Monday 9 May 2011

So, it seems I use cigarette ash for deodorant and actually speak French ...

I have got so many things on my mind that I'm having trouble sleeping and having weird dreams to boot. But before I tell you about the dreams, dreams ... stress dreams ... I've been having, let me tell you what I have on my mind ...

1. In less than two months I'm off to Canada to teach poetry workshops to 11-14-year-olds at a summer writing camp (WordsWorth). I have to prepare my lessons. But I'm still waiting on info from The Young Alberta Book Society (the company running the camp) to find out exactly what kind of lessons they are after. So I'm feeling a little up in the air about the whole thing because I thrive on being well-prepared way in advance. I'm anxious to get myself organized, to say the least. Dream, dreams, dreams ... stress dreams ...

2. After Canada I'm heading to the USA to meet a few blogging buddies in Columbus, Ohio, before I head to Athens, Ohio to meet my publisher. So excited to meet everyone face to face! But ... my publisher is going to try to organize a few poetry readings for me while I'm there. Never done one before and all I can think about is the reason why I gave up playing live music: STAGE FRIGHT. Dream, dreams, dreams ... stress dreams ...

3. Today my edited ms of String Bridge is due in the mail from Lucky Press. A courier should be knocking on my door any minute. I have to review the changes and then email the document back to Lucky Press for galleys to be made so that the ARCs will be ready by July. I'm anxious about what people are going to say about it. Dream, dreams, dreams ... stress dreams ...

4. I'm anxiously (yes, this word is popping up a lot, innit?) awaiting for my String Bridge marketing plan to be emailed to me by my publicist. And again, I feel up in the air about that too because I have no idea what is going to be expected of me to pitch in toward promoting my novel. It makes me feel disorganized not knowing, not being able to prepare. I'm a bit anal like that. Dream, dreams, dreams ... stress dreams ...

5. I'm so close to finishing the first draft of my second novel. I've been so close for seven months now. I feel like I'm failing myself, but I've been busy, and every time I take five minutes for myself I feel guilty and mope around the house driving my partner nuts. Dreams, dreams, dreams ... stress dreams ...

6. My debut poetry book has just been released. Thank you so much for all the wonderful reviews that have come in! You have no idea how much they mean to me! Why is this stressful? Well, poetry is hard to market. Still trying to find my footing and courage to promote myself more vigorously. If anyone has any advice regarding this, please shoot me a line. Dreams, dreams, dreams ... stress dreams ...
7. I'm running a writers' workshop/retreat on a Greek Island next year and there is a lot to organize! Won't make a list here, but I'm sure you can imagine ... Dreams, dreams, dreams ... stress dreams ...

8. Some nit-picky-bits:
  • I need to apply for a US Visa waiver before I travel.
  • I need to pick up my renewed Greek Residency permit before I can travel (queues in public services here are deathly ...)
  • I need to book my flights within the USA, but I need my Canada flight details first (don't have them yet, makes me feel stressed).
  • Have some books on order for ages, that haven't arrived. Might have to deal with post office. Post office guy has crush on me. Don't want to have to call!
  • Our cleaner is sick. OMG, I have to clean the house myself!
  • I have a ton freelance work, WHICH I LIVE ON, btw, and I seem to be fitting THAT into my schedule when it's supposed to be the other way around. So I'm paranoid I'm gonna go broke ...
  • Um ... I'm sure there's more ...

Okay a few of my dreams just off the top of my head are:
  • I book flights to wrong airports in the USA and miss all my events.
  • All the guests that come to the retreat/workshop are people who are trying to kill my parents because apparently they have been mobsters all my life and I never knew it.
  • When I roll on my deodorant in the morning I roll cigarette ash onto my underarms and then suddenly realise I can't speak English anymore, but I do speak French. (Do you think that has anything to do with the hairy armpit thing?)
  • I'm in a cartoon version of Jurassic Park and every species of dinosaur communicates in song. One of them sounded like the Bee Gees, another like Tina Turner, another like Angry Anderson ...
  • I'm in India. I give birth to a little girl. In a narrow alley way. Then I go shopping in a street market with a friend of mine from Australia. I drop my daughter on the ground to take a look at a pair of earrings and forget her when I walk off. (Whoa! Why? I love kids!)
  • Moments before I get up in the morning, I've morphed into a concrete slab of footpath. People walk all over me and their footsteps echo through me. I feel heels stick into my ears and up my nose. It doesn't hurt. But it feels kinda numb, there's pressure. And I'm reminded of when my grandmother explained that she could feel the doctors sawing her bones when she had a hip replacement ...

So friends ... stress dreams, do you have 'em? Tell me about them so I don't feel so um ... stressed! :o)


  1. No stress dreams like that. I'm sure you'll get it all done! Good luck! And how fun you get to meet some blogger friends and your editor! Cool.

  2. Yikes, you have a lot going on! Take it one thing at a time...

    Gah, I hate stress dreams. The ones I can recall right away are usually having to do with being late or being prevented from getting to the place I have to be, and no matter how I try or rush, I can't get there.

  3. You've got so much going on! Stress dreams are just your mind's way of releasing some of that excess activation.

    I TOTALLY have them. One that I've had repeatedly: I have a meeting to get to (years ago, it was a class), and every time I get to the door, thinking I'm ready to leave, I realize I've forgotten something, like a shoe or my deodorant or some really important file that's actually in another place that I have to go to before the meeting. It just goes on and on. In those dreams, I've NEVER actually gotten to the meeting.

