Pennsylvania

Say, what dog?

Well, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve reached a milestone birthday. Many thanks to the well-wishers, card senders, and gift givers! As I mentioned on Twitter, Husband FINALLY got me a card – by himself – and he did well. The one he chose had a giggly, red octopus inside holding wine glasses. I don’t think octopuses drink though…

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Slightly before that, we got a new (geriatric) dog. Welcome to our home, Kobe!

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And no, I’m not a woman who is going to knit sweaters for her animals, but when Kobe was rescued, he came with a skin condition and they had shaved him. (Naked dogs are just as attractive as naked cats – hence pet sweaters and vests until his hair comes back.)

The search for an agent continues. In the absence of one, I’ve been tossing out ideas to my writer friends about which book to pursue next. I keep circling back to Lettie – and changing everything I’ve written so far. I was jotting down notes while I was trying to go to bed Tuesday night and I’m taking that as a good sign. While I’d love to sit down and just start with the rewrite, I’m holding back because of Niece’s wedding in Lincoln, New Hampshire, and my upcoming trip to Duncannon, PA.

I just glanced over at my calendar and I’m exhausted. There are so many things to do this month, including the West Falls-Colden Library book sale on the 21st. It’s my turn to host the novel critique group on the 24th. There are multiple appointments and meetings, too. What I’m saying is that the second post this month might be delayed by a week as I sort out all the thoughts, feelings, happenings, and events. (Yes, I do have the best problems.)

Oh, Nina and I went to see Viet Thanh Nguyen at Kleinhans on the 23rd and on the 20th of April, we’re slated to see Junot Diaz. I have to say I’ve enjoyed this experience so much. Many thanks to Nina for suggesting we get season tickets, Just Buffalo Literary Center for creating the Babel series and Barbara Cole for her knowledge, warmth, and grace as moderator.

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Fierce winds took down a tree yesterday and it missed the lawn tractor, so I’m grateful for that. A few other limbs came down so the spring cleanup we were planning to do became a little more daunting. Ah, the life of a homeowner near a creek in western New York…there’s always something to do!

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(And look forward to!)

Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

 

 

 

*These are my Creekside Reflections; yours should vary.

 

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One Trip Leads to Another

This week I feel as though things are returning to what passes for normal. Our regular postal carrier is back, I volunteered at the library on Saturday, a few rejections have rolled in, I read the NY Times on Sunday, etc. but now it’s time to make a list and pack a few bags.

Soon after I arrived in Boston, my brother-in-law suffered a heart attack. It was scary and surreal. I thought my niece and I would be changing plans and leaving for Pennsylvania, but we didn’t. The blockage was removed. A stent was put in. He made it to a medical facility in time…

Rachael drove home this past weekend. Husband and I are going this weekend. We’re going to visit and make sure he’s ok.

I talked to him last week. He called his heart attack a “wake-up call.” I wonder how far he’ll take it. He’s quitting smoking (again) and choosing better foods. I think it’s a great start, but he confessed he had a beer already. I thought it was a bit too soon.

Currently, I’m on the “preachy” side of sobriety where I am well aware of what drinking does–and doesn’t do–for me. I stop drinking every year for Lent. Somehow, it is easy. Then I restart. Searching in old notebooks for notes on Ellie’s Elephants, I came across a thought last year that maybe last year would be the year I just stop drinking for good. I’ve had the same thought this year, too, but I sense the reason I do restart is that it makes life easier.

This realization is a complaint of sorts, but I don’t think I’ve made it before. Being away from home during Lent let me see things in a different way. Yes, Husband is not a neat person. I don’t think it would kill him to help a little more. Nothing drastic–just not rip open the shower curtain so the hooks come off the rod OR hooking them back on when he’s done. Little tiny things. I know I ask him to do these things and occasionally he’ll remember to, then he forgets. I think I go back to drinking so these things bother me but I can block them out, get up the next day, notice more minor irritations, block them out or sleep them off and begin again.

Sad, isn’t it?

Right now, I think it is sad, but, will I turn that realization into a “wake-up call” for my life? I don’t know…

What I do know is that I’ve gotten a milder wake-up call–a nudge really–from a few places about my own poetry. I received a few higher tiers and a personal rejection in the past two weeks. A writer friend wrote “…however, you are a poet; prolific it seems to me, but you don’t let the poet come out very much in your workaday writing…” I had decided to be mad at him for that, but a story I read for r.kv.r.y had me look at something in a way I hadn’t considered before, so maybe being a “poet” is what I’m trying to recover from, or block out or choose not to deal with because poets rarely get respect, let alone paid, and then a poetry submission to r.kv.r.y. from someone I briefly met in Boston came in and showed me beauty and passion with a few words so perhaps–this is just my sobriety speaking–perhaps being a poet wouldn’t be the most tragic thing in the world ever to happen to me if I decided to pursue it. Maybe.

* These are just my creekside reflections. Your epiphanies may vary.

July with a Jolt

If you’ve heard this story before, mia culpa for boring you, but I’m still perplexed by the whole matter. I woke up Sunday and started to read The Buffalo News. I opened the Spotlight section and was thinking to myself, “I don’t know why I’m bothering to check. They are never going to publish one of my poems. Whatever.” And turning the page, boom there it was: June’s Chapter.

I was ecstatic. And then R. D. Pohl put the link onto my Facebook post. So awesome. Mary Akers opened a discussion about how to develop a F-it attitude. From what I understand, it takes practice.I’ve noticed myself that if I remain aloof and don’t get my hopes up, I tend to get more good ink rejections and/or acceptances that way. Yes, a rejection is a rejection, but a “we encourage you to try again when we open for submissions in September” from A Public Space is worth posting to my cork board. Some of the “We almost accepted you” letters feel pretty good.

Real life held an impromptu run down to PA for Husband to look at Whit’s roof. Here Husband is explaining what Whit has to do:

Then there was a week of visiting with my son, his beautiful wife and my grandson. We had such an action packed good time, from visiting Tuttle’s Yurts:

my Grandmother,

to a romp around Sculpture Park,

a trip to Niagara Falls,

a boat burning in the creek and then a non-party here on Saturday before they left.I didn’t get any writing or editing done, so it’s back to work around here. I hope your next two weeks are as productive as I hope mine will be. Adieu for now, and by the way, you look so pretty today!

(*These are just my reflections. Your experience may vary.)