I am 28 today. I’ve had several conversations with my late twenties/early thirty-something friends about how this is put-up-or-shutup time for creative endeavors. We’re no longer prodigies, no longer precocious, and having sunk so much time into a given artistic endeavor (writing, in my case), there’s no excuse to not get serious. If I don’t start seeing some results, I really need to prep for going teaching or editing track post PhD. Of course, it would help if I SENT STUFF OUT EVER. I feel like I’ve been slacking and sliding for years now, and I find myself exhausting. This slacking appears on a variety of fronts, not just writing-wise. So, it is a birthday, the culturally appointed time (this and New Years’) for reevaluation and goal-setting. I publicize these so that I feel SOME accountability, even if it’s only to the invisible Internet public.
May-June: rewrite fantasy novel with Rhin.
June-July: Another 150 pages on the memoir, in preparation for workshop in the Fall
July: find Chicago housing and get Matt moved
August: revise my 161 course; prep for TAship
revise and submit angel story and Goodnow essay to at least five places. Workshop and revise memoir.
Polish novel coverletter, and if book is actually done this time, try sending out to agents.
Apply to at least two conferences, and try for funding.
Set up exam lists. Tentatively hoping for a Latin American/magical realism list and/or a feminist fantasy list. The trauma theory paper I’m pretty certain about. Urrea, Huntington, and Mazza are the hopeful dream-team; this is all likely to be revised and changed as dates approach for me locking this up, though. I’d love to work with Canuel and Michaels, too, but that’s ambitious even for me. I’ve heard good things about Lisa Freeman, Madha Dubey and Chris Messenger, too–going to depend on if their research interests align with mine.
The dream of dreams? An agent and two pubs by this time next year, and an exam list that excites me. It’s a high bar, and I’ll likely fail, but why the hell not try?
Stop eating like a student (I have not eaten this badly since undergrad OMFG). Spend less, save more. Exercise, of course (I’ve been better this year, but still not good enough–I love the free aerobics classes at school…gotta get better about making it to them). Drink less (yes, I plan to be VERY BORING this year. I am okay with this). Get me and the boy happily ensconced in a livable apartment that isn’t an insane commute to campus (boo, teaching @ 9am).
It is a small, cozy life, but that’s about where I’m at, staring down thirty. I really, really want to have a semblance of an adult life by then. Have to do the work to get there.
The dead boyfriend was dead at 29. I don’t know what I’ll do when I’m older than him.