  4. I seriously got all stressed out just reading that! I can't imagine how you must be feeling! Good luck with everything. I'm sure, even though it seems like a mountain of stuff right now, that you'll get it done.

  5. I'm a terrible insomniac, and it really wears. It's worst at times like now when I am actually writing new chapters, because I absolutely cannot shut my mind off at night and fall asleep. I'll climb in bed at ten, then keep looking at the clock throughout the night...1 am...4 am...

    You sound like you have more reason to be stressed than me. Sorry! (On the bright side, you are being published!)

  6. Don't worry. When you miss your flight, or lose your luggage, or freeze up on stage, or wake up and discover you weren't published after all, it was just a dream, and you're still a nobody neophyte wannabe thudpucker, just think, you'll have lots of new stuff to blog about.

  7. I used to stress more, but at my age, I've realized I always do what has to be done, finished whatever job I've been hired to do . I've never disappointed myself or a client. (maybe a few family members) Trust in'll do it all.

  8. With those kind of dreams, you'll never run out of writing material! Hope your copy arrives today. It's a cool moment to finally hold one's book!

  9. From my branch on the tree, the child you gave birth to is your book and you fear losing it to obscurity; the deodorant stuff is just you wanting to look presentable; the wrong booking in the U.S. is just the lack of organization from people you need to hear from.

    You shouldn't have a problem with the visa waiver, but don't put this off too long as there's a government hiring freeze; attrition has led to fewer people doing the same work.

    Did you know you can purchase a flight pass for unlimited air travel within a certain period of time?? We can't. I think Delta has a good deal (or used to). Google their site.

    Remember, our taxes aren't added into the prices you see. Check the fine print for add-ons. We're used to it but I know this drives visitors nuts!

    You've got a lot on your plate, all really good stuff!! But, let the house go...a bit of dust won't hurt.

  10. I don't know whether to laugh at some of those or give you a big hug! No doubt they're stress dreams. You've got a heck of a lot on your plate. Hell, you've got TWO plates right now, and both are overflowing.

    I've been having some stress dreams about the big convention this week at work, but they turn out to be minor little things. Like just the other day, I dreamt I got into a big fight with my boss (who's super cool & I actually adore her) because she went into my suitcase and stole my Nutella. To the best of my knowledge I have no intentions of packing Nutella in my bags for this trip...but in my dream it was a HUGE deal.

    Hang in there chicky, things will ease up soon. :D

  11. Your dreams are hilarious!
    You have so much going on--all good--so it's no wonder your subconscious is going in overdrive.

  12. Dear lord, you're making me feel stressed just reading this!

    Beyond doubt, the period before my novel was released was one of the most stressful times of my life. And I can feel the anxiety starting again when I think about the next one. I'm right there with you...

  13. Wow. Sounds like you're really swamped!

  14. You can do it!

    I definitely have stress dreams too. Mine are usually the "I'm back in high school/college and I have a ton of papers due and I haven't been to class in weeks" type. Had one last night ... ugh!

    Also, that demotivator picture is freaking me out. I'm SO scared of heights!

  15. I'm getting anxious for you! Those are some crazy dreams. When I am stressed I don't have stress dreams because I can't sleep when I'm stressed.

  16. My dreams latley have not been good, but hopefully my goal dreams will materialise,


  17. Holy crap! And I thought I had a lot to do in the next few months, you've got busy plans for the next year! Good luck. Take a deep breath. Write something fun and silly to take your mind off it!! :)

  18. You know, Jess, as I've faced more and more disasters in my life and lowered my expectations over and over, I've learned to accept failure. I hope *you* never have to, but I've discovered that, surprisingly, there are worse things than mortification and financial distress. Which is not to say that they're any fun, or even that it's possible to be graceful about them.

    I know it's hard to believe that, but it's possible to get to a point where you say, "So what if everyone thinks I'm an idiot and hates me and I make a complete fool of myself while everyone else is doing cool things and impressing people? So what if I never have financial security?" You adjust. You just do. So if stuff goes wrong, you'll figure out what to do.

  19. I hate when my housekeeper is sick. But it happens.

    What part of Alberta are you going to? I'm from there. From Calgary.

  20. Oh my gosh! You ARE stressed. Mobster parents and you become a footpath...?

    I'm so excited for you and I hope you have a wonderful time on your travels. Everything will be fine.

    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  21. SHEW, girl! And I thought I was drowning in a load a crap over here!!! Does it help you to make lists? That little exercise seems to help me sleep--putting it all down on paper, looking at it, forming a mental timeline. You can't do it all at once, but you WILL get it done.

    Yes, breathe.

    Can't wait to see you~ ((hugs))

  22. OMG! Jessica, I live half an hour from Bragg Creek AB!!!!!

  23. Sounds like a lot of fun despite the stress :-)

    I wonder what would happen if we traded dreams? I had something involving a work presentation in an auditorium last night, then there's the pseudo fantasy one of escaping from two bears and a town on a lake, and other dreams that are more like video games since they involve lots of running around and solving puzzles and escaping bad guys and...
    They don't *feel* like stress dreams, but they're definitely very active.


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris