Federal Holiday Today? Not at My House.

The thing about being a freelance writer and editor, especially one who co-edits a lit mag where submissions may arrive anytime during the reading period, is that I don’t pay a lot of attention to federal holidays. That is until I go outside to get the mail and find an empty mailbox. And then I think, hey, I should go downtown for something because the parking meters won’t be enforced. But I usually turn around and go back to my computer. My partner is also at work today – the University of Minnesota is doing business as usual. And I have friends – people in healthcare – who are also working away.

Not that I typically observe Columbus Day anyway. Here’s a great article about its history that supports my non-observance: http://www.businessinsider.com/columbus-day-history-2017-10

When I was a kid, I loved Columbus Day and the associated day off of school. I loved the stories about sailing across the ocean and finding the so-called New World. I had no concept that it wasn’t new to the people already living here and the new arrivals weren’t the nicest of people. Now, I think about how our entire country isn’t the nicest of places, with violence and divisiveness shattering daily life everywhere. Seems like a direct thread, doesn’t it?

st paul at end of dayBut arguments about Columbus Day aside, what I’m trying to focus on this fall is poetry. First, Gyroscope Review‘s fall issue is now available and it’s gorgeous. It is available in print from CreateSpace or Amazon. And guess what? The very first Kindle Edition of Gyroscope Review is now available, too. And, as always, there is a free PDF at the Gyroscope Review website. Enjoy some good poetry as an antidote to the daily news.

By the way, if you are a poet looking for a home for some of your work, Gyroscope Review‘s winter issue reading period is open now through December 15. Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting. Of particular interest for this reading period are poems with a wintery theme, current events, and explorations of the underground (be broad in your interpretation here).

Second, my own work is in need of attention. That means a stricter writing schedule for myself. Writing schedules ebb and flow over the course of the seasons; they flex to absorb vacations and holidays and kids who move back home. But fall brings with it the season of hunkering down, pulling out the sweaters and making the coffee and getting down to it as a poet. This is the time of year when I feel most excited about my work, when early evenings feel like a gift and the chill in the air invigorates. Any writers out there who want to chime in on this topic, I welcome your comments.

Happy Monday, whatever you’re doing.



  1. Summer definitely rates as a time when writing ebbs and flows as we bend to whatever is happening outside of our offices and away from our computers. That’s important, especially in a state where winters stretch long. I tend to focus more on photography in the warm months.

    Happy Monday to you also, Kathleen. It’s a beautiful one here in Faribault with my first load of laundry about ready to hang on the line.


  2. We were in Hamilton, Baltimore seven years ago on Columbus Day. Most businesses took little notice. Today at Newbiggin the light was perfect and we heard two elderly men talking about how ‘bonkers’ you all were to elect Trump and I thought — not all of them, mate…not all of them! And I got towels dried outside this morning. Nice October day 🙂


  3. Yes, get your own work percolating! It’s time for you. That’s what the snow did for me the other day. It said, stay inside and get to work! (Plus the cold was a shock after 70 degrees last week.) When it gets dark early it makes me want to stay in and do art or writing. My brain seems to make connections easier than when it is nice and sunny out. Go figure.


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