Catching Breath

What's happened since we last spoke? 
Food Allergy Ball at the Waldorf Astoria. Meetings with my editorial teams at Crown and W. W. Norton. A few hours spent wandering the Museum of Modern Art. A night watching Hugh Jackman sing his way through some Broadway tunes. (I accidentally walked in besides Donald Trump and Melania...I kinda wanted to reach out and touch his hair, but resisted.) A photo shoot at HANG DAI studio--more on that soon--then a delightful BookCourt reading by Joe Infurnari/Glenn Eichler (Mush! Sled Dogs with Issues), Nick Abadzis (Laika), and Dean Haspiel ("Billy Dogma: The Last Romantic Antihero").

I caught a 7 AM train from New York City back to DC. A slow taxi home from Union Station meant I barely had time to bring bags up to my apartment--and only seconds to register that my refrigerator has begun making suspicious noises--before hopping into my car and driving an hour to Mt Hebron High School in Ellicott City, where I had a 12:30 classroom visit (part of a series as the Poet-in-Residence for the Howard County Poetry & Literature Society). The "visit" turned out to be a full-out reading in the library for over 50 kids. I dashed in as the bell was ringing to start the period, and an uncharacteristic coughing spell racked its fingernails across the opening delivery of "Another Failed Poem about the Greeks." But I pushed through, and afterwards a girl who had sat in the front row introduced herself as a budding writer. She'd spent the night before looking up my work and YouTube clips; she had me sign her program; we took a photo. And in that moment I knew the hustle had been worth it.

Now I'm back in my noisy apartment (maybe the fridge's fan belt is the problem?), innards of my suitcase still spread on the floor, adjusting to the thought of being home for an entire month. Good music helps. At the moment, I'm listening to CEREMONIALS by Florence + The Machine; before that, it was the Beastie Boys.

Next up is the Brother Ali album US, which I bought after listening to it at Mother Fool's Coffeehouse in Madison, Wisconsin, the afternoon before my memoir reading. Hard to believe that is already one week (and two cities) back, but it was a wonderful day spent reading, wandering Williamson Street's co-op and art galleries, and getting to meet Christi Craig, a fellow blogger and mother to an allergic child.

Head over to Christi's WRITING UP AN APPETITE blog for my guest-post on the travails of eating on the road--and a chance to win a giveaway copy of Don't Kill the Birthday Girl

I'm grateful to be back in my DC community, and I won't be able to risk the siren call of hearing Matthea Harvey read from Of Lamb at 826DC this Tuesday, or seeing Much Ado About Nothing with my friend at the Shakespeare Theater later this week, or visiting my beloved holiday train display at the Botanical Gardens. But overall, this is going to be a working month. I have edits to turnaround for a major Washington Post piece, a new series I'll be launching with the good folks at TRIP CITY, notes toward several short craft essays and personal essays that I've been dying to turn into a reality, and a sestina simmering in the back of my mind. 2011's ridiculous amount of travel has been fun, but there's no way around it: if you want to make a living as a full-time writer, you need to write and write some more. Time to see if I can make that happen.