is that Jeremy Brett played Freddy Eynsford Hill in My Fair Lady.
Yes, that Jeremy Brett.
Although they sadly (and unnecessarily) dubbed his singing voice, here’s the still incredibly charming “On The Street Where You Live” for your snowy Tuesday.
Dear blog: we have to stop meeting like this.
No, but seriously, I’m cheating on everything with everything else right now. I’ve signed with the incredible Lana Popovic of Zachary Schuster Harmsworth to represent my young adult work, and so I’m currently in the throes of substantive revisions to RUIN, that novel I’ve been blogging about for the last year and a half. I’m excited, and nervous, and also not really leaving my house except to teach and eat fast food burritos. I’m having a lot of desultory conversations with my cat. Then tweeting about them. It’s been that kind of month.
In the last few days, though, I’ve been working furiously on my other work-in-progress, my Holmes young adult novel. And then I’m cheating on that by writing poems, some of which are going into my (rough, rough) second manuscript, (roughly) titled UNHISTORICAL. We’re going to be discussing it tomorrow in Rebecca Dunham‘s manuscript workshop, which is really exciting, and also a bit scary. (You can read her thoughts on building a manuscript here; they’re terrifically useful.)
I’ve been attempting to decompress by watching Fringe on Netflix, which is a bit like trying to cheer yourself up by crying. Seriously, so tense, and wonderful. I avoided it for awhile because I just couldn’t get into Lost and was concerned this would just be like, the X-Files meets even more tangled mythology. I didn’t realize it would be gorgeous, or have such a classic narrative, or that John Noble would consistently break my heart night after night. And now I’m reading about the glyph codes, and thinking about cryptology, and now I just want to go work on the Holmes thing again…
My first full-length collection of poems, Girl-King, was this year’s Editor’s Choice for the Akron Poetry Prize (thanks so much, Mary Biddinger!!) and will be published by the University of Akron Press next year.
I’m incredibly excited, obviously — I love Akron and its books and still kind of can’t believe that mine will be out there with them.
Writing the final poems for the second manuscript, planning a major overhaul of RUIN, hesitantly putting together the blueprints for a boarding-school-YA-contemporary-Holmes-mystery. Studying for prelims. All, somehow, to the soundtrack of the same song:
Back from another wonderful summer slinging drinks and planning parties at Bread Loaf. Masquerades! Icona Pop! Bottles of bourbon clad only in nametags! And one amazing night where we went midnight swimming in the East Middlebury Gorge.
It was wonderful to reconnect with old friends (especially all the other ex-Madisonians who have fled for other climes) and to meet new ones, including a few whose work I’ve loved secretly from a distance. Picked up a bunch of great new books, including Brian Russell’s The Year of What Now and Jennifer Grotz’s The Needle, which I (a) forgot to have signed, (b) have already greedily devoured and (c) lent to my mentor because I loved it too much to let it stay on my shelf.
My dear friend Corey Van Landingham’s first collection of poems, Antidote, is now available for preorder! With a haunting cover and even more haunting poems inside.
I’m sitting on some exciting news that I can’t talk about just yet. So I’ll have more to say, I promise, when I can say more.
In Milwaukee for the next few weeks, somewhat unexpectedly. With his new job, C. is away working all day (which is terrific, and he loves it), but leaves me with more knocking-around time than I’m used to. During the year, between grad school, my writing, and all his political work, we’re nose to grindstone quite often–but our two grindstones are in parallel rooms in our apartment. I’m used to the tea kettle going off, phonecalls made and answered, scuffle of boy-playing-with-cat rather than silent apartment in the sun. So I’m at the coffee shop, in search of ambient noise and a poem to pick apart.
After starting it last year at the end of May, on my birthday, I finished the first draft of my novel. A little more than a year passed from conception to completion. I’ve spent this month cleaning it up, gathering thoughts from my amazing readers, and making the first tentative queries to literary agents. More than anything I want to jump into writing the second in this proposed trilogy, but I’m a bit wary of doing so too soon and with my prelims this fall. I might not be able to hold myself back, though.
Lots and lots of reading this past week…I discovered a set of Juliet Marillier novels so incredibly engaging that I was taken over in a way I haven’t experienced since I was a teenager. I’m sure I’m the last one to this party, but if you’re looking for a gripping, obsessive read, and if you’re fond of fairytales and Ireland and swans, I recommend Daughter of the Forest.
I’ve found that keeping a reading log is mostly an exercise in grief and despair, but at least it attests to my trying. It’s hard, especially at the end of the semester. Had to bargain internally for way too long before I let myself finish Allison Seay’s excellent To See the Queen in bed last night.
But my lack of time right now doesn’t keep me from buying books and stacking them up in my study. May 17th, and I’ll have time again. Fifteen days until:
Robert Graves, The White Goddess
Brenda Shaughnessy, Our Andromeda
Dorothy Sayers, Gaudy Night and Busman’s Honeymoon (I have no words for how excited I am)
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
Adam McOmber, The White Forest (our May book club book!)
C.D. Wright, Steal Away
…as well as everything else on my reading log page. Bounty.
Are you watching Eastsiders, on LogoTV? You should. It’s hilarious, and really, really dark, and it’s written by-directed by-starring the inimitable Kit Williamson, who you can also find on Mad Men this season. Or in my apartment, tomorrow night, which I am really excited about.
Just found out I was a finalist in this year’s Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition. Congratulations to the two winners!
At this point in the semester, if you are not my grading, my seminar paper, or my novel, we are officially not allowed to talk or hang out. I’m sorry, blog. But we can still pass secret notes and maybe even do some tin-can telephone later.
As it’s spring break, C. and I are up in Door County. It’s snowing. I should be working on the novel. Instead I’m eating sweet potatoes and thinking about Mad Men.
It looks like sometime in the night a deer nosed its way up to the back glass of this cabin. There are lots of apples under the snow for it to eat; I wonder if it found any.
My review of Paige Ackerson-Kiely’s My Love Is A Dead Arctic Explorer is up at Devil’s Lake. Short version: it’s a terrific book, go read it. And I have new work forthcoming from Iron Horse Literary Review and Salt Hill — thanks so much to those editors!
We’re in the home stretch of this academic year: less than two months. And then the giant spaceship that is prelims will come down and announce its absolute takeover of my summer.