Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Important Things

It’s Election Day in the states and I’m watching Barack Obama and Michelle vote, live on Euronews—where I can choose to listen to English instead of the ever-annoying French voice over. There are looped segments explaining the Electoral College. Reporters connect the election dots in all directions—foreclosures, health care, and the recession. (We are calling it that now, aren’t we?) Sharply edited interviews with Iraqi citizens reveal mixed opinions, a nation currently overwhelmed with change. The “no comment” segment shows the long line of Kenyans in Kisumu waiting to cast their hand-written votes into a cardboard box. Notice there are two boxes and only one line.

Though we have plans to keep track via the continuing coverage—over couscous and Scrabble—I’ve just gotten word of an all-night election party to watch the results come in and to celebrate Obama’s victory. “Barack Obagels and cream cheese beginning at 3 AM… a Sarah Palin pinata which will be filled, naturally, with hot air. This event is open to non-Americans and even Republicans (we can hope that they see the error of their ways).”

I do hope the results are as positive as anticipated. It would be nice to have a president that “most” of us want… “for a change!” (Sorry. Had to say it ;)

Don’t worry! I did send off my vote-by-mail ballot before I left. Meanwhile, the biggest change I’m experiencing is the weather. One week back in town and I'm finally not aching at the mere thought of the cold. Morning temperatures were near freezing just after I arrived, but then the rains came—and they were lovely—and now the sun, fallen leaves, intermittent clouds. Two days of UV rays and comfortable evenings is sooooo good for this Californian fresh off the latest heatwave!

Whatever the supposedly unusual weather, no matter the home I’m in, it’s awe inspiring how fall flies by. As a student, I became aware of the slow awakening that happens in the first few weeks of the fall, then the downhill spiral to Christmas before winter really sinks in her teeth. This year I’m learning that fall is also a pretty busy time in the publishing industry.

I have officially sent out several copies of two manuscripts to contests of various scope and prize, and though many of the poems—especially those in the longer collection—need some tweaking, it feels really good to just get them bundled and sent away. I always wait until the last minute thinking that I’ll finally get around to those final revisions! And there are plenty of poetry contests in the fall.

The most recent batch of submission was postmarked not long after midnight on October 31st… at the only 24 hour post office in Paris. We took the dog. It was only slightly raining.

Bring on the rejection letters!

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