Year's End Booklist, 2015

This year may have been a real mixed bag, but at least it was a good one for hitting the books. Presented below without comment: every book, audiobook, and chapbook I read in 2015. Peruse at your leisure- I have to go preserve food in mason jars and listen to the Hamilton soundtrack again.

Hamilton--Bway.gif


Modern Life- Matthea Harvey

Yes Please- Amy Poehler

Taking Off Emily Dickenson’s Clothes- Billy Collins

Citizen: An American Lyric- Claudia Rankine

Fidelity- Grace Paley

The Balloonists- Eula Biss

This Lamentable City- Polina Barskova

Mother Love- Rita Dove

The Cloud Collector’s Handbook- Gavin Pretor-Pinney

Pacific Coast Pelagic Invertebrates- David Wrobel and Claudia Mills

Bad Feminist- Roxane Gay

Ramza- Out El Kouloub (translated by Nayra Atiya)

Red Bird- Mary Oliver

Life on Mars- Tracy K. Smith

Congress of Mud- Luiza Flynn Goodlett (chapbook)

The Enchantress of Florence- Salman Rushdie

Their Eyes Were Watching God- Zora Neale Hurston

Bossypants- Tina Fey

A Brief History of Time- Stephen Hawking (audiobook)

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt- Aimee Bender

Valencia- Michelle Tea

Night- Elie Wiesel

Emplumada- Lorna Dee Cervantes

My People-Kath Walker

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos- R.L. LaFevers

The Children- Paula Bohince

Pelican- Emily O’Neill

Wintersmith- Terry Pratchett

Good Omens- Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (re-read)

Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh- R.L LaFevers

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks- Rebecca Skloot

This Is How Your Lose Her- Junot Diaz

Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy- Stevenson, Ellis, Watters, Allen (comic book)

I LOVE SCIENCE!- Shanny Jean Maney

Tigerbone Wine- Hilary Tham

Fratricide- Alexis Stratton (chapbook)

The Devastation- Melissa Buzzeo (LLR)

Butch Geography- Stacey Waite

Lantern Puzzle- Ye Chun

The Islands Project- Eloise Klein Healy

Five Children and It- E. Nesbit

Sex at Dawn- Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha

Lace and Pyrite: letters from two gardens- Ross Gay and Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Rope- Alison Hawthorne Deming

Lucky Fish- Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Sexing the Cherry- Jeanette Winterson

Things That Are- Amy Leach

Killer on the Road: Violence and the American Interstate- Ginger Strand

Last Psalm at Sea Level- Meg Day

Men Explain Things to Me- Rebecca Solnit

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

War of the Foxes- Richard Siken

When the Sick Rule the World- Dodie Bellamy (LLR)

Sharks in the Rivers- Ada Limon

Prelude to Bruise- Saeed Jones

The Last Two Seconds- Mary Jo Bang

When I was Straight- Julie Marie Wade (chapbook)

Slant Six- Erin Belieu

Solve for X- Ed Madden and Alexis Stratton (chapbook)


I Can't Sleep

So I spent a truly ridiculous amount of time figuring out how to make this meme about one of the more complex aspects of lesbian breakups. 

Time wasted? I think not.  I hope it will be the first of many glorious pop song re-writes...because everything is better when it's about Lez Queerz (and I am always a little ashamed to find myself whistling top 40 in the shower):

For real though, if she says you're not cat co-parent material, she's telling you it's over.

 

Year's End Booklist, 2014

I spent the last night of 2014 watching the webseries "Carmilla" from beginning to end (everyone is gay! I love it!). For the last day of 2014 I went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History, because it is good to be reminded that we are small, the universe is endlessly appealing and strange, and tardigrades will always be more hardcore than pretty much everything. 

2014 has been a fantastic year in terms of books- I walked out of the Lambda Retreat with a recommended reading list the length of a humboldt squid, and have been steadily gnawing my way through (interspersed with the occasional used bookstore random and fluffy historical fiction, of course). I have been introduced to so many incredible authors; it really feels like an honor to be part of a literary community of thoughtful, beautiful oddballs. I hope to dig myself ever deeper into that community in the coming years, and meet and read the people who are changing the world. 

Here's to all the humans, books, and natural phenomena that make this tiny, immense journey worth it!

2014 

Fearless Creating- Eric Maisel

The Princess and the Outlaw- Jean Roberta (Lambda Literary Review book)

Long Quiet Highway- Natalie Goldberg

A Map of Everything- Elizabeth Early (LLR)

Grace, or the Art of Climbing- Lauren Feldman (play)

Sentencing Day- Brian Van Slyke

Corona- Bushra Rehman (LLR)

Autobiography of Red- Anne Carson (HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT ANNE CARSON? What have I been doing with my life?)

