Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This Writer's Life.

Hi Y'all. I know I haven't written much in September but whew! It's been a crazy month so far. But a good one, too. I've just returned from my yearly poetry retreat in Litchfield with other writerly friends, and it's got me thinking about my life as a writer. So far, it's been a struggle of small steps, but I think that's just how it is when you choose a profession that doesn't just COME to you once you're finished with your education. We writers have to work hard to get there, degrees be damned.

Poetry books in Litchfield 

That said, I feel extra-happy with the steps I've made this month. A few of my poems just appeared on Strong Verse, an online magazine. You can read them here. I'm feeling happy about that. (Even if it isn't The Southern Review. I'll get there.)

On the freelance writing front I've scored a couple of new gigs that should be interesting. In one case, the publisher told me he'd learned my name from a writer-friend of mine in Charleston who advised him to contact me. I was actually surprised! It's rare that a writer helps another one out, especially in a place as small as Charleston.

I went to the library yesterday and brought home a ton of poetry books and even a poetry handbook. I've been reading them. I've also been tinkering with another piece of writing, my sorta-memoir. It's still in the early stages.

Fall is a good time for writers, I think.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Heart Real Mail.

Maybe it has something to do with that aforementioned delicious gardenia bush at the end of my grandmother's driveway, but since childhood I've always loved to check the mailbox.

And lately, I love the mailbox more than ever. Why? Because I've been getting REAL MAIL. Not bills. Not advertisements or requests for donations. But real cards with real handwriting, intended just to brighten my day! In the age of sending emails and facebook messages, an actual card is really something to celebrate.

First I got an awesome note from someone I wrote a story about for the Charleston Scene. The card thanked me for my story, and said that my writing really delivered the message they wanted to send to the community. I was so thrilled, I immediately thumbtacked it to my wall.

Then, a few days ago, I got my royalty check from Andy Thomas--along with another card that said congratulations on a great book and on my first royalty check ever.

And today when I checked it, there was a card from my best friend Alice, just to thank me for being her friend through the years! In the midst of this busy week, it's nice to be reminded that I have people who love me.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One of Those Charleston Weekends.

Some weekends I get really wrapped up in traveling, whether it's to Litchfield or Florence or New Orleans or what have you.

But other weekends, it's nice to stay home and do at-home kind of stuff. This weekend, for example, I started off by attending a reading at the first meeting of the Poetry Society of South Carolina, which was great. The rest of the weekend was a little less formal, involving things like thrift store shopping, (see my awesome new handbag below), cooking out with my neighbors, bicycling, visiting the library, lounging in the yard with some downright gnarly insects, and finishing off with a big dinner, pals in tow, dessert included. I made ice cream sandwiches with ginger snaps and vanilla ice cream. Yum.

Here's to weekend staycations.

Crazy yard critter! 
My awesome new handbag that I scored at the Exchange Factor

Friday, September 9, 2011

First Ever Royalty Check.

I found out this week that I'll be getting my first ever royalty check, for the book I co-wrote last winter. I'm throughly pumped, even though it's only a check for $10.40. Hey, it's something, right? And this means that more money is coming. At least that's what I hope. 

What kinds of things can I buy with $10? Cocktails..lunch...maybe a book if it's on sale. 


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

End Of Summer.

September is finally here, and I just finished up a fabulous Labor Day weekend in Litchfield with Stefan and the whole family--including my grandmother and my mom! Yay.

It's funny; I thought I was good and ready for fall. This season has been pretty scorching hot, and disappointing in some aspects. Yet as I wound down the summer hurrahs with my loved ones, I found myself feeling that old sadness that we always feel when summer ends. Sure, we'll have warm weather for a few more weeks, but fall is already making her appearance known with cooler mornings and evenings.  I'm glad I made the most of my final real weekend of summer, with delicious watermelon cocktails from the Cocktail Club...

...and fresh, yummy tomatoes grown in my Uncle Joe's garden for our post-beach sandwiches...

...and of course, beers on the beach.

'Til next time, dear summer.