I've been working on the final drafts of designing the new edition to the line of chapbooks we Ratbastards call Rabid Transit. If you haven't read the first one we published last spring, go and order it already!
I think I like this year's chapbook better than last year's. Last year we published four stories. This year, there will be five, and they're all really wonderful, and I'm jealous I didn't write them. The chapbook should be ready for debuting at Wiscon in a couple of weeks, unless something bad happens, like a smiley face in Nick Mamatas' story keeps changing into the letter "J". I'll have it fixed by tomorrow, Nick, so don't sweat it. ;-)
I'm done with school now, so that's why the chapbook design is nearly done and Alan and Kristin, fellow Ratbastards, will be taking it to the printers. It's really a difficult process to break down a desktop publishing process and split it up between several people in two different states. We had to decide on stories together, which is hard to do among four people, all of whom have different tastes in fiction, but the same desire for good fiction, and so you have to really talk about stories alot (at least Alan and I find ourselves going on, probably at too much length sometimes, during the selection process), and then you have to find a cover image (thank you, Kristin, for finding this year's cover image, I love it) and then I have to page the stories into pagemaker and design font styles and borders, and figure out how to make a really strangely structured story fit on a tiny page (I hope it turns out ok) and then I send the chapbook to Alan for copyediting, and then I revise the mistakes we can find, and then it's off to the printer, and then in your hands at Wiscon, where we will of course be throwing another kick ass dance party, and Barth will be decorating the room in an appropriately festive manner. And hopefully, out of all this, people will like what we've selected and tell their friend's, "Wow, what a bunch of Ratbastards!"
Now that school's done, and I'm officially degreed (with the Masters, that is) and my part in the chapbook process is nearly completed and the baton ready to be handed off, I'm feeling something a little what I imagine empty-nest syndrome must feel like. I have no students to teach, no essays to write, no chapbook to noodle over. I'm working on my novel, so that takes up a good amount of my day, and looking for part time work for the rest of summer, but other than that, just a few days into my new non-routine schedule, my un-schedule, I'm feeling a little at sea. It's the kind of feeling that makes me want to dive headlong into a bunch of trouble, but I declared my retirement from drama when I first started this journal and, for the most part, the past school year has been decidedly stable. And I've been pretty productive in lots of ways in the midst of all that stability. What a novel concept.
I haven't been remembering my dreams as much as I had been for the past couple of years. It's as if suddenly my unconscious was able to stop shouting, "Get out the way!" every time I nearly walked, metaphorically, into traffic.
I guess this means I'm on the other side of a period where I had to let part of my old life go, so very reluctantly, and onto the beginning of a new phase. I understand now that things don't last, no matter how hard you try to make them stay the same forever, and I'm sure that at some point in the future, something similar will happen, but next time I'll know how to handle myself better in the midst of upheaval and huge life changes.