Delaware-ans! Join us at the Lamborn Library on Wednesday, October 12 for an event supporting the local & independent Hockessin Book Shelf. I'll be sharing excerpts from Don't Kill the Birthday Girl, and we'll enjoy wine and food free of the Big 8 allergens (not to mention really tasty...I've seen the menu). If you have friends in the area affected by allergy--or fans of literary memoir--please spread the word. They are asking folks to secure tickets by Friday, October 7. You'll find more info on Hockessin Book Shelf's Facebook page.
This will be the first event in a whirlwind week of book-tour for me. From Delaware it is on to Kripalu Yoga Center in the Berkshires (Thursday, Oct. 13); from there it is on to two panels (!) at the Boston Book Festival (Saturday, Oct. 15); from there it is on to Fairfield Public Library in Connecticut (Sunday, Oct. 16). Each venue should bring its own unique audience, and I suspect I'll be switching up my DKTBG selections to suit.
While I'm beating the drum of self-promotion, I'll mention that I did a guest post over at the Lofty Ambitions site, which runs pieces on theme with "Aviation, Science, and Writing as a Couple." I don't have much to say on the latter (unless writing as both a poet and a memoirist counts as a "couple"), but I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share some backstory on my grandfather--who was a doctor assigned to NASA's Project Mercury flights--and how his influence shaped my approach to writing about medical matters in the memoir. A brief snippet:
My grandfather and his colleagues were charged with patients who, by definition, were adventurers of the greatest extreme. As doctors, they tracked the pulses. They counted the heartbeats. They took the temperatures. They had to constantly push the astronauts toward self-inspection. How do you feel? Can you continue?
You can read the whole post here.
...Before we shimmy into October, I want to reach back for September highlight: while in Decatur for their book festival, I got to sit down with Jake Adam York and be intereviewed for the Southern Spaces "Poets in Place" series, which resulted in a quartet of short videos on everything from how my Virginia heritage surfaces in my poetry, to how food allergies intersect with culinary tradition, to the experience of making long and frequent drives from DC to Mississippi. I can't begin to say how honored I was to become a part of this interdisciplinary journal's site, which is an amazing resource for students looking at contemporary Southern literature. Other poets in the series include Dan Albergotti, Natasha Trethewey, Jericho Brown, and Claudia Emerson.
These have been quiet days, which means these have been creative days. Sure, I've written things here and there in the past year--particularly on solicitation & on deadline--but this is the first month in ages that I have felt the organic hum of drafting, revising, sending out, making notes, drafting some more. I was trying to explain it to someone the other evening and I said "I thought it was enough to make time to write. But actually, I needed to make time to waste time. And then to write in the time after that." There will surely be some stumbles and rejections in the coming days, and false starts, and nights spent worrying over money, but I also have the fundamental security of knowing: whatever the next book will be, there will be a next book.
Back on the horse.