Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Of Work, Word Counts and Conferences

by Janis Patterson

I love writing blogs.

I hate writing blogs.

It's great fun to be able to spout my thoughts, share tidbits of information, give some writing hints... just in general communicate with other word people.

Maybe it isn't blogs giving me the trouble, it's the schedule. I do not do well with schedules. I know the schedules are set months sometimes years in advance, but that's no excuse, at least not for me.

The only bad thing is that LIFE always seems to get in the way. I have some health problems. We travel. In truth, we just got back from a trip to Alexandria VA for the international conference of the American Research Center in Egypt - which was fascinating! Also spent a loooong day at Arlington National Cemetery, where
we saw the magnificent Confederate monument (and lots of others). What I don't understand is why the national cemetery of the United States reveres, maintains and protects a Confederate monument while in Dallas the anti-history vandals are salivating in their desire to destroy the local Confederate monuments. It's not logical. But then vandals are seldom logical.

The next day we went into DC and saw the Egyptian Queens exhibit at National Geographic. It was a good exhibit, though a little bit too much Egyptology 101 for my admittedly snobbish academic tastes. The last exhibit, though, made up for everything - including the rather nasty case of food poisoning I picked up a little later in the day. It was a black granite statue, about two feet tall, and is one of the few known representations of Cleopatra VII (THE  Cleopatra we all know). It's been around for a while, but no one ever realized who it was supposed to be - the statue was regarded just as 'an Egyptian queen' for many years, until some astute person realized that it had Cleopatra VII's unique triple uraeus - the rearing cobra that all pharaohs wore on their forehead. If the statue is accurate, Cleopatra was a very nice looking woman - not anywhere near the stunning beauty she was reputed to have been, but still very nice looking.

Then there was the conference. Three days of listening to multiple papers on just about every facet of Egyptology and current digs, to say nothing of seeing many dear friends whom we can only visit with once a year. And a couple of really neat parties. I really enjoy digging out the sequins and beads once a year, especially since my usual attire is either sweats or shorts. Small wonder that blogs and schedules drift out to the periphery of my consciousness. Even my daily word count on the current WIP - normally sacrosanct - went out of my mind and were totally ignored, even though the deadline is looming uncomfortably close.

Oh, I've got lots of time - I say. I can do that tomorrow - I say. No problem - I say. That's a week away - I say. Plenty of time - I say.

I lie.

Unfortunately, I'm the same way on deadlines, replying to party invitations, whatever... There's always something that needs to be done NOW and I can always put off doing something about whatever is coming up later... I'll get to it, I know.

And you know what's crazy? I always do.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Wow, you have had some great experiences. Thanks for sharing. I think back in Cleopatra's day, the people viewed beauty differently than we do now.

Jacqueline Seewald said...


It sounds like your travels benefit your writing. Also, great info for your blogs!

authorlindathorne said...

I enjoyed hearing about the conference you went to and what sounded like a great vacation. I know, deadlines can be a B----. I totally missed my last month's post. That's rare, but when I found out I was so late, I knew I couldn't post in someone else's timeframe. I'm trying to do better. I work during the week, and if I need a haircut or some other service on the weekend, I refuse to get an appointment. I only frequent "walk-in" places on weekends because I need that bit of freedom.

Morgan Mandel said...

Life intrusions do get in the way of writing, even when I have the best intentions to sit down and write.

The good thing about what you were doing is you have plenty of firsthand information to include in your books, and not just what you could glean from Google!