Friday, January 28, 2022

the self publishing diaries

Yesterday, I put the final touches on the galley and cover for animal, vegetable, monster and uploaded it, which means it is one step closer and I should have a proof copy within a couple of weeks. No doubt there will be much tweaking once I see that before it's finalized (margins are always a beast) but I am getting speedier on the process than I was a year ago when I was working on feed, which took significantly more trial and error to come into being (and even the end result still had a couple errors I plan to fix when I order a new batch of copies, but for the moment am well-stocked..) dark country was definitely better, despite the changed up trim size that made it trickier.   I am getting the hang of it, which, if all goes well might mean some anthologies might be possible on the horizon (that is, once I am able to knock out the book art-ish one devoted to mermaids I may actually finally have time to make happen now that I won't be at the library so much of my days.

I am also getting more comfortable in this strange world of self-publishing (well, longer books, I've been issuing my own work for a couple decades now in smaller installments.) There is something great about working with a press to bring a book into world, but also something singularly enjoyable about this. (I wrote a comparison last year that sums it up.) I hope I will continue to be able to do a little of both--I have many, many projects and some earmarked to submit / already under consideration elsewhere. Someone asked me recently if I wasn't worried a little about that nasty little hobgoblin "legitimacy" but really, at this point, I really just want to get things out there for interested readers, which blissfully, since I am not tied to tenure tracks and other limitations in how I conduct this crazy little thing called po-biz. I'm not saying I don't occasionally need an editor's fine tuning hand, but also its finally middle age is paying off in how many limited fucks I really give about what people might say. Which is all a little hilarious since I spent so much time in my baby poet days fretting about it and now it feels exactly like it should be. 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

exit left

It may be the Ophelia adaptation  I watched a week or so back, or maybe the role Hamlet plays in Station Eleven, but I've had a pining for Shakespeare live performances the past couple weeks, despite probably not having seen one on stage in the past twenty years. Plays, after all, are hard when you work evenings and have so little extra entertainment funds, especially in a city like Chicago, where great theatre is aplenty, but the ticket prices are sky high. I haven't been to a real play in at least a decade, all the odder since I was once SO into drama.  Like REALLY into drama--high school stage through college.  In high school, I acted through my senior year and went to an all-state theatre conference downstate.  At RC, I instead spending my days painting sets, sewing costumes, and running lights with occasional forays into stage managing (something I was pretty good at and in demand, but it stressed me to a breaking point.)  I even tried my hand working backstage at a couple community productions. But for a theatre student (I was a minor with more credits than I ever needed) it was everything in those years. 

We would use every opportunity to see things live.  There was a zero credit class that was just basically field trips to plays--mostly in the city. I got to see Gary Sinise play Stanley in Streetcar.  John Malkovich in The Libertine. And yes, even Ethan Hawke in the Buried Child (all at Steppenwolf.) Musicals like Sunset Boulevard and Stomp. (RENT was still on the horizon--I've only seen the movie.) I once saw Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard at the old Goodman locale, front row, and was convinced it was my favorite performance ever.  Though, actually, my favorite performances were more local. Every fall, the community college did a Shakespeare, and they included Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, and A Winter's Tale. One year, they did it outside, and I sat through an afternoon performance of Midsummer Night's Dream and, the best ever, an autumn nighttime rendering of Titus Andronicus (where every prop seems to be a dismembered body part, so it was fitting with the dark and smoke of  the small fires and the feeling of being very Ren-Faire like.) When I was in 8th grade drama class we went to see Macbeth in Milwaukee and all I remember are copper & brass sets that just felt and smelled (in my head)  like blood. 

Tonight, my lesson assignment writing task was a history of drama, and I was surprised at how much I remembered and how I was able to spend less time researching than I have on some topics.  I know I had at least two in-depth semesters of theatre history, several dramatic lit classes spread across undergrad and grad. I remember a surprising amount about the Greeks anyway, and I think my only bare spot was familiarity with the medieval era (I had some coursework in romances at DePaul, but not drama.) 

