Friday, January 6, 2012

The Covenant of Salt

I used to blog. I used to blog almost daily. I even got sorta-kinda famous for my old blog, Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse. A (much more) famous writer at a conference once ID'ed me as half of the epic "I will not ride in a hearse" conversation. That was a long time ago.

Since then, I've grown up a bit, gained, lost, learned, forgotten, traveled, and returned. Lately, I've had an inexplicable urge to blog. I took a break from blogging when I entered graduate school. As graduation looms, I feel the urge to blog again. Graduation! I took the long way around.

Right now I'm reading Graham Greene's Journey Without Maps, a travelogue about his trip through Sierra Leone and Liberia. Liberia. I spent two years there, teaching at Cuttington University. I mostly taught composition, but also American Literature and West African Literature. I enjoyed teaching West African Lit, but it was my smallest class. Most students (and their parents) dismiss African literature and orature. They prefer reading Faulkner and Keats over Achebe and wa'Thingo. So my students left in favor of other faculty who taught a western-centered literature course. But some stayed.

My current manuscript - The Covenant of Salt - concerns my experiences in Liberia. Teaching, reading, listening, eating, traveling, healing, fighting, talking, waiting. When asked if it's fiction or non-fiction, I say yes. Any book about Liberia has to do more than one thing.

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