I realize that I haven’t blogged in quite a while and I thought now might be a good time to offer you a few updates. If you follow my work, you might have noticed I haven’t had quite as many publications over the past year, nor have I been keeping up on posting online. I have two major projects that are currently under way, a novella and a novel and those long pieces have kept me busy.
Last January, I was honored to be accepted into and attend a writing workshop with author Madison Smartt Bell. Centered on novel building, the workshop helped me view my subject and characters from the perspective of seasoned readers who did not have any previous familiarity with me or my work. That was so valuable and inspiring! I can only hope that I brought fresh thoughts and interest to my fellow workshoppers as well. I’d never been to Key West before and writing amidst all of that lush beauty after travelling down from wintry Michigan was nothing short of a small miracle.
Now, I find myself mere weeks away from attending the Popular Culture Association in the South 2018 conference in New Orleans! I will be presenting a portion of my novella. I don’t know that I can articulate how that feels, exactly. Certainly, I am feeling lucky to have the opportunity and happy to learn and explore with other writers and scholars, but the reality has not entirely hit me. I have not felt nervous about presenting, am only vaguely happy that I am going, yet I love New Orleans and conferences. I am holding back, fearful that something will go awry and I won’t get to experience it. In moments when I realize that it will happen, I am overwhelmed and delighted and so eager that waiting feels impossible.
What do we have if we don’t have adventures? If we don’t keep growing and trying new things? This year, I committed to 2 large scale writing projects, took a new job, went to Key West for the first time, began volunteering on the behalf of rescue cats, imagined buying a home, imagined having a dog. I raced with a pony when nobody was looking and I sat alone in a one room cabin in northern Michigan, collecting tiny shells off of the beach for my beloved. I am an anxious person living boldly, an untrusting person loving fiercely, and a melancholy person opening up to joy in all of the casual small moments of my days. I will try to be better about writing more, but there is no way that I will concede to living less.