I finished quickly, but it also set off a longing for more live theater.  Actually any, but definitely more Shakespeare. It's actually possibly now more than ever as my evening schedule frees up.  It's especially crazy, this terrible lack, since I've worked 20 years in a college with a decent theatre program I could probably get cheap tickets for and am, to boot, involved with an actor (we see many midnight movie screenings together and bonded early on over Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams, but both of our schedules are shit for things earlier in the night.)  Until lately, I didn't really miss it, so maybe it's a reclaiming, or maybe it's a lack I'm feeling of outside things that seem impossible because of covid. 

What's crazy is that while I've often thought I might like to see more performances, I didn't feel it quite as accutely as I did tonight writing about it. I guess I turned more inward in my pursuits. Like I didn't realize how much I might miss it. I have no desire to DO theatre again, since I prefer my artistic exploits more individual than collective, but I'd definitely like to SEE more of it in the world when its safer and less germy. If, that is, there is any of it left to see.

Monday, January 24, 2022

the plague letters

Slightly over a year ago, I finished a series of poems about the pandemic.  It was the second one, folllowing bloom written over the summer. I remember thinking why bother?  Since surely after the spring and vaccines, covid would be but a tiny bad memory of not so good year. I was, of course, wrong.  So at least the poems are not, as I get them into zine form along with some accompanying collages, out of date and woefully behind the times.  

Sadly, they are still very much of the moment. They are one of the sections of the collapsologies manuscript, of course, where they fit with bloom and some other poems, not necessarily about the pandemic, but about the world during and around the pandemic--the Shining poems, the tabloid pieces. The collages are much more recent and made specifically for the zine in the last couple months while I kept getting distracted by everything else. 

You can read the entirety here in e-zine form...

Sunday, January 23, 2022

notes & things | 1/23/2022

Thankfully, the universe decided to snow yesterday when I had nowhere to be, so this is a small blessing, as is some casual poeming the past few days, despite my "vacation" from daily writing. I am not far enough along to know just yet if this is a good route for the Eliot project, and not what I intended in the fall at all, but I am liking it. It is also loosely about the pandemic, at least as much as bloom and the plague letters were, which I am tired of writing about though, so I don't  know how long I can sustain it before moving on to something else in the hopper that's shinier. By the time this is over, we will all be sick to death of pandemic poems (if it's over, if we're not sick or dead.)

I continue to wrap things up in the library and think about my routines and schedules and what will work best once I am on my own. It's still going to feel like a browser with too many tabs open, but at least there are only 20 instead of like 40. And they are my tabs, which feels important.  The mental energy will be available for the important things, less so for the not-so-important. The productive hours of the day not spent loading ILL bags and answering non-important library e-mails. I think I've always had a bit skewed sort of life.  When I had the studio space, I was there as early as I could get up, then at the library til 10.  Even when I started working on press things at home, my schedule was similar, though sometimes I could make books and work on layouts in the middle of the night.  

I still never felt like I lived in my apartment until lock down, which was different (having time to cook actual meals and really clean and hang out with the cats.)  When I talk to people who work 2nd and 3rd shift, they all have similar things to say.  I don't know much else, having worked 8 hours a day since 1999.  You get going in a grind and it will grind you down til you know nothing else. Since I couldn't see myself being able to work an earlier schedule as a night owl, I was willing to accept most of my life would feel like I was working throughout, and I suppose we all feel this way. But increasingly (and covid may have much to do with it) there is so little life at all outside of working. And I felt like my best hours were stolen somehow. And yet, vacations were hard to take because we were so short staffed, and stlll the work waited for me when I was gone, which ended up being more stressful than just working all the time.  This was part of the problem. And then home was still all work that I couldn't do except during the time I wasn't there, which felt like always. 

