the Jesus year

The weather was complete shit in Chicago so we made our own fun taking photos in bathrooms. Then we did a reading at Unabridged bookstore which was really fun b/c we all read from NEW stuff! The night before the reading we saw Knausgaard and Shelia Heti in conversation at the Chicago Art Museum which I had too high of expectations for so was somehow riveted and disappointed simultaneously.

Juliet Escoria, Chelsea Martin, Mira Gonzalez, Elizabeth Ellen, Amanda Goldblatt, me
Juliet Escoria, Chelsea Martin, Mira Gonzalez, Elizabeth Ellen, Amanda Goldblatt, me

I’m teaching a 4 week personal essay class online for Litreactor, it begins May 31. Sign up and get more info here.

I’m co-teaching a one-day workshop in NYC with Ashley C. FordHow To Be A Freelance Writer—August 6th. It’s open to like 15 people.

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Date: Saturday, August 6th
Time: 1-5pm
Fee: $150
Number of Students: 12-15
1140 Broadway, Suite 704, NY NY 10001
Co-sponsored by Electric Literature

In this one day session, Chloe and Ashley will demystify what it is to be a full-time freelance writers, covering everything from process to time management to filing taxes. Focusing on craft (what you want to write and how to write it), community (how freelancers build a support networks), and comments (dealing with assholes and trolls on and off the net) they will give tips from their own experiences on what works, what doesn’t, and how to get PAID. Students will leave with concrete goals and an action plan for making their dreams of freelance success a reality.

Q & A, reading, and discussion with Ashley and Chloe follows class. With wine and snacks, of course. Apply here.

I was so busy in April and have two trips I haven’t unpacked from but am heading to NYC today for more shit, and I remembered this part of Bill Clegg’s memoir Portrait of an Addict As A Young Man where he mentions his early thirties being the busiest time of his life. Of course the difference is, he was getting addicted to crack and I am not, (I’m getting off it) but I still relate. Maybe my Jesus year came early. Here’s the paragraph:

I go to Mark’s and there is a blur of smoke and flesh and other people, and in the morning, this time, I don’t want it to end. The lunch is the next day, but still, somehow, it feels far away.  A whole day and night and morning between now and then. It will work out. It always does. But this is the first night that wants to be two. Why this one and not the others? I look at the calendar from that time and it is graffitied with ink. Scribbled notes about lunch meetings, coffee dates, phone dates, drinks dates, trips to London, L.A., Frankfurt. Weddings, birthdays, benefits, plays, operas, book parties, screenings. So much to show up for, so much to camouflage for, to worry over. There is no busier period than that year when I am thirty-two and thirty-three. Someone—was it Marie?—always joked about thirty-three being the Jesus year—how it marked the end of one life and the beginning of another, the end of youth and the beginning of the undebatable status of adulthood. But I was twenty-four when she turned thirty-three, and adulthood seemed a world away. 

P.S. My website domain expires in 7 days and I *am* gonna move it over to a Square Space website with the help of my friend and student, Juliana Mann! Juliana and her husband Jonathan have this podcast I love, The Manns, where they speak very bluntly about conflicts in their relationship, check it out here.

P.P.S. When I arrived home from Chicago on Sunday night, my box of review copies was waiting for me. I love how they look!

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