[DWJ] Insomnia

Emma Comerford emmaco at tpg.com.au
Tue Jul 18 19:52:59 EDT 2006

Wow, Gili, it definitely seems that you enough going on to feel justifiably 
overloaded! But the projects all sound so interesting that I can see why 
it's hard to say no even when you already have so much to do.

Insomnia is evil. As is stress. The other day I started crying at the messy 
kitchen (which I could clean myself) so wailing over the plumbing doesn't 
seem so strange to me :)

Sorry for the lack of useful advice, but good luck and hope you feel better 
once you're off the medicine,


PS: Elizabeth: I tried and failed to encourage one of my sisters to enter a 
useful trade. My sister's partner is a plumber but it doesn't help as much 
as we anticipated as we feel bad for imposing on him on top of his other 
family and friends!

At 08:56 AM 19/07/2006, Gili Bar-Hillel wrote:
>Hello DWJers. I can't sleep. Very frustrating. I think it might be this new
>drug I'm taking that's supposed to help prevent migraines, but instead seems
>to be making me cranky and emotional and falling asleep during the day but
>now it's nearly one am and I've been tossing and turning in bed for the past
>two hours. I'm going to stop taking the drug, methinks, but tonight is a
>lost cause.
>One of the things this possibly drug-induced angst has made me realise is
>just how many things I've been trying to juggle all at once recently. Many
>things in my private life that I won't go into, but many many things in my
>professional life some of which are actually even on topic for this list,
>for instance the fact that I recently purchased the rights to translate into
>Hebrew "Archer's Goon" and "The Homeward Bounders". And being angsty and
>completely unable to sleep I need somewhere to write all the thoughts
>chasing about in my head, so like it or not, here they are. (If you don't
>like it, you don't have to read on.)
>So... what is my current project? I have about a jiggelty-zillion projects
>going on simultaneously. I've gone into publishing, investing some of my own
>money in a small publishing house, and we just recently published our first
>book which is Garth Nix's "Sabriel". So thing number one that I'm trying to
>do is promote Sabriel.
>Things number two and three were to find a copyeditor for our second book -
>"Journey to the River Sea" by Eva Ibbotson - and a translator for our third
>book, "Airborn" by Kenneth Oppel. Monday we FINALLY signed a contract with a
>copyeditor for this book that I had originally hoped would be out by March,
>ha ha. Finding a translator for "Airborn" is proving trickier than I
>thought, and I sort of wonder why. I wonder if it is because most of the
>translators I know are women, and this is many ways a boys' book, with the
>aviation theme and pirates and all. At least two (female) translators have
>turned it down because they "didn't connect". I have translation sample from
>a man who is really a beginner in this field, it's not bad for a beginner,
>but will require much more rewriting than an experienced translator's  work
>would. I'm torn between continuing the agonizing search for a better
>translator,  or simply hiring this beginner, which I worry I might regret.
>Thing number four is "The Leviathan of Babylon" that many of you were kind
>enough to read and comment about. Hagar has had some interest from an agent
>and now wants me to translate several chapters, despite the fact that she
>has received a professional evaluation of my translation as "needs some
>work, clearly not done by a native speaker". I really want to do it, I
>believe in the book, and I'd love to make the switch into translating from
>Hebrew to English, which pays much better than vice versa and will be good
>for my reputation. Besides which, there's this greedy thing that happens to
>translators, when we read a book we really like we WANT to translate it, as
>if translating it will make it our own. So I'll have to find some time for
>that, too. And I'm nervous about my English not being natural enough.
>Thing number five, currently on hold, at least until I actually get a
>contract to do it, is translating Noel Streatfeild's "White Boots" into
>Hebrew. Some of you may remember I translated "Ballet Shoes" a while ago,
>and it ended up being a surprise hit. Not quite a bestseller, but almost. So
>now the same publisher would like to do a whole series of Streatfeild, and
>I'm the favored translator. Of course I'm very happy about this: this makes
>me in a manner of speaking "THE" translator of Noel Streatfeild and it's
>that whole coveting books that I want to make mine thing all over again. For
>about a week when I had nothing else to do I started translating the book
>even though I haven't yet officially signed a contract, and I got through
