Right now, with the Corona Virus going on, it’s hard to think about anything besides that people are dying and the only thing we can really do is socially isolate ourselves and wash our hands to the Alphabet Song (or Happy Birthday, twice). But while that is true, it’s also important that we don’t lose sight of what makes us us—whatever it is that makes us feel humanity, we should try to continue to do it, even as we make health and safety of ourselves and others a priority.
For me, that’s writing. The last few months at work, I was putting sometimes 50-60 hours a week trying to get everything done, and unfortunately, what had to give was my writing. I was just too tired to work on poems, after I had been in the salt mines, and I realize now that more than just what I thought I lost (some sanity and true connection to my inner world), I temporarily lost some of my humanity. Not surprising, when you become an automaton for work. But not writing—not connecting—contributed to my anxiety and worsened my already pretty heavy depression, and frankly, no job is worth that.
I am sorry that it’s come down to a pandemic to allow me to write again—but I also feel better for the first time in several months. I’ve been writing, revising, and sending out poems to journals, and it feels like me again, a re-centering. Usually, the nudge that AWP provides in the Spring also helps my productivity, but this year the Ed. decided (rightly) that we should probably forego AWP since both of us tend to be immunocompromised. (Everyone knows all you have to do is sneeze my way and I pick up a respiratory infection.) But it was hard, not getting to chat with writers I know as well as visiting with the people tabling in the Book Fair. The energy from that is so motivating. So, I’ve just been reading the journals that have stacked up around my house, and I’ve been combing Submittable’s Discover tab, looking for new journals to explore and possibly to submit to. And, I’m finally connecting to the project I’ve been batting around in my head for months, and that feels good too.
In related news, I’m looking forward to my official release date for What Magick May Not Alter, which is April 17th. So, that makes my book an Aries (and you know how Aries and Taurus don’t mix too well 😊). But I’m excited for my book to be out in the world. I’ve sent ARCs out to several people, with the hope that they would kindly write a review, no matter their opinion. I know for a fact that one person has written one—she’s just waiting to share it a little closer to its birthday. And another person is in the process of making a YouTube review and told me that he “damn near couldn’t put it down,” so that is great news. I’m still looking for some readers/ reviewers, so if anyone is interested, please let me know and let’s figure out how we can get a copy of What Magick May Not Alter in your hands!
I know this was a short post—I’ll try to do better than write one post a year! Maybe I’ll even get back to my Wednesday posts, who knows? Until then, be safe, sequester yourself, and wash your hands. And if you believe, pray.