Thank you to the editors of Rabid Oak for nominating my poem "Reluctant Sex Symbol" for a Pushcart Prize.
Receiving a nomination is always very flattering. I really appreciate it.
Also, on Sunday, I had a poem accepted by Storm Cellar. Each issue is published as a print magazine and as an ebook. Storm Cellar is described as "a literary journal of safety and danger." I love that.
I think I'm going to start reading The Snake Pit by Mary Jane Ward tonight. I always love getting books unexpectedly in the mail.
Happy (almost) Halloween!
This post will be all over the place. This fall (2021) has been stressful. Last fall (2020) ended up being less stressful than I thought it would be. I was worried about covid, and didn't know exactly what having a book come out during a pandemic would be like, but things were smooth sailing. I thought this fall would be more normal and it hasn't been. I feel like I've been really bad at keeping in touch with people recently.
I received my third moderna shot on August 24th. In September, my nephews, Elliott and Grant, and my brother, Alec, had covid. Based on the dates, I may or may not have been exposed to it. Elliott is in Pre-K this year and got it first. He is great at wearing a mask, but not all the kids at his school wear masks. Then Alec got it, then Grant. Alec had a breakthrough case, of course. Grant is only one and he had to go to the emergency room twice. They are all doing much better now, but have been sick off and on until just recently. I don't know if it is long covid or if they got sick with other bugs because their immune systems were down.
I recently had my wisdom teeth removed. I was nervous because I have some PTSD about medical things, and I was told it was a big deal (riskier) having them removed in your thirties. (They didn't start coming in until the last few years.) Overall, it's been way less painful than many other things I've experienced. The pain and swelling have gotten better. There is finally enough room in my mouth again so my bite has improved and my jaw feels more aligned. The bruising is getting better, but started out looking pretty scary. I have been wearing full stage makeup to teach on zoom. (Minus the false eyelashes, though I have some on hand.) I don't like foundation and have had to put on multiple layers.
I have a poem forthcoming in Horse Egg Literary. I'll let you know when the new issue is out. I need to get back on my writing schedule. I write at different times in the day/night, but usually the unpredictability is still steady. Lately...not so much... I have little things floating around in my head that I need to pin down. I hope I can get more focused.
I was so stressed when Grant, Elliott, and Alec had covid that I didn't post anything anywhere about Without: Body, Name, Country being out for one year on September 15th. Eventually, I voluntarily(!) added some posts to instagram. I don't care if everything related to facebook/social media burns to the ground though. Frances Haugen's testimony was awesome.
Lately I've been enjoying poetry by Penelope Shuttle and short stories by Haruki Murakami. I really liked this article about Lucia Berlin by Jenny Shank.
I'm currently less stressed, and in a bit better mood, but still feeling weary.
I'm doing okay. The covid surge is obviously distressing. I’m working remotely. I still have to go places sometimes, and I have to be around people who have more chances of covid exposure than me on a regular basis.
So much of my life, since early 2016, has been about trying not to die at a relatively young age. (Off and on for over five years.)
I'm not going to deny that I'm angry. How could someone who is immunocompromised not be angry at this point?
Fairly early on, the Guillain-Barré Foundation approved the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for people who have had GBS. I don't know why anyone who has had GBS, even with long term residual effects, would say they can't be vaccinated. That’s incorrect. You can't get a flu shot or a tetanus shot if you have had Guillain-Barré syndrome, but the covid vaccine is strongly encouraged. Especially because GBS affects the heart and lungs, so heart and lung problems from covid could very likely be fatal.
I received two shots of Moderna this past spring. (I was hospitalized with GBS in 2016. I've had autoimmune issues since I was around eleven or twelve.) Two weeks after my second shot, I was feeling very optimistic about the pandemic and things becoming safe. That phase of excitement was brief.
If you haven't already, please get vaccinated. Please keep wearing masks in public places. Vaccines and masks help protect against the Delta variant, and lessen the severity of breakthrough infections.
I definitely plan on getting a booster when it’s available.
There are tornado watches, warnings, and sightings happening in the midwest right now. I was afraid of tornadoes as a little kid, but then I spent a long time not worrying about them. Now they make me nervous again because of last summer's derecho. The power was out for seven days. It happened around the height of the pandemic in the U.S. (Before the vaccine.) It was hot. I couldn't even go places that got power back before me because I'm immunocompromised. It probably makes sense that I pay more attention to storms now.
Right now I'm reading The Life of the Mind by Christine Smallwood. I'm really enjoying it so far.
Books I want to read include...
The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Vasectomania by Matthew Guenette
The Atmospherians by Alex McElroy
Dead Souls by Sam Riviere
Everybody: A Book about Freedom by Olivia Laing
These photos are from yesterday/Sunday (05/23/2021). If I look crabby in these pictures, it's because my wisdom teeth are really bothering me and I need to have them removed. Yes, I'm in my thirties and I still need to get my wisdom teeth out.
I recently answered some questions for Annalisa Crawford's "Interview with..." series. You can read it on her site, Blogging with My Fountain Pen.
A couple days ago, I finished reading Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin. The author really took her time with the story, and I wasn't sure why it was unfolding as slowly as it was, but once I finished reading it, I felt the pacing made sense. I wasn't sure if the ending would be satisfying, but I felt that it was.
Have a good weekend!
Thank you to everyone who came to the Raven Book Store reading (online) in February. It was fun. If you missed the reading & mini-talk/q&a and would like to watch it, this is the link. You can watch all of Raven Book Store's past events and check out their future events here.
I have a poem on Verse Daily which you can read here. It is my third time on the site. Thank you to Verse Daily for featuring this poem, and for their support over the years. You can read more here and here.