The Week Past and Some Words About This Blog

If you’ve been following, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve missed a week or two here. I’m on a summer schedule right now, which means kids and hubby come first and writing commitments place a distant second. In a month or so I’ll be back to full steam.

I’ve enjoyed talking here about the books I’ve been reading, but I plan to cover other topics as well, including balancing grad school with motherhood, literary activism, and breaking into the publishing world. This week I learned that I’ve been elected to the board of directors of the Georgia Writers Association, so I’ll offer some non-profit insights here as well. And I also plan to devote some space to highlighting projects of other creative people I admire.

So stay tuned, and please don’t be shy. I’d love to hear your thoughts on anything I post.

Book a Week: Between, Georgia, by Joshilyn Jackson

Here it is June, and I’m just on my second book of the year, not counting required reading for classes. But it’s never too late to begin, right?

I wanted to read this book because of the title–“Between” being the name of my own blog, and “Georgia” being where I live at the moment. I became intrigued with the title when I noticed it on a list of previous winners of the Georgia Author of the Year award. The book’s synopsis pulled me in deeper: a woman with two mothers, two families. Sounded a little like me.

It’s a weird book, but it works. The adoption angle hit me on page one, and I wasn’t sure I’d take to it, being an adopted person myself. But I think Jackson handled it well. I really like that she made the protagonist, Nonny, equal parts her adoptive and birth families. I feel this way myself. That word “between” pops up frequently throughout the text, and it’s an effective device to remind the reader of Nonny’s place in her world.

The structure of the story suprised me, because it jumps from Nonny’s birth directly to her life as a soon-to-be-divorced thirty-year-old woman without any detail about her relationship with her husband, and a future love interest is introduced very late in the book. I wonder, if she had workshopped this novel while writing it, whether a group of writer-readers would have called her structure flawed. All I know is the book held my attention all the way through and even made me cry, so I’d call it a success.

Goings On

I’ve been lax in posting here lately. Sometimes the number of things I have to keep track of gets overwhelming. So, I thought I’d mention some of what I’ve been busy with over the past month.

In January, the first issue of Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination went live. We’ve received some great feedback, which makes the long hours we put in all worthwhile. I’m especially proud of being able to help emerging writers get their work in front of an audience. Now it’s time to gear up for Issue 2, due out this summer.

Also in January, I began working as a graduate research assistant with the Georgia Writers Association. I’ll be editing their monthly newsletter and helping out at workshops held on the second Saturday of each month.

One of my poems is published in the latest issue of The Cleveland Review, which I’m particularly happy about because I’m from Cleveland. I was thrilled when I discovered this fairly new publication several months ago.

And then there are my classes. I’m taking two this semester, which didn’t sound like too many when I registered, but which I now realize are two rather work-intensive courses. The good news though is that when this semester is over, I’ll just have one more class to take. My focus will shift to my capstone project, which I’ll be starting in the fall, assuming I get my proposal done this semester. Oh yeah, my proposal . . . .