Happy Holidays!

Hey there, December 01! Nice to see you...

I hope Thanksgiving went well for everyone. We've been eating carcass for the last week. It's a losing battle. I went to the fridge today and there was twice as much bird as yesterday. Who knows what's happening in there at night?

Honestly, roasted turkey is my wife's favorite dish, so we usually do a large bird. The only difference this year is that, outside of the nineteen-pound homie we made our-damnselves, we didn't have any visitors this year. First time in the four years we've been in Florida. It was a relaxing weekend. We took two trips to the beach (Lyla has a taste for sand--no joke; the kid pops handfuls of the stuff into her mouth) and watched loads of college football.

This weekend will be comprised of the Christmas cookie bake-athon, coupled with the mad dash to ship gifts to the West Coast. The tree is already up, and I'll try not to bust my neck this weekend putting lights on the eaves.

In writing-related news, I haven't been able to much else than work on grad-school applications. Seriously, the last ten days of personal writing have been spent on cover letters, personal statements, prompted essays, revisions to the C.V., actual application, solicitations for letters of recommendation--sheesh. The nice thing is that I sent the applications to UMass and Florida last week. I'll be express shipping to the University of Oregon tomorrow, I think.

I plan to return to the world of stories this afternoon. 2009 has, with a month left to enjoy, been a good year. The tally:

  • Draft zero of this year's novel is almost finished. The first 242 pages are clean and ready. Forty more to go, then I'll send it off and begin next year's long project;
  • I wrote eight short stories and three flash fiction pieces. I had five stories published in 2009, I have three slated to be published for the first quarter of 2010, and I have four stories in revision that might see print;
  • I wrote a longish research essay on American narratives of the apocalypse.

Pretty solid year, with so much else going on in my life (the blessing of our daughter joining us being the largest).

In other news, I think:

  • Tiger Woods deserves his privacy and has no public obligation to discuss his "accident" or any ongoing marital issues with the rest of us. Leave the man and his family alone.
  • The Oregon Ducks make my heart sing. Please tune in to ESPN this Thursday at 9:00 p.m. EST to watch the Civil War. Never before in the history of the state of Oregon has a college football game meant this much.
  • Stephen King can flat-out write, and I'm really enjoying Under the Dome. I crested the 400-page mark last night and I'm not halfway finished with it. That's a delightful notion!

Finally, and I'll have more numbers on this when the food drive runs its course, I'd like to say that I'm astounded by the generosity of the students and faculty I work with at Florida State College. My students in ENC 1102 are helping to collect baby food and diapers for a local shelter that helps women and children get back on their feet. The early returns have been amazing! I have sacks filled with supplies in my office, and we're collecting more each day.

The notion that there are so many hungry children in our city is hard to reconcile with all my family has to be thankful for. It's even harder to consider the emotions that must be felt by a parent who lacks the resources to provide for that hungry child. In this rough economic climate, however, it's truly inspiring to see the Jacksonville community rally to help those in need.


Anonymous said...

Hey Dan! I've been meaning to drop into your office, but my classes are at the downtown campus for now. Looks like all is well!

Brandon Wilson

Daniel W. Powell said...

Evening Brandon. Things are fine on my end. Do stop by prior to the Christmas break (M-W, 2:00-5:30) and we'll get caught up.

Karen from Mentor said...

"We've been eating carcass for the last week."

Just something about that visual made me think to myself "hmmmm...I think Daniel's been writing zombie stories for too long..."

Karen :0)

Daniel W. Powell said...

Merry Christmas, Karen!

Yeah, I'm a little turkeyed out. I hope things are moving along with the writing. I enjoyed the flash piece on Friday, and I like the new look of the blog!

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks Daniel. I LOVE the pop art banner, thank you for noticing. The writing is going well... I'll have a new piece published at Weirdyear on the 10th.
I really like the flash medium. It pushes you to produce nice tight writing. Lovin the #fridayflash group. You should join us....[insert erie sound effect here] come...join us.....

Jennie said...

I totally agree with you about Tiger Woods. Who cares that's his business. Merry Christmas!

Daniel W. Powell said...

Merry Christmas, Jenny.

I hope the Sams are doing well, and that you guys are enjoying the holiday season.

The more that comes out about Tiger, the less respect I have for the man. Still, his family deserves some privacy.

Jennie said...

Sorry, it's taken me so long to respond back. Sammy recently had a 7 1/2 hour surgery. It was a very long recover, he was in the hospital for a week because while he was there he caught H1N1. The thing we were fearing the most, of course happened. It was so scary because Sammy is the kind of kid who would die from it. You know, heart condition, immature lungs and multiple heath conditions. It was very scary but by the time they were able to confirm he had it his worst night was over. I tell ya, the way the hospitals work are absurd! I had to harass the whole hospital and demand they start giving him the antiviral whether they had confirmed he had it or not before they gave it to him. It made no sense to me, a child with his medical history should have been given it before I had to make a stink about it. I finally found the right doctor who was like, "Of course he should be given it. If he is even being tested for it he probably has it and they should start the meds immediately." Anyway, suffice to say he made it, he's such a strong kid. He was recovering from the second longest surgery of his life that was by his lungs and he beat H1N1 which some healthy normal children can not. I have to say, God is good to us. Anyway, thought I would update you a little. There are many more stories to tell you, like how we were without health insurance for three months and how his surgery and hospital stay are not covered even though the hospital approved it, but this comment is becoming to long, and is public. =0) I hope you have a good semester. I starting my classes back up, thanks to a student loan, this semester. Hopefully I'll see you around the campus. I'll talk to you soon. Jennie Oh yeah, if you want to know more about all this mess you can email me. Jennielee8@aol.com

Daniel W. Powell said...

Well sheesh, Jennie. I'm floored by this post. It's the kind of thing that folks who laud our current health care system need a chance to read.

We all know things are terribly screwed. The doctors know it. The insurance adjusters know it. The actuaries know it. The politicians know it.

Thank God you found a rational person there, and that Sam made it through the worst of it. Sheesh!

Americans are suffering, and I can't say I'm confident that relief is on the horizon.

The current health-care bill, as it's written, is more political than it is practical. We're talking about 2013 before we see actual impacts on health care, and truly ineffectual care in the interim.

I'm so sorry that Little Sam got sick. So sorry. He's a fantastic little guy, and it only took me a few moments with him to see that.

I'm very thankful that he's well.

I wish you and Big Sam and Little Sam nothing but smooth sailing and happiness in this new year. I'll be back on campus (limited basis, just M,T) in March.

But I'll be living there in the summer. Please let me know if I can help out in any way, and stop by with the Sams so we can catch up.


You Know When It's Good

If you spend any real time at the word processor, you understand that sometimes the writing flows and you just know in your heart and in you...