Saturday, May 30, 2009

a few more cover options for the lit stars

handmade wabi sabi box with writing prompts for dot, by serena

wabi sabi neighborhood photo, by serena and dexter

wabi sabi photo of beach house by serena

"I Keep My Word" by Serena Barton

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Anthology Cover

For the people involved in the winter '09 Lit Star Training anthology. Here are some options for cover artwork. Let me know your favorite(s) -- you can email me or post a comment. And if there is something else you have in mind, let me know that, too!

Contemplative Chaos by Serena Barton
Silk Painting Detail by Dot.

Art Jar by Dot.

The Time Before by Serena Barton
The Magic Egg Shop by Serena Barton
Shooting Stars by Serena Barton
Juicy by Dot.
Don't Fence Me In by Serena Barton

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nearing the End of Overload

I have been so busy that I have fallen behind on my posts here. Almost everything that is happening is good - it's just a lot. So - a quick update:

- my second Lit Star Training course with Ariel Gore is coming to an end this week; I did not keep up as well as last time. But I will be giving it another go during the summer months. It's been helpful and has keep writing on my radar. I am grateful to the talented writers who have shared their work and their feedback.

- Dragon Boats: oh, I can't say enough. We are prepared. We will do our very best and we will have a good time. In just nine days we will be competing in race one and race two; then in ten days we will be in the quarter finals and, perhaps, the finals. We have trained well, had good attendance, made new friends, and become more fit than we were before. And some of us have launched into new activity levels because of it. Only two more practices left (Saturday and next Tuesday), then our team dinner and ... there we are!

- the Anthology from my first Lit Star Training course with Ariel Gore is nearing publication. It has been several months of numerous emails, discussions about format and printing and layout and prices and legalities and personality conflicts and resolutions and working together to create a little gem of a book which will showcase some of our Quick Writes from the course, in various stages of editing. It will be beautiful.

- teaching interpreting internship. Just a couple weeks left and the interns will be launched into the field as working interpreters. They have done well; they have practiced and studied and prepared and I have good reports from their mentors. I will not be teaching this summer - and I think it will be a welcome break. I enjoy teaching - and once in a while I need to not teach. This internship has been great, though, and I look forward to meeting these two as peers on the job in the future.

Still in progress: trying to gather a couple or three or four more walkers for the 131.8 mile relay at the end of July; writing more (including finishing up a piece that is due tomorrow!); training for the relay, which has me walking 3.5 - 7 miles a day!!, with some double walks (of 4 to 7 miles) in July in preparation for the relay doubles or triples; getting a couple of submissions for magazines ready to go; and a few other personal things that need to get taken care of.

All is well. Just busy!

Oh. And work. *smile*

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Excerpt: Walking Home

"I found a new path to my old self. Or an old path to my new self. Or maybe a new path to my true self. Which is complicated because I don't know how my current life fits - if it does."

Excerpt from a submission to The Sun. By Dot.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

event: Third Rail Discussion

From Third Rail here in Portland...this looks like a lively discussion!

Funny Bone Meets Funny Brain This Sunday The last in our free panel
discussion series

"Dissecting Comedy" takes place this Sunday, May 24, at the WTC Theatre,
immediately following the matinee performance of "Fabuloso" (approximately 4pm).
As our season of comedy closes we've seen humor mined from adultery, grave
robbing, and poop throwing. It's a perfect time to ask "wait a minute, why was
that funny?" Our panel of experts, led by hilarious-in-her-own-right Victoria
Parker-Pohl, will take a metaphorical scalpel to comedy to find its giggling
heart. Please join us!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

creating in a new to me way

On Wednesday I met with local artist and art supporter, Gretchin Lair, for a one-on-one Gocco print lesson. I bought one of the B6 devices a couple months ago and had barely opened the box because the "toy" is discontinued and supplies are no longer produced and I wanted to make sure I know how to use it before I started messing around with things which will soon not be available.

Gretchin has taught Gocco printing at IPRC, but we met at her studio. She is a patient and knowledgable instructor and I enjoy her company. She went over what I have in my box (buying used Goccos means that sometimes you don't have all the parts), and then through the steps. She even made a little booklet for me to bring home to refresh my memory when I get to next play with it.

She included what to include when picking a design, copying, etc. I chose a fish, which looks a little dragon-like, what with having dragon boats on the brain recently! Then I got to flash my own screen and do some practice prints before moving on to test my screenprint on different papers. It was a blast and I walked away with several dragonfish prints!

Thank you, Gretchin!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

back on the water

Now I am two days late with my writing assignment for this week. But for a very good cause today (yesterday was due to work) - me! Me on the water!

