Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tree Climbin'

The other day, or rather evening, after I dropped my bookbag and computer on the den floor and rushed to VeeGee's room to join K in singing her goodnight, K ruined my night. He recounted his afternoon playing Super Dad and topped it off by showing me a lovely little picture he'd taken of VeeGee - in a tree.

"I was picking up leaves and messing around in the front yard and then, all of a sudden, I turn around, and she's climbed up in the tree! Here, look! Doesn't she look cute? See how proud she is?! She said, 'Hey, Daddy, look me!' and she was in the tree. I'm so proud; aren't you proud?"

Yeah. I'm proud.

See, I'm used to missing things these days. K and VeeGee play games and do art and inspect backflow prevention devices together two or three days a week. And VeeGee and Me? Well, sometimes she sits close to me while I work, with the background sounds of SpongeBob and Diego.

I'm almost finished with this danged thesis, and so, I tell myself, I'll soon have time to roll around on the floor with my little girl, to go to the park in the middle of the afternoon and learn how to hook rugs or something. But, I wonder, will I spend all this presumed "extra" time that way? I really don't know.

I watch K and VeeGee interact and I often wonder if he's got some kind of inside-track to/for her entertainment that I just don't have, or, maybe (and this is the kicker) want. I'm really good at making decisions about her medical care (and that's been a full-time job much of my mother-career), and I'm great at dressing her really cute on a very reasonable budget. I manage her poop cycle with relative success, and I make sure that her teacher never mentions anything that might suggest that VeeGee came "out of my tummy." I research every single hiccup and understand the rare permutations of every potential and real anomaly of her body.

I'm not whining. I'm just wondering. So many of my fellow mom-friends seem to be filled with such delight in their children. And, I do feel delight; I really do. It's just not what I thought it would be, I suppose.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Writers on the Road Series

Sponsored by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Graduate Writers
Forum and University of Memphis’ Creative Writing Club
Burke’s Bookstore, 936 S. Cooper St. (map)
Friday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m.

Mark Jay Brewin Jr. is a second year graduate candidate at the MFA
program of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. His poems
have been published in numerous journals including Corradi Summer
Journal and New Delta Review, and are forthcoming in Packingtown
Review, Iron Horse Literary Review and Southern Poetry Review.
They have also placed as finalist in the Guy Owen Poetry Prize and
the New Letters Literary Award Contest, as well as been featured on
Saxifrage Press’s website highlighting up and coming poets."

A.K. Thompson is a fiction writer who lives in a cabin on a pond in Makanda,
Illinois where vultures descend each fall. She holds a Master's Degree from the
now-defunct New College of California in San Francisco, where she nearly went
crazy, but arguably might have actually gone crazy, which may be why she is
now a writer. She has two smelly dogs, spends most of her time in the woods
stalking squirrels, sings hillbilly songs while picking her guitar and watches Hee-

James Scoles’ most recent story— The Electricity of Crime—is featured in
the current issue of Prairie Fire Magazine (Canada). He recently returned from a writing fellowship at the National University of Ireland-Galway, where he worked on a novel based on his family history and a game of cards. His fiction and non-fiction have been nominated for National and Western Magazine Awards, as well as The Journey Prize (Canada), and twice for the Pushcart Prize.

Katie Zapoluch was born and raised in Pinconning, Michigan--not far from Madonna's birthplace. Unlike Madonna, Katie is quite fond of her hometown, and hopes to move back to Michigan once she's out of school. Katie studied English, Classical Studies, and American Studies at Kalamazoo College, and earned an MA in English Language and Literature at Central Michigan University. Her work has appeared in Kalamazoo College's literary magazine, The Cauldron, for which she served as poetry editor, as well as Central Michigan University's graduate literary
magazine, Temenos. She also won a sestina contest in Trellis magazine.