Showing posts from May, 2021

A Moment of the Other Kind

 A month or so ago, I wrote about having a moment . A good kind.  It occurred to me yesterday that I was having a different kind of moment--the other kind. The kind of moment when things aren't going quite right. When you're annoyed by the poor production quality of the book you're reading--inconsistent copy editing, real howlers of misused words, mysterious tense shifts.  When your down-arrow key sticks. When you have intermittent inconvenient internet issues, when the prepaid postage form doesn't scan, when the postal clerk inquires whether you might mean an address in Alaska instead of the one in Oklahoma where your brother lives, when the people scheduling appointments both respond to emails at different points in the email thread, when it's deceptively cold outdoors regardless of what the thermometer says.   When you drive the forty-plus minutes to midtown to pick up your groceries and they can't bring them out because the cash register system is down.  Day


Switching gears is, as always, a challenge for me. Once I overcome inertia to start something, I'm happy enough to keep doing it. So stopping is also hard, let alone changing directions. And yet. We're finally seeing weather typical of mid-May, which means I'll be outdoors more. I finished a presentation, which means I'm looking ahead to the next event, the other project (which one?), the different muscles. It's the season of "where was I?" (To be fair--for me, that's true of many seasons.)  Speaking of weather typical of mid-May, here we are today. And I, too, am a little blurry. Happy to watch drips and reflections. Taking stock of what's happened and what's next. Hope you can be the same. 

Forms of CNF

A few years back, Susan Olding ( Canadian writer; author of the essay collections  Pathologies and the recently released Big Reader ) served as my mentor. She helped me understand how to get from where I was (floundering in a manuscript morass) to where I might like to be (with a book on a shelf). Maybe even a book in the same section as some of these. Tangles , Sarah Leavitt; Trespasses , Lacy M. Johnson, Voice , Adam Pottle; Keep Moving , Maggie Smith; The Book of Delights , Ross Gay.  This Saturday, Susan and I are speaking about mentorship at the Creative Nonfiction Collective's annual conference. Info is at this link ; you register once--$100--for everything and get to learn from a bunch of interesting folks. It's held completely online. As is true in my life in general, I'm increasingly aware of the many (many!) ways in which privilege operates. Specifically, how privilege allowed me to participate in this mentorship. Obviously: money. Obviously: education. Obviously:

We've Been Here Before

  As I've said already this year , and probably previous years, this stretch of the year between mid-March and mid-May contains a lot of anniversaries. Monday of this past week was my mother's birthday. I posted these photos on Instagram:  She's at her office at Oklahoma State University, with a couple of colleagues. I do love to see her laughing (something in the flash of the wristwatch on her arm in the photo is especially poignant), but I also like the photo of her (I cropped out the chair of the Mathematics Department) being her pleasant-and-professional professorial self.  She had a public persona. She worked and taught and dreamed mathematical dreams, and I am grateful to have seen that, every day, at home. Even though she yelled at me often about the inadequate sharpness of my pencils, I know she did it from love. As mothers do. The anniversary of her death comes at the transition, this week, from Friday to Saturday--"she died at midnight" is what my father