12 May 2021

A Personal Day.

I decided to take a personal day today--middle of the week, end of the year, for no real reason. I am still dealing with a bum knee, so my original thought was to go out to the coast and walk on the sand or shop a bit, but I don't think my knee can go like that yet. (I ended up with bursitis in late March, from working in the garden.) 

However, I did go to the post office, and I walked through Goodwill for the first time in at least a year, and I looked at flowers at Lowe's for a short bit. My knee started aching a little, but no twisting or clicking or threatening to give out. I didn't push it, and I'm on the couch for the rest of the day. 

At Goodwill, I found a great little Mexican terracotta bird, and a small turquoise, three-bowl dish that I plan to use for holding earrings/safety pins in the bathroom. OH! And I found a really great pair of 18" tall Christmas trees made out of mother of pearl. I usually pass up holiday decor in summer, but these were 4.00 each, and really striking, and I'm always looking for more shelf-filling decor for the winter holidays.

The garden plans for this year have been hijacked by this knee injury, though--I'd planned on expanding the back yard flower beds, and planting a fruit tree, but it's not happening now. I did get one long new bed added, and I put in two blueberry bushes and transplanted some lupines there. I have a lilac bush I'd still like to plant, but it's going to have to wait until June or July, because that knee is not ready to for heavy digging or tearing up more lawn right now. This fall, I will definitely be adding a fruit tree, and hopefully a few grapevines, too.

My raised beds in the front yard are already filled with veggie starts, and I bought some sweet basil and marigolds to add there. I am still getting a few spears of asparagus every week, the strawberries are in heavy blossom, and my sugar snap peas are getting tall. Everything is growing as fast as it can, and I've already been watering for weeks now. It was a warm, dry spring.

Anyhow. I was still up early this morning, as usual, and I sent a ton of poems out into the world. I sent work to SHiFT: A Journal of Literary Oddities, to juked, and to The MacGuffin. I also sent submissions to The Ilanot Review and Poetry South. I actually had a poem published by juked while I was working on my MFA at Chatham. So, my submission total is back up to 60--sixty presses are considering either a small selection of poems or the full-length manuscript. 

According to Duotrope, I have sent out 594 poems in the last 12 months.

07 May 2021

Community of Writers Summer Poetry Workshop!

Well, it's been a while since I've written a blog post--it's been a bit of a busy term, and grading has taken up a good bit of my time in the last two weeks. 

The biggest, best news is that I was accepted to the Community of Writers Summer Poetry Workshop! Applicants are picked by writing sample, and I am delighted to have made the cut. I will spend a full seven days working with six incredible poets, including Susan Olds, who is one of my all-time favorite poets. I look forward to this opportunity, and while I'm a bit nervous, I'm excited, too. 

I am using professional development funding to attend--the tuition is 900.00, and it's a big help to have that taken care of.

I looked back over my recent blog posts--I can't believe that I didn't mention applying to the workshop! I was worried they would be overrun with applications because this summer's workshop is virtual. For writers on a budget, it removes a week's worth of food and lodging in Lake Tahoe, plus the airfare and pet sitting. (Really--with five cats, pet sitting is a significant expense when travelling. And right now, I'm between sitters.)

On the submission front, things have not been as rosy; holy crap--I think I've received ten rejection letters over the last week. It's like everyone is clearing their desks off. Now that I type that, I realize that schools on semesters are closing up for the summer break--so it's quite likely that my rejection slips are coming from that last minute drive to whittle down the stack of submissions before heading into the summer months. Regardless, it stings a little when they come at me in quick succession. I have, honestly, been aiming a little higher with my choices of journals, so it's also likely part of the reason.

While I'm still clawing my way to getting caught up on grading, I sent out some poetry this morning, so that I'm keeping things in rotation. I'm still trying to send to journals that are a bit more exclusive in their selections . . . I've sent to 32 Poems, Agni, and RHINO this morning. I'm hoping to get a few more packets sent out today, too. The rejections have freed up a good bit of work.