Hmm. Thursday. Not sure about Thursday at all, fellow campers. This one started at my not-favorite cafe being nagged by my beloved 71-year-old mother over home maintenance issues and ended with an unexpected bloody tax bill. Along the way there was my least favorite day job work task, a less than joyful friend correspondence, and issues of international copyright. All of this lead to your humble correspondent adopting a less than sunny demeanour and being generally poor company all round.
Now, I know that I should cope with such things in a mature and calm manner. I do. The thing is, though, I don’t feel terribly mature about then. I felt stressed, anxious and on edge. Still, I am now carefully applying a veneer of maturity using a very nice glass of Chardonnay, a few moments of calm, and a copy of Rod Stewart’s Every Picture Tells a Story. This will work.
How are things otherwise? Well, I read a manuscript that has sat unpublished for a quarter century today over a reheated pasta bake lunch and found it good. I bought, or am in the process of buying, a bunch of stories. I had some very nice authors confirm they were still paddling in the right direction, and were going to send stories. Frankly, the rest was ok.
So, you ask, is there a solution to your woes, for you have sounded less than joyful of late? The answer is yes, there is, and it won’t require an enormous funds injection. The solution is to dump unloved jobs that I don’t have to do, get fit and healthy, and spend more time with the ones I love. I also need some real down time. For example, I realized the other day that I’ve been reviews editor for a particular fair journal since early 2002. That means I haven’t had a single month since when I wasn’t working at some level. My all new goal for 2010 is to arrange one full month when I’m doing nothing: no anthologies, no required reading, no review – just time on the metaphorical beach unwinding and not thinking. That will get me back to where I need to be.
And tomorrow? Well, let me tell you, dead reader, tomorrow I shall contact a certain Australian air carrier and attempt once again to renegotiate my flights to the US. Why, you ask? Well, it’s like this. When I booked my flights to the US my priority was to make the journey as comfortable as possible. A few days here, a few days there, and so on. Now, on reflection, what I realise is that I’m most eager to increase the number of days I spend on the Locus back deck with CHARLES. He is very dear to me and our time is running out. A few extra sunny summer evenings, sipping wine, watching the sun set and feeling the Oakland air slowly turn cool as the squirrels chatter in the nearby trees suddenly seems incredibly precious to me. If the cost is not too steep, I shall spend my time there instead, I think. It would be a fine thing to do.