Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My People Call It Malaise

It is HOT in Arlington, Mass. — hot, humid, and sticky, my least favorite type of weather in the entire world.

What I wanted to do was sit in front of a fan with a cold beverage, but instead I attended Li'l Martini's graduation from middle school, wrapped and prepared his graduation present, made him a card, baked brownies for his graduation dance, took my daughter to lunch to celebrate her last day of school, deposited some checks, prepared snacks and tidied the house for an evening meeting with my writers group, hosted said group, and wrote a sympathy letter to the family of a Betsy-Tacy friend who just died.

Tomorrow will be better.

The writers group meeting was one that I requested. A publisher that I just submitted my novel to asked me about my social media presence, and my sad little answer was, "None." I love and trust my writer friends, all of whom have beautiful, elegant websites (they're listed to the right — check 'em out!), so I invited them over to teach me Social Media 101 while I plied them with wine and snacks and took copious notes.

Writer Jenny is very cross with me, because she was ready to hunker down right then and set me up on WordPress . . . but that is not how I roll. I need to do this on my own, without people breathing next to me. (Or behind me, Husband.) But I will!

Except . . . I just got another rejection from another publisher, the one who'd requested the full manuscript, and I fear that my dear little novel may simply be too old-fashioned for today's market. The one I'm currently working on is edgier. It would probably be smarter to finish that one, sell it, and then say, "Hey, since you like my second book . . ."

All that being said — I'm becoming more and more clear that the writer life is not for me. Not one single thing about what today's writers have to do to sell a book sounds fun to me. Writing itself is awesomely fun when it's going well — but to have it go well, I really need to do it regularly, and that takes time and brain space that I just don't have enough of most days.

In other words: This part of my life no longer brings me any measure of joy, and this is a sad thing to realize.

I will set up a writer website, because I promised my group . . . but who knows what will come of it all. I am tired and discouraged and ready to be done.

But I'm taking the summer off from writing (which will look no different from any other day, but still) — maybe I'll be totally rejuvenated come fall. 'Cause that's the most likely result of a long hot summer at home with my kids and husband around all the time, yessirree!

Also — a good friend of ours is dying, and it is so sad and horrible. She has inoperable brain cancer, and they've elected not to do chemo. She's just a little older than I am, I can barely wrap my head around this.

I'm also completely done in by this most recent shooting in Charleston. Just a handful of weeks ago we were cheering the crazy awesome progress in one part of the world . . .

. . . while another part of the world continues to cling to its gross celebration of traitors, treason, and racism:

I am too hot and cranky to come up with a good conclusion for this post.

I have a little bit of work to do tomorrow, but nothing like last week's schedule. Maybe I will actually get in some fan-and-cold-drink time, put my feet up, ice my beleaguered knees. (After sitting all day at my computer, I rode the bike last night, lifted weights, and soaked in Epsom salts, but I am creaky and limpy today. I blame the heat.)

But now it's time for bed.


—Lady C


  1. A lovely but sad blog. Everything about writing today seems so difficult--it is so much about marketing and having to market yourself unless you are in that top bestselling group.
    That Confederate flag has to go. It was never about states' rights, it was all about the legal right to own and abuse other human beings. And why should that be celebrated in any way? Kathy Baxter

    1. Yes, exactly -- to both your points!!

      I was sad when I wrote this post, but I'm feeling more optimistic this morning. Tomorrow is indeed another day.


  2. Please don't give up the writing. Someone out there loves you. The writer, that is. As for the rest of the world, both near and far, going to hell; at least Arlington is not, except temperature-wise.

    1. YOU love me. You know you do!!

      This morning Husband and I were discussing the Confederate flag and he noted that our town is not the most racially diverse (which it is not), and I said, Yeah, we're white, but we're *50 shades of white*.

      Look at that dazzling wordplay -- I'll never give up on the writing!


  3. Heat + Humans = crankiness here too

    But that margarine ad you posted made me laugh, and I just posted a match on my blog.

    The post-apocalyptic novel I just read has people reciting Shakespeare and performing Beethoven, but I contend that we'll be rehashing TV shows and singing jingles.
    And why not?
    It is the culture of our people.

    For me, the isolation of writing that once seemed romantic has progressively become more painful to bear. And from what I see, the psychology of people who make/write stuff is the opposite of the psychology required to do marketing.

    A summer off thinking "I should be writing" sounds great.
    There's always NaNoWriMo to try, try again (?).

    While you take a break from working on your edgier novel, would you consider self-publishing the first one?

    Congratulations on your L'il Martini graduating!
    And condolences on the fatal illness of your friend.

    Life. It's a tough course.

    1. I may well end up self-publishing the first novel — it just seems like so much work. Thank you for all your kind words, and for the Promise! shout-out! Hilarious. I don't remember that commercial, but I completely agree re: rehashing TV and singing jingles. "Bum-bum-bumblebee, Bumblebee Tuuu-uu-na" — ah, the greats.

  4. "What's the best tuna?
    Chicken of the sea!" :)

  5. I am so sorry about your friend. That SUCKS. Sending you hugs. - SDF