All last week, I felt as though I was flailing to catch up — class plans and readings, grad students, letters of recommendation and so, so much. This coming week will be abother catch-up week, but I hope that now I’ll be able to focus on the rest of my life: making plans to visit my mom this spring; stories that are due; future plans for the next few years.
I also started researching for the crow book (details as I feel ready to talk about them: for now, it’s “the crow book”).
It’s funny how many of my stories can be identified by the animal at their heart — the fox book, the cat book, the sphinx story, the squirrel story, the chicken story, the dog story, the coyote story, the mantis story, the raven story, the squid story, the wolf story. Other topics — historical periods, formal experiments, myth and fairytale — come and go, but animals come up again and again. I tell me students that every story I write is a challenge I set myself: write this one with XX, or without YY. When I wrote “The Dream-quest of Vellitt Boe, that was meant to be a story without animals, and we see how that worked. I seldom go back to the same animal, though I have written about foxes twice and cats four times (that I can remember). And now the crow book. Wish me well with this one!