Boston

I Love Summer for the Meet Ups.

In the summer, my social life gets tangled and wonderful. There’s a million places to go and people to see. On Tuesday, I got to see my best friend and her husband for a few hours. Soon, I’ll be at a graduation party. This year, I’ll try to better balance that with the household chores, maintenance and my “real work.”

I’ve signed up for Camp NaNo (again) and I’m not sure what I’m going to work on. Originally, I was thinking short stories, but I don’t know. I have a few days to decide. I may go back to a novel I started years ago.

I’m excited that an agent asked for my first three chapters on my latest novel. The beginning garnered a “show” in a contest. I’ll be ecstatic if she asks to see more, but I’m not holding my breath–I can’t–I have 4-6 weeks of waiting! I had a piece I originally wrote in 2009 FINALLY find a loving home in an Sci-Fi anthology coming out soon from Divertir Publishing and a cheeky NF piece will soon be appearing in The Other Herald, a gorgeous publication based out of Perry, New York.

Yeah, things are looking good and I’m grateful.

It just seems that there are so many things to do and pieces I want to write and submissions to read and comment on that I worry I’ll become too distracted by a bush and end up tripping over an exposed root–don’t get me started on the lawn care I should be doing and the weeding I should have tended to before now.

No matter what, there’s never enough time or money or oomph, is there–too get everything done.

*Sigh*

Still, I’m giddy at the amazing success of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances as of late. I know I’m pushing my boundaries, but I met Roxane Gay in Boston at the AWP book fair and she recognized my name and she was kind and such a beautiful woman…I’m thrilled that “An Untamed State” is getting so many good reviews. She deserves even more. Alex Pruteanu has a manuscript out for a book that I’m hoping to read soon. The short story, “The Sun-Eaters” was phenomenal–I can only imagine the book being better. Dawn Corrigan, woman extraordinaire has “Mitigating Circumstances” out which I’m badgering my library to pick up though so far they haven’t. (Boo John Saccco!) I shouldn’t be too mean; I love my library and when I got my copy of the summer newsletter, I felt like a rock star–they featured the reading I did with Gary Earl Ross and the other contributors to “Queen City Flash

Plus, the lovely and talented Mary Akers got the July Issue of r.kv.r.y out early and Mike Joyce—my other awesome boss got a lovely write up in Poets & Writers about the Rookery.

Except for the horrid slugs in my garden, things are good. Thanks for stopping by!

(*These are my Creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

A bittersweet goodbye to August and summer

To everyone near, far, online, and otherwise, THANK YOU! I can’t imagine a better time than I’ve had recently. Before I get to the pictures, I want to give these props : Mike Joyce thank you for not only accepting my story “Things Left Unspoken“ and publishing it in the Tallchief Issue of Literary Orphans but also for the shout out on your editor’s note. To Michael A. Chaney, TED presenter, wicked brilliant person, I ❤ you for citing  “Things Left Unspoken” in your 30 August 2013 blog post, Top 10 Literary Magazines to Send Your Best Flash (and maybe get accepted too).  That was incredible. I also want to thank Alex Pruteanu just because he’s an awesome writer and friend and I think everyone should buy his book.

That said, what a fabulous traveling party. Family and friends arrived on Saturday the 24th. RISK was played, beer was sampled, bridge hands dealt, guitars played, and mallets were swung. (And when the pictures show up in my account, I’ll post them.) From here to Pennsylvania and back again with people from Portland Oregon, Boston Mass, Washington D. C. and Marilla and Depew. The following Sunday, we met up with our friends from Chicago and had a proper Sunday Chivetta’s chicken dinner in Arcade.

Husband went back to work on Tuesday so he could rest up from his vacation. I’ve been a ‘football mom’ lately and that has come to an end. Now, I press on with my writing. Yesterday, I received a personal, encouraging rejection from The Missouri Review. Today, I’ll be sending off an application for an Advanced Fiction Seminar. I have no idea how good my chances are–I just know it will be a no if I don’t try.

No matter, I have these incredible sunflowers in my garden attracting the bees.

pic3pic2

The sweetgum tree has already started to turn,pic1so it’s so long to summer and hello autumn.

Thanks for stopping by!

