Tonight is our annual graduate student creative writing reading, Penscape. Wow! That is a mouthful. Anyway. I am reading along with nine or ten of my colleagues. It will be good. It has to be good. Each of us were asked to read for ten to twelve minutes. I am reading three flash nonfiction pieces, a letter, and a poem. Sort of a mixed bag. I hope people read somethings we all haven’t already read or heard. I always hate it when that happens. You workshop with people and then you get to hear all those same pieces again. I mean, it is pretty cool to see how they revised, but it isn’t cool if it is the same piece you already read.
Two nights ago I spent about four hours baking. One of my professor’s kids is severely allergic to everything. By everything I mean eggs, dairy, and nuts, so I had fun making many snacks that she could partake in. We are also having punch. You know that Hawaiian Punch, Ginger Ale, Sherbet fiasco that they serve at every gathering everywhere until people are old enough to drink beer. That’s the punch! I think there will be some coffee too.
I think the baking runs in the genes, because my mom is baking her fool head off this afternoon. One of her friends asked her to make cookies to use as the favors for her wedding. My mom is making 150 chocolate chip cookies and 150 peanut butter cookies. Right now.
Tomorrow we leave to go to Minneapolis for Andy and Claire’s wedding. Not only do I get to leave Muncie for a few days, I get to spend it with people I don’t see very frequently. I don’t like to fly. I will never fly on United again. It is official: they are charging fat people more for their seats.
I am working on some new writing. Trying to write an essay about grace is hard. Really. Hard. I am going to ask people to post their most grace-filled moments as responses on a special post here. Maybe I will tell them they can send them by email, too. But I want this essay to reflect all types of faiths and non-faiths and the way they exhibit grace. I know what grace should look like in a Christian ethic. I wonder what it looks like in the secular world for people who don’t share my beliefs. I mean I know some stories, but I hope that people will share theirs.
Also, my dissertation has taken on new form. I hope to write about the preaching woman, the food-serving woman, and the way they both implement a certain morality or ethic of grace and redemption in slave-narratives. Every time I articulate my ideas they become more concrete. which makes me happy. Now to press on and find the “so-what” in that, Lauren.