Finally, a happy post!

While three years ago I was pondering my degree, just two years ago I put my name on a list.  And, I forgot about the list, and how I wanted that space, and went on with life.

Earlier this week I had an email: “Garden plots available!!”  I almost deleted it thinking it was spam, but then remembered that I was on the waitlist for the community garden around the block from my apartment.

So today, I spent this morning kneeling and crouching in soft dirt, yanking up errant bunches of mint and crabgrass and some wiley johnny jump-ups.  I think I’ll be blogging alot about it.  It’s exciting to be involved with a community of people from my neighborhood–many of whom I’ve seen just walking their dogs or heading to work around the hood.

And soon I will have TOMATOES!  And zucchini!  And fresh flowers and herbs and who knows what all else.  Yay!

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Three years ago

Three years ago, I searched everywhere online to find some sort of “how-to” or a support group of sorts for prospective-MFAs.  (That’s how I met jadepark, via her blog!)  I wanted someone to show me the answers to questions I didn’t even know how to ask.  I felt like I wanted to vomit all the time as I waited for notification on programs.  I wanted someone to tell me “yes!  this is the right program for you!”

Three years ago I wept over dinner with the BF (whom I had just started dating) because I had just gotten two, mean-as-hell rejection letters from what I viewed as my last two chances to get to NYC.

It was never that easy. Read the rest of this entry »

And Flip Switch to Autopilot

Surgery is now moved up to Thursday morning.

I hope that because it will be done sooner that the infection’s source is removed and then he will heal and then we can stop hanging out with surgeons all the time and we can all go back to a semi-normal life.

Maybe.

Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head

I woke up this morning out of a thick and disturbing sleep.  I remember having lots of dreams, but the only one I remember was this:

I was speaking to a friend of mine and felt something go crunch in my mouth.  My tooth had chipped.  And then, my teeth began to fall out–more teeth than I knew I had.  Even now I can remember what it felt like.  They weren’t rotten, the teeth were just falling out.  Then, in my dream, I told myself to wake up.  And in my dream, I woke up.

Then I woke up again for real.

I woke up to the BF calling from the hospital.  We talked and then I got up and prepped to get to the hospital.  I felt like I had been drugged.  Driving to the hospital, I broke down crying, worrying what would happen if I got to the hospital too late.  Too late for what?  Anything.  Anything.

The BF will be in the hospital probably for the weekend, hopefully not for longer.  While we were sitting in the hospital world, my mom called.  My godfather–one of her closest friends when I was growing up–died suddenly a few weeks ago.   I haven’t been in contact with him for a while–nothing big, just haven’t kept in touch with many people that I grew up with, including neighbors and friends of family.  The funeral has already happened already too.

I guess I just always assumed he would be around.

I am overwhelmed with how keenly aware I am of time.

Deja Vu

The BF is headed back to the hospital for a series of tests and scan to see what’s happening. A few days ago he noticed that there was a strange swelling and bruising at one end of his scar. It got bigger. So he’s going back.

Last night we decided it would be best if I stay here because if he does get admitted into the hospital, I can borrow a friend’s car to get there, whereas I don’t drive stick so I couldn’t get back from Baltimore if I went with him. Or something.

I can’t believe there are still new, weird complications resulting from this bloody surgery. I just can’t believe it. When will it stop? The BF is frustrated and scared and tired of it, and I am too. I am going to spend today getting work done (hopefully) but with my phone right next to me, waiting for phone calls.

I hate the waiting.

I’m typing . . .

. . . in hopes that it becomes writing.  I was on a roll for about a week and then last week got crazy and my rhythm was broken and now I’m writing one piddling paragraph at a time.  It’s like rabbit turds.

Book meme!

Taken, with love, from jadepark.

Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you’ve read, italicise the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a 10 foot pole, put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of. Like jadepark, I’ve left unformatted the books to which I feel perfectly indifferent.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) – I argue regularly with a professor about the value of trash. I see some books as the equivalent of Oreos, or Cheetos–they are not good for you, but damn, they are tasty. So, I started it and thought it was boring and stopped reading. The movie was mildly entertaining.

2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) – I haven’t read it. I’ve read Northanger Abbey, Emma and some other one. All Jane Austen reads the same to me. As a lit nerd, it’s fun in terms of theory. As a reader, I’m not so enthralled.
3. (+) To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) – Still makes me weep.
4. (+) Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) – Entertaining. Like the movie more.
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) – Read it in high school. Love the premise, the story, the maps, the ingenuity. Really hard to get through.
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien) – see #5
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien) – see #5, 6
8. (+) Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) – I’d like to go back and re-read this book to see what I think now, but I re-read it in college one time when I was home on vacation and still loved it. I’ve read just about everything LM Montgomery ever wrote, including the novellas and “found” manuscripts. Between the ages of 9 and 14, I was always Anne in my dreams. Read the rest of this entry »

Hitting my stride, Pt. II

I haven’t been keeping up much here, mainly because I’ve been putting my energies into grading and writing (and a helluva lot of baking too). But, I think a followup is needed to the last post, on hitting my stride.

In the past week, I received word that I was accepted to both of the writers’ conferences I applied to. It has given me such a confidence boost; it’s outside validation that i’m not a total fraud. I think I realized that last night, even before I knew I had gotten into the second conf.

I met with my thesis advisor earlier in the day. I have a due date–APRIL 20. A chunk of a draft of a novel is due on April 20. I have two months. And this makes me so happy for some reason, that I’m somehow more of a real writer because of this. And then, my first story of the term was workshopped last night. GREAT workshop, btw–very helpful. Only thing is, the last few times I’ve been workshopped, I’ve had full-fledged panic attacks during them. Having others critique your work, even on a good day, is difficult enough. So I went to my prof and told her exactly what I was afraid of, and asked if I could go first to get it down with. She was wonderful (because she always is), and said that was fine, and to feel free to just walk out if I needed air, that she would cover for me.

And, of course, because I called my panic on it’s on little game, it didn’t happen. It felt really good.

I finally believe I’m a writer. I don’t know why I didn’t fully believe that before, but all this good news and good progress towards something feels so right. I think every writer–as well as ever teacher–often questions whether she is a fraud. And today, at least, I’m not questioning.

Hitting My Stride

People who don’t know me well often think that  because I dare call myself a writer, I must hole myself up and not sleep and hunch over a keyboard (or a typewriter) and bang away at it instead of, you know, living.

If that were the definition of a writer, then I would be a very bad writer.  I suppose that other writers (because, like African-Americans and Jews, we apparently all know each other) would give me a scarlet “B” to wear on my coat for “bad”.

 Cough.  (On the other side of cyberspace, I’m rolling my eyes.)

In truth, lately I have been a very good writer.  I sent out two applications for summer writing workshops and a contest entry.  All of those submissions feature work that I feel strongly about.  I want someone else to read it.  I want someone to pay it the attention it deserves.

I also have started a new piece.  All because instead of hoping for some magical eight-hour block of time to devote to my writing, I’m writing instead in fits and spurts when I have a moment.  I’m forcing myself to write when I have short moments to myself–and it’s working.

It makes me feel better about calling myself a writer.  And maybe, just maybe, someone else will think enough of what I’ve submitted to call me one, too.

The Secret Twin

One of my favorite professors has her new book coming out on Feb. 6.  I’ve pre-ordered it–have you?

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