Thursday, January 11, 2007

A down day

It's not a happy day. Yesterday, I called Western Flagship to check on their search status. It'd been a month since their deadline for supplementals. I'm impatient. I hate being left in the dark about things. It's a bad personality trait, I know. Got a call back today to say they had invited three candidates for campus interviews, but the search remains open until filled. Oh, gee, that makes me feel so much better, to know that I just might be fourth or eighth pick. [I didn't say that].

Around and round we go. Deadline for supplementals to Big West Private were January 1. I suppose they could still be looking at them. But I'd guess if I don't hear anything in the next week or two (and frankly, my pessimism meter is off the charts), I can say goodbye to that prospect as well.

Some of my friends out there have jumped ship, or are ready to.

Me? I'm not steering the vessel. It tosses of its own. The winds of direction and the swell shift violently port to starboard, fore to aft. Stern to bow is covered in salty mist. It is impossible to see.

How odd these feelings. A publisher is interested enough in my dissertation-to-book proposal to send it along for external reviews. I have a conference presentation in [field 2] coming up in a couple months. I've recently made contacts at a large local public university in hopes of moving my research ahead.

Excerpts from emails I've received in the past week or so:
From a random visitor to my PRW:
I happened on your website, which gave access to your fascinating dissertation.
From an instructor (PhD, herself) in one of the languages crucial to my present work, whom I contacted about continuing to improve my language-specific knowledge and skills:
It sounds like you have a very interesting research topic. I'd like to hear more about it.
It is interesting work. It is my work. But I sit here in my office, white walls staring blankly at me, road noise, emptiness. It's been good of late, really. Yet today I sink into depths. It's a gray cold day here. My knee hurts, still, despite my increase of activity, my more frequent stretching, my bicycle riding and walking.

I want this writing to purge me of these feelings, to swallow my pain, like a fish ingesting tashlik.

My new year's resolution? Ah, to be whole again. I'm working on it.

Just what that will mean, I still don't know. It's not that I haven't sought other prospects, beyond the tenure-track. I was disappointed last year when I applied for a staff post in the graduate division of my doctoral institution. I had had good relations with many folks there. I had been active and engaged as an officer of the graduate student government. But I didn't get an interview. I didn't look like someone who wanted to be staff, I heard. I looked like someone who wanted to be a researcher or professor. I'm not sure much has changed there. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

A few days ago, I got a response from the assistant to the literary agent I had submitted an inquiry to regarding two of the earliest children's books I wrote:
Dear Mr. Dad,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful query letter.

Your projects sound interesting, but [Agent] is taking on very few clients at the moment, so he's going to have to decline the invitation to read your work. As you know, these decisions are highly subjective, and another agent may have an entirely different opinion.

Thanks again for thinking of us, and best wishes for finding a good home for your writing.
No big deal really. It was a hasty move to send the inquiry. I've written two other children's books since then which are in fact much better. I may still resubmit to another agent, but I'll probably lead with these more recent works, possibly revising or discarding the early attempts.

The future hides her offerings in a cloak of mystery.

1 comment:

Lilian said...

We were down last week as well over here. Hopefully this week will be better for you.