Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hauling Ash -- The Market -- Career Outlook

Ash was a doll the entire weekend. Everyone's in love with her and she's single-handedly (pawedly?) generating new cat owners across the country.

On the way to my father's house she cried a little in the car. I had her in a harness and leashed to the back door handle of the car so that she couldn't get under foot. But once the crying finished she was fine. Just hunkered down and waited it out.

While I drove four hours north to visit family, the kitten went to stay with my father's fiance who was only an hour away. Both there and back, Ash just curled up in my lap and sat/slept the entire ride. On the way home Saturday she hardly moved from my lap she was so calm.

It was great! Only once she got back to the apartment she curled up on "her" chair and slept for four hours straight. Not catnap sleep but deep sleep. The kind where cats twist into funny positions and their whiskers twitch as they chase mice in their dreams.

I'm behind on everything.

Don't be like me kids; don't procrastinate. Just don't.

I'm keeping afloat just barely, but I'm not feeling well at all. Hopefully this will pass.

I'm sure many of you have seen this news at PW and other outlets last week: "Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has asked its editors to stop buying books."


I guess this is the first time the "good news" has been that I'm not ready to publish a novel length work. However, while I might not believe that trickle down tax cuts ever get to the "average joe" -- and no, Joe the Plumber never saw a dime of trickle down economics -- I do know that the big boys' cuts frequently affect smaller and smaller presses. Blah. These guys are 1.) making me glad I'm in school and 2.) making me want to stay in school through the Ph.D.

Thanksgiving was a time of friends/family asking about the Ph.D. My friend from high school wanted to know if that was still my plan, my father still thinks it's the best plan, and unless the economy rebounds in the next 20 months during which time I sign with an editor for publication of a novel, I think I'll be applying for that Ph.D. Meanwhile I need to talk with the advising-people in my program and see what the deal around here is for switching over from an MFA to a Ph.D. without earning the MFA. There are only about 20 (maybe 24) Ph.D in creative writing programs in the nation. They are, essentially, lit Ph.Ds with a creative thesis ... and there are mixed emotions about hiring Ph.Ds in writing over MFAs in writing. Some schools claim that in 15 years they'll hire only Ph.Ds for the spots they're now considering both; some schools are doing searches for faculty and viewing Ph.Ds with suspicion. These inconsistencies are to be expected in a subjective field but they make me want to scream get your shit together for crying out loud!

Highly Recommended