So I take down the six million things on the board above my desks a and the cubicle partitions.  Slowly empty the desk and the shelves around me.  The feelings I have--excitement, terror, resentment, heartbreak--come and go like tides. I feel good about the future, though now I just need to get through the next couple of weeks. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

notes on the writer's life and afterlife

Noteable in this week's writing projects was a piece on Katherine Mansfield, a couple of whose short stories I've read in the past just randomly (and maybe once in undergrad?) but whose biography I was unfamiliar with. She had a pretty short life--perishing of some terrible thing called "pulmonary tuberculosis" which sounds worse than even just the regular sort of tuberculosis, but it took her life at only 34. She was apparently tangentially a member of the Bloomsbury group, and Woolf published and praised her short fiction (and maybe, according to some, envied her for it.)

What struck me as I did my research was how detailed even her wikipedia entry was--in such a short life, we knew who she slept with (both men and women), who impregnated her before a miscarriage.  Who she had unrequited crushes on.  Who she wound up marrying--two men--first one significantly older than her, the next a tempestuous on and off again with an editor, John Middleton Murry. I realized as I dug deeper, all thin intel is available because of her letters and journals, all of which are freely available and published, along with her posthumous collections and a book of poems, courtesy of Murry (one good aspect to a man who seemed to get a lot wrong in their relationship, including her initially winding up in a pauper's grave because he didn't pay the funeral bill.) 

As I mentioned in regard to Dickinson and Gentilischi, there is much of her personal life to dig through, thought at least here, she is mentioned as a innovator of modernism first and not for those, sometimes salacious, details of her life.  The info, through various sources, was split evenly between life and craft. When I was an undergrad, I loved reading Plath's journals and letters almost as much as I loved reading the work, and what she conveyed told me a lot about how to be a writer. And of course, Plath is all out there--I sometimes think about how the historians and the biographers construct a life from other things--letters, journals, first hand accounts, etc.  Maybe the work, though I don't think it's always as telling.  Or what we say about ourselves when asked.  I've finally gotten to the point as a creative where I don't mind writing bios for things, but it wasn't always easy.  With social media, it's all out there I guess. Or at least a version of it is.  

I imagine if anyone gives a hoot about my work in 100 years, who knows what they will know? This blog offers a good place to start, but there are certainly things I don't talk about directly here. Things even people closest to me know only bits and pieces of.  Things that are not necessarily private, but just don't seem that interesting to a general audience.  Exes and  mental health struggles and just things that seem unimportant right now that may matter greatly in the context of work. (again, I fully suspect to be completely forgotten, but it'd be nice if not.) And well, with climate change, who knows if anyone will be around to even read my tiny little biography on wikipedia if it existed?

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

poeting in winter

Back in October, when I decided to play a bit with some short fiction writing, I told myself not to worry about poems. I was, after all, between projects, having wrapped up the collapsologies manuscript with the grimoire poems.  I toyed with a couple new things that are still on the horizon, but I wanted a shift.  I also wanted to figure out my life and writing poems wasn't on my top list of things to be worried about in the grand scheme of things.  I gave myself permission to sit October out on my daily writing.  Then November. By December, I had taken on some freelance writing, which I was trying to squeeze around my regular obligations to see if I liked it, so my mornings, what time there was (it's harder for me to get up early-ish in winter) was devoted to the drafting and research necessary for that.  I actually extended my poem vacation through early February, when I would then be working on my own and my schedule (and concentration) much kinder.

I wasn't going to write poems, but then Monday night, somewhere between washing the dinner dishes and going to bed, I had a first line and just went for it.  For one, it was unexpected to be writing at all, especially in the evening, when my brain is usually on low battery power.  Granted, I'd been home all day fro MLK day and mostly just folding chaps. Also, odd when specifically I said I would not be writing poems, and yet, there I was. I went back in once before bed and tweaked some things, but haven't looked at it to see if its any good since. It may be the start of something, though it may also just be a snippet of a dead end, but as I wrote it, I realized how much I missed it.  This is, of course, after whining all summer and into fall about whether or not poetry felt worth it, or whether anyone was even reading, or why I kept doing it, even thought the effort / compensation  ratio is kind of dismal.  That maybe I should focus on writing for paying markets. Or who the hell was reading any of this anyway?  I always long to be one of those writers for whom process is all important, audience be damned, but I actually want readers, however they get there. As someone who, in the fall, was adjusting financial income streams, poetry seemed a  poor place to fixate my efforts. Especially now, when I should be seeking out things that actually allow me to, you know, pay rent.

