-1-As you know, I've been participating in the November PAD Poetry Chapbook Challenge hosted by Poetic Asides on the Writer's Digest website. This morning I took the time to read through many of the poems posted yesterday. Immediately I shrunk, becoming in my eyes incredibly small and insignificant. It takes bravery and faith to post work to a distinguished group of poets. I feel like a scruffy alley cat in the company of Literary Lions. Why, oh why am I even bothering to write and post poems to this erudite group?
So I can learn. So I can improve. I remember my advice to so many students over the years, advice gleaned from Anne Lamott in her lovely and wise writing book Bird by Bird: You have to write crap before you write good stuff. So if I want to write well, to write really good poetry, I'm going to have to thicken my delicate skin and put my best out there, reminding myself that every poem represents an opportunity to see clearer, delve deeper, express better, word wiser.
Will you help to remind me, too?
I am in serious countdown mode here. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 will be released in two weeks. We are sooo excited! Elizabeth has tickets to the midnight showings with some girls from her dorm; they've already reserved a Zip Car (a small set of "green" cars that students may rent by the hour to go places since freshman aren't allowed to have cars unless they're commuting). I have plans to take the boys (and Keith, if he can manage his schedule) to an early matinee on Friday morning while most students are in school. We did this for the last release and the theater was half-empty. The commercials on TV are so exciting, too. Plus, this scene was released yesterday on Facebook: The Seven Potters.
In addition to waiting for the release of Deathly Hallows Part 1, Elizabeth and I are eagerly awaiting the DVD release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in a month...December 4, to be precise. We always buy our Twilight DVDs at Target as they have a special three-disc edition with lots of great extras. We'll each need our own copy (as we had to do with New Moon) since she'll keep hers in her dorm room (along with half of my DVD collection). Eclipse is my favorite book of the series, and thus far it's my favorite film, too. Filming for Breaking Dawn started this month in Brazil and will return to film in Louisiana (where they started rehearsing in October) later this month (Elizabeth keeps me apprised of such news) and will be released in two parts in November 2011 and November 2012.
My MLA Research Class at Brave Writer is getting into the nitty-gritty now. The class lasts six weeks; after today we'll have only two weeks remaining. Today is the due date for the students' outlines, and next week they'll be writing their rough drafts which will be due next Friday, with their final drafts due the next Friday on November 19. They will then e-mail the final drafts to me, and I will grade and return them via e-mail within a week or so of the last day of class...which means over our Thanksgiving Break. They may be returned a little later, actually, this time since...
My sister and her family will be coming down from Montana for Thanksgiving Week. Usually my parents fly up there, but they thought it would be more fun (and less expensive) to have them travel to Southern California. So my sister (the youngest of the three of us; I'm the oldest), her husband, and their two kidlets will be here from the Sunday before to the Sunday after Thanksgiving. They'll stay with my parents at their house at the beach. Keith has been remodeling their mountain cabin in case we decide to celebrate the holiday there, but my parents are thinking that it will be far easier to have everyone at the beach. I prefer the cabin myself, but I understand the logistical nightmare of hauling an entire Thanksgiving dinner plus everything needed for six people to stay in a 600-square-foot cabin for several days 60 miles. Either at the beach or in the mountains, Thanksgiving will be a fun family day. We also have plans to use our Sea World passes to take all the cousins to the marine park sometime during Thanksgiving Week.
I have joined a wonderful group of women writers this week. I spotted the group badge on someone's blog and checked it out; I think I really like it. She Writes is a secular group of writers which is fine by me as I belong to quite a few Christian groups as well, including A High Calling with amazing poets like L.L. Barkat and writers like Marcus Goodyear, plus a group of women bloggers at Gather in Spirit. And of course I do post along with the communities at A Holy Experience, Conversion Diary, and Elizabeth Esther. So, it's all good.
I am so excited about a development at our EV Free Church, Lake Murray Community Church. Our associate pastor has asked for volunteers to form what the Anglicans call "a lay readers group." Basically, someone volunteers to read Scripture each Sunday after practicing together in a group so that the verses are read well and clearly, with appropriate expression. Keith and I are both going to attend the first meeting this Sunday after the second service. Keith has a lovely, resonant voice, and I just love to read Scripture aloud (which is why I hang out with the Anglicans so much!). Last week when I told him about the reading group, Father Acker (rector of Alpine Anglican where I attend on Friday mornings) joked that Lake Murray is becoming more Anglican all the time...what with weekly Communion, our celebration of Advent, etc. I hope he's right. As the evangelicals become more liturgical and as the liturgists become more evangelical (as Alpine Anglican is doing), I pray that many, many good things will happen.
Wishing you all a blessed weekend,