What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Posted by Dirck on 12 March, 2020

Before the status report, a status report, because one of the regular readers here expressed appreciation at my tiny contribution to the effort to de-stigmatize mental illness. There is a substantial amount of stress at The Regular Job right now. There was not quite so much about a month ago, but apparently it was enough to move one of my colleagues to reach over her head, grab the yellow and black striped handles, and launch herself into early retirement.

This is what everyone’s desk chair looks like, right?

She had been here quite a while, and thus had accreted a lot of small duties with obscure processes, known to her more as muscle-memory rituals than as steps in a logical sequence. It’s fallen to me and one other co-worker to take over doing what she did, which involves a certain amount of archaeology, paleography, and cautiously touching a quivering fingertip to the huge black monolith in the break room.

Stressful.

And yesterday, as I was finally finished the work of the previous day, it struck me that six months ago, this turn of events would have destroyed me. Every bit of the shattering sensibility in the concept nervous breakdown would have come to me. Absolutely no doubt. But as it stands… well, no one likes extra work, but there’s no attendant dread to the current load.

I can’t say whether this is down to coping strategies from counselling, Magic Brain Pills, or whatever went wrong in my head last year correcting itself as mysteriously as it blew its breakers. It’s probably a combination of the first two, with a possibility of the third providing extra flotation. I’m strangely unwilling to experiment by discontinuing use of either cognitive tools or modern chemistry. I’d rather live with this small uncertainty than try to live with a return of the full-size Black Dog.

I occasionally hear it sniffing around, just the other side of the metaphorical tree line.

But enough introspection. Let’s have a look at what the week’s self-imposed labours produced:

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 9 March
  • 10 March
  • 11 March
  • 12 March
  • Third (but really second, sort of) draft of “Filter Feeder”.
  • Revision of “The Mermaid’s Husband”.
  • First draft of “Morgue Attendance”.
  • Rubbed with a towel, weighted at 2402 words, and sent to the publication it was meant for.
  • Dropped about a page of unwanted weight, and also sent to that same anthology.†
  • 5 manuscript pages

 

†At the risk of uttering a spoiler against my own work, “The Mermaid’s Husband” contains more direct Lovecraft reference than “Filter Feeder”, since it’s crammed with his blasphemous fish-frogs. Seeing that the Lovecraftian anthology smiled upon multiple submissions, why wouldn’t I try to find a home for one of my slime-dripping darlings?

One Response to “”

  1. […] entirely to post the preceding is down to that stress, atop extra month-end stress brought on by the departed co-worker, about which I have previously […]

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