Friday, August 19, 2016

Summertime Reflection

Ah, yes, it's about that time of the year...

My work email is bustling once again, the school buses wind through my cul-du-sac every morning and afternoon, and I'm digging out my syllabi with a mixture of elation and dread. Yesterday, while revamping my Rhetoric and Composition syllabus, I had some sort of a mini-panic attack as I pieced together my semester. Yikes.

Before moving onto the next phase, it's important for me to reflect on the season that's passing. As a writing teacher, I'm always stressing the importance of self-reflection. So, it's time for me to practice what I preach, although, really, this blog is like one big enormous public self-reflection on my writing self. 

This summer began a bit rocky, but in the end, I think it's been my best, most productive, most fulfilling (creatively... and let's face it, otherwise too) yet. I eased into a routine of daily writing. I learned that inspiration is a habit, a muscle. I wrote like a madwoman, spending hours everyday in my place of bliss (and sometimes frustration). I worked through the tangly poems, a tangly manuscript, a tangly mind. I've created a manuscript I'm proud of, and I can't wait for the world to see it next year. 

I also went out of my comfort zone as an artist, presenting my work at new venues, met new people/communities of writers, and tried my hand at ekphrasis. 

I put my work and my self out there, to various degrees of success, but I harbor no regrets. My skin is  (mostly) calloused with rejection, but my heart never tires of the elation of acceptance. 

I'm dipping my toes into the role of a literary critic, branching out and challenging myself to write an article. 

I'm still the same gal who went into this summer with wide eyes, though I think I'm a little more confident, sure of myself, and excited for the future. Back in May, I set the following goals:

1. Don't die. I have successfully survived. Thrived. My heath is good. I feel stronger than ever. 
2. Finish poetry manuscript -- either split it up or make it work. Either way, send to Publisher by end of August! Done. Done. Done. 3. Write two book reviews Written. Submitted. Accepted for publication. Moving on.4. Submit to residencies I submitted to one? It's not plural but it's a damn good one.5. Submit poetry packets out at least once per week -- so, let's say a goal of 15 by the end of summer. I did two yesterday, so I'm off to a good start! Yawn. Blew this one out of the water by more than doubling it. 6. Do at least one public reading a month. I've got May and July squared away, so figure something out for June and August In May, I read at my old high school as a keynote speaker. In June, I went to an open mic at The Prelude. In July, I read at Malvern Books in Austin. In August I'll be reading at the Sekula Library here in Edinburg. 7. Successfully teach summer course while keeping my writing schedule going This went surprisingly smoothly.8. Practice Spanish ::crickets chirping:: ok, this is something I slacked at. I didn't even open my Duolingo app once. Let's add this to the fall goals. 9. Exercise five times per week, keep it a priority Yes. I have transitioned in to full-blown marathon training. I'm in week 4, running 4 times a week and cross training once a week. 10. Enjoy and savor the extra rime. Bake cakes. Play video games. Snuggle the cats. Take a long, frivolous roadtrip with B. Enjoy and life life to the fullest everyday. I have baked my heart out. I've almost finished playing Final Fantasy 5 (note to self, beat final boss before the summer officially finishes). I currently have a kitty on my lap. I took two frivolous roadtrips. I have enjoyed my summer and savored the long, beautiful days as fully as I knew how. 


Life is pretty freakin' glorious. May it continue to be as I move into the next season, the fall semester. B says he has a good feeling about it. I'm staring at my calendar feeling a little nervous. But with his support, I know I can tackle just about anything. 



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