Friday, February 12, 2010

February, I Don't Like You

I was going to say, "February, I hate you," but I'm trying to teach my boys not to say the word "hate," so--sigh--I need to lead by example. But seriously, February is always last place on my favorite month list. Blame it on the weather.

I mean, February has Groundhog Day (which I love), Valentine's Day (which I adore), President's Day (hey, I like Presidents, too), Mardi Gras (I am sooooo into food, including cajun dishes), the Super Bowl (I am a football fanatic). I should love February, right? Wrong.

Perhaps, it's the unrelenting cold temps and never ending bombardment of gray skies. Perhaps, it's an impatience for spring, summer, and autumn. Perhaps, it's all just some mumbo jumbo stuck in my head, and I only dislike February because I convinced myself I do. Regardless, I enjoyed today.

Today, it snowed in Duluth, Georgia. I didn't break out the ruler, but it was probably in the area of 2-3 inches, which is not a lot by my Ohio standards, but pretty uncommon for these parts. As soon as Reese got home from school, I bundled up him and Baby Will, and we played in the snow at the park. It was wet snow, so we were able to make snowballs, a little snowman (or snowperson--we didn't really define the gender, I guess), and snow angels. We had a ton of fun!


I was recently interviewed on the Red River Writers Live radio show. You can check out an archived version of the interview by clicking here. I'm the second person interviewed. I talk about how I got started in poetry, read a recently published poem, and share a little insight on how to write a backwards poem.


A novel has consumed me recently--my own. Since I'm a busy guy, I haven't been able to just sit down and write-write-write, but I've been writing in about all the time I can carve out, whether that means writing late at night, while I'm waiting for Reese's bus to drop him off, while I'm waiting for Tammy's bus to drop her off, while I...umm...should be reading a book even. Sorry if that's TMI, but that just goes to show the hunger I have for telling this story.

I've written enough stories in my day that I know this one will definitely be a keeper as long as the fire keeps burning this bright. It's one of those pieces of writing that just won't leave me alone; I even have dream sequences that fit into this novel. My only hope is that I'll do the story justice and be patient and disciplined with my revision (when I get to that point).


I mentioned that I write when I wait for Tammy's bus to drop her off. Beginning earlier this month, Tammy has gone green and started riding the bus to work. It's actually faster getting in and out of Atlanta, since the bus can jump in the HOV lane; it also saves money on gas, not to mention the savings in wear and tear on her Subaru Outback; and it even gives her a little extra time to read books again (she just finished Salinger's Catcher in the Rye and is moving on to Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle). So, yay for public transportation!


Here are some songs to get you through February:

1. "Roland," by Interpol
2. "She Sends Kisses," by the Wrens
3. "November," by Azure Ray
4. "Australia," by the Shins
5. "Amsterdam," by Guster
6. "My Love," by The Bird and the Bee
7. "That's All," by Clare and the Reasons
8. "Do the Whirlwind," by Architecture in Helsinki
9. "Id Engager," by Of Montreal
10. "Percussion Gun," by White Rabbits


Comfort food recipe of the month: Ham and Beans

Ingredients: Bag of Dry Pinto Beans (I use 2 lb. bag); Diced Ham (I use 8 oz. bag, but you could use more--or less if you're not into meat, but you'd probably just need to call this Beans); water (lots of water)

  1. Night before cooking, sort the pinto beans into a container filled with water (fill well above the level of the beans); make sure you sort the beans to make sure no pebbles somehow sneak in--I've yet to encounter this problem, but I've heard of it happening.
  2. Next morning, pour beans and water into strainer to drain water.
  3. Put beans in crock pot.
  4. Add ham.
  5. Add water a little higher than level of ham and beans.
  6. Set crock pot and let it cook.

Simple as that, and you get an awesome comfort food that is great re-heated for days to come. If you're into spicy foods (like me), then you can add your preferred hot sauce to add even more taste (I prefer Frank's Red Hot).

This is seriously simple and yummy, which is why I'm passing it on to you.


I'll be leading a webinar on How to Publish Your Poetry Collection on April 29, 2010, at 1 p.m. (Click here to check it out.)

The webinar will cover the differences in chapbooks and full-length collections, getting published traditionally and in a more DIY fashion, and will allow participants to ask questions throughout the presentation. These are usually fun, and people tell me they are helpful. If you're interested, you should totally sign up.


Also, if you're not following me on Twitter, you can do so @robertleebrewer.

Keep it real!

1 comment:

Jessie Carty said...

I really wish I could use public transport in Charlotte. Ours is just terrible! Good luck on the novel :)