Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Check in - writing is happening


Checking in, again.

Again, I could write that I'm busy. I am. I am busy a lot.

Am I still writing? Yes.

Have I made any progress on the WIP? No. But I have written a lot, several times every week; not every day. All of that is okay.

I still don't know what I want this space to be. What to write. What it's for.

I don't want to let it go but I don't have a clear path. Which is funny, because this is pretty much the topic I'm working on in my general life (what do I want? where do I go from here? and so on). This is also - in a way - the topic of the current writing workshop I'm in, "Experiments in Story Structure" with Ariel Gore. We are exploring non-traditional forms of writing stories, which aren't really non-traditional, but they have new names and are described in new ways; but many of the examples are from what have been considered "traditional" stories.

I am still writing.
I will continue to write.
I am still working (of course) and I am fortunate to have a part of my work be creative and inspiring and something I love (theatre).
I am in need of some down time (note to body: no, I do not need to get sick to get down time; I will make time without it - please and thank you).

I have been doing a lot of writing, actually. The most recent workshops I've done were the 14-day winter intensive with Ariel Gore, and then the current workshop (also online) started about 4 days after the end of the intensive. So - writing. Yes. Keeping it on the "front burner." I also like a lot of what I've written.

This week I have a couple of uncommitted days, where I have a little space to breathe before jumping into March. Which is going to be one of the super busy and super creative months - starting with interpreting the Oregon Poetry Out Loud (high school recitation) competition, and the month includes mentoring for one play and watching a couple of other interpreted performances that my only role is as coordinator. Full, busy, creative month.

I am wondering about this space - what do I want it to be? Not for the first time. I liked the times when I posted prompts, when I shared more resources, shared articles and advice from others. I may bring some of that back. Maybe have some regularly scheduled writings to post.

Time to go back and look at my original intentions and see what still holds and what has changed.

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

New Fiction Story Published

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My copies of the anthology, "places like home," arrived yesterday. I am excited and honored to have a new short story, "the day jimmy changed," included in this beautiful book. I am thrilled to be sharing the printed pages with this collection of other skillful writers, some of whom I have written with in the room in person; some of them I have shared virtual classes with. 

Ariel Gore is, herself, a talented and creative writer. She is also a fantastic workshop/class facilitator, mentor, editor, creative human. All of the stories in this book, be they in the form of fiction, memoir, or poetry, sprang from prompts in classes, or from her Saturday writing prompts (available for a $5 per month subscription).

I also was delighted to be an editor for one of the chapters. This gave me the opportunity to work closely with some of the other writers and their creative visions.

This is a beautiful book and it is available at LiteraryKitchen.net. This link takes you directly to the book's page on the website; but I encourage you to look around at what else is there.



"Ariel Gore’s School for Wayward Writers is a network, a community, a secret society of writers and art-makers. We are beginners. We’ve been at this for decades. We are bestselling authors. We’re recluses who only create for ourselves and each other. We are MFA professors, sex workers, high school dropouts, administrative assistants—and sometimes all of the above. We are witches and witch-adjacent. We are teenagers and grandmothers. We are feminists and anti-racists of all genders. We live in Eureka and Melbourne, in Seattle and Brooklyn, in Melbourne and Cairo. We gather online in The Literary Kitchen. We meet in person in Portland or Astoria; in Longview or Oaxaca; in Santa Fe or Truth or Consequences. We tell the truth. We face the consequences. We lie sometimes, too."
—from the introduction
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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Year/New Decade



Short and sweet, because I don't make New Year Resolutions. But it is the beginning of not only a new year, but a new decade, so I want to start it on a good note.

The year 2019 was a challenging year in several ways. It was a wonderful year in many ways. Lessons learned, friendships strengthened, writing skill and production increased, theatrical life blossoming and taking off in exciting new directions. Life is good and it is a new year.

I will remember the goodness of 2019 and I will remember the lessons and move forward.

I started 2020 today with writing. That felt really good. I did good work and I wrapped up feedback from a wonderful two week writing intensive workshop with Ariel Gore in the Literary Kitchen. Starting the year with an intention of writing more and completing more writing projects.

I look forward to the new of the decade, the new of the year.

New year, new decade, refreshed creative soul.




Friday, December 20, 2019

New Essay Published at Literary Kitchen

Published at Literary Kitchen on 12/19/19


THINGS TO DO WHILE WAITING
FOR LIDIA YUKNAVITCH’S NEW SHORT STORY COLLECTION

A new essay by Dot Hearn


I sit on the convertible futon in its couch position, feet up on the hand carved teak wood box which doubles as a coffee table and storage space for the things which would otherwise clutter up the living room. I’ve already retrieved the binoculars from the box and they sit beside me in anticipation. My cup of sweet Earl Gray tea is within reach.
The ocean is dark blue today, no serious waves until the water .....
Click on through to read the full braided essay, "On the Verge."

