1. I got the Manitoba Arts Council grant for “You’re Not Nisselling”! The vote of confidence and the bit ‘o cash is a very nice boost.
2. One of the most respected Canadian literary journals CV2 wants to publish two poems from the collection, “It’s a Boy” and “Pain Threshold,” in the fall issue! (I don’t know when my run of beginner’s luck will end, but I’m sure enjoying the ride.)
3. I had an almost-two-month flu- and overwork-inspired dry spell after the mentorship ended, but after a week in the sun at Birds Hill Park, I am writing again.
Here are a few of the poems I’m struggling to write now:
1. A dog poem about my Lily in the spirit of Mary Oliver’s “Percy” poems.
2. An ode to Prozac. And one for Nintendo. No joke. My life is so much better this year for my daughter’s happy pills and handheld electronics, but I’ve never made an ode before, so my joy isn’t flowing into the form.
3. A title poem on the chaotic dinnertime origins of the expression “You’re not nisselling.”
4. A colloquial poem using playground let’s-make-believe language.
5. More prose poems for the “Imaginative Child” series, such as “The imaginative child takes the stage” “…storms the beach,” “gets a dog,” and “…enters puberty.” (The last one should probably include a plea for mercy.)
6. A poem/poems about judgment: from the lady in the grocery line, the psychiatrist, the parents on the playground. Lots of heartbreak potential there.
7. A letter to my former mother-of-preschoolers self (along the lines of “Don’t kill yourself, it gets better.”)