Thursday, March 29, 2007


Our seedlings are starting to emerge. I have okra "North & South," a nice dwarf geranium, lots of Genovese basil, and a full tray of these: an heirloom medium-hot pepper called "Fish" that we first tried last year. The fruits are smallish, maybe a couple inches long at most, striped and swirled green and yellow and white (and red if left on the plant to mature), and the foliage is a pretty marbled green-and-white. We bought six plants at the local farmers' market last year--all they had--because I recognized the label from an heirloom seed catalog. Yesterday morning, just one seedling was up; by the time I got home from work, 15 of the 18 cups had "hatched" (I reuse foam egg cartons). Look at their little swan necks, the pale cotyledons on the far right plant already opening like a beak. Of course, I'm doing all the crowing.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Because I split my time this semester between two offices, I often don't make it to my PC (or telephone) until Tuesdays. Truly, I'm not much of a phone person--never have been--but I wish I'd been near it today: apparently Friday's interview went well enough, because they're offering me the job. I had ducked into the West Branch office long enough to use the computer (to print out a quiz for my 1:00 class) and checked my webmail, where I saw the heads-up. Then had to go to class and a couple of meetings.

Randy and I celebrated by going to Staples to buy me a proper office chair (I have a corner table set up at home for grading papers and using the laptop). We'll have a proper toast once I sign a contract.

More details soon.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Dear Contributor,

Thank you for the opportunity to consider your work, but we are sorry to inform you that it does not meet our needs at this time. As you know, there are many reasons why editors reject work, including limitation of space in the journal. Submissions are welcome from September 1 through March 1. Please note that we cannot accept submissions except during this time.

The Editors, Arts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture

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To which I want to inquire: how does having one's story rejected make one a "contributor"--wouldn't "Dear Writer" better serve this purpose?

Ah, rejection slips: how would you prefer yours to be written?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Snakes and Ladders

The Joni Mitchell song "Snakes and Ladders" has been playing in my head (and on my MP3 player) a lot these days: Get to the top and slide back down/ Get to bottom, climb back up . . . Found out this past week that my West Branch position won't be renewed. Bleh.

On the positive side, I had a teaching interview on Friday. I'll let you know when there's any news.

* * *
Randy completed a new quilt last week; this afternoon I finished binding it. Will post photos soon. Meanwhile, I've been paper-piecing a set of Gate Latch blocks. Not sure how I'll set them yet.

* * *
Last week we enjoyed watching a number of snow geese and tundra swans in the fields along the river. They'd come in as huge, loose flocks: long twisting pennants of several hundred birds, like a living sculpture. What a treat to see them every spring.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Happy spring to all y'all.

Many changes happening. More soon.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Back in the 'burg, where I've been racing to complete work from last week. Though it was a relief to go without internet access in Atlanta, I may not completely catch up for a few more days.

It was a true delight to meet so many folks at the West Branch table: writers we've published (like Randy DeVita, whose story "Riding the Doghouse" has been selected by Stephen King for inclusion in the 2007 edition of Best American Short Stories), writers we've encouraged, lots of former June Poets (Rebecca Dunham, Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, J.D. Smith, Alex Quinlan, Matt Siegel, Amanda Auchter, Kristin Aardsma, Erin Smith, Ilya Kaminsky, Christopher Lirette, Jennifer Perrine, Greg Wrenn). After the Atlanta LGBTQ reading, organized by Collin Kelley, I had a wonderful lunch with Franklin Abbott, whose early work in RFD was instrumental in helping me to define my own early queer identity.

Next week is our spring break. I'll be grading midterm portfolios and generally catching up.
[photo: Night Window, Jan 11 2007]