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Mimsy and Outgrabe

a record of panic, parenting, teaching, and art making

  • Writer's pictureSarah Gutowski

Oh hai. It's me again.

Almost two months have elapsed since my last blog post. While I keep the blog mostly for myself, as a kind of record of my writing/teaching/slow descent into madness, I'm also conscious of my one or two or six subscribers who may not want to constantly receive updates about my chaos and indecision.

Also, I've been prioritizing, and managing to stay fairly on track with my priorities, and sadly the blog falls low on that list. Mainly, I've been trying to work out issues with my online course spaces, getting them fully-prepped in terms of modules releasing on time and with all of their working parts and blah blah blah that shit is boring.

Meet Sawyer the Destroyer, Master Escape Artist and Digger of Potholes. He has to be tied up to a line when he's in the yard so I'm blogging from the deck stairs to keep him company.

But I've also been trying to be consistent with, and protective of, my writing time. Since August's post, M. and I wrapped up our collaborative manuscript Every Second Feels Like Theft. We've submitted it to the publisher who was initially interested in the project, and it feels good to have more or less completed the work.

I actually took my first "studio Friday" of the month two days ago, and it was lovely -- quiet and productive. I worked on query-letter text, updated my web site with a projects page (namely to have a place where we can direct people interested in Every Second Feels Like Theft), submitted poems to three different journals, and did some research regarding agents who take on art and/or poetry books.

Days like that make me calmer -- when I do steady work but without the pressure of deadline or chaos of outside interference, when I've done the stuff I have control over. I keep the memory of it in my head for those days when it's quite clear that I have very little control over anything at all.

On Saturday I was pleased to receive an email about the release of Volume 8, Issue 1 of the Bear Review. This issue contains two of the poems from my collaboration with M., and while, admittedly, they are fairly dark poems and not the most uplifting read, I do like the music inside them. You can find them here. I would also suggest checking out Hyejung Kook's poem "Self Portrait as Ghost" as well as Enzo Silon Surin's poems, particularly "American Testimony." I may be partial because I know Hyejung from grad school and Enzo through the SCCC Creative Writing Festival -- but the editors at Bear Review are fair and impartial so just trust their judgment if you find mine suspect. (I mean, I can't blame you.)

I'm still working on reading that list of books from my #SealeyChallenge; I'm miserably behind (obviously, because it's October), but my new intention is to finish them by the new year.

I'm actually almost finished reading a fantastic and genre-bending book of poems that I'll review for the New York Journal of Books soon(ish). I'm a miserably slow reader and I don't know how I'm going to write about this book in the terribly small word count that they allot us (as you know by now, I tend to be on the more verbose side) -- but I'll give it my best shot.

Also on deck: revision of poems in The Familiar, my mid-life-crisis-in-poems, and also possibly a because-I'm-a-glutton-for-punishment FOURTH application for a sabbatical at my college.

All the LOLz. Sabbatical. Who do I think I'm kidding?

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