Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ha! Sorry, Jack.

Found whilst sorting and filing stuff from the past two or three years.

I'm gonna

Break your steel
Cut your heel
Eat your meal
Call misdeal
Club your seal
Roast your eel
Numb your feel
Haul your keel
Make you kneel
Zest your peel
Spin your reel
Paint you teal
Chew your veal
Lance your weal
Shrug your zeal

Monday, January 14, 2008

Suck it, global climate change!

And let me just say how thrilled I am (really!) by the return of winter. That 60-65 degree shit simply was not making my January any better. Now it's icy, windy, and back in the 20s where it oughta be. And it even snowed! A little. Hopefully more tomorrow.

The Big To-Do

* Find a poetry retreat/workshop (right now I'm seriously contemplating IU Writers Conference + another Hill House retreat in Spencer with Joe et al.)
* Edit IU class materials (should go quickly; I've been over them a million times already)
* Restart MATRIX workshop

* NATF retreat in St. Louis
* Prep for IVY Tech class (need to acquire InDesign CS3 ... as that's what I'm teaching)

* Bear down and push out poetry ms. (my goal is to have at least twice as much material than the final chap will contain, so I can start cutting down and sequencing throughout a series of summer workshops, readings, and retreats)
* Finalize NATF project details (I'm producing a Cowboy/Indian/Shakespearean poetry mash-up; hopefully I'll be on staff at the workshop too)

* Tionol (trad Irish fest in St. Louis)
* Teach IU classes
* Research chapbook ms. contests (there are a ton out there)

* Teach IVY Tech classes
* BHRG bout program prep
* First 2008 derby bout
* NATF newsletter deadline
* Prep for NATF in June, as needed

* IU Writers Conference (mid-June)
* NATF (West Plains, Mo., last week o' June)

* Maybe visit Gerry in Boulder

* Hill House retreat
* Finalize chap ms.

* Submit chap for publication
* Fall reading tour(?)

* Submit report on Greer Fellowship monies

"Oh it's not that bad," he said. It was the last we heard from him for some time....

So ... I did okay on my 2007 resolutions, for the most part. Really the only one I didn't keep was cooking (myself) at home more often, but that picked up toward the end of the year, so I figure I'm just a late bloomer. I tend to carry over some resolutions from the previous year (mostly health-related), and I do have a few new ones, but I like to keep them on the down-low. I fret less when I don't make them public until the following year.

The first half of 2008 is going to be unbelievably busy for me, more than usual. It's all doable, I think, but it's going to require a lot of focus and shifting gears and mindsets, often. Audio theatre stuff, teaching 2 classes, making it to Tionol in April, tackling another stupid newsletter project (why do I do this to myself? I'm a sadist not a masochist....) -- and bubbling away behind it all is the chapbook manuscript I'm working on and need to finish, workshop, and shop around as per the poetry fellowship I won back in October. And I want to submit work for publication in general, which will help boost the viability of the ms.

And, of course, simmering behind even all this is the big question. The Biggest Question: should I stay or should I go? I'm still largely undecided, which is only natural, but when I do feel conclusive I also feel, by turns, sad, angry, and/or depressed. Doesn't matter which outcome I choose, either. Which is JUST LOVELY, let me tell ya.

There's no use fretting over it too much now, I tell myself. Until Mars has a where to go with the what, and an inkling of when, there's no way I can answer if with anything but maybe. But I'm a thinker ... a slow thinker ... and I can't seem to keep from dwelling on it now and then ... every day.

But ... on to more productive thoughts: A lot of friends had babies this year, and I am really happy for and proud of them all. Some of my favorite couples are reproducing, and that's awesome.

2007 seemed like a volatile year for a lot of people ... for me it was a year of settling. 2005 was the Year of the Never-ending Shit Storm ... that did finally end, but 2006 was the Year of the Move. Three times in 9 months. Bleah. So last year was, for me, a time to re-ground, check my gages, and start plotting and scheming again.

I like to plot!

I also cut some projects loose (unheard of!) to make room for more personal growth (shocking!) ... and BOY did that ever feel good, after a brief twinge of failure, of course.

I think it's fair to say I have hit the ground running in 2008.

I going to make a concerted effort to post here more often. They'll likely be less lengthy posts, but I hardly post on LJ or facebook and never on myspace. I like it here, though. It's quiet and I can hear myself think. Sounds like something needs tightening.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Am I Really That Awful?

So a friend (from the radio theatre crowd) stopped talking to me, some years ago, around the time of un fiasco per quattro. I was, and am, fine with that. I understood then that I was mostly a "business associate" to those guys, an interloper. So that shunning was expected and relatively painless.

But I just learned that another, mutual friend succumbed to lung cancer some time in 2007. I learned about it by lurking in his LJ ... not from any of several other mutual friends ... not even the ones who do still talk to me.

I know, I know. Someone I once considered a friend is dead, and that's what matters, not how (or how long after the fact) I received the news.

Craig didn't smoke, ever; learnt me a thing or three about killin' chickens and general good ol' boy craft in the wilds of Owen Co.; and was one of the finest Christian men, warts and all, I have ever known. Loved his kids too.

He moved away to Rochester to make better money, then promptly got divorced but didn't move back. The money was too good, and his kids were staying out east with his ex, so he stayed too. I'm sure he was brought back here for his funeral, though. I'll have to go find his stone soon.