It’s been more than a year since I started freelancing full-time – I just realized this! – and I can honestly say I’ve never worked harder in my life (hence the blog silence). And while I can get bogged down in the weird little stresses of it – quarterly taxes, the glue-it-back-on-and-pray health insurance – I’m actually really happy being able to write for a living and having opportunities to research and create beautiful, useful things.
Outside: Still fantastic. I’ve been able to take lots of long walks lately and see wonderful hawks and eagles and spend some quality time with dogs in a swamp. Saint Paul is full of holes – some dug and some from water that’s eaten away the sidewalk concrete. Now that the snow has melted, the annual garbage blooms are appearing in alleys that don’t get plowed. All I want in the whole world right now is for the farmers market to begin.
Publications: I just had an essay about touch and the physical experience of places called “this. is everything.” published in the gorgeous WILDNESS, a lit journal from Platypus Press in the UK. All the work in this journal – both the current issue and the past ones – is incredible.
I’ve been writing semi-regularly over at Image Journal’s Good Letters blog, and I love this bit of earth, how it’s a forum for writing about faith and art and life, but they don’t make writers leave any part of themselves at the door. Most recently, I’ve written about my forensic scientist aunt’s legacy, babysitting, long winter walks, grad school burnout and Ash Wednesday, mouseguests, mushrooms, and apocryphal dancing.
I’ve been writing more for CIDRAP, which helps me make good on my intentions to keep up with published infectious disease research. Right now, I’m super fascinated by all the viral evolution findings coming out and the diversity of the gut microbiome/resistome.
Projects: Super awesome writer E.A. Farro and I started a weekly project! We write love letters to scientific phenomena, languages, and experiences, and each letter is illustrated. It’s been super fun to do a collaborative project and explore this funny sense of falling in love over and over with what I study and observe. You can see all our letters and drawings right over here. Also, here is Farro’s beautiful essay about writing poetry with strangers.
I have a bunch of other projects I’m working on – a photo essay about a road near where I grew up, a bunch of illustration/writing projects, a badly needed eye exam – and hope to have more time for after May.
Blue skies! I hope you have a good boggy swamp and a long sunny walk and a farmers market in your future – or whatever your springtime wishes might be.