To be perfectly honest, I was supposed to write my first blog post yesterday. But yesterday, some of you may know, was a snow day. It was a snow day. School was cancelled. On the first day back after winter break. A seventeen-day long winter break. During which time I and my three small children – ages 9, 5 and 2 ½ – experienced so much togetherness. Children are a blessing. Children are a blessing. Say it fifty times, then make them eat cold toast for breakfast while you rage around the house, sweeping crumbs for the 194,756,587,364 time.
So I did not manage to write this blog post yesterday. I did manage to go to the bathroom at least once and eat a lunch of five-day old chicken divan standing up while I answered email. But here I am now, and let me just say that I am really, really, really, REALLY excited to be the 2018 writer-in-residence. Can we talk and talk and talk about books and writing? All year? All the time? Because that’s what I intend this year to be – a twelve-month dialogue between us about what we like about writing, what we want to know, what we don’t already know, what we want to DO with our writing, what we don’t want to do.
Background: I’ve been a passionate reader all my life and I was all set to become an academic after getting my master’s degree in Composition and Rhetoric from Miami. I fell into writing because I took a “break” after getting above degree and went to work at a horse farm in Andover, Massachusetts. My brand-new husband and I lived in a grubby, cold apartment in Cambridge with a giant old bathtub and a kitchen floor someone had decided to paint black. We had no money. A grad school friend said to me, “Hey, you know I’m writing books for this publisher and they want grad student-types. You want me to introduce you to my editor?”
I sure did. That was the first book I wrote – a lively, educational, non-fiction tome for high school students called—wait for it—The History of Cocaine. Which is pretty interesting when you come right down to it. That was fourteen years ago – I never stopped writing and I never went back to grad school.
So, that’s me and now that’s enough of me. Let’s talk about you and your story and your writing. For one of my first events, I’ll be holding office hours at the library’s Corryville Branch on Saturday, January 20, from 10:00-12:00. I’ll be there, and I’ll bring some of my writing. You come and bring your writing and we can talk about it together. You can bring a blank piece of paper or a laptop with a scary empty screen, or a finished ms, or a scribble of ideas. This is your time, and I’m here for you. You can read and I’ll listen and offer comments, or I can read your work to you, or we can sit and write together. Because being together is what this writer-in-residence year is going to be about. Writing is isolating by necessity. Let’s get out of our holes. Let’s talk.