Summertime, Summertime . . .

The winter was long . . . but fruitful.

As I looked over my past resolutions in a previous post, I realize I’m doing well on one hand but not so well on another.

What’s good?

Actually, it’s GREAT!!!   I finished writing my dissertation despite some family emergencies including the sudden and unexpected death of my sister in mid-February, and I defended said dissertation on April 26, 2013.  I’ll be graduating at the end of June.  A long hard road but it was never a consideration for me to not finish or delay if I could help it.  I was determined to win the battle, and so I did.

At the beginning of the year I implemented Jerry Seinfeld’s idea of marking each day on the calendar with a big red X for each day that I worked on my dissertation.  The goal was to have a continuous series of red Xs.  In January and February, I saw a pattern emerge.  Red Xs from Thursday through Monday, but nothing on Tuesday and Wednesday.  During the winter semester I was teaching a Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday night (making Tuesday an extremely long day), Wednesday afternoon, and Thursday afternoon.  Obviously I was recovering on Wednesdays from Tuesdays.

Then my sister died, and I lost two weeks of writing time.  I didn’t begrudge that time, of course, but then I had to make up for lost time if I was to keep that April defense date.  And yet, that pattern persisted, until I realized I had to make a serious adjustment to my writing schedule.  I kicked my writing into high gear.  I worked by day (and Tuesday nights) and came home writing until midnight or one a.m. in the morning every night, regardless of my schedule for the day.  When I look back at mid-March and all of April now, I see that Seinfeld’s trick worked.  Starting in mid-March, the calendar is a continuous red serpentine of big, bright Xs.

I defended my dissertation and will be submitting it to the Graduate College next week.  Graduation will occur in late June.  Hooray!

Another good item is that Amazon Publishing is still in the process of getting my two Avalon Books ready for publication–reprint in my mind since these were originally published in the early 1990s.    While it’s good that I don’t have to do the work, I know that my writing has changed since those earlier original publication dates.   Since I didn’t own the rights, though, why not agree to the e-book publications?

The not so good?

One of last year’s goals was to blog at least once a month.  This is my first blog since December–not so good at all.  However, I had good cause and now the biggest project of my life is almost done.  Maybe now, I can make good on that blogging goal.  I realize my blogs don’t have to be spectacular, just some quiet reflection of my writing life, with some teaching life intertwined since the two are merged on some projects.  And there is interest.  Well, a little.  Maybe that interest will grow now that I’m back on Twitter (more on that in the next blog).

I often find myself arguing whether I should blog or not.  After all, you don’t see Stephen King blogging.  Or James Patterson.  They have official websites, but they do not blog.  Romance writers blog.  Do mystery writers?  Julie Powell (of Julie and Julia fame) blogged and she ended up with a book AND a movie.  I’m so jealous.  Maybe Julie is the real reason why I don’t quick blogging altogether.  Maybe I’m hoping lightening will strike twice.

In any event, now I’m hoping I’ll make good on my blogging at least once a month.  Surely if I could write a weekly column for five years when I was much younger and with a whole lot less experience, I can now write at least once a month.  The solution?  I’ll task it in my day planner.  Everything in planner as a task does end up getting done.  There’s nothing like crossing off an item on a to-list.   Or having to add that item to my list just so I can cross it off.  You all do that do, right?

The average events?

I am reading more so I am attacking that TBR (to be read) pile.  I’ve also pulled out various projects to finish so I can get back to submitting–both academically and creatively.  After all, I am expected to become academically published so submit I must, especially now that  I don’t have the dissertation excuse anymore.

So on that note–my update of doings, hopefully, I’ll see you in the comments section.


About Diana Stout

Screenwriter, author, former English professor
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