Poetry proofs, and hello to the desert

Well, we finally made it to Tucson.

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After a 35 hour flight, including 27 hours at the very lovely Salt Lake City airport (sarcastic coughs here), we straggled in, me with two suitcases and my partner lugging two guitars, an amplifier and two big backpacks. It was a trying trip, to say the least, and I’m happy to report that we made it through without once arguing or snipping at one another. (I think that’s what they call a post-Christmas miracle, no?).

Here’s the living room of the casita we’ve rented. Isn’t it cozy? You can’t see it in the picture but I have a desk pushed up in the corner, which is the perfect writing space. (And check out the picture of our very favorite dog on the end table. Oh, Seriously, we miss you!)

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I’ve been writing like crazy. Each night after my run and swim, I bike to the Himmel Park Library, where I write for a solid two-three hours. I love (love!) the Himmel Park Library. It is small and intimate, and it feels safe. I plug my headphones into my laptop, listen to Adele and write, write, write.

Then I bike home in the dark, the tiny beam of my headlamp lighting the way, eat dinner, spend time with my partner. Once he goes to bed, I sit in the dark and write. Sometimes I write half the night and sleep half the morning. This works out perfectly because, you see, we’re living in 500 square feet and we both appreciate our alone time. So he gets to be alone in the mornings, and I get to be alone in the nights.

A few days ago we made a cairn at Rio Vista Natural Resource Park, which we run through on our way to the Rillito River Loop trail. Ours is the little one but still, it gives off a shy and yet humble personality.

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And we also saw this cool rock/path formation. I love this so much. It reminds me of something out of a sci-fi movie, some type of strange alien hieroglyphics.

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Writing News: I received the proofs for the Grayson Books “Forgotten Women” anthology, which heads to the printer soon. I’m so privileged to have my poem included with Pushcart Prize winners, poet laureates and other award-winning poets. Such a damned honor.

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My poem! In a Grayson Books anthology. I. Am. Swooning.

I also received the proofs for three poems included in “A Feast for the Mind,” GNU Journal‘s winter poetry issue. Again, such an honor.

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My prose poem, in GNU Journal. More swooning.

I have to say that stepping back from social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, has been one of the best things I’ve done for my writing. Oh, I still post but I no longer spend hours browsing this and that, linking to this and that, etc. I read through the posts I deem important, I comment and like and retweet, and then get on with my life, and with my writing.

Best of all, my head is no longer cluttered with shoulds: I should be running this trail or that. I should be reading this journal or that, this book or that. I should attend this reading, this event, this art opening, wish this FB friend a happy birthday (even though I’ve never met her and not really sure, exactly, who she is).

It’s like that line from “Little Miss Sunshine,” which has become my go-to motto: “Do what you love and fuck the rest.”

And lastly, here’s a picture of a cool cactus, don’t you love it? It looks soft and fluffy and cuddly, but the barbs are sharp. This is the way I want my writing to hit, soft and intimate and cozy, but with sharp and unexpected pangs.

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Have a great weekend, everyone. I hope you’re all busy doing what you love and fucking the rest.

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9 thoughts on “Poetry proofs, and hello to the desert

      1. I still have the full time job I have to keep for a couple more years. The one that sucks every last ounce of emotional energy out of me by the end of the day. Which means I’ve got nothing left for writing. But I’m working on it. Making baby steps. In much need of moose energy. Or to win the lottery 😉

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  1. I wrote most of my first book while working full-time as a single mother so yeah, it can be done. I just had no other life except work, mothering and writing (and oh, swimming–I didn’t run then but I did swim because, you see, you can swim while lying down and I was exhausted all. the. time). I was so driven back then. Having more free time has loosened my drive. I still feel the need to write and I still do write, I just don’t feel as compelled. So there is definitely something to be said for being really busy and squeezing in a few paragraphs here, a sentence or two there. Plus, I was single, too, which meant that while I had to be there for my son, I also didn’t have to be there for anyone else but myself. I was able to be selfish. Sometimes selfishness can be a kind of luxury. Good luck with the job (are you able to squeeze in a bit of writing at your job? I was lucky. I worked as a journalist and we had, get this, a nap room at the newspaper. I used to tell my editor I was going out to cover a story and then I’d sneak into the nap room and sleep for an hour or two. I did this almost every afternoon, lol).

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    1. Have you ever been here before, Karen? I’m thinking that instead of dinner maybe we could run Sabino Canyon Road. It’s paved but goes through the canyon and it a steady but fairly easy uphill for 3.7 and then, whee, 3.7 miles of downhill. I love the views, especially in the evening around dusk. So, so beautiful. It’s a fairly uncomplicated run and shouldn’t mess up my weekend long run, if you guys have time. And we could also lope off on a side trails for extra mileage and “real” trail running. Let me know, and see you both soon.

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