Sunday, February 1, 2009

Things To Do Before Flying to Los Angeles

1. Finish packing (clothes, toiletries, travel documents, notes for my novel, notes for other projects I might pursue on buses and planes, etc.)
2. I was laid off from my visiting writer position at the university last Wednesday (damn you, George W. Bush), so now there are eighteen letters of interest to write, seven grant applications to finish, a plan for job-hunting to pursue.
3. But I'm still teaching, so I have to take care of my students. This evening, while watching the Super Bowl, I'll give feedback on 25 research proposals, 30 short stories, 87 poems, and 25 write-ups about John McPhee's narrative nonfiction books.
4. I'm also teaching online courses for the Gotham Writers Workshop, and I owe my students there feedback on their work by Tuesday.
5. Translate 35 more pages of the Creole novel I'm hoping to bring to the attention of English language readers.
6. Finish a review of Ted Genoways's poetry book Anna, Washing, for Stephen Elliott's new web magazine The Rumpus.
7. Finish revising a chapter of my novel.
8. Post something for the blog (check!)
9. Finish sending out electronic reminders to readers on my mailing lists in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Pacific Northwest.
10. Write three letters of recommendation.
11. Meet with the illustrator of my graphic novel.
12. Play several games of Crash Nitro-Kart with my five-year-old son.
13. Pay bills.
14. Get stuff ready so I can file my taxes in March.
15. Makes plans to get together with people who want to get together at the AWP Conference in Chicago the week after next.
16. Finish figuring out rental car arrangements for the Tulsa-to-Illinois leg of our trip.
17. Finish making arrangements for the daylong event in New York that we're not telling you about quite yet, because we're hoping it will happen at all.
18. Write two guest blogs, for Brevity Magazine (about my short essay "Suspended," which I actually wrote in response to Kathy's writing prompt), and Caroline Leavitt (about this tour.)
19. Watch the Super Bowl. Root for the Steelers, because I am the only person in the United States who doesn't like Kurt Warner.
20. Find places for us to sleep in Memphis and Carbondale, Illinois.
21. Second guess everything, and then third, fourth, and fifth guess everything.
22. Check the weather reports before deciding which coat to wear.
23. Get some sleep! There's a 3 am wakeup call for Tuesday's flight.

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