Friday, April 2, 2021

March '21 Madhouse Recap

Hello and Good Afternoon, Friends and Fiends!

March is one of my favorite months and I’m sure the fact that my birthday is tucked inside there has nothing whatsoever to do with that (chuckles manically). Aries energy aside, I rang in 32 this year covered in dogs with violets in the air, and honestly, I’m feeling pretty good these days, which is quite an accomplishment because I wrote about creative burnout a few years back and it was something that I was really struggling with. I had to learn to take breaks, to be okay with not writing constantly, and to accept that I don’t always need to be working to be valid (yes, this is easier said than done, and yes, I still struggle with this concept).

I spent a lot of March relaxing. I built a truly insane number of puzzles (and I’m working on an impossibly cool Edward Gorey one now), listened to some of my favorite vinyl by candlelight, caught up on some podcast episodes, watched ShookLuckyTheVigil and Promising Young Woman, and checked out the Frida Kahlo: an Intimate Portrait photography exhibit at the Frick. I also decked out my house in fresh flowers (daisies, sunflowers, roses, daffodils) and celebrated Ostara with my parents, which was beautiful. I also did a ritual with my Rose of Jericho where we watched it uncurl and bloom as a meditative exercise to welcome rebirth. We then all wrote down what we wanted to nurture, grow, and invite into our lives this year, and then we burned bay leaves in my grandmother’s cauldron. What was especially cool is right when my dad lit the fire, my grandma actually called his cell to check-in and tell us she loves us.

On the book side of things, I read all over the place this month:

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Dolly by Susan Hill
  • Strange Academy, Vol. 1 by Skottie Young
  • How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez
  • Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
  • The Nightgown and Other Poems by Taisia Kitaiskaia

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m teaching two young adult classes currently and I’m having just the best time diving into the genre with my mentees. We’ve been reading some incredible books this semester and the discussions have been really thought-provoking and deep, so a lot of my time and energy has been put into working outside the horror genre this month, but you know I’m never too far away from my home…

In fact, I’m thankful to be teaching the second round of Witch Lit with LitReactor this month—which is always a blast!—and on the poetry front, I published an article with them titled: The Sound of Absence: Utilizing White Space in Poetry. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s good thought fodder for poets and fiction writers alike!

I also hosted two fabulous ladies in The Madhouse in March: EV Knight and Meghan Arcuri. We chatted about 80s cover art, imposter syndrome, writing outside our comfort zone, and our horror origins. You can check out what they had to say below:

I'm currently working on a handful of projects, and I got great news a few days ago that I'm looking forward to sharing with you all soon. But until then, submissions for the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol 8. are currently open and I encourage you all to submit and write and play with the form. If you want to read the full announcement post, you can do so here, and then the guidelines can be found here.

Until next time
Stephanie M. Wytovich

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