Pieces Come Together

First off, a thoughtful and great review of Hustle at Word/Sound! My huge thanks to Brian Seemann.

This summer I began my sabbatical from teaching at Pacific Lutheran University. I’ve been told the intention of this time is, in part, to recharge, but I have been working like crazy every day. The past two months have mainly consisted of  circulating copies of Hustle amongst reviewers and setting up readings around the country. It has been eye-opening and fun to speak with event coordinators at bookstores and universities. Admittedly at times it has felt like trying to build a house of cards that I must  repeatedly disassemble and rearrange, but few things compare to the moment when an event comes together.

As I travel this fall I am also conducting research for my current project, a book of nonfiction (tentatively titled IN HIS HANDS) centered around several events in my deceased father’s life – the suicide of his first wife when he was nineteen, the death of his twin brother at twenty-three, and other narratives that he conveyed to me – many of which I have since learned were reconstructed or fabricated entirely to place him as a sympathetic protagonist. The manuscript will focus on my relationship growing up with him, the scope of his own difficult adolescence, and my attempts, while researching this project, to understand why he would reconstruct these stories. I don’t want to give away too much, and it is still in that don’t-think-too-much-and-just-gather-for-now phase, so I’ll leave it there. But I have coordinated my tour dates to coincide with my research.

So, for me, sabbatical is eventful and amazing: time to  travel around the country, see people I haven’t seen in years, and meet people I’ve never met. In terms of dates: Right now, Texas is all set. Washington is just about there. The Midwest is coming together. I will later be in Florida and other places. More dates are to follow as I continue to piece things together, both in support of my new novel and the book in progress.

What I’m Currently Reading: Moby Dick (still…I know. But it’s Moby Dick!)
What I’m Listening To: A lot of Fugazi