Sunday, September 20, 2015

Busy Bee & Chicago Bound

Again I must apologize for the lack of blogging. It would be an understatement to say that the past week has kept me on my toes. On Tuesday my story was up in workshop--and it went well! Or at least I think it went well. There were several concrete criticisms, which are always better than wishy-washy, vague comments. Some of it I anticipated; I suspected that I had accidentally left some important things off the page. Some of it, however, I didn't anticipate. For instance, I need to start kicking myself every time I describe someone's hair. Too much hair.

On Wednesday we had our first Emerging Writers Series event of the year with author Kirsten Valdez Quade. Since I'm on the EWS committee (meaning I helped decide which authors to bring for the series), I had lunch with her and Brett and Scott. She was gracious and generous in her craft talk, and she's a wonderful reader, as we discovered later that evening. You should definitely check out her book of short stories Night at the Fiestas.

On Friday we had our first Neon Lit of the semester. I don't go in for astrology, but the Internet keeps telling me that Mercury's in retrograde, whatever that means. Something was in the air, though; little things kept going awry. There were parking issues thanks to early Life is Beautiful set-up, one of our readers dropped out last minute (but we were able to find a replacement even more last-minute), our MC's printer broke so we had to print her intros at the store. Luckily, the reading itself was delightful. We had a good mix of first, second, and third years, and I think everyone had a good time. I can't wait until the October reading--we'll all be in costume for Halloween.

I wish I could say that I get to take a breather this upcoming week, but that's not the case. There's a reading we're supposed to go to after workshop on Tuesday, but I might skip it, as I'm trying to grade all my students' papers. (Today's hilarious student flub: "The author implies that the police are hippocrates." Instead of hypocrites. Ugh.) Thursday evening there's another BMI panel with Gary Snyder, and later that evening Michael's launching his book at Velveteen Rabbit.

Basically I'm never going to sleep again.

But I must sleep! For on Friday I'm flying to Chicago for one glorious weekend. And do you know what it will be in Chicago? Autumn! Changing leaves and brisk air and---oh my god I just looked up the weather and it's going to be in the high seventies. Dammit. Cooler than Vegas, but not cool enough.

Before I go, there's one thing you must know: my little sister is a fantastic folk musician, and she's trying to raise money to produce a new record with her duo Bittersweet Drive. Have a look at the fundraising campaign page, listen to some of their music, and if it charms you as much as it charms me, please throw a few dollars their way. If you can't contribute, spreading the word would help just as much! Thank you.

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