Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Week of Strange Good-byes

Some quick notes, since I will soon be on a plane to Raleigh to see my high school friend.  I am travelling with manuscripts for her.  I thought of buying her books to read during her chemo, and I will likely send some as she goes through the process.  But she's always liked my writing, so I got myself into gear and put together the linked story collection I've been working on for years.

There are likely still some continuity quirks to work out.  But I was pleased with it overall.

One of my biggest continuity quirks was that I had an elderly female dying in two different ways, and the story's point of view was from her adult daughter.  In one story, I was able easily to change the elderly female from the daughter's mother to mother-in-law.

I've enjoyed that feeling of sinking into characters and plots, of having my brain bubble along working on these issues and solving them while I go about my daily mundane tasks.

I'm also taking my latest poetry manuscript.  It's got a variety of poems, some of which deal with illness and death.  I hope it's not inappropriate to give it to her.  I'm glad that I'll be seeing her, that I can warn her, that I can explain how some of them came to be written.

It's been a strange week of good-byes.  Our registrar has turned in her resignation.  She's the kind of registrar who can do everything, who knows the ins and outs of our computer records system.  The modern workplace likes to declare that no one is indispensable--but it's tough to imagine who will fill her shoes.

I also said good-bye to one of our Psychology adjuncts.  I may see him again.  He may return in a year.  I wonder what all will have happened in the coming year?

I have books packed for the voyage.  I will read the latest Gail Godwin, Flora, and Carol Anshaw's Carry the One, which I read before and loved.  I will also take Patti Smith's Just Kids--I also loved this book when I read it a few years ago.

When I was at the library, I picked up Letty Cottin Pogrebin's How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick.  I gave it a quick scan and read the relevant bits last night.  I felt a profound gratitude for the generation of feminists right before me; I think of them as the Ms. magazine folks, writers who have covered all sorts of important topics.  I always seem to find their work just when I need it.

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