Saturday, April 13, 2013

$2 lotto ticket

I promised some lit news, so here's that:

New piece in Monkeybicycle: "Don't Tease the Elephants" Thanks, Steven Seighman, for printing my work. I'm honored. This story is particularly special to me because it stars a character I've been using a lot since I was in Vermont. His name is Rattle, and he'll be a regular in a few of my forthcoming fiction publications.

I had an audio piece accepted to Bound Off, which I'm really excited about. Though I'll be reading it myself, and I still have a hint of bad kid from the Short North in my voice--but hey, take it or leave it.

I finally queried an agent. Well see... I'm expecting crickets, but that's one query. One is a start.

I have a piece in Obit, entitled Unlike Loss. Thanks, Matt Potter at Pure Slush! I've worked with Matt a few times, and he is a forward-thinking editor. Glad to be a part of a new collection of his.

My reading at Eastfield College with Joani Reese and Meg Tuite is this Thursday! If you're in the area.... Literary & Fine Arts Festival

And my reflection/confession/whatever for the week:

This week has been interesting. I'm so busy that I have no time to write this blog. I'm so busy that I have no time to write anything else or do a thorough job of any of my work. And yet, I've written and I've blogged, and I think I've done a pretty thorough job of most of what I need to work-wise.

I'm currently taking a break from grading my creative writing students' stories. They're good, which encourages me, and more, they're diverse. This is invaluable feedback to me, as a teacher, because it means that they're finding their own voices. That's one of the most important things, and one of the toughest to balance as a teacher of creative things. After all, how do you teach creativity? I think the secret is, you encourage and offer both suggestions and space.

One of my best students is going through an incredibly tough time and not complaining one bit; he is giving this class his all, and it shows. This student has inspired me already. Meanwhile, I have a few students that are MIA most of the time. I will never understand this, perhaps because I had to work so hard to get to and stay in college. The ones that don't work hard might not realize how valuable this time is. Perhaps they'll come around. I have noticed this a little more in spring than fall courses. I wonder if there's something to that.

My frustration got me thinking about when I was working through college. Personally, I loved school, but along with rent it broke the bank. I remember being in need of more dental work than I could afford along with my books one summer; I was short even on the payment plan my dentist offered. I walked out of the office after scheduling the follow-up appointment that I needed, but I was sure I'd have to cancel. At a convenience store, something compelled me to buy an Ohio State Lottery scratch-off ticket. And no measly $1 deal either; I bought a $2 ticket. I scratched it off and won about $300, which was enough to cover my first payment. I remember thinking how lucky I was. I still think that. Not everyone is. 

In other news, my dog is doing well on his medication still, and the vet said that he's responding as well as possible. He could be with us (with good quality of life) for quite a few months. She also warned that things could get suddenly worse. But for now, we're enjoying life. Between the vet appointments, tests, and medications, we've spent a lot of budgeted money this month. We're broke (not broke in the same way I was in college, but another kind of broke). But, much like my lotto ticket timing, I got unexpected good news. A promotion at work! Assistant Editor to Associate Editor. Right on time and quite unexpected (I had expected a small cost of living increase). Such give and take seems serendipitous, like the current version of my lotto days. Anyway, right now I'm not forgetting; the gratitude is there.

Have an amazing week! And read that Rattle story if you have time. I'm pretty proud of it. And there will be more to come...

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