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019 is (almost) a wrap


On Tuesday, November 26th, I crossed the 50,000 words written in 30 days mark. It was my regular writing time with a friend. I posted here that I was nearing the finish line; and I continued to write.

With one minute to go before I had to leave our location to go to work, I did it! I had written 50,017 words. I didn't have time to update my count because I had to drive to work.

Yesterday I did write more, and today I wrote more. Because my secondary goal was to write every day in November and it looks like I will make that one, too. I have never made it all 30 days in NaNoWriMo and I wanted to give that a shot, too. My current word count is 52,312.

Two more days of NaNoWriMo 2019 and this one will be done, too.

My writing this year was - again - in the "rebel" category. I did start a novel and I like the novel I started. I like the ideas of the novel and I want to develop it more and see where it goes; it could become an actual book! Or at least a full length short story (although if I do that, there is an element of it I would need to simplify or eliminate one thread). The rest of my writing, probably one-third of it, was for the Personal Essay Intensive online workshop with Ariel Gore. That was a great workshop and I finished (maybe - we'll see what I think after I reread it again) an essay I want to submit to a specific place for publication.

Another successful NaNoWriMo!



Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Nearing the Finish Line

As the end of November is quickly approaching, so am I approaching the 50k words written in November mark. As of the beginning of my Tuesday writing time, I am at 48,532 words. Very close. Very, very close.

I might wrap up the 50k today - if I can find a quick rhythm before I have to go to work. Or maybe it will be tomorrow -- after I get the rest of the root canal done and after my ND/acupuncture appointment.

I am also on track for my second goal of the month, which is to write every day for the 30 days. I have written something every day - 25 days and still counting. The trick will be to keep up the daily writing after the 50k. If I can write every day this month, I think it will be the first NaNoWriMo where I have written every day. Last year I think I only missed one.

It has been an excellent writing month!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

NaNoWriMo is Happening!

This has been a up and down NaNoWriMo so far. But I have written every day - which is awesome! I have been a little behind and growing more and more behind every day. I wasn't upset because I knew I had this writing retreat coming up, which is where I am right now.

The plan was to be over here early afternoon yesterday. But my mouth had other plans, which included an emergency trip to my dentist, where I was told that I had a dead or dying root and that's where the pain was coming from. And that I needed to see a specialist and probably needed a root canal. (It was pretty bad. If you know me in real life, you know that I tend to have a higher pain tolerance; I've been told that's because I'm a redhead.) I told them that I was supposed to be going out of town that day and was going to be gone for almost a week. They were very kind and helpful and found someone who could get me in yesterday afternoon. There is more to the story - but enough for here is that I had the appointment, she confirmed the need for a root canal, a bunch of the work is done but I need to go back to get it finished up, which can be done after the retreat is done.

So we headed out about seven hours after we planned, but we arrived. We are tucked into this lovely quaint Oregon coast cabin until next Thursday. We went to New Seasons and Trader Joe's and we have food (and alcohol and other fun things) and we don't plan to leave until we head home on Thursday and back to work. Except we might, weather depending, go down to the beach. (We are in a place where the cabin is up on a hillside, so "go down to the beach" includes actually going down the hill.)

Today I wrote a lot and made good progress on both my NaNoWriMo novel and on an assignment in the online workshop I am participating in. Good work all around! I am not done writing for the day. This day will be done before I am done writing. Which is "all good" as the saying goes.

Below is my current word count graphs, and you can see the ups and downs, now moving closer to on target. My estimate is that I will be at goal tomorrow and then keep going. I can' really predict how far I will get on this trip. But with very little to do except writing, hopefully it will be a lot of words on the page.


Saturday, November 9, 2019

NaNoWriMo Update from Day 8/9

I took a few hours tonight (Friday night) to attend three Lit Crawl events. Readings at one of my two creative heart centers: Corporeal Writing in downtown Portland. They were the site for three strong groups of writers - a conversation, and two readings. It is good for me to get out and just listen to other people reading their powerful writing.

I also changed the sheets on the bed today. Which the cat thanked me for and I was barely out of the room and he had climbed up and plopped right down in the middle, fast asleep - or so he pretended - when I returned a couple of minutes later.

And I slept in today. A luxury I haven't had for over a month. That was nice, too.

Then I finished the end of this story I'm working on, which I need for a writing workshop on Sunday. No surprise, characters from my NaNoNovel showed up, so that is also part of my NaNo word count. Thankfully.

With the rewrites and the other writing I did today, i passed the 10k mark. Hooray! I still have another 3200 or so words to go to get caught up. Which I won't do today (now Saturday) - probably not do today. Or maybe I will if I get that inspired. Who knows what I may be able to do after another good night's sleep! Which is where I'm headed now, with 11,946 words under my belt.

Hooray for writing!