Mary Anne Mohanraj


July 25 -- 4:26 PM

Kevin and I had dinner last night with Susan and Cadir, Max and Deirdre. Kev's parents kept the kids overnight (Anand's first sleepover!) so we could have an actual grown-up dinner party, and it was lovely -- we didn't get home until 11, I think. Max is looking particularly saturnine in that middle photo. Then went up to Mountain View today and had lunch at Tomi Sushi (*so* good, worth the fifteen-minute wait) with Thida. Both last night and tonight, much discussion of parenting concerns (independence vs. safety was big), schooling decisions, writing goals (both Susan and Thida write), and general mid-life-ness.

It's funny, being 43 (almost) and having friends the same age and seeing everyone doing the same basic life evaluation thing. Not a crisis, generally, thankfully, but there's definitely a certain sense of -- comparison? Looking around at what your friends are doing (esp. friends you haven't seen in a while) and considering whether you're happy with where you are right now.

We are, btw. Though I did just quit a third of my job so I'd have more time to write, which is a bit nerve-wracking. It feels so risky. But as Susan said last night, it's an investment in my writing. Okay, then. It's nice to have old friends who have known you a long time to talk this stuff over with!

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July 25 -- 9:25 AM

Y'all know that since I launched a Kickstarter yesterday, I will, inevitably, be talking about it a lot until it's done. Luckily for you, I put a very tight time frame on this one -- 18 days total, which means I just have 17 days left to raise $3000. Eep. Yes, this is making me feel panicky. Asking for money = not my favorite thing ever!

I haven't tried such a tight timeline for a Kickstarter before, but I'm hoping this will avoid the "big dip" in the middle that you get with long Kickstarters. Also, the festival is soon! And I have courses to prep for fall semester. Plus a book to write, which I still, perhaps foolishly, think I might get a first draft of before summer ends. (Ha ha ha.)

There will be a lot of posts about the Kickstarter in the next several days, hopefully both informative and entertaining, if I can manage it. But for today, I'll just note that if you are planning to donate (or even vaguely thinking about it), it makes a big difference if you donate early. Nothing succeeds like success, and people are more excited about donating to a project that other people are excited about. Strange, but true.

So thanks to our first donor, who came in with $50 yesterday, yay! Thanks to our second donor, who wasn't comfortable with doing money stuff online, but who pledged $150 to me via e-mail. (Which won't count for the Kickstarter, unfortunately, but hey -- it is still money the festival can use, so I am not complaining!) Thanks to our third donor, who pledged $100. If I'm doing the math right, that's $300 out of $3000, which means we're a tenth of the way towards our goal, which is just awesome.

It's so nice to see that people care about supporting South Asian and diaspora writers and artists. We feel loved.

More, please. :-)

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July 24 -- 5:05 PM

Please consider supporting the Kriti Festival of South Asian Arts and Literature -- it's so important to have these dedicated spaces in which writers and artists of color can share their work with a wider community. We're hoping to raise $3000 by Monday, August 11th -- that's just 18 days!

Kriti Festival Kickstarter!

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July 23 -- 11:20 AM

I was so productive yesterday, and I totally don't want to work today. At all. Want to nap, or watch tv, or knit. I don't even want to read. I can skip writing, but I have e-mails that were ignored yesterday in favor of writing, and they must be answered today. But a bit of my brain is just whimpering, "I want a vacation…"

Okay. The girls come back from camp @ noonish. Plan: watch a show and knit for forty-five minutes. Hopefully that will assuage my brain long enough that it will be willing to work on e-mail from 10 - 12. And then maybe I will actually sign off for the day. What the heck.

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July 22 -- 11:33 PM

3480 words today -- that's the most I've written in a day in a long time. They came fast and easy, which I have to say, makes me nervous. I've spent so long fighting the books I was trying to write; it feels weird that this one is flowing so well right now. I know, I know -- I should shut up and be grateful. I am.

I'm at right about 15,000 words overall; by the end of the week, I'm hoping to be at 20K, and the end of Part 1. At which point I'll send it to a few people to read and immediately freak out fretting about whether they like it or not. Kat has been reading scene by scene as I write them and making little encouraging noises, which is very helpful.

When my agent first suggested writing a nice thick book, maybe around 100,000 words, I felt a little panicked. And it's still a long way from 20K to 100K. But it's not feeling quite as impossible now. Whether I'll draft all that by the end of the summer….well, we'll see. I have an early American Lit syllabus to finish prepping too. :-)

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