More engagements and pretty gifts
Saturday, Dec. 05, 2020 - 3:41 pm.

I've been immersed in work and not much else this week, so one could say I've had uneventful days. Except I'm writing a paper on the effects of pandemic on families, which means I have to read a lot about that, and by the end of the morning one of these days, I was on the edge of tears.

I fear for the next year, in general. And a bit in particular, but I pray things at least remain the same for Andrew and me. We're not doing too bad *knocks on wood*

In a few hours, I'll be talking to M, a writer from my home country who has arranged a presentation for my book in January. I suppose he wants to go over the details of the event and maybe discuss my book a bit, so he'll know what to talk about.

I'm a bit wary about being in contact with him, but he was the one who got my second book published in 2011. It was through a literary project and I never got a dime for it; they were going to buy the rights from me but the project...ran out of money? Hey, at that time "exposure" did it for me. Money would have been good, though.

What I'm trying to say is that he's been supportive. In 2011 and last year, when he asked if I had something new and he was kind enough to pass my manuscript on to his editor, who flat-out rejected it but gave me priceless feedback on how to improve it.

M also sent me his latest novel last year, published by one of the biggest publishers in Latin America. I got feedback from his editor from this publisher. I felt ashamed when the editor pointed out my manuscript's flaws, but also I appreciated that editors from these big houses rarely give you any feedback at all. I did, and the new version is the book that's out now.

I've never felt like M's waiting for something in return for his kindness toward me, but I never stop being suspicious. We've talked, but I don't know him. Plus, he's an intellectual; I have no follow up to this but I feel it needs to be said as I wrinkle my nose. I saw today that he marked my book as read on Goodreads but didn't rate it. I try not to feel bad about that because I didn't like his latest novel, but didn't show it on GR, I just removed the book from my account. He's never asked if I liked it, thankfully, but if he does, of course I have to play my cards carefully.

That's enough about this.

Oh, it turns out I may have another speaking engagement, this Tuesday. It's for an online screening and forum of a film, a sort of Chilean Brokeback Mountain if you will. I haven't seen the movie. I'm scared they'll organize the screening at an ungodly hour for me, because of the time difference.

There's a lot of disorganization with this event so I don't know anything about it. But it's for the queers, and it's hosted by a renowned filmmaker, the one person from my country who's won an Oscar, back in the 1970s (maybe others have won it too, in less publicized categories, my country isn't good at celebrating its own talent).

Anyway. No one cares about this, and I myself am not entirely looking forward to whatever will happen on Tuesday, but I still think it's cool they thought of me.

I got my girlfriend an early Christmas present, on December 1st, to keep up with her family traditions. I was proud of what I came up with, a short online course on writing, because that's something she enjoys doing but has a few fears to overcome.

Then she couldn't be OK with this and as Christmas present (I would've been OK with getting it on the 24th) got me a Masterclass membership. So here I am, learning tricks of the trade from Margaret Atwood, blessed be.

I'm also feeling accomplished with Andrew's gifts. I got him a set of PJs that check all of the boxes for him, and a baby Yoda (I know, not his real name) crochet doll that I've commissioned. Can't wait to see it and then to give it to him. On the 24th, like a proper Raised Catholic.

Anything else today? Probably not. I'm feeling a bit burned out, so I guess I'll go rest my brain in front of the TV for a while.

Be well, stay safe.

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