Winding up for revision
(and packing for AWP)
Thanks for all the love over the last two weeks since my book was announced. It’s nice to be able to tell people about it now. It’s a real thing! That will be in the world!
My instinct now is get back to work. Head down, stay focused. But the reality is that AWP is this coming week, and I’m also excited to meet people and go to readings and browse all the BOOKS and try not to buy more than I can cart home from Missouri. So I’ve still sort of been hopping around in my writing, not quite ready to settle in for a Leave revision yet but winding up to do so as soon as I get back next week.
This week in writing
I jumped into Rachel León’s 5 Days of Beginnings and was humming right along with my beginnings until our whole house got sick. I missed days three and four but made it back for day five, and three new beginnings is certainly better than no new beginnings, so I’ll take it. I was working on some material around the periphery of Leave, which could turn out to be an essay or two but will probably just be exercises to get me into the right headspace to revise it. I’m writing about why I wrote it, why we need more birth stories, why it’s important to talk about the tough ones. I’m also writing about my fears around telling the story, because naming the fears makes them not so scary.
I read Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals recently, and throughout it she circles around and around this big truth about fear and how becoming acquainted with our mortality changes our relationship to fear. It’s not that there is no fear, just that truth becomes more important than fear.
This is a text I will keep next to me on the table while I revise.
This week in reading
I finally read the new Sigrid Nunez, The Vulnerables. Her novels are my favorite kind: light on plot but heavy on human experience, a walk around inside a character’s mind. They seem a little meandering but by the end, the tight weave becomes more apparent. I’m still thinking about this one. It’s largely about writing. I didn’t realize it took place during the early pandemic and I would have said I wasn’t quite ready for that, so I’m glad I didn’t know going in. (I had the same feeling about Carley Moore’s Panpocalypse, and I loved that, too.)
Now I’m reading the books of two people I’m planning to see read at AWP: Stephanie Austin’s Something I Might Have Said and Mike Nagel’s Culdesac. And in one week’s time, I’ll have a stack of new book purchases to see my through the spring.
Next Sunday I’ll recap AWP. My prediction is that I’ll be sleepy and happy and have a dozen new friends. Til then.