Monday, August 3, 2009

Revisionista: Update, Goals, & Jedi Mindtricks

Bonjour belles mademoiselles!

First off, thanks for all the lovely comments you've left on my blog & twitter thread, re my finishing CH 1 of the research book last week. I think I've said it before, but writing, especially academic writing/research, can be such an invisible process (until tenure review of course when the powers that be want to see journal articles & le book). So, it's been a great motivator to know that y'all are out there reading along as I figure out how to make a book (and a novel). Merci beaucoup! As soon as I check some stuff on my to do list this morning, I'm looking forward to popping around to each of your blogs and SWIM posts for a happy dose of inspiration.

Now typically this is the time of year that I FREAK out that my summer has ended and I have to go back to school. But this year, I think I've figured out some strategery (as Bush would say) aka some Jedi Mindtricks that'll help me get ready for classes without the usual meltdown.

Jedi Mindtricks for the Start of School

1. While my vacation may be coming to an end, it's still summer until Sept. 21. So until that scintillating summer solstice lady sings & tranquilista has us drawing more petals to welcome fall, I'm going to continue enjoying all my summer activities.

2. Instead of waiting until the week before classes start to pull together syllabi, etc I'm going to do everything this week. That way I can return to my research and summer rituals next week and then roll into the semester the following week in a calm, mindful & chic way. (Plus, I'm totally treating myself to the 2nd Season of Mad Men if I can get all my teaching stuff done by the end of the week!). I'm hoping that by making the conscious choice to do this prep work, I'll move through it tranquilly and not get bogged down in procrastination and dread.

3. Once I get my teaching/research/novel writing agenda in place for fall semester, I'm going to stay in the moment and focus on the day I'm in. I have a bad habit, which started in grad school, of living in the future--ie wishing for winter break, spring break, summer break, etc. instead of finding contentment in the day I'm actually in. So while I have some awesome stuff to look forward to in the coming year (a birthday trip to New Orleans in the spring, turning this research book in to the publisher & going to Italy as a reward), there is much to enjoy and experience on Monday, August 3rd.

So, here's a look back at last week:

* YES! morning pages: continue to incorporate sketches, doodles, etc
* YES! ~~ CH 1 is complete! 15min/weekday on CH 1 of the research book
* Comme ci, Comme ca 15min/day on le novel But I did manage to finally burn the novel house down & get back to a place where I have no idea what happens next. I know where it starts, where it might end, and an ideal turning point in the middle, but other than that, who knows. (I'll post more about this on my blog)
* YES! 1-2 Italian podcasts I'm listening to *My Daily Phrase Italian* on itunes. Each lesson is about 3-5 min & you learn a phrase or two. It's TINY Italian. :) And it's free!
* YES! read for fun (am loving my book baths--such a great way to drift off into a book w/o interrupting self w/ internet, etc)
* YES! (2) 2-3 blog posts

I'm collecting my reward of a shopping day later this week.

Here's what I'm cooking up for this week

*417 syllabus, BB setup, & first day brainstorm
*310 syllabus, BB setup, & first day brainstorm
*Aim for 7 hours of novel time
*Type last week's novel pages
*Gather materials for Le Rsch Book introduction
*Read/skim vol. I of E for CH 5 of Le Rsch Book
*Outline fall teach/research/novel agenda
*Artist Date
*2-3 blog posts
*1-2 Italian podcasts
*Start mapping out dream trip itinerary for Italy
*Send City Girl a pearl of wisdom

It's time to get to getting as Miss Niecy says on Clean House. Here's to a good first week of August!


  1. Well done! OMG! You're achieving soooo much!
    I absolutely love your 'Jedi Mindtricks for the Start of School'. I feel very much identified with your end-of-holiday-freaking-out. When do you start your classes?

    I like that one of your goals is start thinking of your dream trip to Italy. Have you ever been before? Your objectives are a great combination of fun, professional and creative!

  2. I love the Jedi Mindtricks idea. All you need is a crazy light saber made out of Victorian wrought iron and you'd be all set!

    Learning Italian must be such a joy - it's like Elizabeth Gilbert said, you learn Italian because you just love the language and the sounds.

    Which podcast are you using? I love using them for language work, but the quality is so variable. Have you found a good one for Italian?