The nice man on TV just informed me that tomorrow morning will be the coldest morning in five years. Should be around twelve below. I know that's nothing to you folks in Minnesnowta and so forth, but around here, we think this is pretty freaking cold. Especially those of us with drafty old houses. I have a new favorite thing: a bright red, super soft, fleecy hat that is soft and cozy enough to wear to bed.
At least it isn't icy, or even snowy. That helps.
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Along with the depressing news about the Dodge Festival, I've also learned that the Writers' Center of Indiana has laid off its staff, given up its rented space, and cancelled its spring classes due to lack of funding. And there will be more such news to come, I'm sure. Sigh.
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On a happier note, check out -- and submit to! -- the Found Poetry Project. Be sure to read the "about" section, which explains what sort of found poetry they're looking for.
Other things that are pleasant to contemplate (especially when it's this cold out): the Fine Arts Work Center has published its schedule of summer workshops, and the Indiana University Writers' Conference has announced its 2009 faculty. These are both very good programs, though very different from one another. If I had the money, I'd go to FAWC again this summer. But at least I can look forward to attending the IUWC readings in June, which are free whether you're attending the conference itself or not.
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Also looking forward to Sunday's celebratory inaugural kickoff, featuring Bruce Springsteen (who'll be singing "This Land Is Your Land") and a ton of other fabulous performers. HBO will be televising a couple hours of it later in the evening, and will be opening up their signal so that anyone with satellite or cable can tune in, even if (like me) they don't get HBO. Very cool.
And despite the Rick Warren thing (I'm still peeved about that), I am looking forward to the Inauguration itself on Tuesday. I plan to take a couple hours off work midday so I can go watch the festivities.
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I'm making an iTunes playlist of songs that seem to go along with my current writing project. I'm really starting to think about the whole of it more than about the individual poems, which is something I've never done before. The playlist has lots of Springsteen and Indigo Girls (pretty predictable if you know me), as well as some Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren, Ani DiFranco, Catie Curtis, and some other folks. Like the poetry project, it's a work in progress. It's mostly songs about what it's like to be a musician, be on the road, etc. and a few songs about being a music fan: "Where the Bands Are," "Language or the Kiss," "Keith Don't Go," "Refuge of the Roads," and so on. Fun stuff.
I've also been listening quite a bit to the new Springsteen album (yes, I know it doesn't come out for another couple of weeks... sshhhhh... don't ask so many questions). I'm really loving it, though in some ways it's different from any of his previous work. It's very textural, and very ... mature, I guess you'd say. He's working with themes of mortality, and of appreciating what you've got while you can because life is short. It's an album he couldn't have made thirty years ago, or even five years ago, I suspect. I look forward to buying it on January 27 when it officially drops & will probably stop on my way home from work to pick it up rather than trusting an online pre-order to get it to me on time. Yes, I am such a fangirl.