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Showing posts from May, 2017

Texas Weather and Smoked Blood and Lavender

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With my newfound free time, I've had the chance to attend two poetry events recently, both of which were delightful in their own ways and for various reasons. Summers tend to leave me feeling isolated, artistically and socially, so coming out of my "cave" for a couple of events is always a good thing.

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of reading at the Texas Weather reading at my local Barnes and Noble. The anthology was published earlier this year by Lamar University Literary Press and was edited by two Terry Darlrymple and Laurence Musgrove, two professors from San Angelo State University. It has fiction, poetry, and essays from authors all around the state. Since its publication, different readings have been held in different regions of Texas. A few months back, Jan asked me what I thought about doing a valley reading of the anthology. Of course, I was game.


The reading went really well. It was well attended and we nearly sold out of books. In addition to Jan and I, …

Autobiographphobia?

Well!

It's been precisely one week since I've posted grades. And I'm getting into the swing of being on "vacation" which has fortunately meant that I've been writing writing writing. I don't know how or why, but it feels like I have a strong stream of ideas flowing. I've had enough mental energy to accomplish two writing sessions a day lately, which is enormous for me. I spend the morning with my poetry, and then in the afternoon, I'm switching to fiction. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep this pace up, but hopefully at least until summer school begins.

Part of why my writing has been going so smoothly (well, no, not smoothly, but productively... I've encountered plenty of snags and tangles) is because I've also been reading. I've got four books "in progress" right now, and I spend the day thumbing through each of them: A Certain Attitude, which is an anthology of Texas women poets in which I've encounter…

Summer 2017 Begins!

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Oh joy! I posted my grades today :) :) :)
Which means I am on vacation.
There's me and Ted celebrating with a good snuggle shortly after logging off my UT-RGV account and vowing not to return for a good long while.

Summer! You always come with a myriad of emotions, and this year is no different. There's something I love about the calm, about the quiet, about having the time to sit and get into my creative self. But at the same time, summer always brings with it a certain sadness for me. I love teaching. Truly.

Well, this year I'll be teaching summer school (I think... my chair sent out a cryptic email about possibly canceling classes, but mine are pretty full so I think they're safe). I could use the money, and it'll give me at least 6 weeks of structure. Classes begin June 5th.

But aside from teaching, what do I want to accomplish during these months of heat, of quiet, of relative solitude?

1. Make headway on manuscript, An Illiad of Bones. I'd like to shape …

It's May! What's Next???

Today, my students' final projects are due, and I'm the cusp of a marathon grading session!
Ahhhh! I'm trying to savor this calm before "the storm."

I thought it would be useful, here, to reflect a little bit on what happened this spring semester. It's been a semester of epic waiting. It's been a semester of taking chances. It's been a semester of flux and change.

And here I am, on the other side of said semester. What I'm most proud of is that I've been able to keep my head in the game, so to speak, to continue writing and moving forward with what's important, with what matters, regardless of the uncertainties this semester has thrown my way, both in terms of my health and my career.

As a teacher, I was a little unsure of how I did this semester. I wasn't quite as involved as I typically am in my students' writing and lives, and because I was teaching hybrid and online courses, I experimented with the idea of letting them go and…