june gloom

It’s June. I’m freezing. I think I’ve been cold since I arrived back to sunny Los Angeles four weeks ago, except it hasn’t been so sunny given that were in the midst of the so cutely named ‘June Gloom’. Instead, it’s been quite foggy and sometimes rainy. So, accordingly, I spend far too much time in the flannel pajamas my mother got us all for Christmas, putzing around the house and ‘figuring out my life’ which I realize never ends but entails lots of internet searches and dinner-time chats with my parents (all of us wearing our matching flannel pajamas). I have ventured, from our mountain perch, down into Los Angeles several time to visit friends and go out and such. 

After too many hours in front of the computer looking at jobs postings and posting my own and graduate programs and submitting queries for freelance writing and reading articles about writing and graduate school, ‘figuring life out’ and more specifically, my next step, seems like a big pain in the ass. But really, I must remember that actually this is the coolest part of life, when you get/have to make the big scary decisions, when your life is not set in stone, your path not cleared ahead. That I even have the power and will to decide, to act on decisions (even as I make none and hang out in sweats). As my friend Megan (not me but incidentally also living with her parents) says: “Who knows! We could move to Mexico and open a taco stand.” So I guess that’s not entirely off the table…

But, actually, there have been some exciting developments in my life just recently. 

Next week, I’m going to Iowa. I shall spend a week there to participate in the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. The University of Iowa writing program is writing mecca. Iowa pioneered the teaching of Creative Writing at the university level, to which my BA in Creative Writing from the University of Denver is indebted. I’m ticketed pink to be going there and I’m hoping to find it swarming with writers and creative types and the ghosts of all the famous writers that have graduated from and taught there (Flannery O’Connor and Kurt Vonnegent, to name just two). I realize with these expectations, a city of 60,000 in the American midwest is bound to disappoint. Granted, this is just a summer festival (and there isn’t an application to participate it) but I have high hopes of meeting folks and writers and chatting. I’m buyoed by a flyer I recieved for a ‘literary magazine’ fair on Thursday of next week, for where else in the States would have a fair dedicated exclusively to literary magazines? I shall certainly be in attendance. I’ve also made two appointments to meet with professors to perhaps dip a toe into the big, scary pond that is graduate school.

Incidentally, last year Iowa City was named a UNESCO City of Literature, only the 3rd city in the world to be named as such.

The week after I return from Iowa, I’m off to Nicaragua again. Yes, indeed… Nicaragua, round III. I got a job with a Boulder company called Global Works, which organizes mini-summer study abroad programs for high schoolers. My particular program is a three-week service-learning class consisting of 22 high school students, 3 guides, and one Megan. I hesitated in accepting this one for various, inarticulate reasons (‘but I just left Nicaragua…’) but now that I’m on board, I’m very excited for the challenge and experience. It will be a different trip, a different Nicaragua, that’s for darn sure. Although, it will also probably be quite the same, and so I look forward to some tropical heat and the greens of a rainy season.

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