I’m back, from a hiatus of sorts during which I went in for outpatient surgery for a benign ovarian cyst that turned into inpatient surgery for endometriosis (not serious, just invasive) and a partial Oophectomy. This means removal of one ovary but I just like to say it and write the official way because it sounds like something from Dr. Seuss. Oophectomy, toofectomy, roofectomy–see I can make up words just like him! Anyway, I’m recovering well but it took a lot out of me.
A few updates. The Mount, Edith Wharton’s house, has raised close to a million dollars but not without the controversy that is detailed in a recent New Yorker article. You can read an abstract of it here. They’ve also received another extension until May 31 and plan to open for the season in hopes of bringing in more money. I’ll keep you posted.
Time laid up means time to read, namely, Leonard S. Marcus’ magnum opus, Minders of Make Believe, the first ever history of children’s publishing in America from colonial times to the present. Absolutely fascinating stuff, IMHO. Children’s publishing has some entertaining personalities he lavishes attention on, especially in the twentieth century, such as the legendary Ursula Nordstrom, May Masee, Margaret K. McElderry, Maurice Sendak, Bennet Cerf, Dr. Seuss, Goldenbooks (a personality in themselves) and my personal fav, Louise Seaman Bechtel. It’s a monumental work and a fun dishy read at the same time. Bravo LSM, who is also coming to our university next spring as part of the Artist Residency Series. Can’t wait to meet him.
Other good laid up reads: Kaye Gibbons’ A Cure For Dreams, read in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down, and Aranzi Aronzo’s The Cute Book, a wonderful, easy craft about making felt mascots that even I could do.
Visited Heifer International in Perryville yesterday on a class field trip. Despite it being a bit too much physically (my incision, which frequently holds conversations with me, was virtually shouting yesterday afternoon, ) it was truly inspiring. We toured the global village and saw how the other 75% of the world’s population lives and learned all about their programs to feed, clothe and school the poor by providing them with livestock. We also learned the 7 M’s of livestock that help lift people out of poverty: Milk, Money, Muscle, Meat, Motivation, Manure, and Materials. I am thinking of starting a Read to Feed program with my own kids this summer wherein you can get a free starter packet to encourage your kids to read to raise money to send an animal to a family to help lift them out of poverty. Check it out.
Classes are over and I have several writing projects, well, right now the novel and the book on creative writing in higher ed, that I need to devote serious attention to but it’s been a slow start.
I’ll keep you posted. The next post, in fact, will be another short one on writing in keeping with the thread I started a while back asking about people’s revision habits. Stay tuned.