The valise rides again

I seem to have fetched up in the midst of a super-busy week. I’m making my first-ever podcast item for TGIM, using field recording muscles I haven’t flexed in a long time, and mixing muscles I haven’t flexed in even longer. So there’s some trial and error, teaching myself Garage Band, Zencastr, iQ5 recording. There’s a lot of hunching over the laptop, muttering.

At the same time, I am now more than a month into my part-time job as Operations Manager for Propriometrics Press, working for this completely inspiring woman. So, while I’m hunched over my laptop, muttering, I’m also super-aware I should be moving a little more. And some of my laptop-hunching muttering time is also happening while I’m Operations Managing. The learning curve is incredibly steep. Yesterday I taught myself how to make a monthly sales report. I don’t really know how to use Excel at all, so this is kind of a big deal.

Meanwhile, I’m batting clean up on a piece I prepared for a high school textbook McGraw Hill is putting out on Truth and Reconciliation, for which I got to interview this gorgeous ray of positivity and fierceness. There are a few loose ends to tie up before I can consider that assignment totally done.

It’s all amazing work, work I feel so lucky to have. It is work that challenges me, and stretches me and pushes me outside my comfort zone every day. Awesome. But it is work—not writing.

Ah, the writing. Yesterday I was untangling the cord of my earphones and I fell down into the kind of trance that means there’s writing there to do. I don’t know the specifics, but I know there’s a scene with a tangled rope or cord, and Lex’s younger brother, and some tears. I’ll write it to find out what’s there. Could be something, could be nothing. And so, here again, there’s a learning curve. I know how to write, how to make sentences. I know I can pile the sentences up into a novel. But I don’t know yet how to write this novel, and these sentences. So, there’s a challenge there, too. Good Birds is all loose end, at this point. And I am not spending enough time with it yet. I need to work toward a better balance, the freelancer’s lament.

Which is why I’m particularly looking forward to Thursday night, when Sarah Mian and I once more load our books into her vintage valise and hit the road for Truro. We’ve been invited to read at NovelTea Bookstore and Cafe on Prince Street. What a relief it will be to slip back into the familiar pages of Fallsy Downsies, to hang out with my old friend Lansing Meadows. I know what he’s about. No learning curve there, just laughs and a few tears. Come see us in Truro.

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One Comment on “The valise rides again”

  1. […] week was all about learning. Every minute of every day, it seemed, was stuffed with one assignment or another, for a bunch of […]


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