Make room for the new

Every night I come home from work and think to myself, “I must write that post on X!” (where X is usually a book I’ve read that has blown my mind). But then I sit down to nurse my various aches and pains (left heel, lower back, head) and pick up a new book or put Bones on Netflix and zone out.

Before I blink, it’s way past my bedtime and I’m too tired to write anything.

Most of this has to do with the new position I started at a new library branch. Someone decided it was a good idea to put me in charge of things, so I’m using my brain a lot to get us moving toward our organization’s best practices.

Using my brain makes me tired.

But there’s more to my failure to write (fiction and blog posts) over the past two weeks. Something happened that made me think, “Oh damn, shit just got real,” and it has me terrified. I will decline to discuss the event in question, but I can sum it up like this: People are reading my stories and are responding to them in positive ways.

This makes me ecstatic, but it’s also terrifying. Writing, revising, and submitting my work alone in my house is easy. No one’s scrutinizing what I’m doing. There’s a sort of freedom in anonymity. But of course I write because I have stories to tell, and although I would write them anyway, I really want people to read and engage with my work.

And they are. And that’s wonderful, and it makes me so happy. But I suppose it’s a lot to adjust to while I’m also adjusting to a new job and new living arrangements.

So I’ve been doing what my therapist always tells me to do—I’m being kind to myself by not expecting too much right now. By letting myself read fantastic books and actually relax, for once.

TL;DR: I’m around, but not as much as I was before. I’m writing, but I’m not pressuring myself to meet specific goals right now. I’m giving myself time to adjust to the newness of things.

Onward and upward

The past week has been full of good things.

Last weekend, my husband and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary by taking a short trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is situated between Cleveland and Akron in Ohio. It’s an interesting park, because it is very much an urban park, but it’s still beautiful and the hiking trails are lovely.

On Monday I began in my new position as the clerical specialist at a new library branch. This promotion comes with more responsibilities and duties, and I’m excited to really dig into it. My first week has been a time of observation, getting to know the library, some of our patrons, and my new coworkers. I’ve learned a lot already, and I know I’m going to learn and grow so much more.

I’m also trying to expand my regular writing gigs to challenge myself, meet new people, and generally be an engaged literary citizen rather than just a blogger/writer of weird fictions.

And in addition to all that, I’m trying to build a daily yoga practice and hopefully begin riding my bike to work, at least when the weather permits.

All of this adds up to a lot of time, though, so expect me to be scarce while I find my footing. I’m going to bump down to a three-day-per-week posting schedule on this blog for now, and hopefully once I’m settled into my new routine I’ll be able to add more back in.

Read my story “The Housewives” at The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts

The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts published my flash fiction piece, “The Housewives,” today.

This story is based on a part of Warren Zevon’s song “Mr. Bad Example:”

I got a part-time job at my father’s carpet store
I was laying tackless stripping
and housewives by the score
I loaded up their furniture and took it to Spokane
and auctioned off every last Naugahyde divan.

With this piece, I wanted to turn the idea of a meek, clueless housewife around and explore reasons why these women would first of all, have sex with this man and second of all, let him get away with their furniture.

Let me know what you think in the comments!