Summer 2017 Begins!

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 the manuscript this summer. Establish its arch. Write the backbone poems. I can add the frilly filler during the coming year. One poem that's super on my mind is to write a crown of sonnets. I want to sprinkle the crown throughout the entire collection to give it a real sense of cohesion. So each chapter will open/close with one of the crown, and they'll be peppered evenly throughout. I've never seen that done before, but I think it might have an interesting effect. Anyway, if I just write that crown and work through my napo mess, I'll be in good shape with the book.

2. Write a new short story! At least one. You can do this Katie! Be brave! Everyone asks me about a "second genre" these days, which is probably a good hint for me to develop more of a fluency in fiction writing. Ok. Ok. Ok. I'll work at it. I've been STUDYING short fiction lately, too, which is something I'll continue doing over the summer, reading manuals about it and looking at contemporary examples of short story collections. That's how I learned how to write poetry, so fiction should be no different, right? Gulp.

3. Write two book reviews. I'm currently writing on (and it's almost done, too) on Big Thicket Blues. Then I have a collaborative book on my shelf to review, too. If I can do ONE MORE review (total of three) as a stretch goal, that'd be great, but at least two.

4. Decide what to do with Valley Cultura and my collaboration with Corinne. I'd like to continue this project, maybe even involve another poet as a translator so we can have a bilingual book in English and Spanish. I need to shoot an email to Corinne and see if she's up for meeting soon. If this project doesn't happen, it's ok too, because I can cannibalize the work I've put into it for another project.

5. Continue running, but don't be crazy about it. Just healthy. I'm running a 10k early next month. Today I had a nice practice run and finished in 49m53s. Phew! That's fast! I'm getting faster.

6. Submit twice a week. No more. No less. Be consistent not crazy (that should probably be my summer mantra as per always)

7. Blog. I'd like to do a blog series about mentors and the people who've helped me along my writerly journey.

8. Roll with the punches. Go with the flow. Other cliches about adapting, because girl, I'm going to need to.

These goals aren't incredibly lofty. In fact, they're pretty light and totally doable. This is for a reason. This summer brings with it a bit of (ok a lot of) uncertainty. There's a lot that's out of my control in terms of, well, everything! Gosh I wish I didn't have to be so cryptic anymore. Let me just say that I'm on the cusp of something big and wonderful, and this summer will very likely involve some serious changes. I need to be ready for them. I am ready for them. Whenever they come.

So in light of being in "waiting mode" ... I know what's best for me is to focus on things I can control. Hence, goals.