Sunday, November 05, 2017

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It's  been a couple of dreary, fog-filled days this weekend, but I am making good progress on things.--am continuing my layout blitz for the press and have spent the afternoon reading some more manuscripts for next year.  Earlier, I had a bizarre, surreal experience when one of the manuscripts that I will be accepting came from one of the first visiting poets I ever met in person (Amy Newman)  as an undergrad way back in the 90's, back when poets might as well have been unicorns or mermaids, even though I was a couple years in to writing myself.   I was thinking about my baby poet self yesterday, which was open house day at Columbia and all the the poets and their parents were headed up to the CW presentation. How I have been doing this for so long, but that sometimes it still feels just as magical.

I've been waffling over manuscript #8--that actually split into #8 and #10 a couple months back  (#9 being something else entirely). I have a title and possibility for submission if I finish it by the end of November, but there is one section I am still working the kinks out of and feels untethered. Art-wise, there is a lot of general tasks that are happening (things to be scanned and photographed and added to the shop), and even more that need to happen, but creatively,  outside of some cover designs, I've barely touched a paint brush or a glue stick in weeks.  This week, however,  is our first Read Talk Make session for Book to Art club, and I'm hoping to work some more on my paper theater pieces inspired by Grimm tales.

Next week, I'll be spending a couple days in Rockford and then we are getting closer and closer to the holidays and the semester's end. My mom is holding in there, and will be spared more surgeries by the sound of it, but she's by no means really better and at this point they are mostly working toward getting her pain-free and healing a bit faster than she has to this point. I worry most at her lack of appetite and a certain despondency and we're thinking she might also benefit from some psychiatric treatment,even though her vitals are all sound and good.  With the injury itself, the earlier heart attack, , and all the losses that piled up and multiplied over the summer, culminating in the delerium and foot surgery, I'm not sure how to make things better or what happens next. She's home for now with visiting nurses and therapists and such.  And my Dad seems to have general caring for her on lock, but she doesn't seem to be improving and may be backsliding again. Part of me wonders at the benefits of being in a new place--not the house, which is sort of isolating and suffocating and tainted with loss, history and static.

I get unusually panicky in the off moments when I'm not  forced to focus on other things--bus rides, waiting for elevators, when I crawl into bed and my mind gets a few quiet moments to process. I've started reading more fiction again--not just poetry, but  semi-trashy YA dystopian novels-- the kind of books that suck you into their world so completely you kind of forget who and where you are when you look up. All of which fends off other, less constructive impulses I've been plagued with that I won't go into. The alternative is the endless loop of worry and doubt, which doesn't exactly bode well in this season of all seasons, when with the time change, dark falls even earlier and I get that special, winter kind of crazy.

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