I haven’t blogged in ages because hands. Random nerve pain hasn’t let up; I still can’t write with anywhere near the consistency I’d wish, but I’ve stabilized. Or at least I’ve developed some strategies for minimizing wear and tear on the parts that hurt. The body and I maintain an uneasy truce: it lets me do my !@#$ job and I don’t expect it to sit at a desk typing for more than a few hours a day.
New projects: I’ve become enamored of collaboration, by necessity. A few friends and I are working on a secret project. I’ve been making a post apocalyptic story-based videogame. I’ll soon be taking part in Entropy’s collaborative epic poem Birdwolf. I will have a new essay (a set of erasure book reviews) out in DIAGRAM sometime this year. I’m also at the 25K mark (end of Act 1) of a YA novel set in Jerome, AZ, the draft of which I plan to take to the Repeat Offenders summer workshop at the CSSF in Lawrence, Kansas. James brainstormed the plot with me, and he’s typing it while I dictate. It has ghosts and witches in it, so it seems appropriate that it’s being written in trance state. I get to play medium, nightly channeling The Spirits that power our novel. And of course I’m still working at UNI, which remains a daily pleasure. I love Cedar Falls, and teaching, and I have a fellowship this summer that will fund both the CSSF workshop and a research trip back to Jerome.
When I line it all up in a paragraph, it doesn’t seem so terrible, though I’ve felt brutally unproductive in the year and half since I moved to Iowa. I’ve had zero patience with the sheer disruption of major life transitions: wedding/graduation/new state/new job. Only in the past few months have I hit my stride again as far as making things and putting them out in the world. Blog redesign is part of that.
Future posts: I hope to blog a bit about the process of writing this novel, simply to document what’s working and what isn’t, since the whole Spiritualist trance-state process has proved so fun and weird and intimacy reinforcing. Plus I’m teaching an advanced nonfiction workshop in the fall (exciting!) that I plan to run as a long-form/memoir class, and I want to build my own textbook for it, since the ones I’ve run across have been lackluster. I may post sample exercises/prompts as I go; I’m curious to see how my students will feel about producing a Nanowrimo-like quantity of words in a single semester.
No AWP for me this year, but have fun in L.A., everyone! If you’re at Wiscon in May, I’ll see you there.
I spent Spring Break in Chicago, and a brilliant writer-designer friend was kind enough to do a playful photoshoot with her super-sweet camera (the new header is from that shoot). Just for fun, here’s one of the discarded possible blog headers. The photo above I refer to as Demon Eyes. The photo below is Dead Extra on True Detective, Season 1 (with rings):