Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Day of September

Once upon a time, many years ago, back when I lived in Takoma Park, Maryland, I was seeing a therapist/life coach named Judy Alexander. She was wonderful. I still remember so many wise things she said to me.

The one I'm thinking about today is that I would make various goals for the month and then, about halfway through the month, it would occur to me that none of these goals were going to happen. "Oh, well," I'd tell myself. "So much for September." And I'd promptly start pinning all my hopes on October. Certainly by the last days of the month I had given up on trying to achieve anything significant in this go-round. Better luck next time. Well, I was telling this to Judy Alexander on the penultimate day of some month, and she stopped me in my tracks: "You still have two more days," she said.

So on this past Tuesday, with a full THREE more days left in the month, I leapt into action to expand and my revise my paper "Redemption Through the Rural: The Teen Novels of Rosamond Du Jardin," which I delivered at the Children's Literature Association conference in Ann Arbor back in June. It needed a lot of work: consideration of a whole entire book series I hadn't discussed in the conference version of the paper, incorporation of other research done on 1950s teen novels (and first FINDING that research and reading it before I could incorporate it), incorporation of research on social mores of the decade itself, addition of heaps and heaps of scholarly citations.

But I did all that work. I toiled mightily for most of the day on Tuesday, and I got up extra early yesterday to put in two hours on the paper before heading off to teach at the university, and I got up at 4:30 this morning for the final finishing touches. I emailed it off to the journal at 7:00 a.m.

You can do a lot when you realize that you still have three more days before the month is over. Thanks, Judy Alexander!

And now, come to think of it, I still have ten more hours....

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