Saturday, May 20, 2006

Summer's coming...

I’ve got one hell of a summer ahead of me. The plan is this: sailing in Italy, Hungarian lessons, maintain the vegetable garden, train the dog to catch Frisbees (she’s already pretty good), see Eric Clapton in concert, long weekend in Transylvania, get a fishing permit, go fishing, see Radiohead and other bands at the Sziget Festival, and get a literary agent.

The list is not in order, but I’ve only got three months, so most of it will be happening as a blur. Lately things have been like that. I’ve been finishing the grading for the semester. Some very good papers, talented students. Some lame excuses, not so talented (at least not in the excuse department).

Dora’s started working out more regularly recently. She’s running the track around Margaret Island, a good run. I’ve been keeping up with sit-ups and other stuff for a while now, but that is nothing in comparison to Dora’s new run. Now, we’re not competing… but you know how it is. If she’s running 3 times a week I can’t use the dog walks as my excuse for cardio. I mean, I’ve never been much at keeping in shape, but I know I feel better when I’m trying.

Anyway, maybe you can tell from the entry here, the last month has been more about work than anything else. I don’t have much to say.

I did start listening to “Enter the Wu-Tang” again recently. If you own that album, listen to it tonight.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Crazy Good News

I expect I’ll be floating on a cloud of self-congratulatory satisfaction for the next week or two. I received news from UC Davis that my manuscript for Mifflin made it through the first round of selections for the Maurice Prize in fiction. I am one of five finalists, and I know the competition is tough. I have high hopes, but I also know there are some excellent writers in this thing. I won’t be crushed if the prize money goes to someone else.
Truth be told, I’m just happy to have something to add to my query letters. I think “I was selected as a finalist for the Maurice Prize in Fiction, as judged by Gail Tsukiyama.” sounds pretty damn nice. I will, of course, wait for a decision before sending out those letters. I can’t be too optimistic, but I’m not a pessimist by nature.
Anyhow, it is the end of the academic year here, and I have more than 200 pages of Composition Essays to grade before the end of the weekend. I’m just going to go out to the summerhouse and grade outdoors. Should be nice.