July 12th, 2007

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

(almost) Free at last

So the last of the hard-deadline things went in the mail, Express Mail, this afternoon.  That was  reviewing the page proofs of the collection of my short fiction which Nightshade is doing.   It's been tough on me and on Nightshade both, because my schedule (with Del Rey) and their schedule did not exactly play well together.  They wanted an original short piece in the anthology, which was fine,  except that they really wanted it sooner than I could do it.   I could not write the short piece while finishing the book, because of  all the travel I was already scheduled to do this spring and the problems Michael was having with the group home, which ate up time so that I had no time to write anything but the book until it was done.   July 1 was the hard deadline for the book to go in, and July 15 was the hard deadline for the short work--and for the page proofs of everything else in that book. 

So I had to finish the book and get that in, then quickly think of a story (not easy for me, with short stuff) and get it written, and then tackle the page proofs (because I had no spare time while working on the story, and reading other short stories while trying to write one would make a mess of my brain.  The part that isn't already.)  

So basically, I have had no time off since early January.   And I can't relax now, because the editorical revisions on the book ms. should come in tomorrow, and I would really like to get them done before leaving for Conestoga next week...and then it's Conestoga, which is work (fun work, but work) and then it's on to NASFiC.  And then back to ArmadilloCon, and somewhere in there should be the start of the new contract negotiations, for which I'll need to do a proposal...what books I plan to write, etc. 

And oddly enough, I'm tired and could really stand a vacation. 

But...it's OK.  I can do this.  I have been doing this for years, with one thing and another.   The man who was superintendent of the local school system when we moved here, and then mayor for several terms, once described a situation the city had gotten into and said "We're just gonna have to back our ears, lean into the collar, and get it done..."   And that's what I need to do. 
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woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

New gallery in Scrapbook

Now that I have a little time, I've opened a new gallery in my Scrapbook, this one entitled "Lichens."  It does not contain all my lichen pictures (not nearly) but it has a pretty good sample.  I do not have names for all these--or even more than a few.  Eventually there'll be more, and even more eventually I hope to have time to go through my big new (this year, not recently) giant book on lichens and figure out more of them.

Lichens are valuable indicators of air quality (more pollution, fewer lichens) and they are also food, nest material, and shelter for birds, insects, and other wildlife.  I knew that much, but until I started photographing them I had no idea how many they were, and how many trees and rocks are covered with a "bodysuit" of lichens.