The summer is now in full swing, as the temperatures rise in concert with my desire to hide under an air conditioner until Halloween.
What else is in full swing? My summer employment! I am fully launched at the St. Louis Labor Tribune as I continue with the Highland News-Leader (and pretty much any other publication that will pay me). I’m working with the SIUE Alestle and at the youth writing camp, which is an entirely new experience soon to be detailed for the Patreon. I’ve never taught kids younger than 18 before, and it is a different world.
I’m also in a class this summer: teaching creative writing with a focus on the memoir, which is now in its second week and quite interesting. Our first reading was The Bluest Eye, which is funny because I just read that for my Morrison class, but now we’re on to W.E.B. DuBois.
In addition all the work stuff I’m doing this summer, my Relay for Life team is wrapping up its efforts this month. My team has been raising money for the American Cancer Society since 2005 and we’ve raised more than $47,000 for cancer research and support services for patients. This is going to be the year we break $50,000! The local Relay event happens on June 11, and I’ll be raising money before and after to help my team make its goal. If you know someone who has fought cancer or died from it (and really, is there any human who DOESN’T know at least one?), please consider supporting us with a donation.
Finally, I want to remind you all about my Patreon. I really feel the pieces I’m posting there are some of the best work I’ve ever done, and to be frank, we rely heavily on the Patreon income each month. If only 5 percent of my Facebook followers subscribed at $1 a month, it would nearly double that income; 10 percent would be amazing. If you have the means, please consider subscribing, and enjoy the essays, travelogues, book and movie reviews, photography and fiction I’m posting there, along with the free books and chapbooks you get each March.
This newsletter is delayed because the first weekend of the summer was taken up with ConCarolinas! A full con report is pending for the blog and Patreon, but the shorthand is that it was a fantastic time, with old and new faces and some wonderful opportunities that *mmmmmf* I can’t talk about yet. A gazillion thanks to Rachel Brune, publisher extraordinaire of Crone Girls Press, who was kind enough to share her table with me and room with me so we could both save expenses. Rachel is a great writer and a good friend and now she knows what my hair looks like first thing in the morning.
May concluded with a signing at the Smithton, Ill. library, but unfortunately the Alton Market on May 21 was canceled due to weather. I hope to reschedule my appearance there later in the summer.
Coming up in June: a guest speaker appearance at Plethora of Pens in the Glen Carbon (Ill.) Library on July 11 and Imaginarium in Louisville, Ky. on July 8-10. Literary Underworld will have a full booth at Imaginarium and yes, I’m bringing the bar and a henchman to assist.
• Smithton (Ill.) Library signing, May 28
• ConCarolinas, Charlotte, N.C. June 3-5
• Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 8-10
• Plethora of Pens speech, Glen Carbon, Ill. July 11
• Edwardsville (Ill.) Book Festival, Sept. 17
• Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Oct. 7-9
• SPJ National Conference, Washington, D.C. Oct. 26-29
• ContraCon, Kansas City. Nov. 11-13 (tent.)
• Highland Library to launch Cards for Kids program (Highland News-Leader)
• Irish pub under way in Highland (Highland News-Leader)
• Highland tech director pushes for broadband access (Highland News-Leader)
• Highland superintendent pushes for construction funds (Highland News-Leader)
• Happy Pride! (Literary Underworld)
• But why does it always have to be political? (Medium)
*mmmmmmf* I can’t tell you. Shh. Shenanigans afoot.