Wednesday, March 24, 2010


49º ~1 part sun to 2 parts cloud

Today's title does not refer to a literal hangover, but a figurative one. Here's a brief recap of the last week: Thursday: frantic teaching (last classes before Spring Break) & frantic catching up with loose ends at the office, arrive home to begin dismantling house for extreme makeover on Friday. Friday: with my office condensed to a 2' x 4' table in the living room and furniture pushed to the center of all rooms, we had all 19 of our windows replaced with stimulus-credit approved, energy-efficient windows. The guys who performed the installations were great, skilled and polite and intent on cleaning up after themselves. Friday evening into Saturday...putting the house back together and preparing for the arrival of my parents and the simultaneous drive to Memphis for The Pinch release party reading. Saturday evening: passed my parents headed to Little Rock on I-40 at the 168 mile marker while I was headed to Memphis. Bless the husband for entertaining them for me. Then, a glorious night in Memphis with the folks from The Pinch. Great readings all around, although I had to leave early due to the family. Sunday & Monday: visit with parents and perform more household projects. Mom loves projects. We shopped for window shades/blinds and were partially successful. Came home and installed two blinds, then cleaned 5 ceiling fans and hung some curtains. Fixed my desk (more on that later) and finally got some warm sunshine & we were able to sit on the deck some. Tuesday...saw parents off at 5:15 a.m. and then continued to try to catch up with the piles of paper that had accumulated (including one poetry rejection...bleh). Collapsed at 2:00 and slept until 4:00. Today...rested and somewhat put together. Back to poetry.

In the blog world, if you haven't read Susan Rich's post on the art of revision, go here. Thanks to Susan for this great picture of President Obama's revisions. I second and third Susan's thoughts on revision. It is a crucial element to writing, and although we all practice that element in different ways, our work would not stand up, for the most part, without it. I am addicted to finding le mot juste, as the French would say. It sounds more exotic in a foreign tongue. In reality, it's the sweaty part of creating poety.

Also in the blog world, there's a great post over at Red Hen Press on why we ban funky fonts. I'm now in love with Papyrus, but I'll reserve it for my own use and not impose it on any unsuspecting editors out there.

In the meantime, two personal surprises that have happened amid the crush of activity: Kaite Hillenbrand, the poetry editor at Connotation Press who recently accepted four of my poems all together, emailed me with three interview questions. The interview will run alongside the poems themselves, and this is just one of the reasons I'm a fan of online publications. I love print publications as well, but they often don't have the page space to add things like this. What surprised me about Hillenbrand's questions was how insightful they were. These were not single sentence questions but three paragraphs exploring nuances within my work. I was amazed and humbled that she took so much time with my work. Her questions allowed me to explore connections in my work of which sometimes even I am unaware. Many thanks.

On that note, if you ever read something of mine and are curious about it, please email a question and I'll be glad to respond!

My other surprise was a thank you gift from Lyndsey Daniel and her students. I wrote about visiting Lyndsey's class a few posts back. The students sent me a journal, which is cool, but what is super cool is that they each wrote a comment on the inside cover. Sweet and awesome. Also, I have copies of their evaluations, and some of them had questions we didn't have time to cover. Watch for a future post with answers to those questions.

Now, one last home improvement project for the break. I'm taking everything off the shelves in my office and re-organizing. yay!


mariegauthier said...

I wish I had as much to show for my time as you do--congratulations on new windows! My mum was also taking advantage of stimulus credits by replacing a bunch of windows at the homestead.

And I'm looking forward to reading your spread at Connotation Press when it goes up!

Sandy Longhorn said...

M., Thanks! I'm glad it all happened at the beginning of Spring Break, so I can spend the rest of it recovering!

Anne said...

Deeply impressive! Also, thanks for the shot of Obama's revisions-- I will be stealing it for students.

So glad that Memphis folks got to hear you read!

Sandy Longhorn said...

A., impressive if exhausting as well! Still recovering today.