What's up. Let's see...
1. Yesterday I turned in to my editor the newly revised ms of the communications book I've been working on, off and on, for ten months.
I would complain that that means I earned about $450 a month (you wouldn't believe how poorly children's publishing pays), but I am still (still!) in the artist-mode of being amazed to be paid ANYTHING for creative work I do.
Not that this was super creative.
It was, like my geography books, mostly a matter of compiling and arranging huge (HUGE) amounts of material. There was more creativity to it though, since I could shape this book any way I wanted, unlike the geography books, which had to fit into a very tight mold.
I was amazed that after a break of two months, when I reread the whole thing in one sitting, it's really good!
I don't know why I was amazed. I guess because writing it was such a long, hard stretch of solitary confinement, it didn't feel like anything very good was coming out of it.
Anyway, I felt that old familiar mix of euphoria and emptiness after sending it off.
For the first time in almost a year, it's not the undercurrent of my everyday life, whether actively working on it or not.
I feel like an animal that's been let out of a cage... still crouching on the ground outside, wondering if I'm really free to make a break for the hills, or if this is a trick and I'll be yanked back.
But I do know I'm free because yesterday I asked the managing editor at which stage was I free to say, "I'm done with this book; if you want any more changes, do them yourself"?
And the M.E. said, "That would be now."
I am willing to do, and no doubt will do, more work on the book, but knowing I'm free *not* to makes all the difference.
2. And anyway, yes, I do believe I am free to head for the hills
...because I have The Right Socks!
Cushy coolmax overdesigned hiking socks, for walking the Camino. One month from tomorrow!
(I took this photo to send to Marz--the pair I'm holding is my birthday present to her.)
These socks are ridiculously expensive. With the money I earned on my ms, I could only buy 300 pairs of them.
[OK. I see here I am broiling up a brew of resentment about the time/pay ratio. I must stop and remind myself that the publisher doesn't expect their authors to spend much time on their books.
It was entirely MY CHOICE to make it into a long haul, in-depth job.
And, in truth, I am proud of my work, and I wouldn't have been if I'd whipped it out in a month or two.
So. I will try to simmer down now.]
Yesterday afternoon I went for a five-hour walk. Today, socks notwithstanding, my feet feel a bit pulpy, and I am staying off them.
My plan is to push hard with exercise, then rest. And repeat. On Camino, the rest part won't be there much. It'll be day after day of walking for five hours or so.
I'm really looking forward to it. Even older and fatter as I am, I think I might suffer less this time round than I did in 2001.
Long-distance events like walking 800+ kilometers are as much a mind-game as a body game. And I'm beginning to believe (from experience) that age is actually an advantage in the mind-game department.
I like this a lot.
I wonder if I might apply it to writing long-haul projects too. Or if I simply Never Want to Do One Again, which is rather what I feel today.
3. Checking my blog stats this morning, I saw 3 searches for "фреди меркури."
I had to call on my very dim and very distant classical Greek to figure out that this spells "Freddie Mercury."
Once I'd got past "ph-r-e..." it was easy, because searches for "Freddie Mercury" in all its various spellings have waaaaaaay overtaken searches for "puppies in a box." Today, 134 to 14.
Plus 3 for фреди.
When I first noticed that lots of people were looking at my Freddie post, I went back and beefed it up a bit. Which made more people look at it, though there's nothing you can't find a hundred other places.
Anyway, I like the idea that strangers pop in and hopefully get a little kick from a shared love.
And now I'm off to walk a few blocks to meet a friend for coffee.