We’re coming into that awkward weekend of changing clocks, and I don’t know if it will be different now, given how pandemic time is different and not at all different. In all honesty, the only thing that will really make me notice is if the kittens notice. They’re 8 and a half months old. They probably won’t notice. They keep to their own inscrutable schedule, some nights sleeping all the way through, others spent wandering at 90-minute intervals, finding new cords to chew, drawer pulls to rattle, a dozen things that make noises we’ve never heard. Roo has a purr like a chainsaw, revving. Sometimes, he’ll sleep at our feet (Gil snoozing on the bed’s other lower corner, until he decides to attack the shifting feet beneath the blankets). Other times, Roo will meander through the pens and books on my nightstand (knocking things off by accident or by will—it varies) before settling himself square on my pillow. The position of my own head is immaterial. Sometimes he licks my hair. He likes to chew on fingertips—not hard, a feeling familial and warming, when it happens not-at-3-a.m.—and the purr vibrates through my brain. It’s not restful. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
A few small updates from the writing life:
The American Antiquarian Society created a web feature called Artists in the Archive that highlights the artists who’ve received fellowships to do work in the archive. I’m so pleased to be part of this project, and you can read a bit more about the work that I did there and the novel (and unexpected poems) the research inspired here. I’m in the process of sending out queries for said novel, and I am reminded, with each one, what an amazing experience my month at AAS was and how grateful I am to have been a Baron Fellow.
Also, it being nearly November, we’re in the final throes of baseball season. To honor it, Boog City Press released an issue dedicated to baseball writing, guest-edited by Sandra Marchetti, and Sandy was kind enough to accept “The Steadying Hand” as a reprint in the issue. (“The Steadying Hand” originally appeared in Hobart.) So spend today’s off-day enjoying some excellent work, or parcel it out as the days grow shorter and colder, while you’re waiting for the Australian Baseball League to begin (you can read so much while you wait for a 4:30 a.m. EST start), and soon enough, the daylight will creep back in.
Next week, I’ll begin a three-week residency at the Hambidge Center. My first day in residence is also Election Day. My ballot has been mailed and the county has confirmed its receipt. I’ve been writing postcards to voters (thanks to my friend Laura), and by the time I’ve arrived in the mountains of northern Georgia, I think I will be grateful to be out of cell service, to be unable to frantically refresh results that will be mostly inconclusive for a while, I’m guessing. I’m trying (trying, mostly failing) to be better at focusing on the things I can control, rather than panic-monitoring, which doesn’t do me or really anyone else any amount of good.
I hope you are well. If you have not been watching this year’s World Series, I encourage you to tune in for the last game(s) [please be games, please]. It’s been marvelously entertaining baseball, despite how late the games are starting. Randy Arozarena is having a historic post-season; Game 4 ended with such a bonkers sequence of events it’s still a little befuddling; the Rays have exciting sock choices; Tyler Glasnow is so very tall; Clayton Kershaw is pitching well; can you even imagine trading away Mookie Betts?