9/30: writing and thinking

I enjoyed my work today, and now I only have two paragraphs to finish tomorrow!

9/29: heron tree gratitude

After dinner I posted on the Heron Tree site the last poem remaining to published from last year's submissions.  As our first cycle of publication ends, I'm feeling so grateful to the poets who sent us their work and to Chris and Sandy who co-edit with me.  It's a good thing to have this project in my life.  And as if to give a stamp of approval, when we went down to the lake this evening a great blue heron squawked and flew past.

9/28: new find

We had lunch at a new-to-us Indian restaurant.  The food was good, and it's closer to us than the Indian restaurant in Little Rock!

9/27: a tad of trollope

Today I got to work on some Trollope research I'm finishing up with students.  Trollope's not been front-and-center with me since my courses began, so I enjoyed returning to him for a bit and getting to spend some time with his work as well as with my student's thoughts about his work.

9/26: having made myself a margin

I had read ahead for one of my classes last week, and I am so grateful that I did.  I didn't get any sleep last night, so I wasn't functioning at full capacity today--but because of my reading ahead a less-than-full-on day hasn't put me behind.

9/25: intersubjectivity

I am grateful to two friends today for their willingness to talk with me when I was having a hard time, even though they put their own work on hold to do so.

9/24: one done, another begun

It's going to be a semester with lots of paper-writing, a prospect which is both exciting and chastening.  Today I finished my first one (on fairytale as a language), and I had fun doing it.  And then while I was kayaking I mentally mapped out my second one, due in a week.

9/23: difference of a day

Things that seemed hard yesterday seemed easier today.

9/22: equilibrium

My mind was not quiet during much of the day:  I was working on an essay that had me riled up.  Although it was good to be thinking and writing in an engaged way, I tipped over into too-engaged tunnel vision.  Some time on the lake restored peace and perspective.  Equanimity as the equinox ends.

9/21: in & out

Lots of time in my own head, thinking about Hans Christian Andersen and articles about him.

A great time talking with my long-time friend Katy this afternoon.  Serious topics yet much laughter.

9/20: versions

Today's work included writing up my thoughts on variants of the Snow White story.  I'm so glad to have come across "Gold-Tree and Silver Tree," a traditional Scottish tale, and "Ever After," a contemporary short story by Kim Addonizio.

9/19: new poems

We're reading submissions to Heron Tree these days, and it's exciting to find new poems to love (and publish).

9/18: free meals

Even though I'm on sabbatical I still get $200 worth of credits for on-campus meals each semester, which pays for 25 dinners.  I used one of those dinners this evening.

9/16-9/17: teeny tiny getaway

On the afternoon of the 16th we left for Mount Magazine, where we stayed overnight.

The view from our room in the evening:

The view from our room in the morning:

9/15: good day

Good work, good news, good sunset.

9/14: small town, old friend

A friend and I have developed a tradition of meeting up occasionally in the little community of Altus, since it's partway between us.  There had been a too-long gap in our meetings, mostly because my pain/ache situation made it too hard for me to drive 1 1/2 hours there and back.  It was great to resume the tradition today.  Altus is a sweet place, and the pub owner let us linger for a long time.  It was wonderful to see my friend and spend the afternoon talking and listening.

9/13: remembering

My pain situation is much better than it was a year ago, and much, much better than two years ago, but I still get flare-ups.  Today I was feeling quite bad--it's kind of astounding that that had become my status quo.  And then I remembered:  I have medicine!  I took it, and two hours later, I feel the relief.  I know it sounds silly to forget that I have a remedy, but I got so used to bearing with it, and I also grew up in a house where we didn't take medicine that often, so it doesn't rise up in my mind as an obvious recourse.  Hopefully next time I'll remember even sooner.

9/12: little red

I got to read lots of versions of Little Red Riding Hood today!  So many interesting twists and turns.

9/11: rain

Though I had to paddle home quickly last night because I could see the rain coming down one town over, the storm stalled before reaching us.  This afternoon, however, we had a downpour.  The cats and I paused what we were doing for awhile (them--relaxing, me--reading) to listen and watch.  It's been getting too dry here over the past few weeks, so the water was more than welcome.

9/10: in earnest

Non-introductory work on my courses began today, and I enjoyed getting into it.

I went out on the lake this evening and had to paddle back unexpectedly early--and quickly!--when I could see rain on the horizon, but I'm glad I was out long enough to see this light slipping along the water.

9/9: useful turn of phrase

I learned a Polish saying today: "Not my circus, not my monkeys." It is perfect for (too) many occasions. When those occasions arise, just saying it to myself will make me smile.

9/8: back to the seven ravens

Last year I spent some time looking at different versions of "The Seven Ravens" story, a tale from the Brothers Grimm which has been a favorite of mine since childhood. Today I realized that I should make it the subject of my term project for one of my classes, since we have to choose a myth or folktale and trace it through various renditions. So I started to poke around online, and I ordered some materials I hadn't seen before.  I also found a short animated film of the story which was made in the 1970s.  It had interesting art and interesting deviations from the Grimms' version. The world of that story is stark, but I'm glad to be re-entering it and discovering new things about it.

9/7: sighting

Not feeling well today, but we strolled down to the dock at sunset for some gentle colors. And we finally saw the resident beaver our neighbors have been telling us about!

9/6: handy gizmo

It's getting harder to find air pumps for car tires at gas stations. We have an air compressor at home, but it's clunky, and I don't use it often enough to remember all the steps. Last year I got a little air pump kit that's powered by the car's cigarette lighter. Today I used it, and it was sweet and easy.

9/5: unexpected pocket

...of time and pleasure.  Though my classes have started, the work-load this week is light, so I spent the morning reading Lady Rose and Mrs. Memmary by Ruby Ferguson.  It's one of Persephone's titles, which is how I found it, and as always I'm so grateful for their publishing choices.  Though I love their selection of books, I'm not always a fan of the prefaces they commission for their editions--but I thought Candia McWilliam did a lovely job with the preface for this one.  I read it after I finished the book, and it felt apt and insightful.

9/4: choosing books

My courses started today, and in my Fantasy Literature course, we have to read/review/analyze three books of our own choosing that aren't already on the syllabus. I went online this evening and ordered three books I've been wanting to read: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (by Catherynne Valente), Inkheart (by Cornelia Funke), and Wildwood (by Colin Meloy). Hurray for when classes give you a push to do things you've been wanting to do already! (Hurray too for when classes give you a push to do things you'd never think of doing--there will be plenty of that this semester, too.)

9/3: clear day

I am glad that I cleaned my home office and swept all the floors yesterday: today the house felt so clear and I felt so unencumbered. It was my last day "off" before my next set of classes begins, and I spent it reading, thinking, musing. With some kayaking at the end, of course.

9/2: four things

Rain off and on throughout the day:  we needed it.

Morning writing:  I discovered something while doing it.

Closet-cleaning:  I had been avoiding it.

Phone call with my sister:  I am grateful for it.

9/1: a good movie

Safety Not Guaranteed.  We watched it on a lark during the late (and rainy) afternoon.