Sunday, February 28, 2016

i have to admit to a bit of depression after my mom's death, as i try to process what happened and adjust to a new reality of her not being around. there is no one that anyone takes for granted more than their mother; by the same token, there's no one who leaves a bigger gap upon their leaving. it was huge, and it rocked our family to the core, as she was the core of it, and, it was actually difficult to visit with everyone enough, under that enormous cloud of change.

but alas, buds are coming out, trees are blooming, grass is turning - here, late february, and it's already spring. get out the shovels, time to dig something to grow, that's what you do, and because it's been a fairly wet year, the growing and digging should be good. it's a glorious spring day out there, warm, sunny, flowers popping up everywhere, so the kids are naturally all on screens and the dogs are at the front door being vigilant about people trying to walk by.

i've been working furiously on my poetry, at the expense of everything else, and have now written 430 new ones for a volume of 1000 that i'd like to publish in april. the volume of 1000 does not have to be all new; in fact, i'm not sure it's possible, yet, to write a thousand in a year. my goal is to make it substantially different from last year. substantially. i change the definition of that regularly. but i'm getting there.

for days i mulled over things i could say about wisconsin. then, i printed it and reviewed what i had. now, i'm mulling over new hampshire and delaware. delaware is by far the worst, but south carolina, west virginia, north dakota, and mississippi are in close competition. they are all states that i have less contact with. west virginia, i used to go camping in, way back in junior high, but back then, we saw it through the lens of stereotype and i want to avoid that in poetry. i'd like to look at hard reality, and find what's truly unique about west virginia, but what is it? there are a few things. after a while, i run out of things. i need more information.

my stories, i've neglected, more or less; haven't written one since december, when i published my fifth collection. but i did get a reader to read the most recent one, into audio files, and my new job is to see if i can market them, as is, at a service where they market such things. i have no idea how this is done. i looked into it once, and even now i can't remember how that turned out. i was determined to try reading them myself, and it never got off the ground. now, i have a whole folder of stories read into audio files. it's a milestone. i'm a little baffled, how to proceed.

then there's the music. the other night, a fair crowd of musicians, a good audience, a circle where we went around calling them - things don't get much better. i've broken just enough hairs on my bow, that i about have to get it restrung. my fiddle takes almost no maintenance; it never needs tuned, ever. i just play and play, and it keeps coming. i often tell the story of it: i bought it in iowa, at an auction, because people said that violins were being bought and taken down to texas, and i thought i'd keep it in iowa. ironic that, in the end, i took it down to texas. and, ironic that, though it just stayed by my side for years, not being played, when i finally got it going, it was so reliable. it has a good sound, too.

of course, the novel is out, at the moment. the tesol presentation is suffering. other things are shelved, like personal reorganization. it's spring, time to get outside and live in it for a while.

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