I wish I could say that I'm in better spirits than yesterday. There's too much work and too little time to be feeling this way. I've got just fourteen days to do everything that has to be done on Daughter of Hounds, which is an awful lot, and, also, the galleys for Alabaster arrived this morning from subpress and those have to be proofed, as well.
I tried to only rest yesterday, but I'm very bad at doing nothing. A lot of energy was wasted fretting about one thing or another. More energy was wasted trying to lift this black mood. I did manage to see a little of the Olympics, including the men's halfpipe, and it was good to see Shaun White recover from his botched first run and learn this morning that he's come away with the gold. However, I have to say that the medals themselves are the most wretchedly hideous things I've ever seen passed off as Olympic medals. They look like someone spray-painted CDs.
As for Daughter of Hounds, I still feel pretty much the same way I felt about it yesterday, which is to say: Right now, I feel as though I could never write another novel and it would be for the best. Maybe I won't feel that way next week or next month. I suppose we'll see. I've put too much of myself into Daughter of Hounds, much more than I could spare. Now I want to hide it away somewhere, in a closet or beneath the bed. I don't want to see it edited and copyedited and published and reviewed and commented upon by readers. I just want to put it somewhere safe, and it could always be mine and never anyone else's. I don't know that I've ever felt this protective of one of my novels. I just want to keep it safe. Perhaps, I'll come out of this as I get on with the revisions. I don't know.
A few people yesterday, reading the above, suggested that my work with Wicca might offer some means of alleviating some of this anxiety regarding the ms. stsisyphus wrote, I don't mean to be presumptuous or otherwise disrespectful, but have you considered maybe performing some kind of blessing on the MS before it is sent off? And shalana wrote, What I was thinking is, "You need a ritual to release your manuscript into the world, I should think. And though I'm not really in the mood just now to write about Wicca, this is a good opportunity for me to clarify something very important and admittedly unorthodox about my approach to Wicca. Though I appreciate these comments, I don't believe in magick or in prayer as a means of manipulating the cosmos (and you may choose to call the cosmos "the goddess" or "the goddess and the god" or the "divine" or whatever). I'm studying and performing ritual magick only for the comfort and meditative power inherent in the rituals and as a day-to-day means of venerating Nature. I don't believe there's a conscious being or beings watching over us all, and even if I did, I still wouldn't believe that she or he or they or it could be swayed to do us favours. To watch over mss., for example. That seems, to me, a terribly petty thing to ask of the universe. No, it's my job, as a conscious aspect of the universe, as an infinitesimal fraction of the divine, to see that the ms. is the best that it can be, and once it leaves me, it is beyond my control. I don't believe that there are benevolent forces willing to intercede on my behalf if I merely say the right words at the right time of the month. For me, Wicca isn't a means of tilting the scales. I can do what I can do, and sometimes other people may lend a helping hand, and there's always luck, and that has to be enough. I do not believe that prayers and rituals physically heal people or change the weather or increase our fortunes or smite our foes or protect our cherished mss. They should merely affirm our respect for the universe and our place within it. Most will disagree, of course. To date, I've found no other Wiccan who thinks this way. And that's okay. I just wanted to be clear about this, for my own peace of mind.
setsuled wrote I was thinking about how you were attracted to the rituals of Wicca, and this statement, I think, gives me some idea of the attraction. It's an interesting reason for finding twelve stones, a reason for looking at twelve different pieces of rock, which as an action is sort of beautiful in itself. And with this I would agree, and I would also say that this is much nearer what Wicca has become for me, a means of more precisely directing and expanding my appreciation of the universe. And to me this is magick, that communication with the divine (i.e., Nature), even if the conscious communication is strictly one way. I ask that you please accept these comments in the spirit they're offered, as an explanation of my own beliefs and actions, and not as a comment or judgment of the beliefs and actions of others. Also, I am open to the possibility that my ideas about these things may change as I progress through my studies. In that respect, I will always be a scientist. Every explanation is held only until a more suitable explanation is discovered.
And now I have to go face all those damned red marks I made last week...