Many members of my dragon boat team, plus a few other women, went up to Ridgefield, WA, today for an intro kayak lesson, followed by a five-mile round trip paddle on the Columbia river. It was a beautiful day; slightly overcast, warm, minimal wind, dry.

The water was perfect. There were a few more power boats than I would have liked, but only one or two were jerks about it. (One, I swear it was deliberately causing big wakes for us, such as the ones in the video while we were on shore.) But all of the paddlers were fabulous; the guides were excellent and very helpful and supportive; the guys that helped get us fitted and into the boats were great. We saw a bald eagle sitting at the top of a tree. A blue heron took flight right in front and over us. Beautiful!

Wonderful day. Below is one short clip from when we were taking our break before heading back. There were actually 18 of us, plus another four guides - so not all of the boats are in the picture.

I will get my story done. I will!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Quick note: call it making lemonade or looking for the horse ... doesn't matter. Events from today had me searching for reasons. Then I decided to try and trust that the universe has a reason for turning my summer plans upside down.

The good news about having a three and a half week job canceled is that I will be here for the post race team party and will be available for another outing or two planned for July. The not so good news is that it is a financial blow -- I know, welcome to the economics of 2009. I am trusting that I will be able to recover some of the financial loss with freelance work; a month of non-scheduled work is a lot to make up for.

Still, I will trust there is something better coming my way.

And it's not easy. I was planning to use the free time of my structured schedule to train for the long distance relay and to work on editing my NaNoWriMo book. The training I will have to do, anyway, since we have a team -- the editing, well, we'll see. I may still need to take some time off to get a jump start on it.

Not really searching for an answer; but trusting there is a reason.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New York City and Bat Mitzvahs

So, this is how the post begins... it is so worth clicking on the title to jump on over and read the rest of her post. Makes me long for another trip to New York City.

From macaronimaniac :

>I Went to Yael's Bat Mitzvah, and All I Got Was the Swine Flu

Wednesday, April 29, 7:00 pm: As Cheez and I,
newly arrived in New York City, emerge from Penn Station, he is reminded of
something he read years ago, about how coming to New York after a long absence
feels like you've just gotten out of in prison.

Saturday, May 9, 9:45 am: As Cheez and I lumber
through a subway tunnel on the way to meet some friends for brunch, I remark
that after ten days, being in New York feels like we're currently serving a term
in prison.

Please go read the rest. Or, at least, look at the pictures.

Thanks, Macaroni!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

vocabulary building:

I learned a new colloquial phrase last night, when I was in an online chat with my partner's step-father's girlfriend. I was going to say "new" girlfriend, but they've been together three years or so, so I guess she's not new anymore. I can draw you a map of the family relationship, if it will help.

Anyway, this is the new vocabulary I learned last night, or this morning if you're a night owl, like me: darthirty.

What's that? I asked.

Well, when we were on the kayak trip, we went to bed at darthirty, she said. It's an old southern phrase I learned growing up, she said.

But what's it mean? I started to type and as soon as my 1AM brain caught up with itself, I typed. So it means "dark thirty?" As in going to bed just after the sun goes down?

Yeah-up, she said.

I like it, I said.

And that is your new vocabulary word for today and how I came to find it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A New Resource

Announcing the start of a new resource for writers and other creative types.

Join Jenny and me as we wander the streets of Portland (or wherever else our feet or vehicles take us) in search of places to write. All content generated will be completely biased and based on our own personal experiences at said establishments.

Trust us, we are fair minded people.


photograph by Dot.

event 5/16: open mic

Lunacy Stageworks Presents:


Saturday May 16th, 8:00pm at the Sellwood Masonic Lodge

7126 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR / $3 cover at the door





Read a Poem

Tell a Story

Come in Costume

Come as you are


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

event 5/13: A Night of Clowns & Owls

There's going to be an exciting event next week:
An ASIFA Night of Clowns & Owls
With Misha Klein and Dan Ackerman
Wed. May 13th,
7pm-9pm @ Studio 13
13 NW 13th Ave.
Admission is FREE for card-carrying members
$3 for non-members

Owl Pals, directed by Dan Ackerman

"Our evening host, Dan Ackerman, Director of Photography, will present his latest stop-motion project, Owl Pals, a promotional trailer based on the children's book illustrations of Luba Goninda. Dan will be on hand to talk about the rewards and challenges of directing this visually rich combination of original 3D characters, flat puppets and multi-plane camerawork, as well as show off some of the actual puppets and designs.

