Where Have I Been?

My desk at home, where I work only at night when my husband is home and upstairs, is in our bedroom. When we set up this desk, we imagined the always overflowing shelf above my workspace as a convenient spot for a few books currently essential to my work. We wanted to keep the bedroom a sanctuary, in spite of the space restrictions of apartment living.

Well, here we are, ten months later, and the stack here includes, among many other things, all the books I’ve read but not yet told you about. Plus a few leftovers from the LitBlog Co-op last quarter--things that I haven’t yet filed elsewhere or about which I’m still thinking. Every time, for example, I see Demon Theory, I’m paralyzed about what to do with it. I didn’t like it, but my dislike turned to fascination as I thought more about the book. I don’t really want to give it away, nor do I want it on display. So there it sits.

And the other week was, well, stressful. Things at work were a little intense--good, but intense. And then I went to the CCCC’s conference at the end of the week (two weeks ago now): that’s the big conference on teaching writing (composition, not creative writing) at the college level. I had all sorts of split motives all the time. I considered attending a joint presentation by Joy Harjo and Lee Marmon (a photographer and the father of Leslie Marmon Silko) but decided that I would do better to go to a smaller, wonkier presentation.

At the wonk-fest, I was bored (as I’d expected to be) but imagine my double disappointment upon arriving at the book exhibit to find Joy Harjo kitted out entirely in red satin, signing books.

I meant, then, to make up for that by going to hear Dorothy Allison, but I ran into a bunch of old friends and our conversation was so fun and good that I missed her, too: I had to run off to a department meeting. And so it goes.