I have been holing up, so to speak. Shoring up for the winter maybe, or simply dealing with the stress that chronic illness can cause in the body and in the mind. Having medical procedures and hospitalization. Adapting to new job. Trying to carve out mental space for creative time, and not quite succeeding. Plus holiday visiting for both Thanksgiving and Christmas – it’s been chaotic and calm at once.
I started a new job over a month ago. It’s been a bit since I have worked full time out of the house, and it’s been a good, if difficult, transition. I found a wonderful job as a project manager with a team of good people, designers. It feels like a perfect fit – they need someone like me, who has a sharp sense of organization married to my creativity – to keep their boats afloat. And I need people like them, who make me feel supported and cared about. It’s wonderful to feel that again, to be surrounded by people who I genuinely like and feel that they all like one another as well. So some of my silence has been good news indeed.
This has taken up much of my mental energy, and I had not written anything since mid-November, when I started this job. I haven’t submitted anything, no, it’s been all quiet on the Jen front. I’ve got two poems coming out in the Northern Virginia Review and in Menacing Hedge within the next month, but after that there will be a lull while I get my brain acclimated to writing while working, and publishing while working, once more.
I have, however, been reading. I’m enjoying the new design of Luna Luna Magazine. If you haven’t been there since their redesign, you need to go check them out. There’s powerful work there, and all presented with a sense of empowerment that I very much enjoy.
Rogue Agent has been going very well. I love working with Jill and Sara on it, and we definitely are looking forward to making some changes in our second year of operation. Hopefully we’ll move to Submittable, at some point soon, and possibly other changes that will delight. More on that when we have more information to share, of course.
And I’ve been so lucky to be able to meet several of my poet loves in person, and to go on a retreat with seven beautiful writing women. Sarah Winn is starting up a series of Poet Camps, and we went on an inaugural camp in Deep Creek, MD. It was stunning, and inspired such creativity. We even got to experience first snow together as a group, which was a delight. This spring I’m attending Split this Rock, and if you can make it out to DC for this festival, you won’t regret it. Drop me a line and let me know if you’ll be attending – I’ll look for you!