I’ve been at my desk in Gray Wolf Hall quite a lot this week, getting a stiff neck from sitting in front of the computer, and developing an eye twitch. I won’t start in about the meetings I’ve attended. I’m here to count my blessings.

Number one — I have this great gig, a teaching job where I’m paid to talk about books and writing. This job not only pays me a salary and provides health insurance for my family, but it enables me to write about anything I want. I don’t have to worry about writing a book that will sell. I don’t have to hustle for little teaching jobs or editing gigs or random writing assignments to pay the bills. I also have great colleagues who — even in meetings — I’ve enjoyed seeing again.

My office is on the third floor, and I have — if I stand up and stretch — a bit of a view of Puget Sound. I have a terrific view of sky. This week I’ve watched the weather shift from bright sunshine (early in the week) to gray (today). A hawk flew by a little while ago with a mouse in its talons. Until I started writing this post, I had forgotten that Wednesday afternoon I saw, in the distance, an unmistakable line of pelicans flying by. I frequently see eagles and great blue herons, sometimes very close to my window. (Thanks to Kathleen Kirk and Chris Harshaw for this fabulous photograph.)

On Monday, my students will be back on campus. I’ve met with a few of them this week. I’ve answered quite a few emails. I’ve written a syllabus for each class. I have first week reading and writing assignments in hand. I’ve planned my course calendars so that I can go on my writing retreat at the end of October.

It’s a good life. I’m grateful.

0 replies
  1. Carolynne Harris
    Carolynne Harris says:

    I went to curriculum night for Gabrella’s 5th grade class. She adores her teacher, she’s in her 3rd year at Westgate. All three teachers have transformed her life in different ways. She is so inspired to read this year, her head is more in a book than in facebook, a good thing. Teachers, caring, loving teachers, change hundreds of lives, often turning a life completely around and saving kids. I don’t think there is any higher calling. Your life is a book they open and read everyday you and they come to class.

  2. Carl's
    Carl's says:

    Walking dow 12 th in Portland from Jakes to the northbound train, composed a poem in my head. Several verses wrote with detail and beat. So far I have written the memory of one stanza. When more comes I have no idea if it will draw from the same well. But the information about how you break from summer and prepare for class is wonderful. You have entered the stream. Bravo!

    • awritersalchemy
      awritersalchemy says:

      You make me think of the old saying about not being able to enter the same river twice. Even when we attempt drawing from the same well, it’s not the same water. Thanks for sharing your reverie.


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