And yet, like the ex that occasionally shows up at 3am, there she was. A poem.  Maybe not a good one, but still.  I think I'll keep her. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

other stories

My Millais research late last week led to me to this newish film about the artists wife, Effie Gray, who was once married to critic John Ruskin (unhappily) and had the marriage annuled (complete with a court-appointed exam to prove she had never been de-virginated.) On Netflix, that and a recent delve into period film, led me to a great little re-imagining of Ophelia, one in which she is not grief stricken and mad, but capable and still with her wits about her to escape one of the saddest fates in Shakespeare. Hamlet is not my favorite Shakespeare, but I really liked this one, which also gave more dimension to Gertrude as more than just an adulterous monster who helps murder her husband.  To not give too much away, they lift the falsely dead potion from Romeo and Juliet and use it to Ophelia's advantage. Most people still die, it is Hamlet after all, but Ophelia manages to survive.  (In fact , I was hoping she would ditch Hamlet and run off with Horatio, who was a far better match.)

I also caught a couple of Arthurian adaptations this week after all that sorting of of Guinevere last week, and she is far more complicated. I know it exists, but I've yet to find, on film, a story more geared from her p-o-v.  First Knight, from the 90's was close, but still very male-oriented. I just need to keep digging. When I first started writing poems, somewhere there is a poem about Guinevere in The Archaeologists Daughter, my first chap, where many of these women were given a small snippet of voice.  I know I have also written about Ophelia, at least a couple times, but  don't think they made it into any books. (including one somewhere that deals with Gregory Crewdson's photo version of her. )

A friend and I talk often about the kind of stories that get told in Hollywood, the hero and anti-hero narratives that dominate the theatrical releases, where the money is.  How they miss so much. How streaming services and cable networks are better at giving voice to a larger slice of experience. We're mostly talking about horror, but it could be said more generally. In the lit world, there have been many female-character focused retellings of old, worn out stories, and I would love to see these and more on film. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

notes & things | 1/15/2022

 And just like that (channeling Carrie Bradshaw) we are midway into the first month of the year, though I feel like on New Years Day I blinked and already time is slipping out from under us on ice. I spend my days slowly packing up my crap at the library and dispensing books to the shelves where they belong (not my desk area where I notoriously hoard things, checking them out to read later, but then rarely have time to.) I have three weeks left, including the dawn of the spring semester, which is usually the busiest., though I hope not with omicron making a stink and so many schools reverting to online classes.   I still have reserves to process and training material to write before I go. On Wednesday, I gave another presentation on zines and libraries, and what may be my last, and I found it hard to talk about things in past tense, or to say xyz happened and maybe post-covid, it will return, since I will not, in fact, be there to see it (it may continue, but I won't be a part of it.) 

It's weird liminal space to be in this month, but it still feels good and like the right decision. Despite moments of occasional financial panic, I am steadily working to make things flusher and less down to the bone than they have been most of my existence as an adult. It helps to feel like, with the freelance work, a little more control (the harder I work, the more money I earn.) Maybe it's a delusion, and it's more precarious, but it feels like the opposite. Today, I spent the afternoon with about 5 cups of coffee and John Everett Millais, who i was really only familiar in in regard to his Pre-Raphelite work like Ophelia, but actually moved away from that in later work. (hilariously because family life and the need for less time-intensive work made him want to paint broader and faster.)  The Somnabulist above is gorgeous and something I hadn't seen before. The lush detail is nice on the backgrounds of earlier work, but this is moodier. 

