Tuesday, May 01, 2018

What I Learned in April

Once again (just like in January, February, and March),  I ended the month with a very short list of what I learned.

I started the month by discovering a series on YouTube about the history of fashion. In each episode, Amber Butchart examines a famous painting or other piece of art (in the one below, it's the effigy on a tombstone), focusing on what someone is wearing. Then some amazing tailors recreate the outfit and Amber puts it on. This is fascinating stuff.

April was National Poetry Month, a time always filled with loads and loads of poetic activities, way more than I have time to participate in or even follow at a distance. Like other members of the poetic community (which sounds like it would be a fun place to live), I console myself with the knowledge that I "do poetry" all year long.

One thing I do participate in is the annual Progressive Poem. This year's ended at Dori's blog yesterday, and at that link (plus in earlier posts right here on my blog) you can see a list of all the contributors. This year our protagonist was a seed. Here you can also read all the previous Progressive Poems since the beginning in 2012.  I've written a line in all of them!

Another poetry-related happening this month was that an anthology came out with a poem in it by me. I will write more about this anthology when I receive my copy, which I'm hoping will be very soon. So far I have read other people's reviews and reflections but not held the book in my own hands. You can order a copy here

My writing is going to be appearing soon in another book, this one an e-book coming out in three weeks. You can pre-order it now here.  Rachel Pieh Jones, otherwise known as Djibouti Jones, collected these essays that were part of a series about TCKs on her blog a few years ago, updating them with interviews with the authors and some other additional content. This one I have held in my hand (well, I've downloaded it to my Kindle from the copy Rachel sent me), and I'm enjoying reading it (I'll post a review when I get done). It's coming out just in time for graduation and the annual migration of the TCKs (the American ones, anyway) away from their overseas homes to college in the US.

I ended the month in an appropriately poetic fashion by listening to a podcast of Krista Tippett's interview with Michael Longley on her radio show On Being. He talks about his writing, living in Northern Island, the "Troubles" (and the reason he hates that term), and his belief that going back to the same beautiful place again and again can be even better for your writing than traveling to lots of new places. Some of these topics may be in the unedited version of the podcast, because after I listened to the produced radio version, I went back to listen to that. The On Being podcast always comes out in both versions, and while I very rarely listen to the longer one, every once in a while there's a conversation that seems worth it. This was one.

This month I started something else that's new to me. While I don't dye my gray hair, I have started feeling self-conscious about how my writing shows my age. I'm speaking specifically of the way I learned many - ahem - years ago to type two spaces after each period. I learned to type on a manual typewriter, one of the last classes to do so in my high school before computers were introduced, and I keep seeing and hearing in more and more sources that it's just not the done thing any more. Even my daughter complained, saying that it was the thing I do that irritates her the most. So I'm working on fixing that. I often type a whole page and then realize I have gone back to my old habit, but I'm trying to form a new habit. It's good for the brain to form new habits, right? Especially at - ahem - my age.

1 comment:

Janet said...

Congratulations, Ruth! That's fantastic that you're being published!