This has been a big year for me! Many things I had always dreamed of manifested or began to. I had a baby, taught a creative writing workshop in a homeless shelter, made my first chapbook, worked on grant applications, and made a video poem!
When I became pregnant, I quit my adjuncting job in the middle of the semester. This was a scary thing to do as I had always wanted to be a teacher. However, quitting in the middle of the semester allowed me some time to consider other options. I volunteered with Women’s Voices Now writing curriculum to go with their films advocating women’s rights, then this turned into me leading poetry workshops to go along with their films for underserved populations.
At the end of the class, I made a chapbook out of participants’ poetry. This is something I always wanted to do, but for one reason or another had stopped any time I experienced a small obstacle. This time, however, because it was something for someone else rather than for myself, I felt that I had to succeed. I researched paper type, binding methods, and even made a linocut for the cover and a woodcut for the flyleaf. The participants were so grateful and I felt that my work (over 10 hours!) was really worth it.
Now I am in the throes of applying for grants so that this workshop may continue at other locations. This is a new experience for me, but one that will open many doors! There is nothing I love more than envisioning new creative and collaborative projects that build and benefit community. Also, my friend and I are planning a 3-day writers retreat in Joshua Tree with site-specific workshops creating an annual transient community of art-makers culminating in an anthology of desert writing. I do not know exactly where I am headed nor exactly how I can make a living doing all that I love, but the path is becoming more clear.