Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sabbaticalling: Weekly Roundup #10

After returning from the mountains (more on that later in the week), I found myself feeling behind in all things sabbaticalling. I’m not really behind in anything. According to Goodreads, I’m actually ahead of my reading schedule (Goodreads allows you to set a reading goal of how many books you want to read in a year and then keeps track of how many you’ve read, letting you know if you’re averaging ahead or behind schedule. My goal this year is 80. I’m about five books ahead of schedule). This week, I focused back on writing, planning reading events, and submitting.

I did read, though. I finished the young adult novel, started a new novel on the shorter side, thumbed through the poetry collection I’ve been almost-reading again, and finished doing research from my encyclopedia of faeries.

Additionally, I read online: Fence, Blunderbuss, Flapperhouse, The Toast, McSweeney’s, and The Paris Review. Lots of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, and, again, oddities to peruse.

Submitting came in all forms. I submitted individual poems to a journal. I submitted Liberating the Astronauts to two presses. I submitted a prose piece to a website. I also applied for a freelance gig that involves writing clues and questions for a board game about 80s movies. Since my trivia skills are so incredibly powerful, especially concerning movies, I figured this gig is perfect for me.

Workshop came back this week, but instead of going over individual work, we focused on overall goals. We also discussed my reading style and how I can make more of a memorable presence. This discussion came right before the At The Inkwell reading at KGB Bar that night.

The night of the reading was that typical winter day, you know, the one when it was still 70 degrees in the city after the sun went down. Ha! It was like summer. By the time I got into the city, the temperature had been lingering around 80 all day, so I in my riding boots was having a fun time zig-zagging downtown on sidewalks and trains. When I got to 2nd Ave, I walked a block in the completely wrong direction because that’s just how I roll.

Also how I roll: I walked so hard and so fast in my riding boots and a shrug, that I had to take off the shrug, realizing it was the aforementioned 70 degrees outside (it had been cooler on the island). Block by block, I passed outdoor seated dining. People were everywhere. It was summer in March! I loved the buzz.

I got to KGB to find a very steep set of stairs outside. I climbed them. I got inside. There was yet another steep set of stairs. I climbed them.

Quiz Time!

By the time I got to the first landing up the stairs at KGB Bar, was I:

(a) shivering from the A/C

(b) feeling fresh as a spring dove or whatever kind of season and animal seems freshest to you

(c) sweating

If you chose (C), congratulations! You win the happiness that comes with knowing you know me well.

If you did not choose (C), then you need to pay attention more. I sweat for no reason at all, so if you think I didn’t sweat after a brisk five city blocks in riding boots in 70 degree weather, you need to reevaluate your reading retention skills.

Luckily, the bathroom was at the first landing, so I was able to cool down and stop sweating before entering the room where the reading was.

Upon entering the room where the reading was, I began sweating because there were about 50 people in a room the size of a closet. I maneuvered my way to the bar to get some water. Then I got myself to a table, introduced myself to a woman who I thought was reading that night (she was—I have good poet-detection skills) and sat with her and her posse the rest of the night.

I introduced myself to anyone I saw whose face I recognized from our program. All networking would be easier if life came with a program filled with headshots. Of course, in my photo, I have my hair up and I’m wearing a tiara, so, maybe not exactly easy, but still, easier than not having any photos at all.
I look exactly like this all the time.
 The night’s reading showcased eight poets. Usually, something like this would go over by an hour and a half and weird things would happen. This time, everyone stuck to their time limit, read some amazing work, and nothing weird happened. Seriously. Nothing weird. Or maybe I was the weirdo. My portion didn’t go spectacularly as this was a completely different crowd from what I’m used to, but I was myself and I read from several different collections, so I figured I was entertaining. At least I entertained myself. And I wasn’t sweating by the time I read, so that was a plus.

On a Small World  note: about two weeks ago, I received an email from an editor at Broadstone, rejecting my manuscript. It was a great email, and I'd emailed him back. He was at KGB because one of the other readers has a book out published by Broadstone. He introduced himself to me and we chatted a while. What a nice guy! So even in rejection, there's something positive.

The night had cooled off only a little by the time the reading was over, so walking back to the train was just as energetic with the sidewalk diners still out and about. The train back to Penn wasn’t as crowded, though there was a lot of waiting at 14th when I decided to change from the F to the ACE to get directly into Penn instead of having to walk. Still, this was better than the ride the other way during which I stood next to a man who got on the train with a dirty tissue in hand and then stood in such a way so that my head was directly in his arm pit. Gotta love public transportation.

A huge plus of train riding is the time you have on the train to get things done. I wrote. Though the train can be bumpy, I can still write neatly enough to go back later and see what I’ve written. So I wrote poems. Several. Later on in the week, I revised them. I wrote more.

Then I revised the overall organization of Liberating The Astronauts. Yes, I’ve been submitting it. Yes, I thought it was done. Then I saw that I really wanted to re-do the whole order, so now it’s actually done again. Until I change something else.

Ooh! In changing the order, I got all bold with Word and taught myself how to insert a TOC without manually typing it. It did change how my titles are spaced, but it looks so much better than when it’s done manually.

I blogged. I’m blogging. I’m a blogger.

I got some rejections, including one for the prose piece I sent at the beginning of the week. As a counter balance, I received payment for an upcoming publication of poems. It’s a tiny payment, but it still more than what I started with.

Throughout the week, I worked on planning a reading for Poets In Nassau, updating the event page for the reading I’m hosting for that group on Monday (if I’m able to host it…you’ll see), and then planning several readings for which I will be featuring. I sent out a mass of emails to colleges in the tri-state area to see if they’d want me to visit. Most haven’t responded, but all ya need is one to start. Also, someone emailed me and asked me to read somewhere I hadn’t even contacted, so things are looking up in the appearance department.

I’d planned to finish the novel I’m reading over the weekend, but instead, I found myself up at 3 AM on Saturday morning, unable to fall back asleep because I was unable to swallow. That germy subway guy with the tissue clearly shared his bug with me, so I’ve sat with my head feeling like it was going to explode and my throat in all kinds of scratchy terror for the weekend. I’m starting to take a turn having already ingested some zinc—that stuff does work—but it did put a huge damper on weekend plans of attending a free travel show during which I would’ve gathered up lots of free stuff and bowling. Bowling will always be there, but now I have to wait a year for the travel stuff.

Anyway, this is getting way off sabbaticalling. Hopefully, I’ll feel better for Monday’s reading to start my week off with an event. I want to go to as many more events as I can because now’s the time. Because it’s sabbatical time.

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