volunteering

Of Islands and Such

First off, let me just say the Kathy Fish Fast Fiction Workshop is a lot of fun. It’s almost over and I have several new pieces fleshed out – some I couldn’t quite get right in time to post, so I have “extra” which feels great. I also got some insight into characters I want to use in a book – though in the notes for that piece, Kathy suggested it could be a screenplay…and that I should write screenplays if I don’t already. I mentioned to her that from what I read, screenplays were even harder to sell than novels.

Last Friday was my first day back at the Montessori school. This year I’m working as a literacy volunteer. I did 5 forty-five minute classes and then needed a 7 hour nap – which I didn’t get. Matt said he’d cut it down to 4 classes tomorrow. Something told me years ago I couldn’t cut it as a teacher; I’m glad I didn’t let myself get talked into working for a teaching certificate “just to have it.” I applaud and am in awe of teachers. You are AMAZING human beings doing incredibly difficult work. There is a “Teacher’s Day” in May. That’s not enough. There ought to be at least one “Teacher’s Day” a month.

The flash workshop has taken my focus away from submitting, though I did get a few things out. Submittable is a blessing and a curse. Being on the staff side, I know I can go to a submission and read it without tripping it to “in-progress.” Does that mean other editors are doing that, too? I have 18 submissions in my own queue; 10 are open. I have no idea what that even means anymore…

The ever-changing creek has given us an island.

Island

It’s been too cold to explore it and it may be gone by spring – though the daffodils are coming up – so maybe it is spring. With this ditzy weather, it’s hard to tell what season we’re experiencing. It was 20 degrees last night and supposed to be up in the 60’s next week. On Facebook, I saw that Gina’s husband is making maple syrup. I guess it’s time to pull out the seed starter kits and think about starting my tomato and pepper plants. It seems a little early, but with this weather, who knows. Maybe I’m starting them late for this year’s weather.

Thanks for stopping by ~ now go thank a teacher!

*These are my Creekside Reflections; yours should 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.