The History of Love- Nicole Krauss

Bluets- Maggie Nelson

The Land of Painted Caves- Jean M. Auel

Outlander- Diana Gabaldon

Acts of Levitation- Laynie Brown

Dragonfly in Amber- Diana Gabaldon

Like a Beggar- Ellen Bass

Radial Symmetry- Katherine Larson

Voyager- Diana Gabaldon

Drums of Autumn- Diana Gabaldon

Space, in Chains- Laura Kasischke

Mysterious Acts by My People- Valerie Wetlaufer

Black hands of a morning calm- Ayshia Stephenson

Nevada- Imogen Binnie

When my Brother Was an Aztec- Natalie Diaz

You're Not Edith- Allison Gruber (LLR)

Seam- Tarifa Faizullah

Blood Dazzler- Patricia Smith

Wolf Centos- Simone Meunch

Eyes, Stones- Elana Bell

Slow Lightning- Eduardo C. Corral

Erosion- Jorie Graham

The Seven Ages- Louise Gluck

Deepstep Come Shining- C.D. Wright

 


 

 

 

That Deep, Weird Urge

It all comes down to that urge that walks the black ice-lacquered sidewalk between time-wasting compulsion and actual adult organization: The Urge to List.

Maybe it’s genetic, maybe it’s a product of schooling, or a coping mechanism for chronic personal chaos, or maybe it’s just something I picked up from my ex-girlfriend who had a knack for administrative tasking.

Whatever the cause, I (occasionally, in unpredictable spurts) have it bad.

It all started in 2011, during a 6-month backpacking trip where my 48-litre capacity ensured I could not lug more than a book or two around at once. I read whatever looked most promising in the book swap of whichever hostel I slept in that night, and traded it for a new title at the next stopover. It was a pretty flawless system, except for the fact that each hostel represented a total grab bag and the distinct possibility that the book you dragged up from the depths would be Wuthering Heights.

In order to assuage my bibliophilic desire to throw out my only other pair of pants and stuff my backpack full of the titles I most loved, I started writing down the name and author of each book I read, regardless of my feelings toward it. When I got back from the trip, I kept up with the list.

At some point I realized I had a compendium of every book I’d read over the last 3 years, which is almost as satisfying a feeling as when all of your books fit neatly onto that green bookshelf you picked up from a neighbor’s front yard (in Vermont, every sidewalk block is the Bermuda Triangle of ailing furniture).

So, I’m starting my own tiny tradition: every year, I’ll post my list for the year past. Maybe, if I get really out of hand, there will be pie charts to depict my genre ratios. For now, The Great Booklist of 2011-2013:  

 

2011/2012

Prison and Chocolate Cake- Nayantara Sahgal

A People’s History of the United States- Howard Zinn

Wicked- Gregory Macguire

Watership Down- Richard Adams

“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman.”- Richard Feynman

Tuck Everlasting- Natalie Babbitt

What We Believe But Cannot Prove- John Brockman

You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down- Alice Walker

The Arm of the Stone- Victoria Strauss

The Grass Dancer- Susan Powers

The Mermaid Chair- Sue Monk Kidd

Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte

One Thousand White Women- Jim Fergus

The Mango Orchard- Robin Bayley

Reaper Man- Terry Pratchett

Dead Man’s Walk- Larry McMurtry

The Carpet People- Terry Pratchett

The Things They Carried- Tim O’Brien

The Streets of Laredo- Larry McMurtry

Murder in the Dark- Margaret Atwood

To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee

Heat & Other Stories- Joyce Carol Oates

Nature Girl- Carl Hiassen

The Way of the Scout- Tom Brown, Jr.

