Of course my defense was a fairly low key conversation about my writing, my future plans, daffodils, the sad state of affairs with poetry book publishing (the only way you can get a book deal is if you enter a contest for $25 and hope you win the lottery of a lottery of a lottery).
This isn't a pithy post--it's all so surreal and subdued. I think I'd feel different if the defense came with a book contract (that will INDEED be a happy-naked-dance-through-downtown-with-chocolate-sauce-glistening-on-my-hairy-chest day). There are some very important structural changes which need to happen in the memoir, some narrative tension and pressure that needs to be pushed a bit more--as well as some smoothing out between the various hybrid sections--and this could take a few weeks; my plan is June 1, however, and then on to publishers. I think it'll be a little hard to get back into the rhythm of the book, but I need to do it now. The poetry manuscript needs some trimming, but that won't take more than a day or a weekend I think--I just wish that darn thing would at least be a finalist somewhere.
9 years of grad school, straight. 8 years of teaching. 3,527 books read. 104 classes taken. 1 million stress-filled evenings. But I did not go to grad school for anything other than to work on my writing and leave a solid and confident writer, and I've done that. The next book project starts late this summer, and it'll be set in Oklahoma.
This post is almost as bad as the end to Battlestar Gallactica. Seriously. Could that switch directions any more suddenly, cover things any more quickly (or completely omit them), and confusedly end--all with tears in my eyes? I need a BSG toaster.