The other night, I finished up the series Station Eleven, and while I still struggled to remember what happens in the novel, it was very, very good.  At times, it's depictions of apocalyptic virus life made me really anxious, but I am glad I stuck with it. Case numbers have dropped slightly, probably because we are over the holiday-induced bump no doubt, but it still doesn't feel all that safe. Though these fears seemed smaller when, upon waking, I checked the news to find hostage crises and tsunami warnings for the Pacific.  There are days when I think I might have a happier life if I didn't check the headlines every morning, or if I limited my time on news-heavy social sites early in the day.  I want to know the news, but maybe I need to go find it further in the day. Otherwise it sets a tone and definitely impacts my mood when I should be focusing on other things.

Friday, January 14, 2022

cover sneak peak


This little book progeny is due out in early March, so I've just started the design process and final edits.  It's a book about art and monsters and how each one makes us kind of the other and I can't wait to show it to you...

Thursday, January 13, 2022

painters and poets, oh my!

Looking to pad my coffers a little before I set sail into the wind, I've been doubling down on some of the freelance work, and alternating between art and literature projects to keep my brain was getting overwhelmed, Still today, I began the day with the Hudson Valley school and, when something else came back for edits, swiveled to Artemisia Gentileschi. Thus today, I have had one foot in the Baroque and one foot in American Romanticism most of the afternoon.  (with a detour on Caravaggio a couple days ago, and my sights on Millais. ) Yesterday's work on Gentileschi was followed by Dickinson--a more general piece than the beast of a one on Guinevere as literary figure prior, but I couldn't help but start thinking about her and Artemesia, how both are, in most internet articles, mentioned first for their biographical details, and only second  the ways their work was innovative.  

Artemesias rape trial defined her for many, not her painting.  Emily's life of seclusion and white ensemble similarly leads in when people start talking about her.  Only if you are a a painter or a poet, do you progress beyond those things.  I keep thinking about Sylvia Plath, always, and how her death overshadowed her work. And yet, in my limited previous knowledge of Caravaggio, I did not know that he was not only a convicted murderer and hothead, but a multiple murderer. As in more than one person.  This seems to be, for him, a side note.  A tiny piece of trivia when you dig into biographical details. Kind of like how very few people talk about William Burroughs killing his wife. 

I guess, what gets remembered about us as artists, who knows?  How history defines us, completely beyond our control.  It made my head spin a little bit.  Why do women's biographical detail lead the story, while men's are footnotes to their supposed genius? 

Sunday, January 09, 2022

onward, across the sea

Much has been afoot this week, including giving official notice at the library that my last week will be the first one in February.  It's hard to leave a place you've been for 21 years, and also hard to leave people and a place you actually like, to feel a little like you are letting them down (the rehire process being arduous and time consuming and  sometimes not even possible--and this is understaffing part of the secondary set of  reasons I am not staying.) The other secondary reasons--less important but still relevant--money (for which I can work half the time for twice the wage freelance), mounting responsibilities that have me doing multiple jobs there and then coming home to do multiple jobs on my own stuff. It may be the pandemic, it may be middle age, but my head had to reach a point where it screamed a Enough! and this has been the past year or so when I realized how incredibly burned out and unhappy I've been. All the while convincing myself that this was not the time to be making crazy, life shifting decisions. But maybe that is exactly the best time to make them. 

But of course, the primary reason to go are that it has always been my intention to strike out on my own.  Ten years ago, I felt like I was almost there just with the shop all alone, but so much overhead made me reluctant.  I was also investing a lot of time in areas that were lucrative, but weren't what I felt I should be doing with the so very limited time I made for it around my real job. I scaled things back and chose instead to focus on building the chap series and my own zine projects, and made other things (originals paper goods, accessories, etc.) just ancillary to the books. It made sense at the time, but it did put a dent in profits, but I was willing to take it if I could invest that time wisely and had something else paying my bills.  Over the years, I bought some things back, but never to the level they were. The chapbook series became a bit more solvent as the author stable grew and people discovered us. and was less likely to operate at a loss.  I took on occasional paid editing and design work for other writers.  I did keep up my writing practice, but art always took a second seat. Everything always felt like it was just happening in the crevices.

