Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sabbaticalling: Weekly Roundup #7

This past week was Presidents’ Week, a week I traditionally have off from teaching for no apparent reason other than to screw up the rhythm we just created after coming back from intercession. Who knew that even though I’m not teaching, I’d feel the break upon me? I didn’t do as much this week as I have been able to complete. Part of it might be because of this break. Most of it, however, is because I was slogging through a book that started out mediocre and developed into a chore. I can’t not finish a book. The books I don’t like I at least still skim through, which I started doing too late. Which brings me to…

The books I read are not many. The one non-fiction book that I began last week. That’s it. I finally got through it by Wednesday. Then I read a poetry collection that I’d won last year (and when I opened it to finally begin reading, I saw that it was personally inscribed to me, or someone like me).

Who's Christina Rao?  I'M Christina Rao. Apparently.

 After that, I started reading another novel. Okay, so I didn’t fall behind in book-reading as much as I thought. I didn’t read as many journals as usual, though. I went through some of McSweeney’s, a back issue of This, and some poems in Booth and Okey-Panky.

As I cooked and took some walks and did some driving, I caught an episode of PoemTalk that was brilliant and moving, and then listened to two more episodes of The Catapult. I’m almost caught up. When I catch up, I’ll actually have to wait two weeks for another episode (which is fine because I can fill in the blanks with Serial and The Dear Mattie Show, again, neither of which have any relevance to sabbaticalling).

I wrote less but revised more. After workshopping (yeay!), I toyed around with a few newer poems. Then I pulled apart and put back together part of my almost-complete manuscript. I drafted a few poems for the brand new collection, and some that were random.  I also pitched some non-fiction pieces that got rejected immediately. This is why I stick to poetry. They take so much longer to be rejected. I received two poetry rejections this week, but one was more of a withdraw—I submitted to a journal that doesn’t accept simultaneous submissions, and the poems were simultaneously submitted, so I told them and they sent them back and we all went our separate ways.

Side note: Why not accept simultaneous submissions?

Rounding out the writing, I sent feedback to my online poetry group, finishing up the last of the month’s work.

The week ended with my hosting a Poets In Nassau reading at Turn of the Corkscrew Books and Wine in Rockville Centre. It’s a bookstore. It’s a wine bar. It’s a cafĂ©. It’s a happening. Be there next time (March 14 at 7 PM—I’m holding you to this). I spent some of the week planning the final pieces of this reading and also planning two other events.

Oh, and one of my poems appeared in a journal that I was accepted to two weeks ago. Yeay.

I didn’t submit to journals this week. I didn’t submit my manuscript this week. It was nice to take a break from it.

Aside from blogging right now and doing some social media blasts for upcoming readings and events, this week is done and done.

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