>several chapters, rediscovering the book as I went along and falling in love
>with it again, but then I got an actual contract for something else, and
>it's been on hold since. But somewhere in the back of my mind it's as if the
>book is still open and I can't shake it.
>Thing number six is a tremendous project which I'm not supposed to talk
>about for the time being, as it is something of a trade secret. But I think
>I can say it involves translating a huge classic and doing massive amounts
>of research, and it was an awful lot to take upon myself on a rather tight
>schedule, even without all the other things I'm trying to do simultaneously.
>I've done well over half of the translation, but that's only the tip of the
>iceberg of work I've comitted to doing on this project. I must be insane. In
>the end though, if I survive it, it will be one of the things I will be
>proudest of having done in my career.
>The Diana Wynne Jones books are things numbers seven and up, I'm afraid.
>They will have to take a back seat to the other projects. I suppose I could
>hire someone else to translate them, but these are books that I really
>really really really want to translate myself. They are two of my favorite
>DWJ's (hard as it is to pick) and again, I covet them.
>I can't sleep, and yet tomorrow morning I need to be somewhat focused as I
>call Terry Pratchett and interview him over the telephone, to promote his
>latest book which has been translated into Hebrew. Yet another reason to be
>antsy, but in a good way. I'm worried that I haven't actually finished
>reading the book, even though none of the questions I want to ask are
>directly related to the book but rather general questions about the
>wonderfulness of Terry Pratchett. And I'm worried that my questions will be
>trite, or arrogant, or annoying, or too fannish, or go over the heads of the
>general public of not-necessarily-Pratchett-fanatics that will end up
>reading the interview.
>Then there's another insane big crazy idea that needs preparation, which is
>that I would like to get myself an MfA and maybe even a PhD and gain some
>kind of respectability. I've almost been offered teaching positions in
>Israel, that were sort of retracted when it turned out I only had a measly
>BA. And ideally I would like to get these degrees somewhere other than
>Israel, at an institution where Children's Literature is taught as a serious
>academic subject. I've applied and been accepted at Roehampton University in
>London, starting spring 2007 (fall 2006 is too soon, fall 2007 will be too
>late because I'll probably have to translate the next Harry Potter by then,
>and also because every little delay makes transferring the children more
>difficult). But if we're really going to be relocating to London, my husband
>is going to need a work permit and a job, and we'll need to find a flat, and
>kindergarten for the children, and massive funding, and someone to adopt our
>cat... AAAAAAAAGHHH. Just to much to think about.
>Not to mention there's a war now, which is just too awful to even think
>I spent half the morning sobbing my eyes out, and then as a result had a bad
>headache for the rest of the day, which while not technically a migraine (I
>can't explain the difference, but they feel very different) sort of defeated
>the purpose of taking anti-migraine medication. At some point I called my
>husband at work to tell him I felt overloaded, and apparantly sounded so
>terrible that he got into his car and drove straight home. He was the one
>who suggested my emotional state might be a side effect of the new
>medication I've been taking, so we looked in the pamphlet and sure enough
>irritability and depression are listed as possible side effects. But I can't
>help remembering something I read in some pop-psychology article, about how
>depressed individuals are often much more realistic when assessing their
>life than the poor optimistic sods who aren't depressed. I detest feeling
>the way I've been feeling but I don't think I'm out of touch with reality.
>Then again, the thing that really set off my crying jag was a drippy faucet
>in the back yard. It's been getting worse and worse for at least two weeks
>now,  I've called the plumber twice and he keeps finding excuses not to show
>up because when he asks if it's an emergency I can't honestly say it is an
>emergency but still and all its been two weeks and everything is wet and
>it's all gone green with algea and a terrible waste of water and I'm sick
>and tired of calling the plumber and it's nearly two in the morning and I
>can hear the water dripping and I want to SCREAM. So maybe I am
>overreacting. No more of this medication for me.
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