Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

I just spent a delightful (if very busy) two weeks in an online workshop (if so it can be called) for former novel-workshop students, and a really great new online master class Barbara and I taught together. We have taught face-to-face workshops for years now, and after we had to cancel last year, we decided to create something that was more useful for online. I don’t know how it was for the students, but I felt as though it was great. We’re planning on continuing to hone the talks, turning this into something we could do several times a year, as a complement to the live experience. In a month or so, we’ll be doing a one-week follow-up workshop to see what that looks like. This makes for a very busy summer, but it’s the work I love.

Busy and sort of distracted is no way to write a new short story or to finish a novel, so even though both of these are urgent, I just walked away for the duration. Tomorrow I start fresh: writing the story. Working title, “The Forest, ” the dullness of which is on purpose, which seems clever as hell to me right now, but I suspect I will see the sense of something better. I also have a grad student dissertation chapter to mark up, which will be very slow work, work I am not being paid for during the summer. Yes, I am a little salty.

During the two weeks of the workshop, I had a houseguest, Dom, and it was lovely. Socializing was casual and pleasant: dinners, errands, watching shows, talking about writing and life. We’re old friends, but I never would have imagined it could be so pleasant to share a space with someone for weeks on end — except Elizabeth, but that’s a special case. He left today, and I miss him.

Fun things I saw during the last couple of weeks:

  • baby rabbits mobbing the clover by my front deck
  • a doe that shamelessly ambled across my side lawn and ate everything that wasn’t actually toxic in the neighbors’ garden
  • many, many squirrels splooting
  • beautiful blue-tailed skinks ambling by my chair outside
  • my nasturtiums growing almost by the hour.