I am working to accept my own limitations in terms of my focus on poetry. I needed an effin' break, and I took most of my summer off from poetry. I have about a month left--maybe five weeks--before fall term begins, so I'm going to work over the next few weeks to get back in the habit of taking daily time for my own work, even if just 20 or 30 minutes.
I sent a chapbook manuscript out to a contest in May--I am keeping the name and judge under wraps for now, because I don't want to jinx it. I'm hopeful that the contest judge might find something in my work that resonates with her. I greatly admire her.
Otherwise, I only have work out at 12-15 publications right now. This is only about 25% of the submissions I've maintained over the last two years, but I'm trying to be pickier about where my work is published, versus just chasing the publication for publication's sake. I am also telling myself that as long as I have multiple submissions out in the world, I'm not really taking time off. : )
As for new work, I've taken a ton of notes since early spring, and I just need to buckle down and get the drafts moving. Very rough drafts of 2-4 poems are still in handwriting only--but my journals have copious notes for several more.
In very exciting news, I am in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Europe for next spring or summer. I am going to Amsterdam to hopefully meet/get tattooed by Hanky Panky. He is probably now the world's leading authority on the era of tattoo history I'm most interested in. He used to have a museum, but I'm hopeful I can interest him in helping me with my research.
The other reason for Amsterdam is to visit the Museum Vrolik while there. My current plan for my spring sabbatical is to build a collection of poems around some of the people who became exhibits in museums like the Mutter and the Vrolik. There is at least one museum in Paris that is also of interest to me, and while I first expected to spend two weeks in The Netherlands exclusively, I'm beginning to think that I should try to spend at least a few days in Paris, taking the train to do so.
My grand hope is that I'll be able to use this trip to research both the tattooed-lady history project AND my themed collection of poems. The poetry project is still something I'm rolling around in my brain, trying to get a grip on scope.
AWP is in Seattle in 2023, so I'm also hoping to make that trip. It will be a year of travel expenses, but I have to get off my butt and start doing some of the things I want to do. : )