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mid-week thoughts on numbers

July 2, 2009
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My poetry manuscript is in the hands of editors at open reading periods and contests. Even though they allow simultaneous submissions, My Spirit Kamikaze has confessed to me that she feels like a slut. Is this normal behavior for a manuscript or do I need to have a conversation with her about boundaries? How many “partners” would you say the average adolescent manuscript has these days? Are manuscripts as concerned about their reputations as they used to be?

* ** *

I have started bringing a sweater or sweatshirt with me whenever I may be in air conditioning. Does this mean I am getting old? I love air conditioning (don’t get me wrong); it’s preferable to sweating and wheezing when it’s hazy, hot and humid. But I do tend to get chilly. Will you love me if I’m old? “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64? . . .”

* ** *

Speaking of age, I’m not 64, but July is my birthday month. I have extreme anxiety about getting older. I’ll be leaving 36, which is kind of a pretty number, to explore 37, which seems slightly homely as numbers go, and is less likely than 36 to count as “mid-thirties.” In fact, 37 is dangerously close to “late-thirties,” which seem horrifying in and of themselves, without taking into account their proximity to … gasp! … 40.

It’s the reason we use fictional numbers as my birthday nears. Each year we celebrate the anniversary of my 26th birthday. This year will mark the 11th anniversary. The math gets more difficult each year. I have some sort of mental block when it comes to calculations.

* ** *

I’m one of the youngest among my friends: 3D friends. Blog friends. School friends. Most of them have no sympathy for me. I think they’re saying, “It’s only going to get worse, dear.”

* ** *

When I started dating my husband, his sister was 9 years old. She’s now a therapist/counselor with an MSW and an apartment in New York City.

* ** *

I have 36 poems under consideration at 8 journals. After I finish 2 or 3 additional submissions, I’m quitting for the summer to focus on writing, reading, baseball, exercise, friends and vacations (July = Oregon; August = Ogunquit). Even when you take away the push to get the manuscript out, I’m quite proud of the submission effort I’ve sustained over the last couple months. May. June. And now July. It’s almost like I’m a serious writer. Almost. At least the numbers make it look that way. :)

9 Comments
  1. July 2, 2009 2:12 am

    I love the numbers conundrum(s) and that you will be in Oregon.

    And the rest. Too. As in I am an old-IRL-pal-who-gives-a shit-yet-understands. Quite a bit, actually. At least about the numbers thing. I care about the other things, too. :^}

  2. July 2, 2009 10:08 am

    you and deb and the numbers! yesterday the young girl at the eye place asked me my age (did i mention she was young?) and for a split second, i wasn’t sure. thank god i was born in a year ending in zero. makes the math that much easier.

    usually i am the youngest in the group, so now i can say, nah-nah i’m older than you-u! wait. what?

    i’m proud of you for your submitting prowess! you are an inspiration.

  3. July 2, 2009 3:34 pm

    Worse? Better. Much better. Much much better. You wait & see!

  4. July 2, 2009 3:58 pm

    yeah, jill, nah-nah, you’re older than me! :)

    so you’ll be 4-0h! in 2010. we’re going to have to come up with something quite wild to celebrate. start asking now for a writing retreat as a gift. you and me: road trip!

  5. July 2, 2009 3:59 pm

    deb: i wonder if i’ll need my old-lady sweater in oregon. :)

    dale: i don’t believe you. :) better?

    • July 2, 2009 6:09 pm

      Better spirit, better sex, better equilibrium, better friends, better relationships generally. More creativity & more time to use it. For me, better health, because I exercise more now, drink less, and occasionally even eat sensibly. The downside? My eyesight got worse and erections got chancy. I wouldn’t be in my thirties again if you paid me a million dollars. Seriously.

  6. July 3, 2009 11:19 am

    I turned 40 this year and it was fine. I look and feel better than I ever have.

    As for submissions, I say send out as much as you can. Taking a break for summer will allow some time to pass before you send out again.

    Congrats to you on all of your big changes and accomplishments!

  7. July 3, 2009 2:30 pm

    PS yes, bring your old lady sweater. It’ll be chilly in the evening sometimes.

  8. Michelle permalink
    July 7, 2009 12:15 pm

    “I have 36 poems under consideration at 8 journals.” Gasp! You’re a poetry powerhouse.

    As for 37 – it’s sassy, sexy and a little dangerous :)

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