Last month I attended my first in-person writing residency in Knoxville, Tennessee. On my way out the door, I told my spouse that I wasn’t interested in updates while I was away. During the few trips I took pre-pandemic, I would begrudgingly spend an hour on the phone listening to him detail the minutiae of what chores were completed, which kids had a tantrum, and other everyday mundanities. Now it was my first time out of the house in over a year and the thought of these calls strummed the thick bands of tension around me. I didn’t care what happened while I was away, short of death or explosion. I didn’t want anything to detract from the little sliver of freedom I was claiming for myself.Read More
*or, On Keeping the Little Things
I have a bad habit of getting rid of things. Knick knacks. Old projects. Books I haven’t read in years. If I haven’t used or worn something in a while, I find an excuse to donate it, recycle it, or break it down to its more useful parts. If we have one too many of an item in my household, I find an excuse to get rid of the extra, which I tend to perceive as “excess.”
What I’m learning, though, is that sometimes the things I’m trying to get rid of aren’t really an excess and that holding onto them for a little bit longer has a greater purpose.Read More
As I write this, I am waiting for resolution. That is: final judgment on a residency application, judgment on a fellowship application, a response from a literary agent, and the reveal of a major publication. All of these should be coming to some sort of conclusion within a few weeks. Even though I have a rough idea of the timeline, I still feel as if I may fall apart while I wait. There is so much to lose.Read More
During a job interview in 2015, my future manager asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I gave a detailed answer that demonstrated my ambition and familiarity with the job’s hierarchy, but basically I said I wanted to be an editor in their department. Truthfully, I wanted to be an editor elsewhere. Perhaps for a magazine or website where I could mentor others and have more editorial freedom. I achieved that in 2019 (The Tishman Review) and then again in 2020 (Linden Avenue Literary Journal). And now in 2021, I am an editor again three times over (Raising Mothers, wigleaf, and Shenandoah). It’s like I hit the bell and then kept ringing it.Read More
As 2020 wound to a close, I had hoped to write an end-of-the-year sendoff that would propel myself and you into the future on an upswelling of hope. But I didn’t because I was exhausted by the unrest and calamity from the year. It was impossible to assemble words together with any relative meaning when the future seemed more uncertain than it had ever before. So, I waited for the new year to guide me.Read More
This is the third draft of this blog post.
Halfway through the first, I realized it was getting a bit too personal and its proper place was in the journal I have yet to write in since late September. The second draft turned into a great essay idea for a parenting journal or magazine.