The Forest House- Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Tipping Point- Malcolm Gladwell

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009- ed. Elizabeth Kolbert

The Earth Hums in B Flat- Mari Strachan

Desert Solitaire- Edward Abbey

A Good Man is Hard to Find & Other Stories- Flannery O’Connor

The Tiger’s Wife- Tea Obreht

The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2011- ed. Lavinia Spalding

Rubyfruit Jungle- Rita Mae Brown

Catharine, Called Birdy- Karen Cushman

The World Without Us- Alan Weisman

Walk the Blue Fields- Claire Keegan

Diving into the Wreck- Adrienne Rich

Stiff- Mary Roach

The Profile Makers- Linda Bierds

At the Bottom of the River- Jamaica Kincaid

Women on Hunting- ed. Pam Houston

Internal West- Priscilla Becker

All of the Above- Dorothy Barresi

Grass Songs- Ann Turner

Notes from the Divided Country- Suji Kwock Kim

 

2013

Teeth- Aracelis Girmay

The Moon is Always Female- Marge Piercy

Haunts- Laura Cherry

The Mammoth Book of Awesome Comic Fantasy- Edited by Mike Ashley

Swamplandia!- Karen Russel

The Gold Cell- Sharon Olds

My Side of the Mountain- Jean Craighead George

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- Jonathan Safran Foer

Fun Home- Alison Bechdel

2.5 Minute Ride and 101 Humiliating Stories- Lisa Kron

The Earth is Not Flat- Katherine Coles

O Yes I Will (I will remember the spirit and texture of this conversation)- Deb Magorlin

Thirst- Mary Oliver

Westwind- Mary Oliver

Big Love- Charles L. Mee

Kingdom Animalia- Aracelis Girmay

Confederacy of Dunces- John Toole Kennedy

New and Selected Poems, Vol. I- Mary Oliver

A Portrait in Sepia- Isabel Allende

Fisherman of the Inland Sea- Ursula K. LeGuin

Born to Run- Christopher McDougall

Running After Antelope- Scott Carrier

Selected Poems II: 1976-1986- Margaret Atwood

White Teeth- Zadie Smith

Controlled Hallucinations- John Sibley Williams

Maddaddam- Margaret Atwood

The Shadow of the Wind- Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Wild- Cheryl Strayed

 

And, because the Urge to List feeds on itself:

Other Stuff I’ve Read That Lives On My Bookshelf

 

West With the Night- Beryl Markham

Jitterbug Perfume- Tom Robbins

Solibo Magnificent- Patrick Chamoiseau

The Prophet- Kahlil Gibran

The Crooked Inheritance- Marge Piercy

Bird By Bird- Anne Lamott

Interpreter of Maladies- Jhumpa Lahiri

The Master and Margarita- Mikhail Bulgakov (Translated by Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O’Connor)

A Desired Past- Leila J. Rupp

One Hundred Years of Solitude- Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Red Tent- Anita Diamant

We Have Always Lived in the Castle- Shirley Jackson

The Blind Assassin- Margaret Atwood

The Unsayable- Annie G. Rogers, PH.D.

Mama Day- Gloria Naylor

Things Fall Apart- Chinua Achebe

Sputnik Sweetheart- Haruki Murakami

 

I Made a Book Mosaic on My Floor!

Because I already put away my laundry and I don't want to stop watching Gilmore Girls. And possibly because I'm high on carob-covered almonds. You are welcome:

It contains all the books I brought back to Vermont from my West Coast trip, plus what I ordered online from Powell's (used poetry book sale. Save me from myself). Many are the result of wonderful suggestions from the Lambda Retreat folks.

It contains all the books I brought back to Vermont from my West Coast trip, plus what I ordered online from Powell's (used poetry book sale. Save me from myself). Many are the result of wonderful suggestions from the Lambda Retreat folks.


Vermont and Back Again: what I did with myself over the last six months

So much happened this summer! Much of which fell somewhere on the scale of marvelous to mind-blowing. A quick recap (with multimedia!):

I finished the Intensive Training Program at NECCA. It was brutal and sweet and the final show was a blast- I can’t believe how lucky I was to work with such supportive, committed, completely-out-of-their-minds athletes. There was mucho glitter and a sink-or-swim introduction to the concept of bodystockings and rhinestone application. I learned how to choreograph, how to mangle my way through GarageBand, how to turn a plain gray leotard into a costume, and exactly how weird my voice sounds when recorded. The show was drive-in movie themed because we needed a thread to connect 20-odd acts that had absolutely nothing to do with each other. We had a ‘Jaws’ interlude, a miniature staircase for ‘Rocky.’ I did a thigh stand on my even smaller friend Naomi while wearing a plastic heart-shaped rhinestone keychain (‘class of 2015’ removed via nail file) the size of a crab apple around my neck and cried “Jack, I’m flying!” Backstage, everyone dramatically lipsynched along with the iconic ‘Dirty Dancing’ scene in a way that suggested we were, in fact, having the time of our lives.

