I’ve been embarrassingly absent these past few days and I have no good excuse aside from a mild case of ennui and an unabashed sense of anxiety about tomorrow. I promise to write much much more as soon as possible, perhaps starting even tonight. I’m far too worked up to do anything that involves wearing shoes.

Please allow this deliciousness to make up for my ineptitude.

It’s Coming…

I received my itinerary for Grub Street‘s Muse and the Marketplace conference the other day; I’ve been getting more and more worked up about it ever since. Don’t misunderstand — I’m very excited about attending this weekend, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s stressing me out.

Here’s my itinerary below; more details once I’ve attended…

Saturday, April 26th
8.00 am – 9.45 am: Registration, breakfast, meet and greet
9.45 am – 11.00 am: “Breaking Into Writing” with Paul Yoon, Bret Anthony Johnston, Susan Richards Shreve, Michelle Hoover and Ethan Gilsdorf.
11.15 am – 12.30 pm: “The Phases of a Story” with Kate Wheeler
12.45 pm – 2.00 pm: Lunch.
2.00 pm – 3.15 pm: “Get Your Novel Started: The Commando Plan to Get the *#%! Thing Off the Ground” with Jennifer Haigh
3.30 pm – 4.30 pm: Hour of Power Seminars, meet and greet, book signings and my Manuscript Mart session

Sunday, April 27th
8.00 am – 9.45 am: Registration, breakfast, meet and greet
9.45 am – 11.00 am: “Bring on the Rhino!” with Lois Lowry
11.15 am – 12.30 pm: “The Writing Life” with Chuck Hogan
12.45 pm – 2.30 pm: Keynote Lunch with Jonathan Franzen
2.30 pm – 3.45 pm: “Take Self, Add Facts, Make Story: The Art of the “Blended” Memoir” with John Sedgwick
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm: Hour of Power Seminars

I May Have OFFICIALLY Lost My Mind.

Before there was a small chance of it, but now I think that it is certain.  I spent the majority of today writing and putting the finishing touches on my pages for the Manuscript Mart aspect of The Muse and The Marketplace; I’ve just now come from Keith’s study, where I giggled a lot and possibly said something like, “I think it’s done and I think it might even be good, or parts of it might be good, and now I think we have to do something like jump up and down and dance around.” After we did that, I then twisted up my fingers and possibly said something like, “Actually, it might not be good, and it might really just be poorly written and adolescent and amateurish, and now I think I need something like a proper hug.”  Then I promptly burst into tears.   That part I am sure of.

Keith, sadly, is quite used to these sorts of outbursts from me.  During the entire month that I’ve been preparing my pages, he’s had to deal with me frantically rushing into the study and blurting out with statements such as, “I need to to say something and I need you not to talk, because I think that this is the stupidest thing I have ever, ever done and I can’t believe you didn’t try and talk me out of it.”  Sometimes I would even barge in to throw myself onto the sofa and yell at the ceiling about the pros and cons of first-person narrative versus third-person omniscient before leaping up and storming out again.  Not only did Keith have to endure that, but also my distracted, sub-par cooking.

So.  I have learned from this the following:  writing is still fun.  Seriously.  I may have come close to driving my husband permanently into his study, and I have most assuredly lost any shred of sanity I may have had left.  But I think it may have been worth it.

There’s a Small Chance That I’ve Lost My Mind.

muse.jpg I’ve mentioned that I’m trying to recapture my writerly spirit; apparently, to do so I’ve also got to spend a boatload of money… which seems to be how end up doing a lot of things, I should confess. Regardless, the facts are as follows:

  1. I have registered for Grub Street‘s Muse + the Marketplace conference.
  2. I have also signed up to participate in the event’s Manuscript Mart, which means I will be meeting with an editor to discuss twenty pages of my work, which he or she will have read prior to our meeting.
  3. I have lost my mind.

After registering, I spent a majority of Monday flapping my hands about like a chicken and all but clawing at my face, because I am so stressed out by this whole situation. All I could think about was scene towards the end of The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides when a Lisbon sister dies from an overdose. I just had the image in my head:

She had on so much makeup that the paramedics had the odd feeling she had already been prepared for viewing by an undertaker, and this impression lasted until they saw that her lipstick and eyeshadow was smudged. She had clawed herself a little, at the end.

If I’m not careful, I feel as though that could easily be my fate — though you should know that I don’t have any sisters. Still, I can see it: slapping on the face powder and exuberantly outlining my eyes, pouring a river of pills down my throat and, at the very last minute, sluggishly scraping at my neck with my nails… This is another sign that I am freaking out — I get overly dramatic.

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on how everything unfolds…