Panic, Make Calls, Make Plans, Repeat // Panic, Make Calls, Make Plans, Repeat // Panic, Make Calls . . .

Little Miss Talkalot is almost thirteen now and is slumping more and more into that sullen nontalking teen thing, so the name doesn't really suit her anymore. It IS, however, really really apt for her sister, who is no longer as vampire-like as she used to be (a huge surprise to everyone). 

Soooooooo, the little one is going to be referred to from now on as Little Miss Talkalot the Second and the big-but-not-as-big-as-she-wants-to-be will go by Little Miss Tween (up until, of course, the day she actually turns into a teenager). Little Miss is not necessarily supposed to be a condescending diminutive but more of a nod to some favorite, exceedingly-bizarre books from my childhood, the Little Miss and Mister books by Roger Hargreaves. And sure, for some reason the Misters never had "Little" added to their names and that's sexist and terrible but really, they're just incredibly strange British children's books and their strangeness is kind of wonderful and it fed my imagination growing up and shaped my sense of humor and I need to move on, okay?
Meet my spirit animal, Little Miss Bad

So this blog post is a day late because last week was a maelstrom of meetings, class prep, emails, and surprise illness. The week ended with me carting Little Miss Talkalot the Second into urgent care and finding out that the rash she had on her back was a result of a strain of type-A flu, NOT strep throat, which is the misdiagnosis I gave her before dragging her little butt into a waiting room full of people even more sick than she is/was.

Naturally, having the flu diagnosed on Thursday meant I would have to stay at home with her on Friday, a day during which I was scheduled to lead a committee meeting and facilitate a panel discussion as part of a professional development event on Stuffolk's central campus. Usually, A. is more than willing to take a day off and look after sick kids if I have any kind of event at school I'm not supposed to miss -- like this discussion event, which I'd organized -- but he's still in Puerto Rico, and probably will be for another week or two, so that wasn't an option. I spent most of Thursday evening calling those colleagues I could trust to forgive me for the intrusion, and asking for favors above and beyond our friendships -- all in an effort to make sure what needed to happen happened at the college on Friday as smoothly and painlessly as possible.

Because I work with awesome people upon whom one can rely entirely, everything DID go well, from what I hear. At the very least, there were no complaints that followed the event -- and most of my fellow committee members were happy, I think, that I rescheduled the early morning Creative Writing Festival meeting for later in the month.

In some ways, as much as I was loathe to miss the discussion event, the time at home was a bit of a blessing in terms of catching up. Little Miss Talkalot the Second was less talky under the influence of a fever, and so as she watched movies beneath her blankets and sipped water and asked for food she didn't ultimately have an appetite to eat, I was able to answer long-overdue interview questions from another poet who's putting together an interview series on her own blog. 

The perfect combination of confusion and annoyance. Possibly my best author photo ever.
I'd been working piecemeal on the interview since early in January, so it was really gratifying to finally spend some time really considering the questions and providing (hopefully) satisfying answers. I noticed that I'm much more game -- at least in that kind of format -- to talk about what I admire in other writers, and less likely to spend time talking about my own aesthetic and craft. Because really, I'm kind of tired of myself. 

Although the interview DID provide the opportunity for THESE gems, and they make me laugh everytime I look at them. Seriously, they might end up being the high point of my semester. Ask a twelve year old to take your author photo and this is what happens: complete confusion as to why she's getting so very close to your stupid face. That's right -- line up to book your photo shoot with Little Miss Tween now. She might be busy later if you don't -- watching a video where some jackass plays MineCraft and screams like an idiot into his idiot headset for hours on end.

(Which is completely different from playing with poetry and screaming metaphorically into the universe for hours on end, obviously . . .)

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