Stephanie Burgis
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the morning after
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Well, I finished the first draft of my article and set it to print on the stroke of six o'clock last night, with an enormous feeling of relief. Then I read it.

No, it's not that bad. All in all, I'm pretty pleased. This is a piece that began as a short seminar paper, back in 2001, and turned into a longer master's thesis, in 2002. Then it became a twenty-minute paper for a conference at the end of that year, and then a 3,000-word short article at the end of 2003. At which point, I got a nice constructive rejection saying (basically) "We like it but...." and suggesting that I ought to fill it out in all sorts of directions and then go ahead and re-submit it. So I tried and tried (see earlier entries!) then gave up and took a month or two off, feeling completely blocked up on it, until this weekend, when something finally clicked in my brain, and I saw how to change it, and what my new argument should be (and, perhaps, should have been all along, if I'd only ever seen it before).

So the good news is, I think it's a much better, more powerful, complete and interesting paper than it ever was before. The bad news is that it's a mixture of several versions, and unfortunately, the seams are still showing. I worked on it until 8:00 last night, then gave it to Patrick to look at and crit. (I made apple muffins at the same time, to reward both of us!) Fortified by apple muffins hot from the oven, I could take the really useful (but thorough, darn it) crit he gave, and I thought, OK, no problem. I'll rewrite it in the morning.

My supervisory meeting, of course, is at 2:30 today.

I woke up feeling dead. Not exhausted. Dead. Numbness in body. Too tired to think. Gaarghhhhh.... Zombie days. We got out to the cafe, where I basically drooled on the notebook, or close to it, and finally wrote 3-1/2 pages of Chapter Eleven, that will turn into an important and critical scene in the novel...but sure aren't there yet. Then I bought dog food and strawberry jam, headed home, and collapsed.

These are the days I wish I had learned, somewhere along the line in my life, to always get my work done early.

The good and bad news is that we're going to the opera tonight--yay! I've been excited all week. Here I am, an opera scholar, and it's been nearly a year since I've been to the local opera theater. So I'm thrilled to be going--but lord, this isn't the day for us to stay up super-late for it! And because of scheduling issues, and not being able to leave Nika for more then 8 hours straight, at maximum, I'm going in and out of town with a freakish intensity today (and with 1-hour travel lags each way). I ought to be charging myself up with energy for the rewrites and the day ahead. (Rewrite article; take Nika for huge walk; shower, change, eat lunch, print article; leave at 1:30 to go to town and meet with supervisor at 2:30; get home by 4:30, take Nika out; leave at 5:00 to go into town for opera.) Instead, I just keep wanting to lie down and take a nap....

Whine, whine, whine. But it's a nice day out, and I get to see "Barber of Seville" tonight, which is always good news in my books. Yesterday as I worked on the article, I played my CD of the opera to cheer me up and get ready for today. I foresee a lot of whistling and humming this weekend. :)

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