Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

Last week was spring break, and I spent a chunk in it in Rice Lake, visiting my mom and my brother and his family. There is sometimes friction with my mom, but this visit was great: pleasant talks, pleasant cat, pleasant errands. My mom is planning on selling her bookstore — at 88! — and we talked a bit about vacations and more frequent visits.

The second half of spring semester is always very busy. This year is even more so, because I am a guest of the Broward College wRites of Spring Literary Festival next week. I am doing this online, which is of course not as much fun as in person, but I am doing multiple readings. Multiple readings! The luxury of having all the time in the world for reading…. (I couldn’t find anything online about the festival, but it’s Tuesday through Thursday, 3/29-31.)

Since starting my research into the crow book, I have gotten increasingly interested in birds. Now I hear them and see them more often than I did. Two lovely bird moments in the last week:

My house backs onto a small woodland. I’m used to birds on my back deck — in the winter it’s all jays, cardinals, and gangs of small birds visiting together; in the summer it’s even more cardinals and woodpeckers — but on Thursday, I suddenly had a lot of robins. Like: a lot. Hundreds. The woods were full of them. I had never realized that robins migrate. My deck and woodland was a pause in their journey north, as they waited for the days to heat up a little more.

The other was the night I got home from Rice Lake. On the drive across northern Iowa, I noticed small Vs of geese flying southeast to northwest, as though they were aiming for Saskatchewan or the Northwest Territories. So when I got home that night I was ready to listen. I was reading in bed, and suddenly I heard geese honking overhead, dozens and dozens of geese chattering as they passed low overhead in the darkness, on their way north. That will be me, I think. Someday not so long from now, I will wing my way back to the north.

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