on blogs, farming, heart and voice

Just posted a new story on my Eastern Shore Stories blog.  I titled it on turkeys, eggs, and afternoon naps – the question that Ruth asks by the time she finishes her musing is about what children are missing today.  The more I work on this oral history, the more I want to move back to the Eastern Shore … and work on the small farm where my parents and brother and his family currently live … spend my days in a rhythm that’s more connected to animals and land and weather than the life I currently lead.

My parents don’t farm, but we could.  It’s a small farm – less than 50 acres –  I’m sure we’d do an orchard, some strawberries and vegetables, and have some pasture for goats.

I haven’t been posting here because I’m rethinking this blog.  I like the interactivity of Facebook … and certainly have a different “persona” there – one that’s more intimate and connected with my family life than I allow myself on this blog.  I think of this as my “professional face”so I try and keep this MATX- focused.  The closer I get to finishing coursework, however, and the more I work on my dissertation-connected research – the more integrated I want all the pieces to be.  So, I’m playing with another blog idea – one that would be a hybrid between the voice I tend to use on Facebook and this “professional” blog … one that would integrate all my musings in one place.


on conference choices and career building

Over the weekend I picked up a book on building a platform for a writing career.  Turns out I’ve started to do exactly what they recommend, mostly propelled through my graduate school work.  But it’s time to get more focused.

For example, I’m delivering a paper at the Virginia Humanities Conference on March 26.  Giving academic presentations is one of the ways a person builds an academic career.

At the same time, I am jazzed by my writing seminar this semester.  The career I have in mind is not a traditional academic career, but a creative one blending scholarship with creative projects.

Which means the conference I probably should be attending is the Writers at the Beach Seaglass Conference in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware.  It takes place at exactly the same time as the VHC in Staunton, Virginia.  I can’t be in two places at the same time – and I’ve already paid the registration for the VHC, booked a hotel room, and had planned to attend the entire conference and network with people teaching at Virginia colleges and universities.

Now I’m wondering if attending workshops and networking at the Writers at the Beach conference might be more productive than attending paper presentations and networking at the VHC.  So I’m thinking about giving my presentation at the VHC on Friday morning and then booking it across two states to Delaware to attend the writing conference.  Seems a bit crazy.  And expensive.  And perhaps unfair to the folks at the VHC.