Wednesday, December 30, 2009
1999 - 2009
While there is some debate about when the decade actually ends, which leads to some complicated thinking about the nature of 0 and 1 and calendars and who started counting when...I'm taking this time to reflect on the end of the 200_'s.
In the fall of 1999, I entered the MFA program at the University of Arkansas, and that made all the difference. [Brief backstory: I graduated from undergrad in 1989 and spent most of the 1990's moving cross country five times. My 20's were fraught with relationship drama the likes of which I hope never to see again, and by the time I was nearing the end of the 90's I'd all but stopped writing. Finally, I ended the relationship and applied for grad school.]
The program at Fayetteville is four years, so that's a good part of the decade. In my time there I experienced many highs and lows and found out that workshop really wasn't for me. However, the blessing of four years with much writing time paid off. I saw my first publications in national journals and filled in many gaps in my reading. I also had the good fortune to solidify several friendships that continue to enrich my poetry life today.
After grad school, I met the man I'd later marry and the drama of my relationship days gradually subsided, which turned out to be a wonderful thing for my work. I'm the kind of writer who thrives on stability...a routine...and the constant support of people who love me even if I get three rejections in one day! In June of 2006, Blood Almanac arrived on my doorstep two weeks before C and I were married. Wow!
Now, as we reach the beginning of 2010, my second book is making its way around the publisher's circuit looking for a home. I am not a prolific writer, but I am persistent...perhaps plodding...a bit of a tortoise, I guess, rather than the hare...although I envy the hare its bursts of productivity. I've settled into a teaching job that might not have been my first choice, but that provides the stability I need and a steady income (praise be!). If you look at the sidebar for older posts, you will see that something finally clicked this fall about the balance of teaching and writing and what I want this blog to do. I'm so thankful to say that I'm perched on the precipice of 2010 with much more confidence and joy than I've ever known before.
Thanks to all of you who stop and read this blog! I hope to see more of you in the new year.