In the program, everyone creates one major act (usually solo), and one minor act (with a group and subject to which you are assigned). While both acts are very much first steps for me, I’m pleased with how they turned out, and my group was a blast to work with. For the curious, video of both acts can be found here (special thanks to coaches Megan Gendell and Jamie Hodgson):

Then the program ended and I got slammed with the worst bout of depression I can recall in my adult life. Subsequently, what I’d hoped would be a productive, creative summer was largely spent sobbing in various bathrooms, cars, and stairwells. The bright spot was going to work every day at Sidehill Farm with my friend Eleanor (getting her hired=one of my top ten decisions of 2013). We are basically like Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory, but think jam and no floppy hats.

WHOOSH! The end of July came and I flew back to Utah where my folks live, borrowed my dad’s car (his only safety advice being “I’m selling it as soon as you get back. So if you crash, make sure you total it,”), got a surprise drop-in from Nick, who drove with me (by ‘drove’ I mean ‘made use of his iphone’s GPS and helpfully reminded me not to panic whenever I missed an exit’) from northern Utah to Los Angeles, CA, via one night of terrible food and far too much sensory input in Las Vegas, NV. As payment, I introduced him to RadioLab. Then, like my handcart-pushing ancestors before me, collecting buffalo dung and multiple wives as they went,  I arrived in the promised land: the 2014 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer’s Retreat (thank you again to everyone who donated to my fellowship fund!).

I could employ a lot of words here, to describe the retreat- how everyone was frighteningly smart, devastatingly clever yet approachable, elbows-deep in the current workings of literature, social justice, and passionate about cheap whiskey- but none of it would capture the magick. Just...go there, if it is within your grasp to do so. Also, Eduardo C. Corral was the poetry workshop leader, and if you get a chance to work with him, take it. A more kind-hearted, open-eyed language lover you may never meet. Bloody fantastic poet, too.

I met so. many. good poets. No, I will not get over it.

To get a sense of the work that was flying around this place, visit the the website and listen to the readings. Wowza. (It’s worth noting that immediately following the Thursday reading, a small group of us launched an impromptu open mic, which we dubbed “Haikootch.” Speeches were given, imaginary awards received; words were slurred into the microphone, and one poet in a polka dot dress slung a half-empty wine bottle over her head like a lasso. Success!) This was my first real reading, so there was a certain amount of public-speaking terror and panic sweat stains, but the atmosphere was encouraging- I was surrounded by comrades in queerness. In this case, my first time may be my best time. Or, at least, far from the worst time.

Please watch all of the videos- there are some people who know how to arrange words on a page and then say those words out loud in an astonishing and wonderful way. My own reading can be viewed here (in which I learned a valuable lesson about not reading the poem that makes you super-emotional first in the lineup. No judgement.):

 

Tragically, inevitably, the retreat ended. Somehow, my summer remained awesome. I car-camped my way through Big Sur and Santa Cruz (caught a poetry open mic at The Art Bar) to Oakland where I visited two of my favorite people, Germaine and Jericha, saw high school friend Betty for the first time in forever, and made new friends Maria and Tori. We went tango dancing, stalked a mysterious hot tub, sang to the moon on a hillside at night, visited bookstores Pegasus, Diesel, and Green Apple, and learned that the phrase “gentle star uterus” exists in the world. I wore a sash and a dildo on my head for a Miss Misandry- themed lingere party, attended a pop-up opera taking place all over San Francisco (courtesy of The Museum of Joy), and wound up at a bondage/kink performance with free champagne and oil paintings of consensual torture done in the style of 18th century English portraiture (obscure sub-genre of art nouveau: Tortriture?). I actually had circus school flashbacks- I had no idea how, uh, familiar it would feel to stand in a crowded room while a burly man with a thick accent forced nubile performance artists into impossibly contorted shapes against a background of groans and screams that impress upon one the flimsiness of the line between pain and pleasure. Tooooo close to home.

I was completely won over (by the city, not the porn). I found a craigslist ad for a bi-racial lesbian couple with two dogs seeking a housemate to share their gorgeous home and backyard for a stupidly reasonable monthly sum. I almost moved to Oakland on the spot and will probably kick myself forever for not.

I followed Cali up with an afternoon rush ticket to The Tempest (rocked. my socks.), courtesy of the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, and proceeded up the coast to Portland. When I arrived, I thought I must have pulled onto the set of Portlandia- you cannot swing a cat without hitting a hipster sporting full sleeve tattoos riding a fixie with a macbook in their messenger bag. That show is not fucking around with its representation of Stumptown.

