12 Winters Blog

Readings in Sherman and Galesburg

Posted in May 2011 by Ted Morrissey on May 1, 2011

I wanted to do a quick post as it’s been awhile. Sundays were always my best blogging days, but in recent weeks Sundays have been among my busiest days, and today is no exception. On April 20 I had an enjoyable reading for Men of Winter at Sherman Public Library. I was joined by my friend and University of Illinois Springfield colleague Lisa Higgs, who read from her newly released chapbook Lodestar. We had a nice little crowd (though one always imagines it might be larger). Timing is always difficult.  The Springfield-based Poets & Writers Literary Forum, of which I’m a proud member, had one event scheduled for April … also on the 20th, so that diverted some potential audience members; and the Cardinals were at home in St. Louis that night, which also siphoned off one or two folks. What can you do? Nevertheless, we were appreciative of those who did attend, and of Anita Walters, director of the library, and the library board for organizing the event.

Yesterday I was at Stone Alley Books & Collectibles in Galesburg, Illinois, my (and Carl Sandburg’s) hometown. It turned into more of a book-signing and not so much a reading, and crowd control wasn’t an issue, let’s say — but, on the plus side, my novel and I got a little exposure, achieved some potentially useful networking, and I got to hang out with my parents for a few hours.

There aren’t any readings planned in the next few weeks, which is just as well as I’ll have my hands full bringing my academic lives to closure, but on May 26 I’ll be reading at Benedictine University at Springfield and am very much looking forward to that event. Joanna Beth Tweedy and the fine folks of Quiddity international literary journal & public-radio program (for which I’m a proud reader) always do a splendid job of hosting a reading. Speaking of which, I’ve been enjoying the newest edition of Q, especially the CD of interviews with Scottish writers and other literary types.

Then May 28, Lisa Higgs and I are joining forces again for a reading at Jane Addams Books Shop in Champaign, Illinois — also a terrific independent bookstore. I’m hoping to get a few other events scheduled for the summer, and a few are in the works, but I don’t have any firm dates yet.

On the creative writing front, I’ve finished a complete draft of my novel in progress, which I’ve tentatively titled An Untimely Frost (I know, I know … Men of Winter … Frost, etc., etc. — luckily Weeping with an Ancient God is scheduled to come out next spring, thus breaking up the whole titles involving winter thing). An Untimely Frost is loosely based on Washington Irving’s supposed courtship of Mary Shelley. Before getting into the revising/editing too heavily, I’m in the process of re-reading the collection of Irving’s letters that I used to develop the novel’s “voice,” plus some other Irving pieces. I’ll probably spend a few weeks reading and note-taking; then in June roll up my sleeves on the revising/editing, hoping to have a finished draft my midsummer — that’s the plan anyway.

Meanwhile, I’m getting antsy to work on something totally new. Ideally I’d like to knock out a few short stories that I could try to have published in journals, and my noodle is brimming with ideas, but they all seem to be novel-length; and I’m beginning to wonder if I can even write a short story. I definitely want to write these other novels that I have in mind, but I didn’t necessarily want to launch into another two-, three-, four-year project immediately. First things first, though … fully finishing An Untimely Frost.

I continue to read and enjoy War and Peace (though I did take a teeny Tolstoy break and read Charles Portis’s True Grit a couple of weekends ago — and it was great fun!). Now onto my busy Sunday. . . .

tedmorrissey.com

Pathfinding: a blog devoted to helping new writers find outlets for their work

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