Summer Winding Down

Ok, so I didn't blog this summer.

I'm sorry. It's been a crazy season. But isn't it always?

Blogging just wasn't a part of my routine these past few months, and when life gets a little crazy, well, it's easy to skip out on the blogging for more seemingly important things.

But now, so many months have passed, and I think it's time for a little update. What's happened in my life? Was my summer a successful one?

I think it was, for the most part.

My goals for this season were to finish revising my NAPO poems, find the shape of my next manuscript, write a new short story, keep up with my column, and submit Iliad to at least two new publishers. I also wanted to teach a summer class and survive my ear surgery.

So, here's how my summer went:

Right before surgery
In May, I did have my ear surgery. It sucked, but not as much as it could have. I was in and out within the same day and sent home with lots of pain medication and antibiotics. I felt pretty out of it that day and was super sleepy, but no real significant pain. The next morning, though, I woke up, got out of bed, and tried to walk to the sofa in my little living room. The next thing I knew, I was falling, and I passed out. Fortunately, B was there and he shook me awake. We called my doctor who thought it was related to my anesthesia. And to be honest, this wasn't the first time I fainted, so it wasn't incredibly unexpected. Doc said to not try to walk around, to spend the next few days in bed, and to go to the hospital if it happened again. It ALMOST did later that day when I got up to go to the kitchen, but I felt the wave of dizziness coming and braced myself and didn't actually fall. From there on out, I just got better, stronger, and today, I'm in pretty darn good shape. I do have some permanent hearing loss from the whole ordeal, unfortunately, but I can still manage pretty well with my one good ear. The best news is that my ear drum is repaired and I haven't had any nasty infections since!

Chilling at the new apartment
Around that same time, as I was recovery from surgery, stupid landlord sold our apartment and the new owners made us move. It was colossally bad timing. We had two weeks to find a new place and move. Also happening: B got a new job in Houston. We wanted to move somewhere in between Beaumont and Houston, but there's nothing, really, between Beaumont and Houston, especially for rent. My main criteria at that point for a new apartment was if we could move in like the next day. Fortunately, we found a nice complex in Baytown that let us move in super quick. It's about an hour's drive from Lamar and about 30 minutes from B's work. So, it's doable.

July was mostly just about settling in to the new apartment and getting accustomed to B's new job and our new lifestyle. I also had a conference in San Antonio, Gemini Ink, that I traveled to on my own. I loved going to Gemini because I got to see some of my old friends from the RGV and spent some time with some Lamar colleagues too. I read some of my new summer poetry which made me feel like I was moving in the right direction with my work as it felt like it was well received. In addition, I spoke on two panels: one on publishing and my work with Lamar University Literary press, and one on writing in hybrid forms. All in all, it was a successful, fun conference.

On the balcony in San Antonio

Come August, I realized the fall semester was before me and spent much of my time planning the new graduate seminar I'm teaching about editing and the literary magazine.

All the while, I wrote. I wasn't quite as prolific as I wanted to be, but I did write twenty-three new poems. I counted up the tally today. That's not too too bad. I also wrote one piece of prose, though it's really more memoir than short story. I submitted Iliad to two more presses. In terms of my manuscript in progress, Wrath, it hasn't found its shape yet. I just have a mess. I haven't really been that motivated to work on it with one manuscript still in submission. I guess once Iliad gets picked up somewhere, then I'll get more serious about Wrath.

So tomorrow, the fall semester begins again. It will be year 2 at Lamar. This semester, I have to start putting together my two year review folder which takes me one step closer to tenure. I'm ready. I'm excited. I got this!