Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Perfect Mornings and Spring Schedules

Last night I loaded up the coffee maker and set it to brew, went to bed at 10PM, and put my alarm closer to my head than usual. This morning I was up at 5:15, drinking coffee that was ready and waiting (like magic!),  while listening to our local owl hoot through the open window and editing a few pages of my novel-in-progress before heading to my early morning yoga class. Sometimes I daydream about what my Ideal Life would look like, all the elements that must be present in order for me to fire on all cylinders, as it were. Maybe it seems boring, but this morning is pretty damn close. It also seems like this morning is a fairly easy thing to accomplish, especially with things like coffee makers and alarm clocks and owls. I'll have to remember this the next time I want to stay up too late or hit the snooze button one more time. 

Speaking of bring productive and responsible, school started back up last week, and not a moment too soon. Winter break, you were great, but I'm ready to get back to it. As for my new schedule: it is both better and harder than last semester. Better, because I teach at 11AM instead of 8AM. Have you ever had to stand in front of a group of undergrads at 8AM and cajole them into discussing literary fiction? No? Then consider yourself lucky. So far, 11AM seems like a livelier time slot. (To be fair, I actually had really great students last semester, so 8AM could have been much worse. I consider myself lucky.) On the other hand, I am taking not one, but TWO night classes this semester. Add to that the two nights a week I close the wine shop, and my new plan to get up at 5:15 every morning, and you can bet I'll be exhausted until, oh, May. At least I don't have to plan a wedding

But I'm not complaining. I get to take the following classes, and it should go without saying that I am super excited about all of them: Novel Writing II (a continuation of last semester's workshop; I have to hand in 100 pages of my novel on February 5th!); Ecotone (my program's highly acclaimed literary journal; I will be a reading fiction submissions and helping to put together the next issue); Creative Nonfiction Workshop (we're going to be writing more experimental stuff; I'm hoping to finish a braided essay about chickens); and the Visiting Writer Workshop (a month long workshop with Cristina Garcia). In other words: a whole lot of writing, reading, and teaching. Throw in a few literary readings, a trip to Boston for AWP, and a recommitted yoga practice, and it's shaping up to be a pretty spectacular semester.

Here's to early mornings, to hooting owls, to hot coffee. It's going to be a good day; I can feel it. 


  1. Happy New Semester! It sounds like it's going to be a great one! I sometimes miss being in classes still and that exciting buzz of reading and discussing interesting things with fellow students.

    I'm back to teaching this semester and I'm also really happy to have the semester start. I teach twice a week, a German contep. issues and politis course that was thrown my way very last minute, making my semester also both hard and awesome. Hard because I have to think on my feet and prepare a course I haven't taught before in very little time. And awesome because I realized how much I love doing this stuff and am happy to be back at it.

    Here's to a good semester for both of us!

  2. I envy your ability to get up that early. No. Freaking. Way.

  3. I really love getting up early - sometimes it's hard to remember that though when married to someone who is more of a night owl. Here's to a great morning and to a great start to your new semester!

  4. Oh girl, send me some of your energy! I need it now that my freelancing gigs are ramping up. I'm in awe of your early morning get-stuff-doneness.

    Your class load looks awesome too--have fun with Ecotone! I loved reading submissions to the Hollins Critic.

  5. You know how to do mornings right, lady. Have a great semester!

  6. You are so lucky to have a local hooter and not a cackler. We have barn owls in one of our trees; as if I wasn't missing out on enough sleep! Sigh. I used to wake up at 5am.