What I was into this month: MOVING.
Sometimes I wonder if hell is just packing, loading trucks, and moving 24/7. Our closing date was moved twice, and after we’d called all the electric companies, utility companies, cable companies, insurance companies, and Uhaul twice, we weren’t going to call them again for the third closing date. So, the day before closing, we arranged to move our belongings into our new house. We had two stressful days of moving (well, my husband had three days of moving actually), but we have now been in the house for a week! We are loving it!
Isn’t it a beautiful yard? I see an above ground pool in my future.
Things I am loving about my new house:
1) Double sinks in the master bath. I even bought each of us our own toothpaste. And we each have our own hand towel. And I very quickly found out who was making our sink and counter in our old master bath dirty: Moi. Cue long hair and make-up. I keep Lysol wipes under the sink and I have to use them. A lot.
2) A fourth bedroom. This is the only bedroom not on the main floor of the house, and it is adjacent to the bonus/family room in the basement. Our plan is to turn this into an office/guest room. I am really looking forward to having a dedicated space to write.
3) My commute. I was driving an hour one way to work. We weren’t really that far outside of Nashville, but traffic is pretty awful. My commute is now only 30 minutes! And Steven’s is 8 minutes!
4) An actual laundry ROOM. It is small, but it is a ROOM. In our last house, the washer/dryer were in a laundry closet in the kitchen. Which meant our kitchen almost always had a laundry basket or two on the floor.
5) A nice kitchen. While I wish our kitchen (as in actual countertop space and cabinets) were a little larger, I realize that you can’t have everything you want in a house. This kitchen has granite counters, a beautiful backsplash, and lovely tile on the floor. It’s way nicer than my old kitchen. It also has a funky double oven that 1) literally plays a song when it reaches the right temperature and 2) takes a really long time to bake stuff. (But I can forgive the long time because of the funky song.)
I only read one book in August: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios. I enjoyed this book! I heard about Heather Demetrios from my internet friend Sarah Torna Roberts. I happened to pick this book up at the library and I thought it was really unique. It’s about a jinni (like a genie) from the land of Arjinna who is being held captive by a human master. I loved the characterization of the master – he was a scheming manipulator, but that added a great dimension to the story. It turns out this is the first in a trilogy, and I can’t wait to read the other books!
On a related note, today we made our last visit to our library from our old neighborhood. It was a really lovely and effective library, especially for a smaller town. We took brownies to thank all the library staff. And we paid our last fine there. (I ALWAYS have library fines.) Today we also visited our new library, which is literally 1 minute from our house (Woot!) and got library cards! I’m such a lover of libraries. Can you tell?
The other thing keeping me busy this month was work. I started back on July 27 and it’s been a whirlwind of a month. I’m only at one school this year, but I’m even busier than I was last year. I have a cohort of 8 teachers that I work with regularly (although I’m available to all teachers on staff), plus I am a mentor to two teachers and I plan with several teams each week. In addition, I’m about to launch an EL PLC (professional learning community) on Academic Conversations and I’ll be training the faculty on a writing curriculum soon. It’s a good busy and I work with a great faculty. Still, I feel like I’ve had very little free time this month.
August 22 marked the end of the pre-sale period for Evening Body, my poetry chapbook. Many thanks to all who pre-ordered the book, and if you missed the winner announcement, go here. I was 9 books short of my pre-order quota and guess who bought all 9? My husband. What a supporter and cheerleader I have! (Plus, more copies for me to sell. Jackpot.)
I haven’t done much on the writing front this month, but I have gotten a few snippets of time to begin to revise poems from this summer. I got a big rejection from a journal that had originally expressed interest in publishing a sequence of 8 poems as a mini chapbook (“The Penguin Poems” – poems about life, love, and penguins. Go figure.) and then changed their mind on the project. I admit I actually cried a little. These poems are a labor of love in a variety of ways, and I believe in them.
However, I did get to read the penguin poems at a salon my friend had, plus they displayed the entire sequence of poems on their dining room wall. It was a really cool night of poetry, music, drama, film, and art.
Also, for the first time ever, I submitted some poems to Poetry Magazine. That’s the biggest hitter in poetry lit mags. I expect a rejection, but I’m proud of my confidence to submit. A lot of lit mags re-open to submissions in September, so I am planning to begin a new round of submissions this month.
Another personal goal of mine is to connect more with the local literary scene in Nashville. I’m thinking of signing up for a one-day workshop at the Porch Writers Collective. I am also hoping to set up some readings once Evening Body publishes. (Note to self: Get on that!)
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I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into link up!
The new house looks lovely! I’m surprised with the move you managed to get anything else done in August! About the oven: Have you checked the temperature with an oven thermometer? I t may be that it is not heating to the level you set (despite the cheery song). I know that my oven has a way to adjust the settings. Maybe yours does, too.
Good for you for submitting to Poetry magazine! Best wishes with your upcoming submissions, too. The new women’s poetry workshop that I have joined will be having “submission parties” once every couple of months. I’m hoping that will help me submit more frequently to up my chances of getting some more acceptances.
Good idea to check on the temperature! I love the idea of a submission party! What a great group you’re a part of!
Double sinks! That is so cool. House looks really amazing – and I would definitely go for a pool. And hell is definitely moving house – and unpacking. I’m putting a bet on the fact that there will be two boxes that you never get around to unpacking…
Very exciting about your chapbook! I don’t exactly know what a chapbook is, but I do like poetry.
I’m coming to you via Leigh’s place. I mainly threw a party for my little boy, and read some good books this month. I write about being real with God in hard times – over at Thorns and Gold. Lovely to meet you!
Tanya, thanks so much for reading! I’ve been on your site before! And don’t you write for She Loves sometimes, too? Unfortunately I’ve gotten pretty terrible at leaving comments on blogs anymore. A chapbook is just a shorter book of poetry – usually around 24 poems. A full volume is usually around 50 poems.