Saturday, May 27, 2017

Yesterday's nicest editorial remark: "The poems [in Songs about Women and Men] are surprising and odd in the most delightful way."

As of now, I've still got no promise of publication, but the book remains under consideration at this editor's press. So, on the whole, I'd say her email was a good omen on a Friday afternoon.

I managed to finish the first drafts all of my Frost Place reading intros/laudatory speeches, so now I can move on to thinking about other curricular responsibilities, such as "What does environmental writing mean to me, and how can I get kids who are distracted by kayaks to buy into that point of view?" and "How can I encapsulate the goals of my book The Conversation into an advertising blurb for a 10-week seminar?"

However, I plan to do neither of those things today. I don't exactly know what I'll be doing instead, but it will eventually involve going for a walk to the fish market and then cooking a fish dinner with Tom. We are thinking of soft-shell crabs, but who knows what we'll bring home? The fish market is a snap-judgment kind of place.

In the meantime, I leave you with this discouraging thought, from Philip Roth's Sabbath's Theater: "He'd paid the full price for art, only he hadn't made any." I can't get that notion out of my head. Maybe it's like an anti-mantra.

And maybe you can explain why I've also got the lyrics to Bob Dylan's "Quinn the Eskimo" stuck in my head (. . . "ain't my cup of meat" . . . " them pigeons'll run to him" . . . over and over). I asked Tom for his opinion, and all he said was "It's better than Olivia Newton-John's 'let's get physical, phys-i-cal,'" which is apparently what's stuck in his head. I can't argue with that.

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