Friday, November 08, 2013

Friday Shares

Clockwise, starting from the left: my boys are the best and cutest in the world; someone at UNCW advertises their dectective skills via clever flyer; Natasha Trethewey gives a killer reading; the table from last weekend's 70s themed party.

Between Writers Week and, well, Writers Week, it's been a crazy few days. Even though I didn't have to go to class or teach, I was on campus way more than usual, plus there were readings each night. I'm not complaining, but I am exhausted. Good thing it's Friday! 

As for things this week that were also good, here's a little list: 

+ Last night I heard Poet Laureate of the USA, Natasha Trethewey, give a reading from her newest book, Thrall. It was one of the most powerful and beautiful readings I've ever had the privilege to attend, and now I'm inspired to make more time for poetry in general. 

+ As part of Writers Week, I got to meet with a few people to talk about my writing. The author Bret Lott read the opening of my book and gave me some great feedback. He was mostly positive and encouraging, and every time he suggested an edit or a revision, I was like, "Of course! Why didn't I see that?" Such a kind man, and such a careful reader. I was grateful for the chance to meet and chat with him. 

+ Nathan and I just started watching House of Cards on Netflix. I'm not usually into political dramas, but this one seems to have held our interest. It's nice to have something new to unwind with at the end of a long day. 

- I usually try to focus on the good things each week, but I would feel remiss if I didn't include a few annoyances. Such as: I haven't been able to work out all week because of (the very awesome) Writers Week and it's making me cranky; my scooter is not working right now and I've had to bum rides off my friends, which always makes me feel like a burden (even though they all seem happy to ferry me around town); one of the dogs keeps peeing on the rug in the living room. If it's Calvin, he's just being a jerk. If it's Seamus, he's getting too old to hold it. Either way, it's an unfortunate (and smelly) situation, especially since I really like that rug! 

Now that I have that out of my system, how about some good things I read this week? 

I loved this beautiful essay about one family's experience living on a commune in the middle of nowhere, and the slow realization that while unplugging from electricity is easy, unplugging from other humans is less so. As Nathan and I daydream about our future ideal home, this is a good point to keep in mind. "We were a mile and a half from town, 30 miles from a Walmart, 70 miles from a Starbucks, and more than an hour's drive from anything that qualified as an airport. The quiet was thick and heavy, except when the coyotes, with their healthy sense of theatre, howled into the moonlight." 

There is something so delightfully sinister about these posters! They  make me wish I'd spent more time studying the design side of publishing.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: He straightened his tie. He had lost, but in a romantic way, which meant that he had won. "I'm going to do a pushup," he announced to his tie. His tie respected him for it, and secretly wished that it could have sex with him.

(Okay, listen, sexism is wrong and no one should be made fun of for their gender, but this week I met with an agent as part of Writers Week and she told me I had to be careful, because I was a female, writing about a female, who feels conflicted about motherhood, and those facts will might cause my book to be swept under the rug of "women's fiction," and she didn't think that was where I wanted to go. So, you know, male novelists. LOL.)

A classmate, who knows about my bee obsession, passed along this brief nonfiction essay, which made me swoon and swoon. For example: "It wasn't the inconvenience I minded so much as how the arrangement allowed him to keep sealed the other chambers of his heart. I might hum around all I liked, industrious as any worker bee, dancing clover nectar off my feet, but I would never be taken to the queen." 

That's it for me. I hope your week was full of +'s, and if not, there's still the weekend. <3