Where do I start?
Last week, two gigs with museums game through, asking for my writing for events that will involve some of the biggest coverage I’ve had to date.
This week? First one, then two, now three contracts for essays on artists came through. Two of the three were unsolicited, which is thrilling. The best part? They’re in magazines I haven’t been published in yet and they pay a professional rate. Additionally, a fourth magazine is reading an essay I been tinkering with for about a year now, and the editor wants to know, “Do I have any more story ideas I’d like them to consider while I’m at it.”
Also this week: Ten inches of real snow. Snow so real you can’t even make it into a snowball. Snow so real that I played hooky Friday afternoon, drove 9 miles to Carver’s Gap, and cross country skied on the closed road to the near summit of Roan Mountain. Glorious sunshine, hardly a breeze, powder snow, and what felt like all the time in the world.
The catch? One of the essays is due in three weeks, the same date as the first draft of my thesis. I have three weeks to interview the artists, study her influences, study past issues of the magazine, and write the best thing I possibly can. On top of the thesis.
The other catch? Work started today and will be in full swing within a few days. That’s 35 hours a week away from the desk that I’d been digging on all winter.
The explanation? It couldn’t be clearer in my mind. Things have been brewing deep down, as the hidden bulbs of flowers in winter. On the cusp of spring, things churn and turn and get ready to burst. First in small flares, then in droves. There is the tug between life and death, as the premature blossom can get killed in a cold snap. There is the reward of melted snow, how it nurses so many acres of forest below the summit—how something so frigid can turn into something so essential. How after hibernation, the world feels new again.