My Plate Is Full

And I love it.

I’m back at work again and was so surprised yesterday to have a great talk with the dean in our school and one of the ops managers, who are supporting my academic presentations in early October for the World Summit Ecocity. This event happens every two years in a city around the world, and this year it’s being sponsored partially where I work and is, of course, happening in Vancouver. I worked hard earlier in the spring on applications to present a writer’s workshop and a paper. I was approved for both, and the program committee and dean approved my funding, so it was all solidified yesterday. I can’t relay how good it feels to have that kind of support. My workshop is here, but my paper presentation is conflicted time-wise so is being rescheduled. I’m pretty excited by it, really, because I only get a chance maybe once a year to speak in public and I like it and love meeting new people that way.

For all the crap I’ve experienced this year and last with medical things, which do seem to be clearing up now, this was really a welcome surprise. I explore and share ecofiction on my own time. I don’t get paid for it. I don’t want to get paid for it. It’s a passion, and I think some things in life just have to be free. I often feel like an underdog, which is good; it keeps me from being arrogant and snobby. But when people do have my back, I feel humbled and am grateful forever.

P.S. I am not knocking actual authors because we need their words. I mean, my dream is to write novels for a living–maybe someday. Stories are all we have.

Anyway, today, I worked on job things and later created an almost polished 19-page PowerPoint presentation for the summit. It gave me a chance to really plan out the workshop, though my abstract already had an outline, and it will help in finishing a 22-page thesis type of paper to accompany the academic presentation–which itself is only fifteen minutes long. I will be sure, in the end, to share my paper and presentation at the main Dragonfly.eco site! I’m also running a survey on social impacts of environmental fiction but will not use the data in my October report, because I want minimally 200 responses. If you are reading this, please consider helping. What it really comes down to, as far as cultural impact of fiction, is psychological–and these tests have already been done and are continually being offered. But I think I’m one of the few, if not first, to look specifically at readers’ thoughts related to all kinds of ecologically oriented fiction. I’ve had a few dozen responses so far but do want a better sample. A lot of the responses have come from older academics, mostly who are professors–which is great!–but I also really want to reach out to younger students, which is my goal for term start.

Between now and September 3, when the 22-page paper is due, I have a lot of things to do. Maybe just sitting down and writing it out will keep me focused.

  • This Saturday we’re doing a southern BBQ, and I am so freaking excited by the apricot-bourbon drink I’m making, which went over really well before.
  • Meanwhile, I am reorganizing Moon Willow Press because submissions are permanently closed and I’m transitioning things over to this site (so excuse the mess).
  • Also, I have a new spotlight coming up at Dragonfly.eco, which I hope to have up pretty soon. I’ve already gotten a lot of content for it. It’s just a matter of putting it together.
  • I have major stuff at work to do to get ready for students; it’s one of the busiest times of the year, but it’s also exciting with new faces and seeing new degree students come in.
  • The weekend after this, we get ready for my mother-in-law, two of her friends, and my husband’s cousin and one or two of his friends to come visit.
  • I have the whole week of August 6th off, and we’re all heading over to Salt Spring Island to tent-camp for three nights and four days. It’s just a quick ride to the ferry that heads to Salt Spring, and not too far for the camp site from there.
  • The following weekend, my mother-in-law and her sister and maybe one other will be here to watch one of her nephews in an ice-skating competition.
  • Back to work the week after, and I have two weeks to get ready for one of the registrations we have. During this time I’ll have to finish that paper!
  • Also, though, Classic Wow starts on August 26th. I am definitely working that day but am trying to get the rest of the week off so I can get ahead a little in game, but right now it is not a high priority after all. I’m excited for it. It’s a way to have fun and some downtime.
  • Then, autumn. Beautiful, beautiful autumn! Or it may be super hot then, who knows.
  • From then to the end of year: I have the summit on October 8, we’re leaving directly afterward for a long weekend of camping near Lake Mead with my daughter and her boyfriend, and then I am also taking a long weekend near American Thanksgiving for the usual big dinner I do for everyone.
  • We usually don’t do a lot around Christmas. We do a dinner with some friends everywhere; we are all Christmas “adoptees” since our families are so far away.
  • Sometime soon I also have to finish up my novel Up the River!

The featured image is just of some guy on horseback we saw when we went on a rafting-grizzly bear tour on the Atnarko River a few years ago.

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