Keepin' on Task When There's Nothing but Blue Skies
The title of the post is a bit of a misnomer. It's actually overcast in typical Pacific Northwest fashion. But the meaning of the title is quite clear and resonant for me. I'm a week away from sabbatical--the first sabbatical I've had since I've been teaching in higher education (since 1993 as a chemistry TA if you're counting that far back).
I'm excited, but I recognize my limits. I'm awfully susceptible to distraction, so I know I have to have a plan in place. Things will get started soon. I'll give myself a short week to catch my breath from the last quarter, and then I'll charge onward. June'll be about Kundiman and a couple of short-term deadlines: AWP stuff and a book review for Terrain. Then July'll be about manuscript preparations.
I've got three manuscripts that are in various states of disrepair. One manuscript is very close to completion, but hasn't found its sequencing. One manuscript hasn't found its engine. One manuscript was started but completely abandoned. I'll, of course, work on the sequencing of the more complete manuscript so that I can send it off to Mary for her advice. The manuscript without the engine requires time and my understanding its ethos. I don't know who it is yet, but maybe I can write my way into familiarity. The final manuscript--the abandoned one, requires research. I know that now. It's a historical collection, but I never had the time or energy to conduct the research. That's apparently what sabbaticals are for.
I could imagine myself doing all that writing work during the summer. I don't plan on going anywhere. In truth, I'm a home body. I like my writing nest. Plus, having kids puts a damper on any travel plans. The most travel I can expect is local stuff. I haven't planned on giving any readings. Those won't come until September and October, so the summer is all about doing the necessary work to complete some manuscript goals.
Other than that, I plan on building five raised garden beds. Produce is crazy-expensive, so I figure since I've got the land and time, I can do this one small thing.
My parents are back from Ontario, after having been away since February. It's nice to have them back. Their help with the boys has been tremendous. The oldest one told my father that he missed him. Ouch. Broke my dad's heart.