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Buy Books, Do Good

Ahh yes, it’s that time of year when writers with books post things like “You know what makes great gifts? My books!” They say this with a bit of hope and a bit of shame. I’m no exception. I’ve got books. They’d make great gifts.

BUT even better than my poetry books is the fact if you order through me I’ll donate part of the proceeds to your choice of either the Southern Poverty Law Center (a nonprofit org dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society) or SafeBAE (a student-focused, survivor-driven campaign whose mission is to raise awareness about sexual assault in middle and high schools and student’s rights under Title IX.) Buy books, do good, win-win.

So, if you want either “Elegy/Elk River” (my prize-winning chapbook of poems) or “Blood Song” (my debut full-length) message me and let’s make the world a better place.

On Being Thankful

I have found joy in the smallest things: tiny dogs carried by their owners, smooth rocks, how you can pretend to be a dragon when it’s cold and your breath visible. It’s childish. I’m childish. That part of me, the part that still tries the new flavor of chips or chocolate, is what has kept me going as a writer.

I don’t submit as much as I use to. I don’t write as much either. But there are enough small joys in the literary world (and big ones if you know where to look) that keep me going.

This week has been filled with joys in my world. Chloe Clark wrote a blog post over at Ploughshares on “poetry after disaster,” and was kind enough to include one of my poems. Gulf Stream Lit and Two Sylvias Press both nominated me for a Pushcart Prize. And one of the powerhouses of literary citizenship, Mr. Bear (and Georgia Bellas), did a feature of my work paired with some music by Leonard Cohen on the literary podcast, Mr. Bear’s Violet Hour Saloon. I don’t know whether to consider these small joys or large ones. But they are joys, and I’m thankful for them. This much I know.

The Age to Begin Again

The last year has been filled with some of my favorite literary moments, from the publication of my chapbook and debut full-length to the acceptance of a collaborative book I wrote with my literary partner in crime. But as I near the one-year anniversary of my chapbook publication, as I near 40, as my marriage hits 14 years, as my youngest daughter enters school, I am reminded over and over of the pickpocket nature of time. It’s difficult (for me, at least) to keep this site up to date. I’ve let weeks, often months, pass. Then when I return I worry about sharing news that is no longer new.

But I begin again this fall with renewed energy and purpose. I want to share more, even if the news is old, because the things that make you happy shouldn’t go stale.

Here’s to beginning again and again as if for the first time.