Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday High Five

Every other Friday, I post a short list of five things currently making me smile. This is the latest installment. For past High Fives, click here.

1. Gorgeous writing by MFA friends, as usual. 
Today I have THREE recently published pieces by UNCW friends to share with you. What can I say? We're a prolific bunch! The first is a gorgeous and important lyric essay in The Collagist, titled "Binary," by my dear friend Sally Johnson. It's about sexuality and love and society and the incredible lessons- good and bad - that these things teach us. The second is "Johnny Rebel's Splash Canyon," a short story by the inimitable Joe Worthen who, in addition to having a unique voice, also gives razor sharp workshop comments. Last but not least, the poem "Picking up the Dog from the Spay and Neuter Clinic," by recent graduate Anna Sutton. One of my only regrets from the MFA program is that I never got a chance to take a poetry class. This poem explains why.

2. I won a contest! 
Each spring semester, the UNCW library hosts a flash fiction contest. The theme is announced a week before the deadline, there's a 500 word limit, and first prize is $200. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I found out that I won first prize! There will be reception and reading on April 23, and the Publishing Lab creates a neat little book of the winners and runners-up, which I will probably send to my mother. Also: $200!!! That is officially the most money I have ever made from a piece of writing. 2014, let's keep this up.

3. Nathan was born! (Well, 33 years ago.) 
Nathan's birthday was on Tuesday, and we celebrated quietly. He doesn't like to make a big deal out of his birthday and is actually embarrassed by it, which is something I cannot relate to AT ALL. In the past I've tried to force him to celebrate, but at some point I realized that was more for me than for him. So this year I exercised great restraint, gave him a few gifts and a plate of brownies, and then ignored the fact that it was his birthday for the rest of the day. Later, we just happened to go to our favorite restaurant for a nice dinner, but it was a total coincidence, I swear. ;)

4. Pay What You Can  
Yesterday I took advantage of a "pay what you can" hot power yoga class at the Wilmington Yoga Center, and it was amazing. I love the YMCA, but it really can't compare to practicing in a beauitful space dedicated entirely to yoga. I'm counting down the days until I can afford a membership. Until then, I'm going to try to hit at least one PWYC class a week. So worth it.

5. Flush with eggs. 
After a long winter of empty nesting boxes, the chickens are finally laying regularly again. We got six eggs in one day, which is a new record for our ladies. I love keeping chickens, but I have to say - it's a lot more rewarding when they actually lay eggs. Thanks, ladies!

As you can see, it's been a good week despite my looming thesis deadline. This weekend is my last big push - wish me luck! If all goes well, I'll see you on the other side.