Thursday, September 11, 2008


It's been a while....

I'm teaching as adjunct faculty at Ivy Tech Community College this semester. It's exciting to be back in the classroom, and I really enjoy working with these students. So many of them are at major turning points in their lives, whether the turning point is graduating high school, being laid off work, or returning to school after many years simply because it's time to do so. I have been warned that the attrition rate can be quite high. (Last semester someone started the semester with twenty students and ended it with fewer than five.) That will be tough to deal with.

My short story "The L.I.L.I.T.H. System" appears in the anthology, Lilith Unbound, edited by Elaine Cunningham. EC is posting excerpts of different pieces in the antho on her website. My story has recently been showcased, and its characterization of Lilith is referred to in the blurb. Check it out!

Work has kept both Ed and me busy throughout the summer. Nonetheless, we found time to do some painting in the house: willow green in the master bath, Caribbean blue in the guest bath, apricot in the half-bath; sunshine yellow in my office; lime green in his office. And we've chosen the colors for the master bedroom -- orange poppy -- and the LR/DR/kitchen "great room" on the main floor -- ripe mango on two walls and vanilla sugar on two walls. The stairwell and upstairs hallway will also probably be done in the vanilla sugar.

At my day job, we welcomed new students from Burma, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Liberia, the Netherlands, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam to start the fall semester. I think it will be an interesting year and look forward to getting to know them. That is the best part of my job.

Congrats to my brother Chris and his new wife Kristin. Their wedding took place at the end of August and necessitated a quick trip to lovely Rochester, NY. Ed and I were honored to serve as readers during the ceremony, and I think my new favorite poem is one of the readings -- Walt Whitman's "I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing." It doesn't hurt that it reminds me of one of my favorite Russian folk songs, "Tonkaya Ryabina" (lyrics -- scroll a bit; YouTube performance).

That week also saw the death and funeral of someone whom I will miss very much and would have liked to know longer.

We have been putting together a website for me to try to drum up some freelance editing work. It's a slow process. We keep getting distracted by other things. And I have failed miserably at coming up with good content -- because I am writing with too much self-consciousness, I think.

The best movies I saw this summer were superhero flicks -- Iron Man and Dark Knight. The best TV we watch via Netflix; it's a toss-up between Weeds and Big Love, I think. (We need to catch up on Battlestar Galactica, which, admittedly, might win out over all of the rest.) The last book I read was Covenant by Mel Odom, the final installment in the trilogy based on the Hellgate: London game. To shake things up a bit, I've got Twenty Letters to a Friend, a memoir by Josef Stalin's daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, on the bedside table next. Best music? Well, we were able to see Feist earlier this year, and that was fun.

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