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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

romancing the South

I'm eating the last piece of Florida Pie and drinking my first cup of coffee for the day. Before you indulge yourself in a fit of envy, I should mention that I've already trekked 5 miles, with 10-12 pounds of books on my back. I've decided to limit my driving this week--most places I need to go can be reached on foot, and if I'm trying to walk 4-5 miles/day anyway, why not combine some of those fitness jaunts with errands? By the time I returned home, sweating (it's actually HOT today) and with tired feet, I decided that checking out Tom Wolfe's tome *I am Charlotte Simmons* today wasn't the best decision, as that book alone must weigh about 4 pounds...I actually (dorkily) hopped on the scale with my backpack still on to discover that I was carrying around an extra 12 pounds. Not the 30+ pounds I carried when I used to backpack, but a considerable weight just the same.

So now here I am, clean, caffeinated, desserted, and ready to write for the day. I'm working on a non-fiction piece about my "romance" with the South for possible publication, or if not, than just for myself. And I'm revamping my RN--yesterday I sketched out some character background (some big changes there, from physical details to geographical details) and so I'm trying to work them in. I also began a RD (rough draft) of a proposal I might use for both the SAMLA conference and a longer article for a romance collection.

Speaking of my romance with the South, I just found out another proposal was accepted for a conference at my alma mater, Auburn University, next February. To give you an idea of how much I miss that place, I started sobbing when I read the emails--one from my friend/co-collaborator, and another from the conference organizer. I realized that when I go it will have been nearly 3 years since I was last there, at the loveliest village on the plains. Yes, I know I romanticize most everything in my life, and my 7 years in the South weren't all sweetness and light, but the loss of that place has left an empty room in my heart that even my beloved Michigan (and hopefully, my pending home of Wisconsin) just can't fill. I'm going "home" twice--to Atlanta in November and Auburn in February. That room feels a little less empty with the promise of Southern warmth to come...

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