Are You Still Writing?

This has come up a lot lately, especially at AWP, and the answer is:
Yes. of course.

Am I actively publishing/being published?

Not as much, no.

But I’m building things back up.

This past year has been wild. The last couple. All 33 of them, really.

I was a server for 15 years. I couldn’t do it anymore. I took a job at Giant Corporate Health Food Grocery store, and it was AWFUL. I freaked out, quit my job, and took a nine month intensive class in medical assisting. I got certified and landed a job at a non-profit   that focuses on providing health care and resources to the underserved and mentally ill here in Portland.

Basically, i turned my life on it’s fucking head and haven’t had any time to focus on writing and publishing.

I made a zine this winter. I’m chipping away at a collaborative writing project with someone who is much more disciplined and productive in their craft than I am.
My essay “Below the Knee” will be appearing in
Nasty Vol 2.
There are a small amount of short pieces floating around my hard drive waiting to be stitched into a novella/novel/collection. I haven’t decided yet, and I won’t really know until I sit down and start picking it apart and piecing it together again.
My publisher shuttered, and that’s a bummer because my editor was wonderful to work with, a good friend who believed in my book, and had already published some of my very favorite books. It felt pretty good to be published alongside Juliet Escoria, Sam Pink, Emma Johnson, Kevin Maloney, and Jeremy Robert Johnson. So now I gotta sort out and finish the damn thing, and then find it a home.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

I AWP’d this past weekend and it was great. I attended three readings performing at two. I got to meet people from the internet in person. I got to visit with people I rarely get to see. I got to hear people share great stories. I got to have people tell me they loved what I do and that was something I guess I really needed because I was basically high on that for two days afterward.

I’m still here. I’m still working on things. But damn, i’m tired all the time and I switched careers in a huge and palpable way  and now I feel like I’m bad at my job, even though I’m just new, and it’s all really very draining. I hate not being good at a thing I spend time doing and I am always so fucking hard on myself about it. All I can do is keep doing the damn thing until it’s second nature to me. I’m learning cool shit, like wound care, which is metal as fuck. Everything smells like DEATH, and there is BLOOD and GOO and PAIN.

But I’m also helping people and being nice as my asshole-self can be. So, it feels okay.

I’m aiming to start piecing together some kind of book this summer, and have it ready by winter-ish. We’ll see how lofty that goal is.

I slowed down on the creative front to be able to adjust on all the others. And I guess I’m not done flipping things upside down because it seems like I’ve got more of that on the horizon. But I’m excited for all of it.

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