But my sweet bicuspid, the food! Apparently, any eatery with a name consisting of two alliterative words separated by an ampersand is guaranteed to please your face-hole. Two examples that leap to mind are Grain & Gristle (bonkers hot mustard though, beware) and Salt & Straw. Regarding the latter, never have I ever loved ice cream with such unholy fervor. A few of my favorite flavors, if I may indulge: olive oil. Pear and bleu cheese. Freckled woodblock chocolate. Watermelon carrot sorbet. Bone marrow and bourbon-smoked cherries. Yes, you heard me. I ate ice cream flavored with the insides of bones and it was like someone lit a wood-burning stove full of black-and-white photographs of French-Canadian fur traders, moonshine, and smokey miracles inside my mouth. Yeah, I had seconds. 

Between culinary adventures, I went camping with Nick near Mt. Hood- we waded into Frog Lake, hiked to Ramona Falls, and built a badass campfuego. I took a yoga class for $8 and bought kimchi at New Seasons to feel like a local. I saw my friend Kerri's circus show in the woods with Lacy and a bunch of goofy micro-brew aficionados. I spent half a day wandering in blissful daze through Powell’s City of Books, and the other half reading and writing at a tea shop. I took myself to a $4 screening of Obvious Child (which I loved because it is pretty fucking flawless) at the Laurelhurst and feasted on homemade kombucha and local-cheese pizza from the concessions stand. I even reconnected with one of the poets from the Lambda retreat.

It’s comforting to know that, if Oakland turns out to be just too much city for this little pasture-raised poet, I can flee to the smaller, rainier arms of Portland.

But, onward. I drove to Olympic National Park and met up with Rachel, who I met while traveling in Honduras in 2011 and haven’t seen since, and camped with her and her new partner. The real reason to go camping with others is not safety- you need friends to share in the bewilderment: Forks, Washington might qualify as a town by only the barest legal definition, but what it lacks in actual human populace is made up for by the tourists no doubt attracted to the deluge of Twilight-themed tours, shops, and signs. No abusive mythical disco-ball boyfriends for me, thanks. 

Though one very helpful, understated sign kindly informed me, when crossing an apparent town boundary, that I was “Entering Sappho.” I immediately pulled over to text this information to five of my queerest friends. 

We rode the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, BC, where I spent a week visiting bookstores like Russell Books and Munro's, tea shops, a Viking exhibit at the Royal BC Museum, and babysitting the world’s most insecure dog, Etta, re-christened Thunder Dingo. Rachel cooked a lot of salmon and dyed my hair. I left a more stylish, well-fed, and absurdly polite version of myself (the excessive politeness of Canadians is no joke). Whenever I miss Canada I read harkavagrant and practice smiling really aggressively as though to get the attention of a surly bartender without condemning myself to a saliva-garnished cocktail.    

I jettisoned across the border and into Northern Idaho to visit my dad’s family for a couple of days (heard some bagpipes, played with some nieces and some dogs, listened to a lot of Marilyn Horne, and ate an astonishing number of breakfasts), before dropping all the way down to Utah again. I stopped over for a night somewhere near Dillon, Montana, and slept in my car in the parking lot of a Motel 6, and woke up to a fully frosted window. Cold nights take all the fun out of peeing in poorly-trimmed hedges.

I spent a little time in Salt Lake City for some family events, and I realized that SLC is turning into the Portland of the Desert. Charming boulangeries are popping up all over downtown, vintage stores grow wild (hello big wool coat from Decades!), all the cool kids have tattoos by artists visiting from San Francisco and Brooklyn, and the city is re-painting the bike lanes to make them wider. I even got major flirty eye from a waitress who looked like a Hannah Heart/Clea Duvall genetic mashup. I’m just waiting for a sketch comedy called “Mormonlandia” to go viral.

Mostly, I hung out with my mom and her family and friends- we went to Moab and rode horses through canyon, scouting for petroglyphs, visited my cousin Abby and her bicycle-building German boyfriend, and scored some cheap fun shit at WabiSabi thrift store. Back on my mom’s farm, it was mostly hanging out, horses, chickens, one extremely naughty dog, and relocating various kinds of animal feces with a pitchfork. I went to a crafts market where I ran into my dear friend Jenna-Boo and found a Really Good Gift for my ex girlfriend's birthday. I fired a gun for the first time and was disconcerted to find I'm a crack shot with a semi-automatic rifle. I voyaged to the Heber Valley's only remaining bookseller, ReBook, where I bought and traded for more used books, then read those books in a hammock (I know, my life is clearly awful). We went to a horse exhibit at the Natural History Museum. My mom got really into The Blacklist (because any woman who was at her sexual peak when either Sex, Lies, and Videotape or Secretary was released will, always and forever, have a thing for James Spader), so we ate a lot of popcorn and did some late-night Netflix worship. I did exactly no pullups, pushups, or training of any kind. It was glorious.

