I promised myself when I began this particular blog that I would blog at least every other day. I’m not quite sure why I chose this time frame – it just have just seemed managable. But like last night when I sat down with my journal, I just don’t feel very prolific. In my journal, with my red pen, I actually wrote “I have nothing to say, more in a couple of days.” Incidentally, I write in red pen because my dad once told me he graded papers in a green pen because it’s a kinder color, and his students responded to it better. I began immediately writing in red so I could get used to the red slashes on paper – adjust to seeing that angry color and relate in to my own words. Of course, when it came my time to grade student papers, I chose blue ink for them. It seemed less intrusive, and in a graduate school where every choice you make represents your pedagogy (do you write on student text, ie, insert or delete a comma, etc.), you think about these things.
I’ve been, quite frankly, sedated by summer. I’m perfectly happy, maybe even too happy. It’s hard to get any real work done. I promised myself I’d start my new book in July, after the 4th – but delving into the world I must enter seems so daunting. I should also be sending chapters from my manuscript out to literary journals. I should, I should, I should…I am overwhelmed with shoulds right now. The characters in my novel sit by the wayside, waiting for me to take them into chapter three. I should, I should, I should…
Rick Bass once wrote so beautifully about summer, about the quiet hush that takes over in July, when the weddings and graduation parties subside and you realize you have two long months ahead of you, and your body just slows down and savors the season. And lord, has this summer been beautiful, the kind you wish for all the other summers of your life – every day the sun comes out and warms us up to about 80 degrees. It only rains at night. Our baseball team keeps winning, and Sam and I have taken to attending games. If you knew us, this information would shock you. We are not the type to spend money loosely, and we definately aren’t the type of people to waste evenings that could be spent on essays (me) and school work (Sam) – but here we are, going to another baseball game tomorrow night. Roger Clemens is pitching and Sam looks like he must have as a little boy, a light in his eyes, his smile 100 % in the moment, very true.
Of course, I’m still finding it difficult to write, since that’s my day job as well. Of course, that’s science writing, but today I pitched the New York Times and Newsweek and you know, that’s something. It takes creativity. It takes the same kind of approach I would use with my own work. When I come home the computer is not where I prefer to spend my time.
So that’s what’s going on in my little world today. I am spending too much time at the ball park and not enough time with my laptop. I’m currently reading War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk and while I appreciate it better that I did The Winds of War I’m still not a huge fan of the different kinds of ‘texts’ Wouk uses. Whenever he interjects with a translation of German ‘war plans’ or chapters from Jastrow’s short story I find myself irritated and wish he’d just get on with it already – I mean, I’m really feeling how long World War II was with this book. Of course, I’m sort of appalled by how pedestrian my reaction is to this book. When I read the first novel, and found out about halfway through that it ended, on page 1000 something, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, I thought “Holy Hell. That’s when the war BEGAN!” Of course, not true. Not true at all. But for a short second, that’s what I thought. So I will keep with this book because the characters are amazing and obviously, I could use a more solid education on WWII.
I watched the movie Matchpoint this weekend, and it made me sort of nauseous and nervous the whole time.
I’ve cut off most of my hair, and it’s now very short.
I have one book behind me that demands attention as to its possible publication and two ahead of me, not to mention countless articles and essays and short stories I promised myself I’d write as soon as Haunted By Hemingway passed through committee and now I find myself frozen. Is it possible to lose everything I learned in graduate school over the course of a summer? Let’s hope not.
This post is going nowhere fast. It’s that kind of evening. But I came here, and I blogged, and Detroit has a winning baseball team, and tomorrow the weatherman predicts sun and a high of eighty, again, and I don ‘t wonder if I’m caught in one of those magical moments that come throughout a lifetime, when the world quiets for you and allows you simply to breath. To look at the smile on your husband’s face. To sit on your patio and transpant your flowers. To set down an epic book about a world war and realize how very very much you have to learn. And how great it is,sometimes, to feel as though all the time in the world is alloted to you to learn it.