there’s no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going

Hello, world!  I’m still here.  If you’re reading this, I’m glad to see you took the whole “it isn’t over between you and me” thing to heart.

You have probably guessed that I am writing this right now in order to avoid homework, and ding ding ding!  You would be correct.  But I’ll get it done.  I always do.  I put way too much stock in never making a mistake to do that.  Which leads me to my reasoning for having abandoned you for so long (a stint which WILL NOT be continued, I promise you are officially added to my list of priorities)…my life is CERTIFIABLY INSANE lately, and I am by no means exaggerating when I say that.  I’m overloading in order to graduate early (NYC left a hole in my heart that only that big beautiful city can fill), which means I’m taking four classes instead of the usual three.  In addition to that, I’m TA-ing for Jennifer Sweeney’s Intermediate Poetry Workshop (look up her poetry…very accessible, beautiful, haunting…), so it’s basically like I’m taking five classes.  Then there’s horseback riding every day, which I’ve jumped right back into—no pun intended!  On top of that, my training runs for the half marathon have become monsters…seriously, it takes up a pretty good chunk of a Sunday to run ten miles!  I’m doing my best to juggle it all without losing my mind.  For instance, last weekend I got my first ever massage!  Amazing.  How did I go so long without them?

So there’s the gist.  I, of course, could never catch you up completely on everything that’s happened since I’ve been back from NYC, but I can name some highlights:

Highlight 1: The first weekend I was back from the city, Linus and I headed to a little schooling horse show at Albion College to compete in the 3’ jumper division.  I could not have been happier with how it went.  I think we schooled four foot before we walked in the ring, which made the jumps look so tiny once I got in there!  I was so calm and collected, and I think Linus was taking a cue from that.  Maybe taking time off to go to NYC actually helped my riding…I came back a new, stronger, more laid back and confident person.  We ended up 3rd!

Highlight 2: I may not be fast, but I can probably run a hell of a lot farther than a lot of people right now.  The speed will come, I’m sure.  But as of right now, I’m pretty okay with having the ability to run myself back home when my mom drives through two counties to drop me off.

Highlight 3: Advanced Poetry Workshop with Chad Sweeney (Jennifer’s husband!  Also look him up).  I’m sure I’ll grapple with this a lot via the blog.  It’s a collection of project-based poems, and I will attempt to explain the gist of the project to you.  My fractured selves: the insecure one, the girl who worries what other people think and about how she’s presenting herself, and The Vixen, who tore her way out from inside of me thanks to New York City.  More on this later.  Let’s just say, for now, that “what would The Vixen do?” is a common thought pattern of mine lately.

Highlight 4: Leading workshops in Intermediate Poetry.  I mean, I don’t have to do much, because it’s a collaborative situation…but still.  Kind of scary/amazing to be in that position.

Highlight 5:  I’m still on a high from my chapbook, and the fact that I will be able to go visit it at Poets House over the summer! AAAAAAAAHHHH.

So.  Let’s talk about where this blog might go, now that my program is over and it no longer needs to fit any grading parameters.  I would like to start stressing book reviews/poet reviews/essays/research a lot more than I have in the past.  Then again, I also like having this as a spot where I can muse and work my thoughts out, and also record the happenings of my life.  So, basically, what I’m saying is that we’ll keep the old format but also SUPPLUMENT, because, let’s face it, life in Kalamazoo is just not as exciting as life in the city.  Also, I have to legitimize myself somehow, right?  Isn’t that what we do in academia?  Haha.

New York City, it’s calling me home.  I have to pull some pretty miraculous stunts to get myself there, though, if I want to keep riding when I go to grad school.  Oddly enough, my parents don’t seem especially keen on spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for me to get an M.F.A. at Columbia.  How irrational of them, people with M.F.A.’s make millions.  Oh wait, they don’t?

Anyway, I had better get to work.  I’ll update you later in the week in whatever way strikes my fancy.  This blog answers to my every whim now, who knows where the hell it will go.

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