I wondered whether this meant something, that it was so easy to leave my training behind; that I felt, for the first time in far too long, a general contentment with myself and my day-to-day existence.

My body started to return to a familiar, softer shape, yet I felt less self-conscious about my lack of defined muscle, about not being an 18-year old ex-gymnast/dancer with eight-pack abs; I didn’t worry about when and where and how many times I was going to cry on a given day; I had time to read and write and just lay the fuck around. And, perhaps best of all, if I was on my period, I didn’t have to do heavy ab work or go upside-down while wearing a diva cup (the worst). I remembered that there is stuff in the world that I, Theodosia Henney, am actually good at and enjoy; that there is so much I want to do with my life, things I’ve dreamed of since well before circus was a blip on my radar.

Sometimes I caught myself thinking about how this idea or that sequence might be cool to put in a piece, but not often. I missed my Vermont friends of course, and my trusty back-of-the-knee callouses. I did not miss feeling like a massive failure every time I was the slowest person to learn a new skill. Or feeling helpless and ashamed that I’m not more brave about applying speed and power to my movements. Or frustration that I don’t own fast-twitch muscles. Or exhaustion so deep I couldn’t feed myself properly. Or having zero time to write, read, or function as a human being.

Several of my friends from Intensive are doing ProTrack. They will each come out of the program in May with two professional-level acts: big tricks, exciting choreography, gorgeous costumes, ready to launch a career. I didn’t apply to ProTrack, because I was too broke, wasn’t sure the program would be right for me, and, frankly, I didn’t want to spend another year feeling like the most useless person on the planet because I could only do 9 pullups and can’t sit on my own head. Then, naturally, I panicked that I’d made a huge mistake and doomed myself to an unfulfilling life of doing absolutely nothing worthwhile and never figuring myself out while everyone I love speeds away into successful careers to make meaningful art.    

Then I went to the Best Coast and pulled my head out of my ass, where hopefully it will remain for the foreseeable future.

I’m back in Vermont for now, planning a move west in the Spring. Yes, one more New England Winter (whose idea were those, anyway?). I’ve started to ease back into training, so I’m sore and constantly faced with how much harder or impossible even simple skills have become (I know it’s shocking, but two months of meandering through bookstores and eating everything that came to hand did nothing to increase my aptitude as an athlete. But it sure as hell made me feel like a human again). But, demoralizing as those no-longer-unspotted tuck rocks are, I’m finding joy in training again. I mean, I’m not yet overflowing with enthusiasm at the prospect of mashing myself against a steel bar while dangling in the air, but I’m warming up to it. Being physically focused again feels good- like I’m rounding out a part of myself that delights in finding capability where it is not expected. Plus, this shit used to be fun- I think it can be again. I’d like it to be again.

So, I’m still trying to figure out how best to balance work, various passions, and being a decent person (how little changes). But, I did a hard thing for 10 months (or longer, depending on how attached you are to a linear representation of time), and I got a lot out of it. Now, I get to decide what to do with those experiences moving forward. So that’s a pretty good place to be as Fall marches inexorably toward the dreaded Polar Vortex: Part Deux. Plus, I have a packed bookshelf, vitamin D drops, a wood burning stove, and two pounds of turmeric from the bulk section of a discount food store (my section of the pantry is begging you to make a Dune joke). I’ve got this Winter business on lockdown. Bring it on, Northeast- I’m gonna parka the shit out of you.



 

 

 

 

 

I'm Going to LA (hopefully)!

Whilst I've been unbearably busy with circus things, there's been an exciting development: I've been accepted to the Lambda Literary Foundation's Emerging Writers Retreat! It's in Los Angeles in August, and I am ridiculously excited. 

I was lucky enough to receive a generous scholarship, but still need to raise a substantial amount to cover tuition, room, and board. You all know the drill- this is the part where I ask you to cough up hard-earned cash so that I can go live in queer writer heaven for a week. So, if you're inclined and have the disposable income, please check out my donor page and consider sending a few bucks my way! And yes, I'm totally serious about the dirty limerick part:

http://lambdaliterary.donorpages.com/WritersRetreatScholarshipFund/TheodosiaHenney/