J.C. took the above photo on the first day of the term, a little over two months ago.

Back then, the house was clean, and I was all gung-ho to start teaching again. Now the house is a ridiculous mess and I have two bags of fiction portfolios to grade. After I finish those, I have a few letters of recommendation to write, and then I can call it quits on this teaching thing until the beginning of January.

What all has transpired in the last few months? Not all that much, it seems.

I've read more student work than anything else, but I did find some time to read the following books this term:

Vacation by Deb Olin Unferth
Invite by Glen Pourciau
American Youth by Phil LaMarche
The Colorful Apocalypse: Journeys in Outsider Art by Greg Bottoms &
Kissed By by Alexandra Chasin

I don't have anything intelligent to say about the above other than that they were all pretty great. I was happy to have them to turn to on my bedside table each night.

I'm pretty sure Greg Bottoms has a new book out, and I need to order it. Some other books I will be ordering along with it:

In the Devil's Territory by Kyle Minor &
Dear Everybody by Michael Kimball

There are probably more, but I know I want those two and the Bottoms book for sure.*

I started out the term pretty strong, writing-wise, but I got a little overwhelmed by other kinds of work about a month ago and so haven't written all that much since then. I'm ready to get back to it. I wrote a story about Sarah Palin a couple months ago that I'm going to turn into a choose-your-own-adventure story. And I did quite a bit of work on a robot story that I want to finish up.

J.C.'s been bugging me to join Facebook, and so I'm probably going to do it sometime soon. Hopefully it doesn't keep me from getting any work done on that robot story.

But first, before I do anything else, I'm going to clean the house today. I'm actually kind of excited about it. I love cleaning the house.

*If anybody has any book recommendations for me, leave them. I'm anticipating a kind of monster book order.


Donna said...

I have been waiting for you to join Facebook since this summer. So listen to JC, would ya?

And have a nice break. :)

Matt Bell said...

One of my favorites from the last few months was Adam Braver's NOVEMBER 22, 1963, from Tin House:


Also, Eugene Marten's WASTE was one of the best books I've read all year:


Dark, dark, dark, but great.

You're already ordering Kimball and Minor, so you're off to a good start.

And yes, I'll see on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

It's cool of you to order my book. I wish we lived closer so we could hang out sooner than Chicago.

I could recommend these, which you've probably already read anyway:

American Pastoral, Philip Roth
Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, A. Scott Berg
The End of the Straight and Narrow, David McGlynn
Serena, Ron Rash.


Dana said...

I cleaned my house before I went out of town, after about a two-month lapse. Yes, cleaning is good. Clean is good. Messy is bad.

fringes said...

I was looking for you on Facebook not three seconds before typing your blog address into my address bar. Good to catch up with you. Let me know if you join.

Ben said...

Don't join Facebook, Chad. The time you'll waste there is time you should spend at the keyboard, writing. Seriously. Facebook is for high schoolers and procrastinators.

As for books, here are some of my latest favorites: The Watchmen by Alan Moore; A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller; How Fiction Works by James Wood; The Cradle by Patrick Somerville.

And yes, I'm a crabby old man.

Anonymous said...

What about the time spent reading and commenting on blogs? Wouldn't that be time better spent at the keyboard, writing?