Nearing the end of another year, I feel extraordinarily blessed in all aspects of my life. My family is healthy and thriving and continues to show their unconditional love and support for my writing through their gifts of time, cheerleading, and even the tools of the trade (Moleskins and small press poetry books made up the bulk of my Christmas gifts). A beach vacation is in my future as well as a celebration of my husband’s 20th consecutive Walt Disney World Marathon, complete with running friends and family.
At work, my students are rewarding and fun, and my colleagues are still the most dedicated and talented people I know, as well as being kind and generous friends. They make me smile every day, even if I must admit I am looking forward to retiring in eight years. 🙂
My writing life has been very rich. In addition to the acceptance of both a fourth chapbook and my first full-length poetry manuscript, another chapbook manuscript is a finalist for publication as we speak, and the Pioneer Wife has been accepted to make her first appearance in Menacing Hedge this Spring. I am currently working on a new series of poems based on lyrics from “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and I am looking forward to the Poetry and Prose Getaway this January in New Jersey as well as a two-week residency in June at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska. Add to that a Pushcart Nomination from Apple Valley Review and this has been one lucky year for me.
And through it all, it is always good to know that I have many virtual friends in the poetry community who walk beside me in these endeavors, including some of you who are reading this right now. To you I also say “thank you” – it’s nice to know that I don’t walk this road alone.
My winter break lasts for another week or so. In two days, when my son will drive back to his life at college, the house will be empty and quiet during the day until my husband gets home from work. But I will have all of these blessings with me. I will have words. And that will be just fine.