So What Else Is Up?

These days represent a period of uncharacteristic waiting, but not inactivity, for me. I have lots of projects in various stages of “becoming,” yet nothing is imminently arriving any time soon. In addition to teaching a heavier load than usual – I am now in the midst of grading mountains of 12th graders’ papers on archetypes in “Beowulf” – the work on my own writing/editing projects continues, too.

The closest thing to forthcoming is Children of the Changing South, which right now has a January 2012 release date. Counting full-length works that I have written and edited, this book will be my fifth to be published. Earlier this month, McFarland kicked the manuscript back to me for proofreading and indexing and also sent e-mails about pre-publication promotional efforts. The work of production and publicity the work has begun now. We’re in the earliest stages of discussing readings and reviews. (If anyone out there is interested in hosting a reading or reviewing the book, please let me know.)

I am also planning a multimedia staged-reading version of You Can’t Know Where You’re Going with a friend who is a sound engineer and record producer and whose credits include work with The Donnas and REM. What I had originally envisioned as a creative-nonfiction book about living in modern Alabama has so many tentacles reaching in so many directions that I decided to take the writing in a direction as unorthodox as the content. We’re working toward a February 2012 first run-through at Auburn University at Montgomery’s annual Liberal Arts Conference (AUMLAC), which has a Southern Studies theme, with hopefully a longer life for the staged reading to come after that event.

Finally, a few of my recent short works are milling somewhere with a couple of magazines and journals. I’ve got a scholarly article on using experiential learning in the pipeline with the Journal of Teaching Writing, a study of humor in the poetry of Rodney Jones at The Writer’s Chronicle, and a book review that I just submitted to Callaloo this week. We’ll see what happens with any of those . . .

Other than those things, I’m still reading when I can. Right now, I am re-reading Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw before I have to answer students’ questions about it next nine-weeks in my 12th grade English class. I am also reading The Monkey and the Monk, an English translation and abridgment of the Chinese epic, Journey to the West, after which I intend to give Maxine Hong Kingston’s novel Tripmaster Monkey another try.

So, truthfully, I should probably get back to work . . .

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