Leaving On A Jetplane

In just over twelve hours, I’ll be leaving for the airport to start my Seattle trip and to attend my first AWP conference.  In the event that my plane crashes and I die a horrible, fiery death, I’d like to thank you all for your readership.  

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I’ll be leaving my house at 5 am tomorrow morning.  As I’ve thought this ungodly time of day over, I’ve realized that early morning is a lot like picking someone up at the bar.  Sure, going to bed together might sound like a good time, but waking up together is probably not going to end well.  I think I have everything packed up and ready to go.  This means I have inevitably left something out of my bag and that thing will almost certainly be important.

I’m not all that concerned about flying.  I usually enjoy it.  In preparation for impending fiery death, I have consumed lots of Mt. Dew.  That may sound strange, but the Dew contains Brominated Vegetable Oil which is used as a flame retardant.  I figure since I can’t wear my asbestos pjs on the plane, this will have to do.

I am a little nervous about going through security.  My last flight was before 9/11, so I haven’t had the pleasure yet.  Hopefully, my blue hair isn’t going to be an issue.  If you aren’t connected to me on Facebook, this is what you’re missing out on.

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I was going to make it my normal color before flying out, but look at it.  My cerulean locks are glorious!  TSA will just have to deal with it.  I refreshed the color on Friday, so last night was my first time washing it since the newest application.  I was at my boyfriend’s house and his tub doesn’t drain very quickly.  I looked like I was bathing in the blood of 99 Smurfs.

Smeagol knows something’s up.  He’s being a jerkface to me.  I shall buy my way back into his good graces with Fancy Feast Kitten Formula.

Some cool news for those same people who aren’t connected to me on Facebook (Seriously, why aren’t you connected to me?):  I was listed as recommended fiction by Pittsburgh Writer.  There’s a badge on the sidebar, so give it a clickity click if you’re feeling so inclined and check out Celia if you haven’t and find some new reading material.  I’m sure every author listed will appreciate you taking the time to stop by.  Additionally, I just received an email saying that I’ve had a paper accepted for publication at my university’s Graduate Research Journal.  My editor will be contacting me soon, so that’s exciting.  Hopefully, this makes me look slightly more attractive as a possible future First Year Writing professor.

Dark chocolate espresso candies are amazing.  Really, there’s no reason to mention this except that they’re amazing.  Also, I’m eating them right now.  

So, I’ll be gone until March 2nd.  In the event I escape horrible, fiery death due to my consumption of Mt. Dew, I’ll see you all then.  

Slowing Down For A Bit

Last year was a pretty hectic year for me.  Between weekly interviews, writing the interviews (every interview is tailored to the guest, you know), graduating from college, starting grad school, plus all the other things life throws, I was pretty stressed out.  It was a great year, to be sure, but stressful nonetheless.  This year, I’m dialing it back a few notches.  I’m still doing interviews, but I’m not killing myself to make sure that I have a new guest every week.  If you’re wanting an interview, go ahead and contact me and we can get that scheduled.  I’m still doing book reviews.  This is easier said than done with my class/work schedule, but I am chipping away at things.  I’m not actively looking for books right now, but if you’re dying to find out what I think about something, get a hold of me and we’ll talk.  Don’t laugh.  It’s happened, I swear.  Stop laughing!

One big thing is I will be in Seattle next week for AWP.  I’m flying out on Monday so that I have time to see the sights and meet up with friends before immersing myself in panels, seafood, and copious amounts of alcohol.  Who am I kidding?  I’ll probably have two drinks the whole time I’m there.  Inspired by my friend, Brent Michael Kelley, I’ll be keeping a travel journal and taking lots of pictures.  Those should pop up on here sometime after I get back.  

Smeagol is good.  The vet says he’s around 15 weeks old and 6 pounds.  My baby panther kitty.  He’s not happy about my upcoming trip.

What do you mean I have a "cat sitter?"

What do you mean I have a “cat sitter?”

On a positive note, my legs are beginning to heal and I no longer look like someone is trying to feed me into a chipper shredder on a daily basis.  Several friends suggested I watch “My Cat From Hell“, so I started watching it last night.  I’m already feeling much better about my little writing buddy because he is nowhere near as bad as some of those cats.  There are some things I plan on doing for him which should also help, but it’ll be a process.  Thanks, Jackson Galaxy!

I’ve been writing!  No, it’s not Enraptured.  Still, words on the page = progress.  I wrote a short dark fairy tale for class that actually turned out pretty great.  I’ll be seeing what I can do with it at some point in the future.  I’ll have at least 2 more longer short pieces drafted by the end of May.  

Charlie is great.  He’s sad because I don’t have many guests over any more, but he loves Smeagol.  I thought about bringing him to Seattle with me, but I’m not sure I can get a corpse through airport security without a lot of embarrassing questions and at least one body cavity search.  

I hope to interview for a teaching position on campus for next fall.  At the end of this semester I’ll have enough credits to teach in the first year writing program, so wish me luck on that.  And patience.  Wish me luck and patience.  And possibly medication.

I’ve been researching Creative Writing Ph.D. programs.  There aren’t a lot of them near where I live, so that’s going to be interesting.  I’m not looking forward to a 3 hour round trip commute, especially  when I live on Hoth, but I’ll do what I need to do to finally be done with school.

See you guys when I get back!

Recommend It Monday–Tears of Isis by James Dorr

I had the pleasure of interviewing James Dorr for Author Corner awhile back, and one of the things we discussed was his short story collection, The Tears of Isis.  I’ve finally been able to read it (I blame actual employment and graduate school for the delay), and the first thing I want to mention is how beautiful it is.  The language Dorr uses as he tells his stories is wonderful.  Some of the stories are his takes on fairy tales.  Cindy is the most obvious one, but others are Snow White and Sleeping Beauty told as River Red and The Ice Maiden, respectively.  What I enjoyed most about these stories is that they employ the same world dynamics.  It was nice to go back to this world and read other aspects of it.  His versions of the tales are unique and subtle.  In fact, with River Red and The Ice Maiden, I didn’t realize what they were until after I had finished reading the collection.  Some people may not like the delayed connection, and maybe those people who are smarter than I am will make the connection as they read these stories, but I rather enjoyed that I was still appreciating the collection and getting new things from it after the fact.  The final story, The Tears of Isis, was the most sublime (Burke) for me.  I had the most powerful reaction reading it, a mix of horror, disgust, and fascination, and I think it was well placed within the collection.

If you’re looking for some new reading material, I’d suggest grabbing a copy of this book.