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Jenn: The Conference Call

I’ve been having my little elves work on my book while I took a break from viturally everything except my daughter these past few weeks. But many of my students are graduating, and now it’s back in my hand. I went to the American Association of Geographers (AAG) national convention last week, and both my assistant and my executive editors were there. It was great and encouraging to see them. They haven’t as it turns out, been making a bonfire with the first 10 chapters I sent them, they’re just very very busy. So I’ve put the thing down for a while until I hear from them. I just got an e-mail this AM from the assist. editor scheduling a conference call for Monday, which is perfect timing, as I’m really getting psyched up about the book again. I have the last 10 chapters and 3 appendicies done, in rough draft (ROUGH ROUGH), so the textbook is in it’s first iteration of being complete. I just have to get in and gloss it all up and add the figures and tables, then start sending another batch. My plan is to do 1 chapter a week over the summer, and aim for a complete book by the end of August. One year ahead of schedule, yay!

The sucky thing is that I just had to increase my daughter’s (HAD?) hours in daycare due to my summer class schedule, and I’m really regretting it. I’m a teacher, I should have the summers OFF to do NOTHING. And going through a divorce soon means I should look as shabby on paper, financially, as I can. But instead, I’ve signed up to teach 5 classes this summer, the money is too incredible to say no to. I’m wistfully thinking about a leisurely summer up in Maine, which I COULD have done. Which I SHOULD have done, living off my savings, and not paying collosal amounts of money to daycare, and since she’s switching to a new daycare in the fall, this is really the only time I could have taken the whole summer off and not have had to spend thousands “saving my space” for the fall. I blew it. I suck.

This month, the Atlantic Monthly’s back page vocabulary/pun feature was about what to call your ex. Very funny. Whatever you call them, mine has been coming around again, and things are going very well, though I will never trust him and never believe him, so I’m not really sure what I’m doing letting him in. I say I do it for my daughter, but I do it because I love him – in the way an addict loves a drug that’s killing her. All of the time I’ve spent with him and with our daughter, I could have had a break, which is what we all desperately need, isn’t it? Laying around doing nothing? Or I could have turned in 3 – 5 more chapters on my book.

Life is not perfect, but it’s pretty darned good right now. I’m so excited to be working on the book again, and teaching Natural Disasters this summer WILL help me to do a better job on the last chapters. It will be sad to see the project end, I’ve really enjoyed working on it. Do any of you have that sad, wistful feeling when your creative project is finished?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oh, yes. I had that feeling last week, when I finished the article I mentioned in my last entry. I think it was as much to do with the realization that my “social” contacts had dwindled once again (seriously – as a freelancer, it’s always been “enough” for me to work with sources) as the project itself.

    I try to have something else ready to jump into, but switching gears can take a couple or more days. At that point I just try to fill the time. Give the house a thorough cleaning, go out for a special family day, etc.

    Oh, and I can relate to your feelings about your ex. I have that kind of relationship with my mother. Like you, I will never trust or believe her, but like you, I can’t quite cut her off. I still crave a mother who can be my friend, even if she can’t (everything – everything – is always about her). But a little attention here and there? Still not sure how I feel about that.

    May 9, 2008
  2. caseycairo #

    Thanks so much for your response, the e-mail indicating you had written was in my inbox for the past week, and I really appreciated your comments to the point where I felt pressure to write something meaningful in return. The urge passed (ha ha) and now I just want to say thank you.

    That’s interesting that you feel the social contact dwindles once your projects end. Do you ever keep in touch with people from your freelancing? It sounds like your freelancing is similar to teaching in that you get to take a break between projects/semesters and clear the slate. That’s cool.

    And aren’t family dynamics strange sometimes? I woke up this AM thinking of the birth of my daughter (now 2 1/2) and the horrible catastrophe it made of my relationship with my mother. I still can’t figure out why, exactly. She was trying to be some kind of a martyr, then she pulled up stakes and left my life completely for several months… just when I needed her most. It seems that when I get along with my (ex) husband, she and I are at severe odds, and vice versa. So I’m always scrapping with someone. Tiresome.

    But she HAS been great about watching my daughter while I write this textbook, so I suppose I can’t complain too much.

    Happy Spring!

    May 18, 2008

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