The flowers are coming up. Spring is here. The skies are both less and more temperamental. I’ve been busy in a strange way, so many writing projects I forget, sometimes, whether I’m coming or going, lots of works-in-progress but nothing finished, feeling as though I don’t exist, trying to be patient.
I thought I would have my next novella finished by the first which is, hilariously, Friday. But I have decided to try and make this one really good and by good I mean I’m going to hire an actual editor. So then, when it’s finally ready, it will feel really real in the realest sense and it’ll be a little metal skiff with no holes and it’ll float on the water maybe forever.
I applied to be a Cheryl Strayed/VIDA Memoir Scholar, which meant that I would get to attend a really expensive weekend memoir writing retreat in a really beautiful place for free, where Cheryl Strayed is the keynote speaker and there are lots of classes and workshops. I submitted a sample of the full-length memoir I’ve been working on for the last six years and a statement of intent. Then the other morning I woke up and saw on twitter that I hadn’t won, and that made me sad. But then I saw that I had been a finalist, and that made me feel incredible. I have never been a finalist for anything! Once, when I was fifteen, I got an honorable mention in a regional poetry contest. But nothing since then.
There is nothing in my life right now besides writing and working except maybe my dogs, who are warm. They also smell nice and are very good sports, letting me squeeze them as though they are human babies and kiss their faces gratuitously. Also I’ve been talking to Tara on the phone nearly every single day, me in my trailer in Portland in the rain and Tara in her cabin in the sub-arctic, eating roadkill moose and trapping beavers. Life is full of irreconcilable contradictions; we’re attempting to help each other come to terms with this dizzying fact. Maybe this is impossible; I guess we’re naïve in that way. I look at the sky and tell myself- this is what it feels like to be alive.