As the end fast approaches, my sabbaticalling has revved up in an attempt to squeeze out every final moment of non-teaching time. My new focus on astro-stuff propelled me forward into all kinds of progress.
Reading-wise, I finished reading a poetry collection and read some works in a few journals I got in the mail. Sometimes when I submit to a contest, I pay the fee so that I also get a subscription. That's really the only kind of payment-to-submit I'm comfortable with. I now have two journals sitting in my living room that I can read through and choose to keep or give away when I'm finished. Also, and I think I've never mentioned this before, I read through online journals as part of my submission process. Whenever I submit to a new journal, I read it first. That's why maybe two submissions can take hours. So I read lots of new and different journals.
Which means I submitted to journals this week. I also found some new paying journals to add to my list of to-submit, and I updated my submission/acceptance/rejection tracking. I had a few poems accepted recently, which lead to the task of withdrawing from other journals.
I wrote a lot. I revised a lot. I tore apart the Astronaut collection. The creatures and critters are on the backburner for now. I workshopped with my artist friend, and that helped lead me to saying what I kind of already knew--the creatures and critters collection is not going to work as a traditional poetry collection, so as I write and revise those poems, I have to think about how I'm going to present them as a whole. So while that simmers, space is the place. The bulk of my writing this week was spent over the course of five days writing and revising a giant erasure poem based on Solaris. Well, it started out as a strict erasure poem, but now, it's kind of erasure and then reorganized. Perhaps now it's a found poem. I don't know. Eddie read it and said it's a poem about space, so that's a good start. It's recognizable as both.
Additionally, I went back and forth with my online poetry feedback group. We have a second Sunday of the month deadline for sending feedback and submitting a new poem, but that sometimes doesn't go as planned, mostly because realizing it's the second Sunday usually happens as a surprise. I don't know why it's surprising. We all know how to use a calendar.
I watched Home as part of my space exploration. It's an animated movie. For children. I love sabbaticalling.
I listened to two literary podcasts that I recently found. One is The Other Stories, which scores short stories and then offers an author interview. The other is Golden Walkman Magazine. I submitted to it and was accepted, and I'm catching up with the older issues now.
My getting out of the house came in the form of hosting a Poets in Nassau reading at Turn of the Corkscrew in RVC. Our Writers Raise A Glass series is going strong with some cross-genre features and an open mic that asks its participants to read one work by someone else along with their own work. I'm looking forward to finishing out the year hosting there. Then we'll see where I land after being back on the circuit as a host.
A touch of work came home to me this week as the 2016 issue of The Nassau Review arrived in the mail. I'm sabbaticalling not only from teaching but from all things working, which includes serving as Editor in Chief for the review. I left the task of getting it from layout to proofread to printer to the fiction editor, who is also my office mate and part-time trivia team member. And it's amazing. It made my heart sing. It did not make me want to return to work, but it did make me want to return to my office to hang out. That's a step in the right direction I suppose.
I have to go back. Not until September to teach, but I'll go back in August to prepare to teach and catch up on committee work and all things professorial.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The semester ends on Monday. Because that's when semesters should end--on the first day of the week. I think my sabbatical application goes through May, and I plan to keep on doing the kind of work I've been doing well into August. However, technically, a sabbatical is a break from the day to day task of being a college professor. That means, technically, my sabbatical ends on Monday, too. I might have a serious case of the Mondays when this weekend is over.