A black dog with a white nose and a blue leash-harness combo waits for her trail run to begin.

Anyway, It Was Spring Break

Last week was my spring break from school. I did not spend it at a beach — I’ve never done that, not even when I was doing my undergrad in Florida, a state that is 97% beach, in the 1990s, a notorious time for spring break parties. I am very glad I skipped that whole thing and just worked more hours at my shitty waitress job for a week to pick up extra cash while I could. Anyway, it was spring break last week, and the sun came out and it was warm enough to wear a t-shirt without a hoodie over it, and that was pretty great.

Spring break mattered in some ways but not others this semester. I’ve finished all of my required courses and seminars, so I am taking a single course devoted to crafting my master’s thesis proposal. Not my thesis — just the proposal, which is what my proposal advisor sends around to find a thesis director for me. Then I’ll start the actual thesis work over the summer. It’s kind of like a book proposal, if you’ve ever queried agents for nonfiction. My advisor is like my agent. Sort of. Close enough for this crowd, probably. Anyway, after taking probably too many very difficult classes without a summer break in 2023, this semester seems breezy.

The proposal has its own challenges, though, even without regular class meetings. It’s an independent study sort of course, which is okay with me. I’m very self-motivated. I’ve done all the reading and made a few outlines, and I’m inching the draft toward where I want it to be. I spent some time over spring break considering what I’m trying to say in this proposal, what my argument is, what my thesis really is. It’s challenging to get it onto the page, but I have some time and a very helpful advisor who stands at the ready to answer questions and unstick me when I get stuck in a loop.

I chose to take the week off from client work to devote time to the proposal, the translation of book three of Mogador’s memoirs, website updates, business plan changes, and prepping for my first in-person publishing event in more than four years. If you’ll be in Portland the first weekend of April, head up to the St Johns neighborhood! I’ll be at the book fair with a table full of books, and a bunch of people who happen to be my friends and acquaintances will be there too! With their books! And the host who runs the space makes some of the best fancy coffees in a town that is very good at fancy coffees. There’s really no reason not to come if you’re within a 50-mile radius. Anyway, I had a lot of projects planned for spring break. I did not complete a single one of them.

I described it to my friend like this: It’s like my dining room table is covered in balls. I picture bright plastic balls, the kind and size you find in ball pit. Each one is a piece of a project: a page count goal for Mogador, a meeting to schedule for my business, a zine to copy for the book fair. I spread out my arms and lean toward the edge of the table and I move all the balls a few inches, but none of them cross the line and go into the goal. They just get closer. One of those balls—a blue one—was writing this update. It made it over the line, but later than I intended and not exactly on the subject I was considering. Anyway, I don’t feel bad about moving all the balls, but it would have been nice to get a clear win. In soccer, sometimes a draw feels like a win, but this really feels like a draw.

I did also take some time to improve a few small things on the website, like the fact that some ebooks were listed as being out of stock, which makes no sense. I have plenty of electrons on hand for ebooks if you want to buy one. They should all be ready for you now, along with paperback books. I’m all stocked up.

You can buy all of KHG’s books and those she recommends at Bookshop.org. You can also buy her books in paperback and ebook formats directly from her shop.