Summer Stats and Cautious Optimism for the New Semester

This is the last weekend of freedom before the new school year begins. I went into the office yesterday to clean it out -- there was so much junk stashed everywhere from last year's drop-and-run. I would come into the office with one pile of folders and books, place them on a desk or a table, and then pick up another pile of folders and books, and run off again. When I did work in the office it was often between columns of stacked files and assignments and general clutter. 

I don't really want to do that again, if I can avoid it -- so I had a "purge day" wherein I went through all of the stacks and sorted through what needed to be filed and what needed to be recycled. When I left yesterday I had three or four boxes/bags of material to be recycled (which I'm doing at home because I don't trust that the school genuinely recycles -- I've watched our janitorial staff combine trash and recycling in the same cart and that's just suspicious  . . . I mean, are they really going to go through it later and separate the refuse from the recyclables?) Anyway, I now also have a large pile of papers and folders that have to be filed away, and the files themselves have to be kind of worked-over, decluttered, what have you, but the space is imminently more usable and friendly. 

This post is truly riveting so far.

This silver maple in front of my parents' home is my favorite tree. Ever.
My end-of-August trip to Virginia was fun and chaotic (because toddlers) and also pretty steamy -- the temps reached the 90s and it was so effing humid. But I managed to go for runs throughout the week, and I also began my mornings by writing before anyone else woke up, so I felt like there was some normalcy and productivity even in the midst of vacation. 

The last three months have been really good -- one of the best summers I've had in a long time, and primarily because I didn't have a damn thing planned, aside from the kids' week at camp (glorious! oh the hours of writing time!) and the trips to see my family. I could have done with a little less depression/mood swing nonsense, but I feel like I'm coming out of that somewhat (at least I hope so -- I don't have a lot of patience with myself when I'm mopey).

Poems, ya'll!
So -- to sum up -- this summer resulted in:
  • 16 new pages of my play, and a significant shift in its structure, from a one-act to a two-act; 
  • 30 new poems -- 23 of which belong to one emerging manuscript, and 7 which may belong to my collaborative project with M.S.; AND
  • 10 new blog posts.
Additionally, I ACTUALLY READ AND FINISHED BOOKS, YOU GUYS.  As you may remember from earlier posts, I managed to finish Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan, Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon, and The Halo by C. Dale Young. Just this past week, I finished Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado -- which I am completely in love with. It's the most gorgeous, beautifully weird, moving collection of short stories. Love love love. To the point where I probably won't teach from it because I don't want my students to ruin it for me. But anyway. GET THEE TO A LIBRARY OR BOOKSTORE AND READ THIS BOOK. 

Okay. I'm done shouting now.

This weekend we have a bunch of end-of-summer-last-minute-before-school-starts tasks and activities planned, and then *groan* the year begins on Tuesday for me, Wednesday for the kids. (And it will be Vampire Toddler/the New Little Miss Talkalot's first day in Kindergarten, too, which is sad for me and kind of terrifying for her. OH. And I turn 42 next Saturday. So generally trauma all around.) I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that I can maintain my early-morning writing rhythm this semester -- at the very least, for the first month -- and use blocks of time on Fridays (non-teaching days) as space to work on long-form projects, like my plays. 

Because eff you, Stuffolk! If you're not gonna give me time to write, I'm going to make time. I wasted too much effort doing your service/committee nonsense for far too long. 

(That's what I'd say if they actually cared to ask me. But they don't/won't.)

My associate and his ball. Behind him is the infamous Intrakat, which The Boy dubbed "InjureKat" after A. busted his shoulder on it.

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