January 1-3, 2012:

The first posts of the new year include a little heartache, a little toothache, and a lot of writing.


One dear writer friend, a student of mine, is dying. She has written a beautiful, powerful upbeat goodbye to a number of us and has become my new hero. There is an elegance and a promise in her letter that will be my guide for the future.


So, it’s not all about dying with heroism, it’s also about living heroically with pain. I am not so good at that. I was sitting in my writing chair, looking over something I’d just written, eating a soft date, when I bit down on something solid. Not the pit, which I’d already removed. It turned out to be the upper right incisor which had just broken off. The pain was like a knife in the gum.

As it was already 4:30 in the afternoon and the dentist about to shut down, I raced over, tooth throbbing. My lovely dentist built up the broken tooth, soothed the ache, thinks it will not need root canal, but will need to be capped. What a pain–in both senses of the word.

Book news:

*Contract terms for Centaur Field dealt with.

*Short story about Disraeli finished, revised, sent off to the editors. Now I must wait to find out if it fits the bill.

*New poem-a-day series begun. Here is one of them, from Jan 2.:

The Year Starts Well

The year starts well: two poems,

juicy and anarchic,

a short story finished that till today

was recalcitrant and bad in bed.

I have caught up on my journal,

Made a start at cleaning my house.

By tomorrow I should be

Empress of the Known World.

How can one not like a year

that begins this way?

Too bad they all end the same.

*First stab at organizing materials for an introduction for a Folio Society book. (Will need to hit the Smith College Library next week.)

*Saw cover of The Last Selchie Child poetry book (two versions, like them both.) Went over the galleys.

*Went over the full illustrations for the graphic novel Curses, Foiled Again. Illustrator Mike Cavallero has outdone himself!

*Got my first rejection of 2012. A picture book. And so it begins. . .

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