I also felt like I was never doing any of it particulary well--disorganized, dropping balls, always behind schedule. I'd buy supplies and they'd sit untouched for months, sometimes years. Because I didn't have that earlier income cushion from the shop,  I also was struggling to pay the rent on the studio space, dipping into personal funds.  This was also untenable, so I left that space in 2019 (serendipitously right before covid shook everything to hell). It was sad, but it also freed up time, both to work on things on weekends and in the late nights, but also that money could be invested in supplies and other projects. (Of course it was countered by crippling covid-related anxiety that made it hard to work on anything, but that eventually eased and in the past year, things have gotten back to normal in terms of layout, releases, and production.)  At the same time, I could see the possibility of making a full go of it (if only) and it was like this charming, far off city on an island.  But I was not, in the middle of pandemic uncertainty, ready to die in the ocean getting there. 

A couple things changed in the last 6 months--even the last two months.  I began to feel a little more smothered and hopeless at the Library as things continued to be too much weight and my enthusiasms that used to buoy me waned.  Remedies for it seemed even further on the horizon if there at all, with pandemic budgets and hiring freezes.  I was trying to hold on to the side of the boat, scared to swim, but I was still drowning somehow.  I started looking for wreckage, a door, a board, anything I could build a raft with.  I didn't want another ship (ie another library job), though nearby ships were aplenty in this land of the Great Resignations, but I did need something that could keep me out of the water should solid land be further out than I thought or the sea more treacherous than it looked.  

I found a good one in the form of some freelance work, maybe even comfy as a rowboat, in  November and its proved to actually be pretty enjoyable, but is not so heavy that I can't control its weight.  Enough to make up the lost library income (that's actually not that much, also part of the problem) and get me somewhere safely.  By leaving, I realized that I could parlay funds from unused vacation hours (months and months b/c  we could never actually take time off) into a nest egg of savings should I need it for emergencies (this was another thing, as single person household I worried about.) . I figured things like health insurance premiums and self-employment taxes and other things that seemed scary. 

All I needed was to let go and start rowing...

(forgive the too many sea analogies, I've been reading about Poseidon and sea monsters all week.)

Monday, January 03, 2022

new years at the overlook

The week of New Years seems like a perfect time to celebrate OVERLOOK, my little series of poems inspired by The Shining, especially since so much of it is very old school glam and snow-locked spooky hotels. And of course, the infamous photo of Jack Torrance mixing with guests at the Overlook.  That particular photo inspired my choice of the cover photo above in its aesthetic. 

I started writing this little series of poems in April 2020, in the very first few weeks of lockdown.  Part of it was that I had recently rewatched the Kubrick over the holiday break for the very first time a little high, which planted a seed of a project in my head.  Those were still anchorless weeks, during which I decided to try to do NAPOWRIMO (stupidly). The vibe seemed right, after all I'd wished for some isolated writing retreat action, and while hardly what I wanted, covid provided the isolation part.  I halfheartedly wrote the first of the pieces,  but  I didn't actually finish the series until later in the summer--when I was already back at work and moving about in the world again. 

Like so much of what I write, it starts out as one thing and quickly becomes something else.  In this case, not just an homage to the film, but also a meditation on the artists role in society, wealth, privilege, labor. A sort of gothicism in Amercan ideals themselves. I was actually really happy with it when I was done, which is not always the case. 

