Thursday, August 29, 2002

Getting through the first week of classes. Very tired. I really like my students and I think this is going to be a good semester teaching-wise. But all the stuff of the first week is wearing me down.

Haven't written. Have submitted some work and even collected a couple rejections (via email). I suspect things will settle down soon. I think the first project I will work on is the children's story. But I need to get back to my novel. I hope I can be more disciplined this semester. My goal is to take little school work home so I can concentrate on writing (or at least publishing) at home. Maybe then I can write at night and/or in the mornings at work.

Ack! Even now I'm confused.

Monday, August 19, 2002

Back to school. Have written only a little in the past few weeks, trying to focus some of my energy on publishing. Did post some stories that are not really new, but new to the site.

Have been to the doctor and have run tests. Yippee.

New things starting. Trying to begin with some hope.

Finally finished reading The Ghostway. Was quite satisfying, but obvious I should not try to read more than one book at a time. Still working my way through Merton. Probably should give up, but everytime I started reading, I find myself drawn to his thoughts and I feel that I must finish the book. Am also reading Practical Gods by Carl Dennis. So far okay. My main reason for looking at it is that it won the most recent Pulitzer for poetry. I think it will be a good experience, though I think I like that last couple of Pulitzer winners a bit more so far.

Speaking of publishing, and I was a few moments ago, I thought that I might have more success and perhaps more satisfaction by looking at the web pages of some journals and maybe submit to some online places. This way I might be more likely to send work that seems to work for a particular publication. This is pretty long and tedious, though I do get to read a bit more this way. I also figured I could easily increase the amount of submissions I had going at any time, thus increasing my possibilities for publication. It has only been a few days. I have found how quickly one can get rejected. I submitted about six poems to an online journal late Friday and last night read of their non-acceptance. But I'll keep a happy thought.

Was asked this morning to read a poem at the division retreat this Friday. Not sure I have anything appropriate but will look. Maybe I'll write something new. We shall see.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Today is the last day in the Writing Center, and it will be a long one. I am working from 9 until 7 this evening. Have seen no one yet today, but many are signed up. Not thrilled.

Wrote a new poem, "Stillness and the Turtle," and posted it yesterday. Did not get online to do other changes to the site until this morning. Decided the temptation was not worth giving into and so read a little from the Thomas Merton book. This book is intriguing me, but I feel that I am spending too much time getting through it. I must resist that tyrany of the urgent. In grad school, I complained to one of my professors, Dr. Richard Tuerk, that it took me a whole month to read Moby Dick. His response was something along the lines of me being glad someday when I can spend a month reading a book.

I have been reading in the Merton book a section from his A Vow of Conversation and having some interesting thoughts about his struggle to live in a hermitage. In a way, it seems rather selfish. I certainly was accused of wanting to become a monk for selfish reasons. And maybe there is some truth to that. And yet, solitude is necessary if one wishes to commune with God, to be closer to God and to serve God by loving his creation.

Soon (August 19) I have to return to work. I am somewhat looking forward to it, especially since I am trying some new things. Part of me is not, mostly because I am not ready having not accomplished this summer what I would like. I think I had too many ambitions and expectations, but not the discipline to pull them off.

Wrote 500 words Monday night on the Max story. Not feeling good about it. Am I derivative? Am I telling a real story for people other than those who know me? All my concerns seem more important when I consider that it may be the only project I finish before school starts.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Just spent way too much time online working on my website. Should have been reading or writing. Is this what the modern writer does to procrastinate the real work of writing? Anyway, the most significant addition is a page for e-books.

Wondering if I should join some webrings. Don't know anything about html and they all talk about adding code to pages. Eek.

Should sleep. Probably be up a little longer.
Stayed at home today with the small kids while Tonya was in Farmersville trying to clean our tremendously filthy van. She was gone all day and says she did not complete the job. She did exhaust herself and come home with some injuries requiring my attention.

The kids drove me nuts today. I guess it is time to get back to talking to people who at least pretend to be listening.

Money is tight and we are not sure how to pay some of these bills. More of that usual fear.

Watched O Brother, Where Art Thou yesterday when I should have been writing or cleaning up the house. At least it was good enough to cover up some of my guilt. Much fun -- when the kids let us watch in peace.

I know other things have happened or been thought about, but I can't remember what they are. I guess I'll try to do a bit of work and see what happens.