Since my last post, I saw a friend debut her book of poetry, saw her read at Yale, and had dinner afterward with her, other amazing alum sisters, and some of the students who came to hear her read. Good food, wine, amazing conversations, and buckets of fun that lasted far into the night (the next morning if you want to get technical).
Then I found out I was invited to a small networking event with Queen Latifah.
I’m gonna let you sit on that for a few seconds while I scream into a pillow.
Then my amazing friends helped me come up with the funds to actually GO.
If things couldn’t get better, I was also asked to coach someone to write their book, and this will now be my second book coaching project. I’m honored to help people in this process of giving birth to their ideas.
And it all wrapped up last night with another gathering of my alum sisters, more good food, more wine, more laughter and amazing conversations.
I’m writing this all so fast that I’m not doing justice to the tremendous power that just blew through my life. Gah! It’s all coming out like high school babble over prom. I just want to get the prompt out to you. This week’s word is from (of course it HAS to be) A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying (The Andres Montoya Poetry Prize), by Laurie Ann Guerrero:
P.S. You should buy this book. It needs to be in your poetry collection. I’m in the acknowledgements, so you might even figure out who the woman is behind Velvet Verbosity. But ha! The acknowledgements are three pages long!
P.P.S. I just want to take a second to properly give respect to whatever forces aligned this last week, because it was so good I’m a little scared that next week might decide to kick my ass just to keep me humble and balanced.
P.P.P.S. I’m a day late, so YOU get an extra day for 100 word goodness. The challenge is open until Sunday!
A pot of chicken is on the stove. It’s hours past dinner time but the cold makes me do funny things to comfort myself, like decide to make a chicken pot pie at 8:00 p.m. that won’t be ready until 10:00 p.m. Clearly I don’t follow an eating plan. The life gurus would shame me for such behavior, but I won’t care one wit when I’m cozied up with a steaming plate of pie after the family has wandered up to bed.
Through a long trail of this leading to that, I was thinking about mystical, well-written fairy tales so I pulled out my favorite book, Possession, by A.S. Byatt. Your word this week is from that tale:
So the tailor was let in, and there was a strange household. In a rocking chair stood a brilliantly coloured cockerel and his pure white wife. In the fire-corner stood a black-and-white goat, with knobby little horns and eyes like yellow glass, and on the hearth lay a very large cat, a multi-coloured, mazy-patterned brindled cat, that looked up at the little tailor with eyes like cold green jewels, with black slits for pupils. And behind the dining table was a delicate dun cow, with milky breath and a warm wet nose and enormous soft brown eyes. “Good morning,” said the tailor to this company, for he believed in good manners, and the creatures were surveying him in a judging and intelligent way.
Tomorrow I’ll be traveling to Yale University to see my fellow Smith alum and friend Laurie Ann Guerrero read from her newly published book of Poetry. If you’re inclined you can check out where to find her book, and hear about upcoming events on her Facebook page.
See you around word-nerds!
I hate writing in a rush. Or rather, I don’t like my rushed writing “voice”, but a friend posted about a local book reading and I spontaneously decided to go. Mostly because I really needed to shower and get out of my pajamas, and committing to going out in public is the only way that was going to happen today. So now it’s 10:30 p.m. and I can feel y’all on the other end of the wires, waiting.
So last week was a bit of a shit-storm, and thank you, thank you for all your kind words and support. It meant a lot. Life is an interesting ride of ups and downs, and its kind of nice to know when you look to either side that there are others on that same ride, laughing, crying, screaming, white-knuckling, cheering, and making it through.
When I was at the Raleigh airport I sought out the used bookstore my sister had told me about. I need more books in my house like, well, this cartoon I saw today on From Tracie’s Facebook page pretty much sums it up.
I bought two books. TWO. That made a total of four books in my carry-on. And a magazine. I need an intervention. Don’t tell me to get a Kindle either, because I already have one. I need the paper, the smell, the heft of a book.
I read one of the books nearly in its entirety just while sitting around waiting for planes. It was junk, but it passed the time. The other book is one I’ve been meaning to get to for years. In high school I read the first book in Otherland, a dense sci-fi thriller about virtual reality. It occurred to me to look for the second book in the airport used bookstore, and they had it. Why I thought of this book while in Raleigh? Beats me, but it’s about time.
Your word this week from Otherland Volume Two: River of Blue Fire, is:
as in the temples on either side of your head, not the religious kind.
Now, off to read and comment on those of you I didn’t get to from last week yet. Oh, and P.S. if I’m not commenting on your posts, it’s because you don’t have a comment option enabled that I can use. This only happens with those of you using Blogger who have the Anonymous and Name/URL option turned off.
See you soon word-nerds.
Laying in a hotel bed in Philadelphia. My connecting flight was cancelled, along with 11 other flights (at my last count of the departures board) for “field problems” which could be air traffic and/or weather. No specific details were offered. Which, apparently, is common for the Philadelphia airport according to Yelp users.
What’s also common to the Philadelphia airport, and/or U.S. Airways, is rudeness. Rude employees, rude passengers. Seriously, they drink the mean juice. But the pilots, at least the two I witnessed, were out-of-their-way polite. So that’s something.
Live and learn.
I didn’t have much choice, given the short notice, of where I flew out of, or who with, but I’ll walk to/from Philly before I’ll ever fly out of there again. And U.S. Airways? Loved your pilots, but the rest of your staff need to attend This-is-How-You-Treat-Human-Beings Boot Camp. And until I see their diplomas hanging from a lanyard around their necks I won’t be flying with you again.
I’m just tired and homesick and sad about rudeness after rudeness while travelling to mourn the loss of someone so beautifully kind.
Kindness is free, so give it freely. Really, everything tastes better with kindness.
The highlight of my trip was discovering a used bookstore in the Raleigh airport. I bought a sci-fi novel by Tad Williams, the second in the Otherland series which I started when I was 16 and never got back to. The word from that book is:
Someone is watching Joan Rivers in the background, which is conflicting wildly with my internal landscape. I’m just home from spending a few days with my mother and sister after we learned of the passing of a close family friend. A friend who became family. My mother’s closest friend for as long as I can remember.
We knew she was ill, but it was still sudden.
So I’m swirling in that strange space of shock, trying to locate the ground under my feet. Where am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to feel? This woman played a huge role in my life when I was younger, but really much more of a role for my mother all these years. I loved her for loving my mother, and I’m not at all sure what that kind of grief looks like. I’m not there yet. Or I am and I don’t know it. This is all probably totally normal.
I’m reading a Michael Crichton novel that I picked up at my parents’ house. Not my usual fare, but it’s good dramatic entertainment to keep me distracted.
The word is:
Hug your loved ones word-nerdlings. Life is precious.