Latest state of the self report:


I was late to the day job this morning (second day in a row) because I got sucked into the revisions of Man Bites World again. Luckily, my supervisor was late, too. We rode up on the elevator together.

Yesterday at dinner, my wife started talking about our plans for this evening–we’ll be checking out the gingerbread house displays downtown, as well as having a nice dinner and maybe ride the Westlake holiday carrousel. I’d completely forgotten about those plans. This morning, when I called her from my desk to catch up with whatever, I’d completely forgotten about them again. Note to self: don’t take the usual bus home tonight.

Anyway, Newtonmas is next week. The boy’s birthday party is this weekend. Shopping is not finished. MBW is still not finished, although I expect to have a draft I can send to my agent very, very soon. Unfortunately, I can’t work on it this Saturday because of the party.

Did I mention my trip to the dentist? I had a cavity that needed filling, and while it was the best visit I’ve had in a long, long while (a new guy took over this practice and I think he’s great) it was still a lot of added stress and pain.

I’m also criminally behind on my sleep. What this all adds up to is that I’m stressed, exhausted, forgetful, and negligent of my own needs. I can’t keep more than three things in my head at once (and the health care reform bills insist on being one of them no matter how annoying the news gets), and I spend most of my time feeling slightly sick.

So you can imagine my state of mind this morning when I received an invitation to Norwescon. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it. It was Oh, hell no.

For those who don’t know, I’ve never been to a sf convention. I’ve been avoiding them partly because of cost and partly because they seem to be large social events full of people who already know each other. I don’t do well in crowds and I’m not comfortable with big groups of strangers.

Also, just yesterday I was reading Booklife by Jeff Vandermeer (btw: I’m reading Booklife and it’s interesting. More on that later) and he said it was best for authors to skip the types of promotion that make them uncomfortable.

“Perfect!” I didn’t say out loud on the bus. “I guess I don’t have to mingle with large crowds of strangers now!”

But then this email came today, and I’m currently over-fucking-whelmed with crap and you know what? I’m going to go anyway.

What the hell. It’s not until April, and considering my crazy schedule I will only be able to attend on Saturday, but the truth is that it scares me and makes me uncomfortable, and that’s reason enough to give it a go. The real downside is going to be the loss of my most productive writing day. Whatever. Once I do it, I can say I did it and never do it again.

They’re asking me to be on programming, which is a big huh? but okay. They’re also asking me to list people I don’t want to be on a panel with. I’m tempted to make up a name to two as a joke, but maybe they don’t have time for that. How am I supposed to know who to avoid?

Anyway, as grim as this post sounds, everything will be fine. I just have to buckle down a bit more and make sure I stick with sensible choices (for instance, going to bed when I’m stressed out instead of wandering my apartment like a ghost). But all this is doable and my wife has been very understanding. I just have to get through it.

Sorry this post is so long.

2 thoughts on “Latest state of the self report:

  1. RNS

    I have high anxiety issues, thus I take the usual psych pills and go to therapy. However, I used to go to Recovery, Inc meetings [they don’t have them in my state anymore :-( ], that gave a method to help myself when my anxiety shoots up. When I “spot” that I’m starting to get wound up, I start saying in my head these phrases which are from Abraham A. Low’s book,”Mental Health Through Will-Training”:

    If you can’t change an event you can change your attitude towards it.

    Symptoms are distressing but not dangerous.

    Comfort is a want, not a need.

    Endorse yourself for the effort, not for the performance.

    Fear is a belief – beliefs can be changed.

    Every measure of self-control leads to a measure of self-respect and ultimately self-confidence.

    Anticipation is often worse than realization.

    I can’t remember my most favorite phrase but it goes something like,”Make yourself do the uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable because it is a habit.”

    If you want to know more, go to

    I hope this helps a little bit.

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