Stephanie Burgis
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Narcolepsy and me
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It's been a weird couple of days. I've spent the working hours tense and wired, muscles permanently knotted with strain, then promptly collapsed and fallen asleep almost straight after dinner--not so much feeling "tired" as Knocked Out. GONE.

In other words, it's been a week full of applications and tension. I'm applying for one travel grant (for the fiction), two academic conferences, and probably two jobs. I don't feel confident on any front. I'm certainly qualified for all of them--but too close to the beginning of my career (both careers) to be a really stunning candidate and really blow away any deciding committee. I'm also doing the final rounds of revision (at last!) on my "Armida" article to send it out again to the same journal that rejected it last time. (They asked me to send it back after a rewrite. Really.)And I'm getting started on another "harem" article. And I attended a seminar yesterday on the U of Leeds requirements for finishing up a doctorate, turning in the completed thesis and surviving a viva (defense). By the end of the seminar, my shoulders were at approximately the same height as my ears.

Tense, tense, tense. Bleaghhhhh. So by the time the days end, I am zonked.

The good news is that I'm finally back into my Vienna/Istanbul novel, tentatively titled Thief of Souls. This is going to be a bigger, fatter, more challenging-to-write book than Masks & Shadows, since it's set across nearly two decades instead of two weeks, but it's also really fun. Before I came up with the idea for the novel, I'd already written down the list of elements I required in my next novel: Adventure, political intrigue, romance, swordfights, women-dressed-as-men and cool magic. (Admittedly, these are all elements that feature in some way in Masks and Shadows. Hey, I grew up on Dumas and The Scarlet Pimpernel. What can I say?) I'm following the Steven Brust school of novel-writing--i.e., fill the buggers with as much as possible of what you personally consider cool. It's fun. I spent yesterday plotting out lots of the major points along the character arcs and structure of the book, and I wrote the first three pages of Chapter Four this morning. (I'd written Chs 1-3 before the wedding.) Woohoo! (Now, if only I can finagle a trip to Istanbul at the end of this one!)

I sent out the conference abstracts yesterday and am done, done, done with them--at least until I hear back from the conference organizers! Good news. Now to get back to the rest of the work...

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