Some of That, Some of This

Because posts from bloggers apologizing to their imaginary audiences for time away are the worst, and because I want to be blogging again but don’t really have much to say, I’ve decided to do a random wrap-up of the banalities of past days, the hopes for future days, and the happiness of present days. It’ll be an exercise in writing without purpose.

-I was stung by a bee yesterday. On my right ring toe (I don’t actually know what that toe’s called–but if it were a little piggy, it would have none.) It was weirdly nostalgic. I used to get stung by bees all the time as a kid (mostly because I was a little demon who thought bee hives could be cleared away using rocks, hurled at speed. Shockingly, I was often wrong), and it turns out that those little pollinators still know how to cause surprising and terrible pain.

Prairie and Wind Turbine

-I’m working almost exclusively on my novel these days (though I still have plans to start the web serial–just, you know, someday), and I had the awesome realization that what it needs is precisely this big worldbuilding mechanic nestled at the heart of a different novel idea I’ve had for awhile. So, I just sort of plopped them together in my mind, and holy smokes, imaginary reader, it’s way cool!

-I’ve lived in dorm rooms or temporary, rented housing/apartments for most of my adult life, and it’s only really recently that I’ve started shaking off that deeply instilled idea inside me that shuts down any creative impulse I have to put myself into my environment. When I was in graduate school, I lived in the bottom floor of this house in West Virginia, and after two years there, I had put up almost no posters, had rearranged not at all, and I could completely extricate myself from that place in under an hour and a half–leaving no trace. I slept on an air mattress (thanks to some great friends for that–B.A.M [Before Air Mattress] I was sleeping on the floor), had relatively few personal possessions, and had sent out no domestic roots at all. But I own a house now (or am a part-owner, anyway), and I don’t have to silence the urge to recreate my environment. It’s exciting in a way that makes me sad for teenage me, so freaked out about leaving any impression behind.

-The new semester is coming along. I’m trying to be excited about it; I’m sick of hating my job so much of the time. I get to talk with smart people for a living! I get to help those same people get smarter! I only have to work 9 months out of the year! Yeah!

-I didn’t teach at CTY this year, which was harder than I thought it was going to be (though it was nice not to leave my wife for weeks at a time). I get such a phantom nostalgia when I think about CTY: I didn’t go as a kid, but I can see myself in so many of the kids there. Lonely, passionate, smart, and so, so excited to find an oasis in the middle of summer, this magical place where they can meet other kids like them, other kids who will challenge and push and support one another. I think about how much I would have loved to go as a 13-year old, how much my life would have been changed if, instead of spending summers sitting inside the library alone, playing with fictional characters, I could’ve instead been in classrooms with other kids who loved to read, who were just as baffled by what it meant to be “cool,” who wanted to talk endlessly about which books or movies or poems or writers were the best. I taught for two summers at CTY, and I could feel the absence this summer–acutely–despite the busyness of things in July and August here. I think about the dances, the discussions during class (and, for that matter, during breaks), the games of chess squeezed into any free time possible, the games of four-square, all of it. And I miss it.

-And even though I’ve been missing CTY, it’s been great to be at home and spend a summer with my wife, with whom I will shortly be celebrating our one-year anniversary! And since she’s probably the only one reading this: happy anniversary, Wife Person! You’re pretty much the greatest.

-Here are my hopes for the future: creativity and passion, happiness and sadness, drizzly days and fall colors, words and pages, kisses and handholding, hope and laughter.

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