04 January 2021

First day of winter term.

I think I'd mentioned previously that I actually worked through my first day and a half of winter break, preparing the course syllabuses and the entire first week for all my winter classes, so that I could relax on my break. It was such a great idea. I didn't suffer from my usual first-day nausea until 2:00 am last night, so I was spared the several days of anxiety I usually suffer from. Yesterday, I gave myself a pedicure, washed clothes, changed the bed sheets, and mended a table cloth. None of it was work-related, and it was glorious. 

I woke up this morning and put on makeup for the first time in at least six weeks. I decided to be "on" for Zoom office hours, though I was sure no one would show up (no one did).

I was certain I'd have to put out several fires via email, but nope. I had three student emails waiting this morning--that's it. Two were from the same student. Today has been the easiest first day I've had in years. 

On the publication front, everything is holding steady. After the half-dozen or so rejections since Christmas, that I'd already mentioned, everything else is just a waiting game. All of the chapbook contests and first book prizes are actively reviewing manuscripts now, so while I still have until March before I'll hear from most of them, it's exciting to know that they're finally reading!

A lot of submissions of poems have moved to "in progress" . . . so this week or next should bring more rejections. Hopefully I'll also see an acceptance or two.

I'm trying not to obsess, but that's precisely what I'm doing. I think part of that is that I'm writing in a vacuum. I should really try to organize or initiate a workshop of some kind. A poet friend from WVU brought this up a while back, but then neither of us followed through. I don't know if I could get 4-6 people interested, but it would be great to exchange poems via email, even, and exchange critiques. 

I should take advantage of today and read. I want to start reading more, and I have a whole stack of things here to get through--I'm embarrassed that my attention span has been making it difficult to read books. I should be reading more, and I'm going to try to read two books per month in 2021. That's a low goal, and I should be able to do it. I don't want to make resolutions, but I want to make a commitment to the currency of my own knowledge.

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