December notes

  • Monday, 12.01: Got about halfway through the typeset of Something to Hide My Face In. The Robin Becker Series: what a great group of chapbooks! Doug is starting to contact artists about some of the photos he’s interested in, and I’m so happy to be publishing these poems in February.
  • Tuesday, 12.02: Pulled ten covers for Mistakes with Strangers out of the book press–they look pretty good, I think, with the repurposed hanging file folders I used instead of cardstock. We’ll see what Jeff thinks.
  • Used the same file folders to cover two proof copies of Portraits. One goes out to the author tomorrow. This title is so late in coming out, but I am glad to be nearly caught up with the backlog. Most importantly, it’s a really fine collection.
  • Wednesday, 12.03: Trimmed & assembled 10 copies of Wooden Boys; loaded placeholder pages for the Keystone and Becker Series. So much more to do.
  • Saturday, 12.06: I am overwhelmed by grief at the sudden loss of my longtime companion, Randy Barlow, whom I found in his bed yesterday when I got home from working late. I am alternating between wild grief, silent disbelieving immobility, and sudden urges to move and do something, anything, any task at hand. Please, please bear with me.
  • Tuesday, 12.23: We opened the house on Sunday, the solstice, for two hours so that friends and neighbors could drop by and reminisce about Randy. Then I drove out to the forest with three friends and scattered his ashes beneath a large hemlock tree, as he had wanted.
  • I’m not at all sure what’s next. My good friend Deirdre set up a GoFundMe account to help with R’s final expenses, and the response was immediate and overwhelming. I never could find a will, which means his bank account is just sitting there, inaccessible; I don’t think I can afford an attorney so I’m not sure if there’s to be any resolution in that regard. As for the press, I want to continue operating Seven Kitchens. My main question at this point is: where? If I decide to move closer to my family, in Ohio, it would be necessary to place Seven Kitchens on yet another hiatus, though hopefully a short one. I keep asking myself, however, if now is the best time to plunge ahead and open the gates, launch the reading periods for 2015 and all the work that involves, if it’s likely that I’ll need to focus on a serious relocation.
  • On the other hand, I hate the thought of putting things off another year. I feel that I’ve said no to so many opportunities, and the urge is very strong right now to say yes to as much as possible and see where that leads me.
  • I’m always saying there’s so much to catch up on. It’s never been more true.


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