Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment. – Ellis Peters
I started out 2023 with the most profound burnout and exhaustion of my life. Over the previous year, I’d not only undergone a significant career transition–first to freelance writing, then to becoming an editorial director for a veterinary publishing department–but also faced a resurgence of my chronic pain and illness symptoms. Yet I continued working, both at my full-time job and several freelance contract positions, until I was physically unable to do any more.
For the past few months, I’ve been relearning how to say no and draw potent circles of protection around my health, my values, and my creative time and space. This has been a hard, painful process, and it’s meant letting go of some projects that I thought I really wanted to be part of. It’s forced me to pare down and examine what kind of writer I really want to be. And now, in harmony with the nascent blooms and birdsong of spring, I’m feeling a renewal and resurgence from this hard-won protected space.
My poem “Drumbeat” published in the new issue of Black Fox Literary Magazine (print and online). These editors were lovely to work with, and I highly recommend sending work to this publication.
I have two poems published in Dead Pets Anthology (print only). One poem, “How Far We Could Run,” is dedicated to my first companion dog, Trixie, a springer spaniel that I lived with as a child on our farm in Minnesota. The second poem, “Haunting,” is about pre-grieving the loss of a dog.
I have an essay out in the book, The Humane Hoax: Essays Exposing the Myth of Happy Meat, Humane Dairy, and Ethical Eggs, where I discuss the welfare costs of pastured pigs and delve into my own background growing up on a Midwest pig farm.
And I’ll be speaking about this topic at the Humane Hoax conference this month.
Finally, I have some exciting announcements about upcoming publications:
My poem “Corpse Magic” has made it into Poet Lore, and will appear in their upcoming Home, Hearth, and Hiraeth issue.
My poem “blood hex” will appear in Artemis Journal’s annual issue, along with poems by Nikki Giovanni, Camille Dungy, and Natasha Tretheway. I’m still absolutely stunned that my work will appear along with these giants of poetry.
“Brass” is out in Tulip Tree Review’s Wild Women issue. I can’t wait to read the grand prize winner’s story and the other contributions to this themed issue!
The writing life is full of ups and downs, and I know getting some great acceptances will likely be balanced out with a string of declines (I’ve been calling them declines instead of rejections–it seems kinder to myself and my work). But I do think I’m reaping some rewards for saying no and clearing some space in my life for this work.
I would love to hear from you this spring, and please share your triumphs, successes, and trials if you feel moved to do so.
Let us unfurl with joy and astonishment in ourselves and the more-than-human world as we welcome this changing season.