Ours was a forbidden love. Fiery walls and insidious circumstances barred our contact in a kingdom not at all by the sea. But then…I took matters into my own hands. I climbed up the fiber optic vines to her room and…

…yeah…I have internet access again.

And it seems the world of livejournal did indeed go round in my absence. Sorry to hear about you and Jake, Torrie. Congrats Wil and Kris!

What has happened…

…Lenore and I are back in good old Northern Illinois. Nick is back. My little sis, Danielle returned from her acting school in New York (REMINDER – PURCHASE LITTLE SISTER A TASER AND/OR COLLAPSABLE BATON FOR CHRISTMAS).

Before leaving Springfield, I had a fun all nighter with a Shakespeare paper – brought to you by the force of procrastination. I wrote it. Got no sleep. And found (that Saturday) that the Library was closed down and I would not be able to print it. I ended up emailing it to the professor (it may or may not have been late). I got an email back from him a few days ago. GULP. I wasn’t sure what to expect, this being a written-in-one-night paper for a teacher with a dizzying intellect…I certainly didn’t expect what the email said:

Dear Josh:

With your permission, I’d like to nominate your essay for the Marylin Ostrowski Award, given the best critical piece of the semester. You composed nothing short of magnificence–should also present as “paper” and submit for publication (as essay, of course).

Cf. Borges’ sonnet “Everness.” Let’s talk about how best to take your extraordinary piece “public,” so to speak.

Happy Holiday; thanks for all your great work.



Wow. I’m really not learning any good lessons, as far as habits, this semester. My procrastination is only enforced (of course…those single night writings are HELL). On one hand I’m glad, flattered, encouraged. On the other, I find a part of my wishing I could rip out the academic portion of my mind (which apparently works much better than anticipated, and make more room for creative writing).

But it is a confidence boost. And I need it. I am now set up in my room (or what used to be my room) – with my computer and a small library stocked with everything from a thesaurus, to books on angelic lore, to Neil Gaiman comics, to epic poems – and am (tomorrow) starting my frenzied finger typing and sweating and bleeding and maybe sweating blood – to get my thesis done.

In that regard, it’s always nice to look back at encouraging comments on my prior work. To wit (and I need all the wit I can git) I have an old sheet from a past writing class. We all had to write about each others’ writing styles, as if we were writing one of those comments you see on the dust jackets of your favorite novels and the like (it’s a small, close knit group, so we were intimately aware of each others’ literary prowess). My partner, the wonderfully lovely Joanna Beth Tweedy Willmore, wanted extra time to figure out what to say, and, at the end of class read:

“Like Mesner, the last name Doetsch may well become eponymous for the author’s ability to draw readers into worlds from which they may find it happily impossible to return. Joshua Alan invites readers to the outer edge of surrealism where horror, mythology, stand-up, and Mother Angelica won’t agree to meet, but metabolize in a fantastical and satisfying gumbo. You don’t have a hair on your rumpus if you’re not hipwaggin’ it to be the first in line for the next ladleful.”

I was every shade of pleased.

Time to make the gumbo…