Friday, June 8, 2012

Pooling thoughts at the end of my spring sabbatical

Im sitting in my mom's kitchen in El Paso this Friday morning looking out at the contrast between dry desert and the blue pool in the backyard, abandoned most of the time but still glittering the same bright clear blue as the west Texas sky. I'm remembering all the different parties we've had in this backyard, most memorably my 40th piñata party over a decade ago, and even further back, my goodbye party as I prepared to leave El Paso after 27 years and two lifetimes here, to embark on the adventure of PhD school at the U of Iowa (where I only last 9 months). At the time all I had in terms of publishing credits were a few poems and short prose pieces, and the dream of one day being a published author of novels and other booksg gleamed as bright and pristine as this backyard pool. Today I have ten published books, and I sit here contemplating how to balance the completion of two more: my next academic book and the YA novel I've been working on since I finished NaNoWriMo in 2010. It is the end of my spring quarter sabbatical at UCLA which means I have only three months of writing time left before I have to find my Profe hat and start preparing for the new academic year and our first cohort of PhD students in the Chavez Department. I could never have imagined this busy and productive life back in 1985, even with my BA and MA in hand. My life then was like that pool, clear and wide open.