In Which Our Heroine Gives Herself a Pep Talk, Complete With Giant Bunnies

20 November 2003

The new printer has not yet printed, but I have postponed crying again. I hold it in reserve, is what.

Here's the thing: my computer has not had a new OS in forever. It needs an upgrade before it can function with this printer. All right. Timprov's computer is in the middle of him fixing lots and lots of it, so no printer there, either. So we wait until I'm done with my contract work, then we back things up carefully and fix things up carefully, as I have no functional CD-ROM drive, and then we put on a new OS, and then we print. Yay? We hope yay. Stay tuned for the great printer drama.

In the meantime, we borrowed a printer from Timprov's folks. It shouldn't require any kind of new OS or anything like that. It does require use of a CD-ROM drive across the network, I think, but that theoretically should work. I hope. I'll deal with that later today.

I also bought a DVD player. Not a high-end DVD player. It was, in fact, $36. (With our TV, there's no point to an expensive, high-definition DVD player, and buying a new TV is not on my agenda.) I would have waited for Christmas, but a) "The Two Towers" extended edition came out; b) $36; and c) there are so many things I want and need this year that no one's gift-giving capacity will be diminished by my $36 DVD player. I promise. We had talked about getting one of these, so I did. And now Mark can come home next week to extended "The Two Towers" joy without having to haul anybody's computer around the house etc. It'll be good. That is, it'll be good with the second version of the DVD player, as the first one came with a broken loader and had to be returned.

Not a good electronics day, yesterday.

I did get some work done, despite all the electronics woes. I read very, very little. I figured out that I can, in fact, write a story featuring a zeppelin, and I may do so, just not right this moment. But I'm a little excited about it now, because I know who's in it, and I like them, and I know what they're doing, and I like that, too. And the zeppelin belongs in the story, it isn't just tacked on. It also isn't, alas, moored on the IDS tower; I will be going for a bit less anachronism than that. (I love my city, though. It's nicer than other people's cities. Cities are like mommies and husbands that way. Well, ideally mommies and husbands are that way. If you don't find your spousal units nicer than other people's spousal units, that's a problem for at least one of you.)

I am trying not to feel too much like I'm spinning my wheels here, in terms of work. The contract work will be done soon, possibly even before it is officially Weekend. And then I can do house stuff but also other work, real work. It's easier to be stubborn when I'm getting more real work in. It's easier not to get discouraged when there's motion of some sort. Not only does my exciting potential news seem to be just sitting there being potential news and never getting to actual news on any of the fronts that it could do so, but I'm not even getting responses on short stories. The month's total rejections: 4. Total acceptances: 0. Considering how many stories I have out there (43 -- 45 once the printer is working again), this is pretty depressing. We're 2/3 through the month. If things don't pick up, we're looking at a 6-rejection month, statistically. Going into the holidays, when editor types are less likely to get things read and responded to, not more.

I would say I don't really know what to do here, except that I do really know what to do here. I have my next steps figured out as well as I can, assuming I will have no input from anyone else on them. I can keep going pretty nearly indefinitely figuring out the next thing, and the next, and the next. I'm a good planner, and I know I'm good at what I'm doing, so I know it's mostly a matter of finding other people willing to sign off on me being good at what I'm doing. And I say I know that, but by "know," I mean "believe, and will be beaten about the head and shoulders by several people if I start denying." And I've found some of those signing-off-on-it people, willing to put their money and their seal of approval behind me writing good stories. I appreciate them. It's just that I wish they were more...err...I want them to multiply like bunnies, is the thing, and grow much bigger than that. I want them to multiply like giant bunnies. Yes. That's what it is. I want giant bunny editors and publishers.

Are giant bunnies a sign of feeling discouraged? Yes, I'd say they are. You can put that in your crib notes to reading my books: whenever you spot a giant bunny, I was not a happy writer-kid.

I don't expect this to come up often.

This, too, shall pass; I'll get things sent out, and I'll start getting response letters one way or another, eventually, and I'll go through the next steps in The Working Plan and continue to refine it as I go along. And soon I'll have another book finished, if "soon" is a relative term. I will get to the point where multiple projects means multiple possibilities again, rather than just multiple workloads.

Then, if all goes well, I'll get to another multiple workloads stage, when something is in edits and something else is in galleys and something else is due next week and something else needs signing for all my grandma's friends. (And maybe a few other people as well.) But that's all right. That's progress. This is progress, too; I just have to remind myself to see it that way. It's another step in the process. And another, and another.

Part of today's discouragement, I think, is that my back is in dire need of chiropractic help, and that always makes things feel worse. Part of it is the obvious pile-up of stuff to do, which will be handled soon. And part of it is that I woke up in the middle of the night with a nightmare. I managed to go back to sleep afterwards, but it wasn't my most comfortable night's sleep ever. And part of it is that my wisdom tooth is poking funny at my weird bit of gums again and needs a day or so to stop but hurts in the meantime. All of that is probably combining to contribute to my frame of mind. And I've been crankyish all week. Next week Mark will come home, and while they will ask for him to go places again, he will be living here, where he belongs. I don't pretend that this will take away all my crankies. I do believe, however, that it is good to have a Mark around, and I'm looking forward to it.

Maybe I should start making a few more lists when I'm taking a break: my Christmas present shopping list and my Christmas card sending list. Maybe that would cheer me up. Maybe if I finish articles soon enough I can make some bread and some cookies this weekend and that will cheer me up, too. There are all sorts of things that seem like good things. Even going for a walk here, where we have our pick of lakes to walk around; even going for a drive, where the soil is rich and black and turned over after the harvest, or where the skyline shines like the best of the future. Even the grocery store should do. I'm pretty good at not relying on editorial response to determine my happiness. I just need a reminder now and then.

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