Kicking Off Summer

I can think of no better way to begin my summer than with a poetry reading. Last night, I attended FIX, a poetry reading series at FIX Coffee Bar. I was one of two featured poets and shared the stage with the talented Ayokunle Falomo, a Nigerian poet and author of kin.DREAD. I had a marvelously unique Lavender Latte and read from both Goddess and Sue. B attended, too, which always makes a reading that much more special to me.

So, now my routine changes. With grades posted, graduation complete, and a long expanse of warm months before me, I need to figure out what to do with the time before me. During our last meeting at Writing Group, I articulated the following goals for my summer. This is a good place for me to begin:

1. Revise my NAPOWRIMO poems
2. Find the shape of my next poetry manuscript, tentatively titled The Wrath of Mother Nature's Child
3. Write one new short story
4. Keep up with my column, The Beaumont Book Beat
5. Submit Illiad to two additional publishers for consideration--probably TRP and LSU if I don't hear back from the current publisher that's considering it within a month or so.

In addition, I'm also teaching a women's lit class (my first graduate class ever), so that is going to be a priority to do well. I will continue my work with Lamar University Literary Press, too, which will keep me busy. In July, I hope to be going to the Gemini Ink Conference in San Antonio, and maybe bring some students along.

For me, the biggest obstacle of the summer is my impending ear surgery. It's been hard for me to really feel a summer state of mind with that looming. Tomorrow, I go in for pre-op in Houston. The actual surgery is Monday. I should be going home the same day if all goes well, and doc suspects it will.

So, this summer, my goals are a little on the modest side, I'd say. If I can get through this surgery, teach a successful graduate class, and keep up with my press duties, I will be in good shape to be honest. The rest, really, is just extra.

My message to myself for this summer is to take it easy as much as I can, to focus on healing and restoration, and to emerge on the other side of these months strong, rested, and healthy.