life · Writing

Missed Deadlines, Holidays, and a Cookie Thief

I had a plan, a well laid out plan that had reasonable daily and weekly goals, to finish the cancer book by today. I have not finished the cancer book by today. I’m frustrated as hell about how the last few chapters are going, and frustrated with myself for not finishing (yet) again. Writing is full of imposter syndrome/self esteem pitfalls and ups and downs in motivation. It’s hard. Knowing I’m prone to some procrastination and getting hit by external circumstances, I set my own goal earlier than I told the publisher I’d be done with the book when I did my proposal. Although, it’s been nearly six months since I submitted my proposal, so I’ve also stared looking at other publishers, agents, and self-publishing options.

It’s also Yule today and Christmas this weekend, and I have a grown-up medical procedure to do next week, and we’re getting hit by a major blizzard for the next few days. I haven’t finished Christmas shopping for my newly minted husband, nor have I gotten the horde out to get him presents. Today is snowing, tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be a horridly windy with a windchill of -50 (nope, I’m not kidding, and I don’t even need to identify C or F because it’s the SAME at that temperature), so it’s not safe to get them out then, either.

So, I’m hitting big ‘ol goose egg failures on multiple levels this week. Fun. And also, life. Can’t control weather, after all.

However, I’ve also had a few wins.

fAngus used the actual litterbox sometime overnight, which is a huge victory in this house I can’t appropriately describe. Never before have I cheered cleaning up after a pet, and I think this means he’s officially on the mend. Must be the Prozac and special food. Or the birds on the feeder outside the sliding door. He loafs in front of the glass and chatters at them, occasionally lunging at the glass (and thumping his noggin followed by a quick glance around to see if anyone caught him being undignified). Today he stole a chunk of my shortbread cookie and ate it right in front of me, because he gives no fucks about what’s “mine” versus what’s his. Progress.

I published a book review through the World History Encyclopedia earlier this week. It’s the first one I’d done for them since BC. It was nice to have a non-self-published thing again.

Recently I got a second rejection letter on a flash fiction piece I’d written years ago and updated this fall. They (meaning if you talk to published writers or take classes or read books on writing and writing processes) say when your rejection letters change from form letter to something more personal, that’s a good sign you’re getting close. The last rejection I got for this story reads “Thank you for considering market redacted as a home for this wonderful piece. Unfortunately, it is not the right fit for us at this time. Although we are unable to publish your work, we found great enjoyment in it and vehemently encourage you to submit to us again in our next submission window.” My writing group says this is huge, and I’m taking it as a win, and a sign.

Baby steps, but I’m getting there. Now, it’s the winter solstice and I should be doing Yule things to celebrate tonight. Tomorrow I can get back on the book wagon, churn out my last 20k words over the next week or two, and figure out what to do about presents.

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