Tuesday, June 03, 2008

C was up till all hours last night, fixing the agitator in the washing machine, and then fixing the nailer. He gets such pleasure out of handling tools, making things work, intelligent design. A good balance to the work at Juvenile Hall where you can do your best but the outcome is out of your hands.

We're revving up for summer vacation--mine has already started. I'm back at my desk, reconfiguring See How We Almost Fly for the 10,000th time, getting ready to send it out to five new contests. I wonder if this process will ever end. It is discouraging, it feels like flushing twenty-dollar bills down the toilet. I've entered a bunch of contests this past year, won two for individual poems, netting $2,000.00, nothing to complain about, but the book contract has so far eluded me. For seven years now. So I'm complaining.

Free-lance writing is a lot about waiting: I'm waiting to hear from the editor at MORE about two essays which I sent her--she says the end of next week. The Sun has two other essays of mine--they've had them for months. I'm not on tenterhooks or anything, I know they'll get back to me whenever. Modern Love has another essay and I'll either hear from them or I won't.

I'm still waiting for the check to come in for the production of my play, for the money to come from the second poetry contest I won; to get paid for the classes I taught at the high school, for the class I've been teaching in the city. I just now got paid for the second grade class I taught this spring. Waiting, waiting.

Like C, I need something that gives predicable solid gratification, that takes me into the now. For me, it's dancing, improvising, painting sometimes, gardening sometimes. I'm going to go to Urban Re-leaf this Saturday and plant some trees. I'm signed up to volunteer to assist in a self-defense class, and I'll be taking another class at the end of this month--multiple assailants and weapons. And I just got called by Big Brothers/Big Sisters--they've matched me up with another girl, a young one, seven years old. Yay! Children are the most grounding energizing force I can think of.

And I'm knitting a blue baby blanket for my stepbrother's child, due later this month. Out of the silkiest softest organic cotton.


Jessica said...

Alison, I didn't know that you knit! That is so neat. Did Nana teach you?

Alison said...

Yes, Nana taught me a million years ago, but I've stayed at the primitive beginner level--when I say knitting, I mean just straight boring all-one-block knitting. Last year I made Christopher a nice dark green scarf made out of two different kinds of yarn twisted together--very fetching if I do say so myself...

I'm nowhere near your level of artistry though.


Jessica said...

Oh, please. Anyone can knit. I've even taught Mike and Jonathan. I'm just passionate about it, so I experiment with it a lot, often with spectacularly impressive failures. Actually, believe it or not, that's probably one of the best knitting (life?) mantras that Nana (of all people) taught me--if you screw it up, big deal, it's just yarn. Rip it back and try it again. It's all good, even the spectacular failures.
Hey, guess what? I just got a spinning wheel! I may have a new love...
Miss you, fierce cousin love, Jess

Alison said...

yes, I went to your blog and saw the spinning wheel and everything. Love that sunset-colored wool you spun! You are an ARTIST!! I also love those green, cream and black socks you did. I agree with you that anyone can knit, but it takes something more to do what you do with textiles.