It’s been a busy, somewhat chaotic time. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my father has been ill, and his condition has been up and down. I’ve continued to travel regularly from Boston to upstate New York, while maintaining my teaching schedule at Lasell College and seeking new opportunities for work in the New Year.
Some good news: I’ll be teaching two sections of “Writing for the Media” at Lasell in the spring, along with working one-on-one with a creative nonfiction student. And I’ve been asked to teach a full creative nonfiction workshop in the fall, kind of the “gold coin” of opportunities for a creative writer (I’ve picked up a few terms from teaching Broadcast Journalism this semester).
But an unexpected joy I’ve experienced over the last couple of weeks has been the result of one of those silver linings you always hear about. Because I have been lacking in freelance work, I dove head first into finishing my second book manuscript. Unlike my first manuscript, MESSAGE FROM A BLUE JAY, a creative nonfiction memoir-in-essays (set for publication in May), my new manuscript is something I wrote purely for entertainment. I’m finishing up the “polishing edit” now, and then will send it off to a preliminary reader before submitting it to my publisher. Fingers crossed my publisher likes it, but if not, it’s still been a great exercise in so many ways. I’ve enjoyed delving into fiction, having a little fun, and focusing on something that took me out of the realities associated with daily life for a while.
Speaking of stepping out of daily life, I’ve also been reading a very interesting book called THE KEEP by Jennifer Egan. I’m not yet half-way through (my reading time has suffered with everything else going on) but I am truly enjoying the book. Check it out; although reviews have been mixed, I personally recommend it if you’re looking for something that’s both absorbing and different.
If you’re seeking something a bit more lighthearted and fun, MYSTERY TIMES TEN finally arrives on December 9! My third-place winning story, “Who Let the Cats Out?” is featured in this fun anthology from Buddhapuss Ink. Enjoy!
I’ll be heading to England on December 13 for a week to visit friends (that’s what happens when you buy a ticket five months in advance, before everything in life changes — but I’m glad I did). It will be great to see Rachel and Arthur, who moved there in August (or back there in Rachel’s case, as she was born there) and to get back to a place that I often think of as “one of my second homes.” But what I’m thinking about now are the long plane rides in each direction. I’ll bring my laptop if I haven’t finished my latest manuscript yet; if I have, I’ll bring a good book.
I hope your December has started off well; it’s hard to believe 2014 is around the corner.