Hey, look what didn’t post! The webmaster here at Donald Media will be sacked. Wait, that’s me. – Mgmt.
Alas, the holiday break here at Donald-Smith-Gillentine Inc. was shut down on account of the Voldevirus. My husband came down with it right after Christmas, and somehow I managed not to get it or the flu, but instead something between bronchitis and pneumonia. I’d like to thank the fickle fates for choosing to hit us with this on the only ten-day stretch of the entire year when we are both off work, more or less. It’s been a pretty quiet December, wrapping up the semester and spending the holidays with my family. Before the onslaught of the Dreaded Plague, I spent a lot of time baking things, because that is one of my favorite hobbies. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m fascinated by culinaria, both the making and the eating, and thus it’s been a delight working with Feast Magazine this year and getting to explore haute cuisine. While I am mostly doing features with Feast, I am planning to begin restaurant reviews independently on Donald Media in the new year, as well as reviving the book reviews I kind of let slide this year. Oh, and one other thing. I sort of graduated. As you’ll recall, I finished the Thesis of Doom last summer, which was my examination of the representation of journalists in film and the final requirement for the masters degree in media studies. There was no summer commencement, so officially I graduated in December, walking across the stage wearing too much “academic bling” and figuring out how to accept my diploma and shake the chancellor’s hand while using a cane. Jim and Ian were there to cheer me on, and it really was a lovely evening, even with the silliest hat in history frantically pinned to my head because my hair rejects all hats. (Seriously, there was an emergency Walgreens stop on the way to the ceremony. It was a sitcom moment to be sure.) So that’s done, and yet I’m still here, because I have one degree to go. Much of the winter break that wasn’t spent baking or coughing was spent working on the thesis and my “Writer in the World” project, which are the final requirements for the MFA and you’ll hear more about that next month. Until then, happy new year, and may you have a safe, happy (and healthy) holiday as we all begin another jaunt around the sun.
I usually try to take much of December and January off for sanity, so all we had this month was the Collinsville Holiday Market on Dec. 2. January will be quiet, with public appearances starting up again in February. Next in 2023: • Writers of the Riverbend, Alton, Ill. Feb. 4 • Wednesday Club, St. Louis. Feb. 8 • Conflation, St. Louis, Mo. Feb. 23-25 • AWP Conference, Seattle, Wash. March 8-11 (attending) • ConCarolinas, Charlotte, N.C. June 2-4 • TechWrite STL, St. Louis. Date TBA. • Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 14-16 (tent.) • SPJ Conference, Las Vegas. Sept. 28-Oct. 1 • Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Sept. 21-Oct. 1 • Contra, Kansas City, Date TBA.
• Cleveland Heath returns to the classics (Feast Magazine) • Highland City Hall closed for water damage (Highland News-Leader) • One year after tornado, Amazon is rebuilding with no fines (Labor Tribune) • Madison County to build bike trail near Highland (Highland News-Leader) • Ameren proposes new transmission line (Highland News-Leader) • Highland moves forward with road projects (Highland News-Leader) • Governor signs proclamation declaring WRA passage (Labor Tribune) • Illinois Democrats now hold widest majority in state history (Labor Tribune) • New medical clinic opens in Highland (Highland News-Leader) • 10 gifts for the adventurous foodie (Feast Magazine) • Developer to turn former printing facility into meat-packing plant (Highland News-Leader)Note: Not all articles are available online, and some may be behind paywalls.
Right now I’m deeply mired in finishing a portfolio of slipstream fiction for the MFA land, and on revisions for my fiction thesis that will be going before the committee in the next few months. I also kicked off the new year by sending out every short story currently available for submission. Brace for the rejection slips!