Five on Friday: Early Spring

1. Today I’m excited to attend the Maine Poetry Out Loud finals. Over 8,000 high school students representing schools from all over Maine started competing many months ago, and now there are only ten. The winner, the runner up and Cumberland County finalists will be invited to participate in the Brunswick, Poem in Your Pocket afternoon event at The Little Dog Café on Tuesday, April 24th.

2. El Niño? La Niña? Global warming? Whatever it was, I was thrilled to don my short-shorts and tshirt to enjoy the 80 degree weather in Maine this week. Look!

Daffodils in March! Crazy, but I’m not complaining.

3. Beautiful weather = Anna outside training. I got in two longer bike rides this week and a long walk with a friend at Pinelands. Today, I’m in the pool again doing laps. Nevertheless, I’m feeling good about the upcoming UNE Nor’Easter. At first, I thought I’d just do it as an early training exercise, but now I feel as if I might beat some of my previous times. We’ll see.

4. Despite the beautiful weather, and my training, this week has been extremely productive. Every day I’ve been forcing myself inside to chip away at the revision of my WIP. I’m thrilled to report that the end is near. (26 pages away) I’ll be sending it to first readers next week– meeting my self-imposed April 1 deadline. My momentum is slowed only by my own fears.  Will my generous first readers get half way through and decide that my writing sucks? That the story is trite? The characters two dimensional? I can only hope that they have (as one of them told me this week) “a sharp pencil and a soft heart.”

5. So with all that productivity something has to slip, right? My kitchen is a total mess and we’ve eaten out about three times in the last seven days. The messy kitchen is actually out of character for me. Even if the rest of the house is a pit, my kitchen is usually clean. I just haven’t been able to rise to the challenge. I’m trying to give myself a pass on the guilt. It will get done. I have food in the freezer. Yesterday at Pinelands, I got fresh veggies. Salmon with zucchini and brussel sprouts are on the menu tonight. What’s for dinner in your house?

Have a good weekend! On Member Monday– Looking forward to the NESCBWI spring conference. An interview with Joyce Johnson, conference co-director

How are you?

I won’t lie. I like a little sympathy. Go ahead and give me a pat on the back, a hug, an invitation to dinner or lunch. If you are really feeling generous, ask to take my kids for a couple of hours, the day, a week. Whatever you do- don’t ask me how I am. The questioner can mean so many things that I have to wonder: Do you really want the answer?

Do you want to know the stats on my laundry pile, my dirty dishes, the volume of dog hair in the corners of the room? Do you want the low down on the cost of four new tires and two new sets of brakes? How bout my rant about the military system called DEERS which is supposed to keep track of the fact that my children and I exist and are entitled to health care but didn’t– so now I have to spend a day of my life trying to convince them that we do and that they should indeed pay for that ER trip a month ago.

Probably not. You want to know about my emotional state. Here’s the thing… if I stop running this crazy deployment race long enough to think about my emotional state, I will cry and I know you don’t want that.

Instead, I’ll tell you this:

  • My first triathlon is on April 15th. I’m training three days a week now, which is not enough but it’s what I can do.
  • Poem in Your Pocket Day is at the end of April, things are coming together but I’m finding it hard to get my tasks done so I feel as if I’m letting down the other organizers.
  • I’ve set a March 15th deadline for the revision of my WIP but I don’t think I’ll make that either.
  • Teaching is going well. My adult students turn in their first 500 word essay on Tuesday. If they come. If they do the work.
  • RA work takes a lot of time and would take a lot more if I could give it. I’m trying to pull together a couple of ideas for Northern New England for the summer. The conference is fast approaching.
  • I’m trying to figure out summer camp schedules so that both kids are away at the same time and I can get some respite.
  • With the help of the amazing people at AAA Northern New England, I’ve planned a two week trip to meet my husband in Florence and Tuscany in August.
  • The kids are definitely sad, but they are troopers like me. I see that more and more these days.
  • The swim season is over. Hallelujah! The drive and conflicting schedules between kids was a source of constant stress.
  • Baseball season is starting. Egads.
  • My children are wonderful musicians which is a source of constant pride.
  • We are all healthy and safe and that is what matters.
  • I saw my first robin yesterday and feel confident that spring will indeed come.

How are you?