Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays

It snowed for a couple hours this morning, leaving maybe an inch of the white fluffy stuff. Still recovering from a back injury, not yet allowed to shovel, I did go out there with the stiff bristled broom, mobile enough once more (thank goodness) to sweep the sidewalk clear and breathe in the intoxicating clean, cold air.

It was hard to stay focused on my morning writing with so many distractions. House finches, chickadees and juncos finally figured out that the new heated birdbath was installed so they could drink! One of our neighbors made a sled run down their hill with a jump at the end. Every time I looked up an orange or lime green toboggan was sailing off the jump and onto the ice. That same neighbor and his grandsons worked for hours clearing a skating rink out in the middle of the pond. At one point the kids were running through the snow from the snow blower like it was summer and they were running through the sprinkler. All I could think was:

How did we get from July to the end of December so FAST?

I'm not really sure, but my vow to post more often got lost in the rush. Here are a few of the highlights:
  • In late August I attended a poetry workshop, WRITING ON WATER, sponsored by Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais. Minnesota poets, Phebe Hanson and Cary Waterman were perfect workshop leaders. The five days sped by, culminating in a reading at the bookstore. It was a great week; I wrote a lot, made new friends, and came back eager to write and submit my work.
  • Yesterday I received word that two of my poems have been accepted for publication in this year's issue of DUST & FIRE (an anthology of women's voices published at Bemidji State University)! I'm hoping to make it up there for the publication reading and reception at the end of February -- weather permitting. This is, after all, MINNESOTA!
  • My back injury prevented me from going to Chicago the see a production of my book, ESCAPING TORNADO SEASON (directed by Gary Balfantz of Lake Superior State University, Michigan at the National Communication Association Conference in November). This was a major disappointment, as Gary does incredible work and I had so looked forward to meeting the cast and seeing his interpretation of my book. It also meant I didn't get to see my daughter and her family or our dear friends who were at the conference. They did give me full reports on the performance, though!
  • Another very cool thing happened this week -- Mary Ann Dames (friend and writing colleague) created a wild rice pancake recipe inspired by that same book! It's posted on her blog -- I can't wait to try it, it sounds so yummy! (Check it out at: It's nice to know that even though the book is out of print, it's still alive in other ways. And it can still be purchased through online booksellers, or by contacting me.
Not being able to do a lot of the things I usually do over the last couple months gave me a good opportunity to get back on track with my young adult writing. Now I'm working on two of the novels at once and glad that it's the start of "hibernation time" (at least it will be once the holidays are over).


Angela said...

Hope your back gets better. I suffer from back problems as well, and it's so frustrating when we miss out on so many wonderful things because of it.

Sarah Laurenson said...

December? This is December? Damn!

Wow. Congrats! Sympathy! It's all called for here.

So cool to have your work translated into a play and what a bummer you couldn't see it.

Awesome that you're getting poems published. Major bummer about the back injury.

Hope you feel better soon!

Julie Williams said...

Thanks, both of you! Angela, you probably get that the back thing is testing my patience in a big way (and patience has never been my strong suit). But it is slowly but surely getting better. And since it was a cumulative injury, I'm really hoping that the work I'm doing to recover from it will result in me being in better shape than I was before the "freeze-up" in early November. Something to aim for anyway! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your publishing news, Julie! I hope your back feels better soon, and that you have a great holiday!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Happy New Year!!!