(These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

 

One Trip Leads to Another

This week I feel as though things are returning to what passes for normal. Our regular postal carrier is back, I volunteered at the library on Saturday, a few rejections have rolled in, I read the NY Times on Sunday, etc. but now it’s time to make a list and pack a few bags.

Soon after I arrived in Boston, my brother-in-law suffered a heart attack. It was scary and surreal. I thought my niece and I would be changing plans and leaving for Pennsylvania, but we didn’t. The blockage was removed. A stent was put in. He made it to a medical facility in time…

Rachael drove home this past weekend. Husband and I are going this weekend. We’re going to visit and make sure he’s ok.

I talked to him last week. He called his heart attack a “wake-up call.” I wonder how far he’ll take it. He’s quitting smoking (again) and choosing better foods. I think it’s a great start, but he confessed he had a beer already. I thought it was a bit too soon.

Currently, I’m on the “preachy” side of sobriety where I am well aware of what drinking does–and doesn’t do–for me. I stop drinking every year for Lent. Somehow, it is easy. Then I restart. Searching in old notebooks for notes on Ellie’s Elephants, I came across a thought last year that maybe last year would be the year I just stop drinking for good. I’ve had the same thought this year, too, but I sense the reason I do restart is that it makes life easier.

This realization is a complaint of sorts, but I don’t think I’ve made it before. Being away from home during Lent let me see things in a different way. Yes, Husband is not a neat person. I don’t think it would kill him to help a little more. Nothing drastic–just not rip open the shower curtain so the hooks come off the rod OR hooking them back on when he’s done. Little tiny things. I know I ask him to do these things and occasionally he’ll remember to, then he forgets. I think I go back to drinking so these things bother me but I can block them out, get up the next day, notice more minor irritations, block them out or sleep them off and begin again.

Sad, isn’t it?

Right now, I think it is sad, but, will I turn that realization into a “wake-up call” for my life? I don’t know…

What I do know is that I’ve gotten a milder wake-up call–a nudge really–from a few places about my own poetry. I received a few higher tiers and a personal rejection in the past two weeks. A writer friend wrote “…however, you are a poet; prolific it seems to me, but you don’t let the poet come out very much in your workaday writing…” I had decided to be mad at him for that, but a story I read for r.kv.r.y had me look at something in a way I hadn’t considered before, so maybe being a “poet” is what I’m trying to recover from, or block out or choose not to deal with because poets rarely get respect, let alone paid, and then a poetry submission to r.kv.r.y. from someone I briefly met in Boston came in and showed me beauty and passion with a few words so perhaps–this is just my sobriety speaking–perhaps being a poet wouldn’t be the most tragic thing in the world ever to happen to me if I decided to pursue it. Maybe.

* These are just my creekside reflections. Your epiphanies may vary.

AWP on my Mind

I can hardly believe that A) I’m going to Boston for a week and B) I’ll be leaving soon. I made a list of places I wanted to submit before I left and when it got to be the tenth, I starred the most important places. My starred places are complete. There is one contest (Arizona Mystery Writers) that I still have time to enter, but I don’t want to stress over it. They changed contest directors and it was sweet to receive an email inviting me to enter but…eh. I have a piece started, but I don’t know if I’ll get it finished in time.

The NEA was the most important thing. I read the comments from people on Zoetrope. They said not to stress over it, just send your best writing. (And this year I did a bang-up job on my description!) I had intended to send two short stories and a novel excerpt. I re-read them and changed what I submitted. Fingers crossed that I get the thick envelope in November.

And the Valentine’s day story… Husband is not big on holidays, but he agreed that I’d get a rose on my birthday and on Valentine’s Day. This year, he ended up working with Norm the Annoying Ogre and forgot. He felt bad about this, but oh well. I left to go grocery shopping. When I returned, he had crafted this:

Rose

A rose out of a wild rose bush stem and a sprig of rose hips, construction paper and poinsettia leaves. (Yeah, he is awesome.)

On Sunday, I got a bouquet of six real ones. I cut down three and put them here, in my office.

roses

Well, thanks for checking in. I’m off to do pilates. See you in March.

(*These are just my Creekside Reflections. Your experience may vary.)