I think especially for me, as I contemplate things like job and income and the role of the artist in society, this little series feels especially important   You can read the entire thing here:

Sunday, January 02, 2022

inside the well

One of my most recent freelance projects was a short piece on poetic devices, which was actually the first time I claimed a poetry-related piece to work on. Most of them have been novels, or artists. A little mythology. Besides writing on Sirens in The Odyssey a couple weeks back, I hadn't yet wandered into verse. I claimed it eagerly enough, but when I sat down to review my notes and actually write it out, I felt panicked.  It's the difference I suppose of writing from the outside as opposed to the inside. Obviously, I use things like symbolism and figurative language all the time, but I don't talk about them much.  Even when I was in my lit programs, I read far more fiction and drama than poems.  Most of it was older--Shakespeare and Milton. A smattering of Eliot and Emily Dickinson. I still don't always feel completely at home talking about poetry in an abstract way.  Because there is so much going on in my head, it's hard to corral that into something that makes sense to someone else, especially non-poets, as this particular piece required.

I suppose other forms of art, I approach as an observer or audience. Fiction, for example,  I approach as a reader,  and which I only occasionally dip my toes into.,  Art and art history which beyond collage, I am more of an audience than a practitioner. Mythology, which has always fascinated me. From outside the well, I can talk more coherently about what is happening or the historical context.  With poetry, I am more or less down the well and there is very little light. I've always wished i could say I was more intentional in my own work, but sometimes things just happen.

Many of the pieces that we are re-writing are broader delves into material covered by a video lesson usually, which contains a transcript of the audio. We are supposed to augment those lessons with longer written content that delves deeper (while also amping up the SEO rankings.)  I laughed when I read the original poetry lesson transcript because, of course they mention Frost and his snowy evening poem.  While some things are limited by the outline provided and the quiz that already exists, I decided to swap him out for Pound and Dickinson.  I kept Randall Jarrell and Wordsworth who part of the lesson as it existed. I added Langston Hughes because things were just way too startlingly white in there.  It turned out better than I thought it would and apparently was coherent enough it needed no revisions, but I wondered afterwards why that one seemed so much harder than the other ones, including ones that I only had a slight familiarity with (like cyclorama paintings or The Castle of Otranto, which I'd only half-ass read in college to get a grasp on early gothics.)  Scanning through potential subject matter, there actually is less poetry in there than other genres, which makes me wonder if that's an area that online learning and homeschooling in general needs to beef up.  

Saturday, January 01, 2022

hello, 2022

Somehow, the new year crept in while I was doing quite ordinary things like putting away my late grocery order and feeding the cats, but it crept in nonetheless, quietly and without much fanfare except the group of raucous Loyola-ans who spilled loudly out of the elevator and into the lobby as I retrieved my bags a few minutes beiore midnight.  2021, she left as quietly as she appeared last year when we'd had too much champagne and missed the countdown entirely. This year, I was alone and ordered chinese food and finished a writing piece on Henry Fuselli's The Nightmare. (I've only done a few visual art assignments just yet, but it seemed to fit well with my recent blitz on gothic novels and romanticism.)  

So far 2022 is snowstorms and clementines and croissants with butter. I was awake late so slept pretty late today, and with the weather, I may just go back to my bed. I still feel like this week is a strange state of limbo, neither here nor there. I am back to work again on Monday, at least for the next month or so, though I feel like the exterior world is a far more covidy place than I left it before Christmas. I will put on my heavy-duty mask and brave public transportation once again, though I am hoping nothing kills me before I get to work from home in February.  At this point I probably won't die, but the disruption sucks. Overcrowded hospitals suck. General breakdown of society sucks.  And yet, disease flying around, we are expected to pretend its normal.  In fact, mostly I see people, even people who say they are vaxxed and careful,  pretending its normal, going to restaurants and New Years Parties. Do they feel safe?  Because I sure as hell do not. And really, this sort of shit is how we got into this mess.  

Normally, I would fill this space with plans, for projects, for goals, for resolutions, whatever form those take. I have a major life job-related change coming up, but I am still treading carefully as we come into the new year. I need to drink more water and take more walks. I would like to finally read novels.  I have plans to release animal, vegetable, monster in late February. Other than that, I am making no promises.