Surfacing

I have a different blog post to write (for my union) and a gazillion papers & assignments to grade and a very disordered house to put in order and clean before my mother visits at the end of this weekend, but I felt the need to check in here. I've been sending my manuscript to a slew of publishers and first-book contests this week, and there's something about continually posting a bio that states you keep "a record of [your] writing life, experience in academia, and motherhood" on a blog that makes you think, "oh, maybe I should actually DO that."

Also, when it comes down to it, I blog more for my own sanity and catharsis than I do for another lame line in my bio. Of course, since I haven't written here for a month you can probably gauge pretty accurately where my sanity's at.

This weekend we're throwing a co-ed baby shower for my brother-in-law and my sister, who's pregnant with my first nephew (another boy in the family!), and because it's in Brooklyn it involves last-minute cake-and-favors shopping and travel and overnight stays with children in an AirBnB and coordinating an event in a bar (and hoping no one notices or minds all the children). I'm exhausted just thinking about it, but I think that in the end it will be fun and worth the trouble. (Fingers crossed, nonetheless.)

This should be the last big event for a while, though, which means that maybe, MAYBE, (maybe), I'll catch up on the grading and then begin to write in earnest again. Things have been crazy between AWP, the creative writing festival at Stuffolk, planning/organizing the baby shower, and, you know, raising three little blonde people in fucking suburbia.

The summer looks busy, though. Some necessary things, some fun things. A balance of work, writing, family. Applying for promotion. Teaching a summer class (maybe, if we get enough students for it to run). Taking a summer class (playwriting, maybe, if I get in -- I'm still waiting to hear). Some leadership seminar nonsense for work at the end of July. Camping in West Virginia at the Appalachian String Band Festival. And another baby shower for another pregnant sister! (My parents' heads are whirling -- they'll have so many grandchildren by the end of the year!)

Inkbrick: Poetry Comics, people!
So. I suppose I shall leave the blog with this news: I READ A BOOK, PEOPLE. A BOOK OF POETRY. And it was awesome -- both the book itself and the act of reading. No, wait, I READ TWO BOOKS. I read The Big Book of Exit Strategies by Jamaal May and Serena, a novel, by Ron Rash (which I began in *cough* January). May's collection of poems is really, really, good -- it was my first introduction to his work and I loved it. Also, and MAYBE this influenced my opinion, but I met him briefly at AWP where he was selling chapbooks for the press he runs with Tarfia Faizullah (Organic Weapon Arts) and they were both charming and lovely and kind. They were having problems with the wifi and their ability to run cards (because I was the chump without cash at that point), and they said I could have a free book . . . but I came back later with the money because, you know, integrity. And kindness. And supporting small presses.

ALSO, I should confess I was one of those people who packed an extra carry-on bag for books from the book fair. My husband watched me fill it with a sort of bemused resignation. I am a book hoarder. I only finished May's book because I read most of it on the plane on the way home. Some day, probably when I'm retired, I will finally read all of these wonderful books.

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