Returning to Blogging, More Bathroom Renovating, DIY Residency Planning, and a Cover Reveal

I haven't written here in quite a while. I've liked the silence. (I'm sure you have too!) After writing a post a week, more or less, last year for the Poetry Blogger Revival Tour, I felt a little burnt out.  

Since my last post, I've worked very sporadically on poems -- written maybe four of them. Much of my morning writing time has been used to grade, or answer emails, or prep for a class. That last part annoys me because I've really tried to get the classes to the point where I have everything done before the semester begins, but sometimes I make changes to the schedule that seem really necessary and then that means more mid-semester prep. 

At home we're renovating the second bathroom in our tiny cape, so that means everything from that bathroom is spread out around the house and there's a fine film of sheetrock dust over everything -- mostly because I haven't had time or energy to thoroughly dust and vacuum like I probably should. (Renovating the bathroom at the end of the semester was a fine idea. I'm. a. genius.)

This week I submitted a proposal for AWP 2020, which will take place in San Antonio, TX. I haven't had a panel picked up for the conference in a few years, so maybe I'm due. I hope it's accepted -- it gives me a chance to collaborate with a couple of my friends: one from college, J.C., who is a playwright and TV/film writer and essayist who lives now in Los Angeles. The topic is on DIY residencies and retreats -- granting yourself time and space to write -- and she's been doing these kinds of things for years now; also with C.Y.M., who completed an Artist Residency in Motherhood a short while ago.

M.S. and I have been planning, and putting the final necessary pieces in place, for doing our own Artist Residency in Motherhood this summer, for a week in July. We have all of our kiddos signed up for day camps, and we're renting a tiny apartment not far from the camps. We're going to use an apartment booked through AirBnB as a joint workspace. The plan is to use 3-4 hours in the morning for work on writing and art-making, break briefly for lunch, and then either go back to work or go on some kind of excursion we wouldn't normally be able to do with three kids in tow. Also, our work, our writing and art, will be focused around a joint theme -- so that possibly we can exhibit or publish it somewhere together. Or maybe we won't. We're trying not to put too much pressure on the week -- just enough to provides some focus or direction.

Cover art: Ellen Gardens
Also, presales for the full-length Fabulous Beast began this week. It's available to order via the Texas Book Consortium and Amazon. I have to admit that it's pretty exciting to see the cover and the preorder buttons -- it's not about the sales, which will never garner me fame or wealth, but rather about the way this makes it feel "official", even more so than signing the contract back in January. 

Also also, something that makes this whole thing even MORE official is receiving the proofs this week from the copy editor. I'll be working on those for part of today, and tomorrow, before sending them back to the copy editor on Sunday. There aren't many changes to make or resolve: mostly formatting of the acknowledgments page for consistency, and some stanza break/page break issues with the long poem in the middle of the book. 

Also also also, a million years ago (okay, like a month or two ago), I came across an article that spoke about this documentary, The Last Person Made Famous by a Painting, about Andrew Wyeth's secret muse, Helga. It's pretty fascinating. Thought I'd share.

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