Everything all at once.

I haven’t blogged in forever because life happened so hard that I became unable to keep up with documenting it. Too busy living it. I still haven’t fully processed this magical, tumultuous year. Tl;dr: what happens when you get everything you ever believed you wanted, all at once?

I went to Breadloaf. I’ve wanted to go to Breadloaf since I first learned of it back during my M.A. program at NAU. My mentor went there, and it opened all kinds of doors for her (granted, she’s fabulously brilliant, which helps, but still), and so many people talked about it in tones of hushed awe that it acquired a near-sacral mystique. It lived up to the hype. I learned things about my writing, confronted old tics and bad habits, had that workshop epiphany where you can see the path you need to travel down, the question is are you brave enough…

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Also it was stunning there. That Vermont sky. I walked nearly every day, weather permitting. All the lectures and readings are up on iTunes, too, making it easy to relive the experience, or get a taste of it anyway (except that there’s no re-creating that sky).

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Photo credit: Lisa Schapiro Flynn

The Breadloaf campus is dotted with Adirondack chairs. It was mostly too damp to sit in them (this was apparently the wettest ‘loaf in years).  I was welcomed home from Breadloaf by the UNI campus, which looks like this:

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A bit of comforting synchronicity, these chairs.  This is the campus where I work now. I’ve moved to Iowa, where I’m an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, and this is the stately building that houses my office:

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Oh, and this happened back in June:

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So that’s where I’m at. Newly married to a man I love to write beside; teaching excited, exciting students in a brand-new town; hiking along the riverside. Every day I wake up astonished that this is my life.

Well, it’s not quite the perfect idyll: At month’s end I’m visiting a neurosurgeon in the continuing investigation of my nerve pain, which could please go away any time please.  Still.   I have never felt so lucky.

I have a new blogpost up at the North American Review blog. My essay “Dissection” appears in their Fall issue (it’s the first piece in the magazine, and they put me on the cover!).  It’s a great issue, with work by Denise Duhamel and Mike Antosia, among other luminaries. Consider picking up a subscription.

I think that’s all? Many new publications are forthcoming, and I’m a finalist for something I’m fairly certain I’m not supposed to announce yet, but I will save those agenda items for other, future blogposts.  This one is already full to bursting with happy news.