So yesterday mid-afternoon I was the grumpest of the grumps. Woe was I and all that.
I decided I was facing post-semester stress disorder, the result of trying to downshift from 80 hours per week into 40 without losing steam entirely. The summer's prospective projects were overwhelming me, and I felt incredibly guilty about allowing myself to do something other than academic work.
By the evening, I was pretty whiny.
But then, over the course of the evening, things worked. Having decided I would do no academic work for the evening--definitively--worked like magic. There was nothing on TV, so I turned it off and didn't try to replace it with movies for several hours.
I pulled out the Swahili books I had put away (read: taken back to the library) last fall and looked over the first lesson again, rehearsing the now-unfamiliar, yet familiar, sounds. I looked up how to say "post-semester stress disorder" in Swahili in an online dictionary and felt ridiculously happy about it, even though I had no idea how to put the individual words together in the way that made sense. I exercised a bit to my newly discovered and fabulous Exercise TV on-demand channel, getting my muscles moving again bit by bit.
And, as a result of these writing practices, my brain too started to loosen itself up and use muscles that had lain dormant during the school year. And about 1:30 a.m., inspiration hit. I started a creative project I'd been thinking about for awhile. It flowed, and it was beautiful.
Considering last year this barely happened at the end of summer, this is a beautiful, beautiful day in the neighborhood. Woohoo! I'm back in the land of creative writing!
Sure, I still have many academic tasks for the summer, but I'm beginning to envision how a certain amount of, dare I say "balance"? might be possible in the next few months. Ah, frabjous day...
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
And She's Ba-ack!
I'm a writer, an incurable reader, a narrative theorist, a media researcher, a scholar/author/writer/consultant, a PK, and the Queen of Soup Making. I write a lot, and I've taught a wide range of topics in universities. Along my journey I've picked up a PhD in Communication from Purdue and 2 degrees in English. I've been turning my ideas about communication as author-audience relationships into a communication paradigm that can be applied to a wide range of situations. I'm also writing a historical mystery series. I'm a member of Sisters in Crime, and the co-chair of the Mystery and Detective Fiction Caucus of the Popular Culture Association. My MA thesis focused on connections between T. S. Eliot and Thoreau, who each wondered about how to remain still and still moving. Before I went to grad school, I spent 7 years working for a division of HarperCollins Publishers.