I've also parted ways with my agent. While there were a number of reasons, they all came down to 'not a good fit.' I think the therapy helped me realize that it's okay to say no, this isn't working. And no, it's not me being weird. Luckily, I have a new ms ready to query. I just need to make a list of agents and polish up the query itself.
Meanwhile, copyedits for Other than Honorable should land in my inbox in two or three weeks, and I'm making splendid progress on the second book.
It was the longest drive of my life. The Rehabilitation Center is actually not all that far away--just on the other side of Hwy36 on Dale. But, not long ago, I picked up a bird that was stunned and it died while in transport, and... I just. The world is full of awful things, and I just did NOT want a dead baby bunny in the back of my car.
She made it to the Center, at least. She perked up a bit, once inside, actually. Hopping about a little. But, who knows what happened to her overnight, if she pulled through, or if I only managed to make her death that much more frightening and strange. I'm going to hope that my attempt to rescue her will save her.
Then the news hit about health care and that traitor John McCain. You know, if this were Ireland, they'd have a song about that guy already, I swear to gods.
All of this contributed, I think, to this sense I woke up with today. I feel like I'm behind on something or I've forgotten something important. So I spent much of the morning so far reading something that I promised someone I would--a beta reading thing. I got that done. In a minute or two I will hop up and do the dishes. Normally today is a day for me to go to the coffee shop and hang out with the ladies, but I'm skipping that in favor of attempting to do enough stuff around the house to banish this feeling. I suspect what I'm feeling is actually 'political hopelessness' like I did right before the election, and what I need to do is garden or sweep or do something else physical. (I have a feeling that if I were still doing martial arts, this political season would have made me an uber-athlete, because my desire to punch stuff and scream is very high right now.)
It's drizzle raining outside which isn't helping my mood, alas.
Okay, off to banish this feeling by doing something.
Probable raccoon corpse across from the golf course. Only probable, being in the weeds on the far side of a US highway.
Nothing particular in the floral department. If you want to gather lupine seeds, the heads are dry now.
Got out on the bike, usual weekday route. No sign of the cemetery heron.
15.26 miles, 1:13:12
Speaking of preemptive explanations, I have decided that the Internet is a terrible parent. I've been on the "Innerwebs" since its inception. If, several years ago, you asked me if the internet is destroying communication, I would have laughed at you and called you an alarmist. However, the thing that I'm noticing more and more as we get entire generations who have grown up communicating via text is a tendency to assume the worst of the OP (the original poster.) Today, for instance, I got a comment on one of my fics that was a perfectly reasonable response to an author's note that I'd written several years ago that seems, in retrospect, a bit tone-deaf regarding genderqueer/gender fluid folks. This person probably think they took a neutral tone, but it came off as "The thing you need to understand...", which made me want to knee-jerk with doubling-down and yelling "$%!@ OFF."
Luckily, while I wrote a bit of that initial reaction in reply, I'm used to the fact that most of my fic readers are 12 (like, for real). So, I try not to start with the swears. I try to say, "thank you for the information" and go from there. Luckily, I also thought to re-read my intro and spotted WHY this person thought I was either a bigot or a moron. THEN, I was able to go back and write, "Ah-ha! I get your point now, I will fix this so I don't look like a raging moron/bigot."
And, yeah, I get that *this* is on me from the start. It's not the offended person's responsibility to treat *me* with respect that I don't seem to deserve. In fact, they mostly did.
It's just that it really strikes me that, at least, for myself, going forward, I would like to pledge to recognize that even intelligent, wanting-to-do-right-by-everyone people like myself have this knee-jerk reaction to being "called out." For myself, so long as the person on the other end has not made it super clear that they are a NAZI in need of punching, I'm going to start with the expectation that the mistake was honest and maybe just soften my initial blow with something as simple as, "I don't know when you wrote this fic, but..." or "Maybe you already know this, but your introduction makes it seem like maybe you don't..."?
I guess my point is, is that the internet did not teach us how to have a constructive argument.
You *can* have CONSTRUCTIVE arguments on the internet, though. I've had, actually, a number of amazing, eye-opening arguments on the internet, specifically on AO3 over mistakes I've made in my fics. I learned, the hard way (by hurting someone), why trigger warnings are actually important. In those arguments, I had to do a lot of hard work. I had to let go of my ego and really listen and that's super-hard to do when you feel massively guilty. I also managed to have a conversation on Facebook about women in science fiction without having to go nuclear on the trolls. It can be done. It just takes a lot more commitment than we're used to giving anyone on the internet.
Anyway, truth is, I'm writing about this, because I'm avoiding a bunch of other writing I really need to either do or decide NOT to do.
I was watching Kit play on their own and glumly thinking that happy Kit is independent and only wants parents when they're sad. Then they toddled over and handed me a stuffed fox, just because. So I know that what I'm feeling is just a feeling and has very little to do with reality. But it's still a big feeling.
Relatedly, having a tantruming toddler scream directly into your ear for several minutes is really quite challenging.
"Kit is so chill," I thought, once upon a time. "Maybe they won't really get toddler tantrums." I was so wrong. Soooo wrong. Tantrums aren't about personality. They're about cognitive and emotional overload. A scream into the void.
(My right ear is the void, apparently.)
(But was I going to stop cuddling my screaming child? Of course not. My ear can cope.)
And now I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't really help my kid, even when they were bottomlessly miserable. There is no cure for the tantrum because it's an existential crisis. You just hold on and say "I'm here" like it means anything. And eventually they stop crying long enough for you to get some calories into them, which almost always helps. It turns out that kids are always basically one minute away from a massive hunger crash, and that rather exacerbates the existential angst.
You could not pay me enough to be a child again. No way. It's genuinely a wonder that kids are ever happy at all. Their bodies do weird things, the world is baffling, everything is too big, they have no control, safety is elusive and fleeting. It's like a fucking horror movie, 24/7. And yet my child comes over and smiles at me and puts their head on my knee for sheer love.
I guess maybe they wanted to say "I'm here" like it means anything.
I guess maybe it does.
Second raccoon corpse up near that cafe, smaller size. Friday's version still lay as comparison. Don't know where the cleanup crew was -- coyotes satiated?
Beach peas have joined the floral assortment. Checked milkweed at water stops, but found no evidence of monarch caterpillar munching.
Beautiful day in the neighborhood, still in the 60s F when I started the ride, 72 F now. Little wind. Rode upriver to my eagle overlook with, alas, no eagles, then down the other side and back into the hills. Did not die.
35.55 miles, 3:05:13
Things without deadlines (fun):
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (I didn't do this but did go read in the park near our house)
Things without deadlines (productive):
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem