so I'll spare you), but decided to post a "why me?" sort of thing.

Sigh. I know February isn't really out to get me, but some days it looks that way.

No picture this week - it's just one more chance for something electronic to go screwy.

There's good stuff going on, too, but I'm sticking with my theme here. I know I have some sackcloth around here somewhere . . . woe, woe, woe!! (Rending of garments, gnashing of teeth. Repeat as necessary.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Shortest Month

I must confess that February is not my favorite month. Oh, sure, on the calendar, it's the shortest. But in the real world, February has a nasty tendency to stretch out far beyond what is decent and acceptable in polite society. That said, I'll still admit that the groundhog (aka "woodchuck") is sort of fun.

In my part of the world, February is a trickster. Think of it as the Joss Whedon of months. (Ignore the part in parentheses if that last sentence confused you.) We'll have days that are warm enough to make you wish for a convertible. You're walking along with a spring in your step, taking note of the optimistic crocuses and jonquils poking their tender little heads up above the once-cold earth, providing a visual promise that spring is a-coming. (Look, Fred and Wesley are finally getting together! Yay and it's about time!) Then, just as your heart is thawing toward the minx of a month, WHAMMO!! Three days of cold, miserable, steel-grey rain will come slashing down. ("Why can't I stay?" followed by "Yes, please.")


Well, there's no way out except through it. And it's not all bad - the underdog Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl in a game that truly separated the boys from the Manning. (Rimshot!)

So it's time to find out, once and for all - how much wood can a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?