Category Archives: Writing

Work and Writing (…Not That Writing Isn’t Work)


Well, it is now OCTOBER. (I’m a genius at stating the obvious.) September disappeared beneath a mess of job applications and job interviews and the early days of the new job. I’m now a few weeks in, and may I say, HOLY MACKEREL. I enjoy what I do (I work with grades 1-5 on literacy), but I barely have the energy to drive home and fall (incredibly gracefully) onto the couch after X – many hours of chasing ankle-biters. For the past few years, while I was completing my MFA, most of my focus was on writing; during my undergraduate years, too, it was eas(ier) devoting blocks of time to playing with language. And now…. Hehe. My friends, this is a bit of an adjustment.

We’ve all asked ourselves the age-old question, overhead in many a 24-hour coffeehouse and writers’ conference panel: How do we balance work* and writing?

I admit it, so far I have failed. I’m determined, though, to discover the secret– and begin employing it.

We’ll see how next week goes! And in the meantime, do you have any balancing tricks you’d like to share?

PS- I once used energy drinks to add productive hours to my day. Yeah. Once I started seeing small forest critters running across the floor and Tinker Bell wannabes spinning around my head, I figured I should find other ways of working. 😉

* “Work” = a day job. Gotta have alliteration, folks.


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Welcome! … and What I’m All About


It is past time for me to build my own website, or so my good friend Hannah VanderHart (an absolutely brilliant poet in MD) informed me a few weeks ago. I admit, when she first uttered these words, I was a wee bit intimidated. Building a website seems difficult, and besides, who would really want to read about me? <Answer: Only my family. But I’m not informing them of this site. They already know too much.> What wise and oh-so-powerful ideas can I share with the world– or more accurately, the google generation? <Answer: Writing is scary. Do it anyways. … Yes, this idea is completely unprecedented and revolutionary, I know.>

When it comes down to it, though, the latter is exactly what I have to offer: my wandering thoughts on writing, the writing process, being a poet and novelist in the early 21st century when poetry is not widely read and publishing a book is a marathon on a sprained ankle against a multitude of Olympic gold medalists on the hottest day in July. What it is to be a reader. What it is to be a jealous, I-would-kill-to-have-written-this-first reader. The struggle to create images on paper or in a blank Word document. Heck, the very struggle to discover words. This I understand. And you know what? I’m learning more about it every time I sit down at my oh-so-cluttered desk and mumble to myself, “Okay, Dempsey, time to write.” I’ve come to believe we need to share our battles and successes, contribute to this writing community in which we claim citizenship.

Here is my website. Here are some of my words. I hope you enjoy the ride.


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