Sunday, December 11, 2005

Touch of Florida winter

Today I had a book event with fellow author Dorothy Fletcher. Dorothy worked out an arrangement for us to do bookish things at the Starbucks Coffee located in the Lakewood community here in Jax. Lakewood is just off San Jose Blvd., also known as Florida 13.

I signed some poetry books, and in between, watched people come and go, all bundled up because by Florida’s standards, it was cold here today. The temp was in the upper fifties; it’ll go down to 32 degrees tonight. I can’t figure out why it feels so cold. One fellow told me it’s the dampness, since we’ve got the St. John’s River and the ocean close at hand. Compared to the winters in my upstate Carolina childhood, I guess it’s not all that cold. But maybe I’ve just grown used to the balmy Florida climate.

The coffee shop manager invited us to come back and sign any time. She says Starbucks Coffee is into literacy. I have to say signing there is just so pleasant. The patrons are the sort who read, and of course, you’re surrounded by all those great coffee smells. I even got some of my Christmas shopping done; they have all kinds of coffee, hot chocolate, and tea assortments and the prices are reasonable. I’ll do anything to avoid the mall.

As I drove back home, I listened to the end of the game between the Jags and the Colts. We came so close—at least we lost honorably, coming within 8 points against a tough team.

I’m trying to wind down my ‘to-do’ list for a two week vacation. I haven’t been home to Carolina since June, and I’m really looking forward to seeing my family again.I’m already filling 2006 up, so for a small press author, that’s a good thing. I didn’t meet the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words in 30 days, but aiming at it got my novel about 75% complete and it helped me form a habit of writing fiction every day.

My new poetry collection is going well and should be in first draft stage by late winter, 2006. Some nice assignments are on the books, and I’m looking forward to working with writers on the Wordstream retreat Dorothy and I are doing. We’re holding it at this historical inn in Jax’s Riverside district. The Riverdale Inn set us up with a very reasonable package, and they’re throwing in a gourmet meal.

Plus I’ll be poetry instructor for the Southeastern Writers Association conference. It’s good to have things to look forward to.

Best to all,
Kay Day

Friday, December 02, 2005

Catching up

November 16, 2005

It's hard to believe the year is almost over. With the
arrival of 2006, I'll pick up where the tour left off, with
events scheduled in Florida, South Carolina, and
Georgia. I'm planning to take several weeks off mid-
December through the first week in January. I realized
last week this has been a challenging and sometimes
exhausting year.

My poetry will be featured in the December issue of the
journal published by the Florida Council of Teachers of
English. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at the October
FCTE conference. Florida is blessed with some
spectacular English teachers.

Watch for an interview with poet Billy Collins in the April
issue of The Writer. Soon, my essay about working with
students on poetry at Nease High School in St.
Augustine, Florida, will be featured in the St. John's Sun.
And I'm penning a Christmas story for the Florida Times
Union. I'm also pitching an essay about the Felony
Murder Rule, and I'll let everyone know who bites and
where it will be published.

Other than than that, slogging through the trials and
tribs of freelancing. I found out last week that I need a
license from the county to freelance. Spent an hour or
so getting all that together--who'd have thunk you'd
need a license to do this? My former home state never
cared, but then again, Florida doesn't have the personal
income tax that South Carolina levied. Either way, the
government's gonna' dip into the pocket.

Best to all,
Kay Day