In which I take away your winter blues…

31st January 2012

…with a pic of my little love.

You’re welcome. πŸ™‚ In all seriousness, though, I am so ready for spring and so is this little chick. It gets dark so early that we don’t get in our daily walk as often as we should. Don’t let her fool you. Her look is actually saying: Get off your lazy ass and take me for a walk!

We haven’t truly had a winter, but everything is pretty much dead outside, except the weeds that I see every time I pull into my driveway but have no energy to actually do anything about, which brings me to the next thing on my list…

Where is my energy? A couple months ago my sis seriously asked me if I was on crack (I wasn’t) because I was doing so much work, redoing the kitchen, cleaning out garages, working on man caves, etc., etc. Then January hit, and I swear I haven’t taken off the robe my best friend gave me or the faux-fur-lined moccasins my mom and dad gave me for Christmas. I have read 15 books and have several others in the works. I’ve watched a hell of a lot of TV through the wonder that is Hulu. I have napped for consecutive days. (If you have kids or can’t nap, please don’t hate me.) I think I need lots of sunshine with a flower or two or three thrown in.

I will say that Zumba has helped. I really look forward to going to Zumba in the evenings when I’m finished teaching, and I’m shaking my booty in ways it ain’t ever been shook. It’s crazy fun and burns a lot of calories. If you haven’t tried it and don’t like traditional exercise, this may just be for you. Warning: you may start listening to Top 40 radio in the car so you can shimmy your shoulders. (Wait. I don’t do that. No. WAY.)

All in all, January seems to be a transitional month in many ways, and I certainly feel in tune with that this year. After last year and some of the work crap I dealt with, I’m feeling the need to make some changes. I’ve got all these thoughts and ideas floating around in my brain, and I’m trying to see how best to achieve some of what I want.

Along those lines…some of you may have seen on my Facebook page: the university I’ve worked for has begun a university press, and I’ve been asked to be on the editorial board as an associate editor. It’s an unpaid position, but I am so excited about it. I’ve always wanted to work in publishing, but when I was in school, I knew I couldn’t afford to be an intern anywhere. I put myself through school, so going unpaid was a luxury I could not afford. In recent years, I’ve dismissed any thought of working in publishing because I knew internships are crucial to that field. As associate editor, I hope to be really involved in getting this press off the ground, gaining some experience in the process. I plan to write a bit more about this next week and have a post started but am doing a bit of research before I go with it.

The director of the university press has his own company, Ink Brush Press, and he asked me to blurb a book a few months ago, and it was published! I just received a copy of the book, and I cannot tell you how exciting it was to see my name in print…even on the back of someone else’s book. [The book is Dolph’s Team by Jim Sanderson, and it’s a really great border town mystery.]

Sorry it’s so incredibly blurry. It says, ” Nearer James Lee Burke than Joe Lansdale, Sanderson’s Dolph’s Team is part border-town mystery and part road trip, reminiscent of Lonesome Dove. Dolph’s crew doesn’t always follow the letter of the law in a world where pre-paid funerals are no joke. As Dolph says, “once you give up decency and honesty,” you’re on your own, and all of the beer-guzzling and bull-shooting won’t protect his team from the harsh reality of modern Texas.”

Then, Keith Carter, a photographer I’ve done editing work for in the past, sent me a copy of his most recent book From Uncertain to Blue which includes an introduction I edited. We went through several revisions, and when I sat down to read it, I was so incredibly proud that I was able to help him craft a beautiful introduction to an equally beautiful book…and I am in the acknowledgments! I was touched and honored, to say the least.

If you enjoy art books and/or photography, I can definitely recommend it. The premise of the book is a road trip the photographer and his wife took as a wedding anniversary trip, tracing small towns across Texas – from Uncertain, Texas to Blue, Texas. The two would stop, and Keith would make images in each town, capturing life on back roads and Texas highways. Isn’t that a perfect title? I love it.

Have I rambled enough yet? I actually have tons of great books lined up to share with you guys, but I just wasn’t feeling up to a review this evening. Also, would you want me to tell you a bit more about either Dolph’s Team or From Uncertain to Blue?

What about you? How has January treated you? Anything exciting/dull/gossipy/interesting to share? I’m all ears.

  • Awww … what a cute photo of the pup! It sounds like you have some wonderful things and opportunities happening. My January has been way too busy and things are not slowing down yet. I’ve been working on a conference presentation that I’ll be giving this Friday. Excited, but can’t wait until it is over πŸ™‚

    • Ooh, a presentation. Stressful, yes, but it can also be really empowering. What sort of presentation is it? Good luck!

  • What great news! Congratulations! I would love to work in publishing–particularly as an editor. I’m very happy for you!

    As for the winter blues, for me, that’s exactly what they are. I always get a touch of seasonal depression when January hits (sometimes earlier, depending on the weather situation). Wedont get enough sunlight, which our bodies need, and that makes me want to nap a lot, too.

    • Thanks, Heather! I’m pretty darn excited about it.

      I wonder if taking Vitamin D would help a bit with that. I have no idea if it would work in the same way, but goodness knows it might be worth a try. I have to say, though, that it hasn’t been cold here at all – which is very odd – and I keep thinking spring is right around the corner. One can hope…


    Jenn, it’s beginning to sound like 2012 is going to your year. Things seem to be moving in the right direction. I look at your (physically) slow start to the year as your way of storing up all the energy it seems you will be needing!!!!! Way to go!!!

    • Lori – I’m sure hoping so. And as for the energy, that sounds just about right. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  • Anonymous

    My last three years have been nothing but changes. I finally feel, though, as if I’m getting my footing. I’ve gotten some freelance work, I have a couple of classes to teach, and I have a writing project that I’m working on just for me. That’s a nice feeling. My next goal is to get that whole physical activity thing squeezed into the schedule somewhere. I’m working on it.

    • Cassandra – It is a nice feeling to get things ordered and settled. The physical activity thing was difficult for me at the start of last semester. I was so used to working out in the mornings because of my class schedule that it was difficult for me to try to go in the evening. Now, though, it’s a big part of my day. It’s a break from grading/research/blogging. Plus, I made a new friend in class, and it’s fun having someone to look over to and sigh or roll your eyes when someone does something crazy in class.

      I hope you find something that works for you!

  • Andi

    Yayyy, Jenn! I’m so excited for you. Wonderful news about the university press and the blurbing and stuff. Very very cool.

    • Thanks, Andi! In my world, it is really cool news. Thanks for sharing in it with me. And congrats again on the BlogHer syndication. Now THAT is cool.

  • Meagan

    I almost squealed with delight when I saw that picture of my precious little love. I love how sweet she is with her “baby”. I would love to check out Keith’s new book. You’re right. That title is so great!

    • Doesn’t she look adorable? I mean, I know it’s like bragging about how cute my kid is, but I didn’t make her, so I figure I can. Seriously – I have way too many pics of her.

      And yeah – I’ve got it, so you should look at it next time you’re here. It’s really beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    What a cutie! And how cool–you will have to keep us updated on how editing the journal goes. πŸ™‚ As for January, since finishing up the most stressful class ever I’ve been kinda bored. Blah.

    • Bored! Bored?!?! That must have been some kind of class. πŸ˜‰ Try to enjoy your down time. I know for me, it doesn’t happen all that often.

  • Congrats! Ohhhhhh…….puppeh….

    • Thanks! And yeah – she’s pretty sweet. Hard to leave her in the mornings, honestly.

  • Oh Jenn–I know I’m terribly late but I couldn’t resist saying PUPPPPPPPPPPPPPY! What an adorable little pup.

    • Aw, thanks! That pic makes me want to do the same thing.