January was shaping up all right. My traveling companions and I had planned a trip to Iceland, and that was truly a wonderful week. I owe you many postcards, which you may or may not get to see. Iceland in January turns out to be a marvelous land of fire and ice, with daylight made entirely of sunrise/set glow and steaming hot baths to warm up in everywhere. We even saw a volcano!
That Monday I had a very welcome, mild jetlag that woke me early feeling terrific. It felt like New Year's Day--without the hangover. I started writing again. I set goals. I got shit done. Life was going to be good.
That Wednesday, in what I thought was going to be a routine staff meeting, my work life collapsed. The publisher of the newspaper told me that the issue I was already working on would be our last.
A few days later he changed his mind and had us put out more issues, which was a relief in the sense that I was maybe not losing my job--oh, and that 125 years of publishing history wasn't being flushed down the toilet--but it was also a lot of work. I wasn't writing in the mornings anymore; I was weeping ugly stress tears.
Two months later, it now looks like we'll be okay. I feel like I'm starting to crawl out of the hole that chaos dropped me into. Somehow I've managed to write one story. I was kind of a bad writer and sent it virtually un-edited to the anthology I wrote it for, because I just couldn't manage to write it in time to get feedback. Other writers take note: never do this. I will be shocked if they accept the story (but at least it's drafted, right? sometimes even a missed deadline is useful).
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