Monthly Archives: March 2018

First Saturday Report: March 2018

WRITING & SUBMITTING
The submissions pace has slowed down a bit, honestly, because I feel like I’m running out of agents who appear to represent the kind of fiction I write. I also can’t tell if the dismal response rate is because I’m doing something wrong in my query letters, or if my one book was just a fluke. Moving on to submitting to publishers now for The Palace of Winds. Still sending Far Nineteen out to agents.

Working on a new project. It’s been knocking about in my head for a few years and it finally started to really take shape after reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell.

READING:
Right now, my reading is completely consumed by James Joyce’s Ulysses. I’m pretty sure reading it is the literary/English Major’s equivalent of a snipe hunt. Or I’m stupid. Maybe I’m stupid.

PODCAST
Speaking of Ulysses, I’m not reading it for fun (maybe I should be?). I’m reading it for the podcast along with my grad school friend, Delia. We hope to have it finished and to start releasing episodes around Bloomsday, June 16,2018.

WATCHING
On a lark one night when I should have been reading Ulysses, I watched Barefoot in the Park, with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Then I watched Our Souls At Night, with Robert and Jane. Although Barefoot is a classic, and based on a Neil Simon play, the movie is, well a bit of froth. Thoroughly enjoyable, funny, and classic froth, but froth nonetheless. Souls, based on the Kent Haruf novel (which I’ve not read, but may add to the list), was wonderful. I’m glad that places like Netflix are making space for small, quiet, mature, low-budget movies that, if we relied on Hollywood’s blockbuster system alone, would never get made.

RANDOM THOUGHTS
I was going to complain about how much I hate Dropbox, and was so disappointed at having to use it if I wanted to sync up Scrivener projects between my devices (a MacBook Pro and iPad mini). Dropbox is a memory hog, and even though I don’t use a lot of memory intensive apps, it still seemed to suck up everything and slow down my system. I don’t want to store the project fully in the cloud, all I want to do is to be able to copy the project I’m working on in my MacBook to a cloud service and then open the app on my iPad and viola, the new version is there. I don’t mind working from the cloud drive on my iPad, since space is limited there (my MacBook has 1TB of disk space, the iPad only 32GB). There are workarounds, but they all involve downloading the project to the iPad, which takes up space, then opening it in the app which then forces the app to create a duplicate file in the cloud service. Sigh. So I switched from Scrivener to Storyist, but I don’t like Storyist as much as I do Scrivener. I wish Scrivener would tweak its software so that I could use one of Derpbox’s competitors, like Sync.com.

The devil kitten (Ursula) is starting to calm down. I think we’re coming to an understanding. Mostly, I think she’s beginning to realize that being petted is enjoyable – and I’m starting to get a better grip on the fact that all she really wants is to play and be near me. Silly girl-cat. Dawn, the older cat, is also coming to terms with the situation, and is always happy when I plop down on the couch long enough for her to take a nap on my lap. It’s thoroughly charming that they meet me at the door when I come home from work every day.

I’m 46, and I’ve started getting emotional lately. It’s strange. A moving story on a podcast, an emotionally powerful movie, a documentary about injustice – and suddenly I’m getting choked up, little tears coming out. Is this “man-o-pause?” I do need to increase my exercise routine, which should be easier with the arrival of spring, but seriously, I think I need a work-out buddy. Going to the Y by myself and squeezing in between all the younger, fitter people there makes me uncomfortable. Plus I’m not really looking to bulk up, or turn myself into a lumpy stack of muscle. I just need to lose about 15 pounds (as of this morning I weighed 197 lbs. – that after being about 192 lbs. about a month ago and hovering at about 189 -190 in early December). Winter, depression, and anxiety… and next thing I know I’m stuffing shitty food in my face. I know, 197 lbs, that’s not bad – but it is. I’m not worried about my weight because I’m “fat.” I’ve got a paunch is all, but it generally translates into a cholesterol level over 250, which is, supposedly, not good. When I weighed nearly 230 lbs., my cholesterol was over 300. Getting below 200 lbs shaved a little more than 100 points off my cholesterol. If I can get my weight down to 180 lbs, then I might get that cholesterol level below 200 and get my doctor off my back about having to take a goddamn statin. The hard part is sticking to the routine through holiday shit, podcast projects, writing, errands and chores, illness, injury, day job, and maintaining social connections with friends – which, if you didn’t know, is something that 40-something men start to lose if they’re not married. And strong social connections are one of the key markers to living a healthy life. Actually having friends, and maintaining close personal relationships is just as good for you as eating right and exercise. So, yeah, I need a work-out buddy, a running partner, a gym spotter.

Who’s with me?

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Bonus Episode: Caitlin Hamilton Summie

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-b6vzm-8b95a1

Caitlin Hamilton Summie is the author the short story collection To Lay To Rest Our Ghosts from Fomite Press (http://www.fomitepress.com/Home.html). You can also keep up with Caitlin at her website (https://caitlinhamiltonsummie.com) or if you think you might need a book publicist, try http://www.caitlinhamiltonmarketing.com/wordpress/