Fred the Clown, created by Misha Klein (clip)

Coraline animator Misha Klein will also be showing a sneak preview of his brand new animated film, recently competed at Studio 13. A labor of love years in the making, this 7-minute vignette focuses on Fred the Clown's internal struggles and performance anxieties, above all with a palpable dread of his boss. Featuring spontaneous camera work, gorgeous sets and atmospheric lighting, Misha will be on hand to talk about his travels on the road to finishing this amazing film."

Thank you, Sven, for bringing this to my attention!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thank you to Mead Hunter at Blogorrhea for passing along this interesting idea! Hmmm! I like it.

Not long ago, playwright Fin Kennedy brought a cool new scheme to my attention: the Adopt a Playwright Award, in which contributors can pool their resources to make sure at least one unsung new voice gets produced every year.

What I love about this concept is that it completely bypasses the galumphing machinery of the play selection process that is more standard – you know, the one in which a play is test-marketed as though it were a new brand of snack food. Fin elaborated on the strengths of the program yesterday on the Guardian’s TheatreBlog – thank you, Mme. Kollodi, for leading me to this.

Read all about it, and let’s talk about what it would take to launch this

I support the idea of doing this for a playwright (and still need to finish reading the article myself *grin*), but I think there may be other applications of this idea for other dreative types!


Monday, May 4, 2009

TADA : The demise of balloons.

This made me smile!

Part of the clean-up after PICA's TADA! festival was to get rid of a bunch of balloons. Which was done by, well, popping them!

Haven't you always wanted to do this?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

intention: a poem

I sent an email out and attached my "writer" signature (I have one for interpreting, one for my adjunct faculty job, and one for writing). I rarely look at the content of the signatures any more -- isn't that why I set them up? So I can just select which one applies, press the mouse, and voila, there you go!

But today I did notice. It was one of those emails which didn't really require a signature attachment but it seemed like a good idea. But it doesn't fall into the interpreting category at all and it is not a writing thing.

So, today, I noticed.

At the bottom of my "writer" signature is this poem by Mary Ann Radmacher. Fitting. It's where I am mentally and spiritually and, I suppose, even physically at this moment in time.

live with intention,

walk to the edge,
listen hard,
practice wellness,
play with abandon,
choose with no regret,
continue to learn,
appreciate your friends,
do what you love,
live as if this is all there is. Mary Anne Radmacher

It's a reminder I wanted to put out into the world today to anyone else who may be needing a little boost or confirmation of intention.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I decided today that Dragon Boats is my gateway drug. There's probably a more politically correct way to say that - but there you go.

On Thursday - I replaced my lost kayak. A different model, of course. But I am ready to get back in the boat and can't wait until 5/16 when I will be going for a lesson and a flat water ride. Also will be going on something on 6/20 - I'm sure that one will be a lower level shorter ride, because of who I'm going with (my partner's 80 year old step-father and his approach is definitely a more conservative route to skill building; he goes on major whitewater himself, but that day will be for friends of various skill levels and I'm sure he'll put me on something calm). I'd like to get one trip on my own boat (Ridgefield will be their boats) before the birthday ride.

And today I'm poring over the route and details of a high desert relay race I'm going to participate in! I'm putting together a team. My trainer is going to help, because I have never done it before and, until now, haven't really hung out with a long distance relay, boating, hiking, crowd.

Then this morning I went for a walk on a circuit I used a couple years ago, which took be 45+ minutes. I did a little speed walking (for me, remember it's all relative) and did it in just under 30 minutes.

What? Me? Huh!

See: gateway drug. Only better for me than ol' maryjane.

This does relate to writing and creativity. It does. And I'm only beginning to explore that aspect!

Friday, May 1, 2009

*prompt for May Day*

for a poem, a collage, a story.

complete the following list. if one takes you in a particular direction, follow.


I am
I wonder
I hear
I see
I want
I am
I pretend
I feel
I touch
I worry
I understand
I say
I dream
I try
I hope
I am

time keeps on ticking, ticking

I posted my writing for this week in the Lit Star Training class. I stayed up until 4AM to finish it because I wanted this one to be on time. I never posted last week's; time has slipped away into work and leavings and sleep and workouts and practice. Last night I interpreted "Frost/Nixon" at Portland Center Stage so I will have back another big chunk of time.

No, wait. Not really; I'm interpreting "How I Learned to Drive" at Portland Community College just two weeks from today.

Night before last I slept eight hours and fifteen minutes. That was waking up on my own time. It was nice. Last night I slept four hours because I had to write - I couldn't let it go. Then I had an appointment with my trainer.

Tonight I'll sleep. And I just gained two hours on Sunday because I was over my allowable hours at my part-time job for April so they are having me go in two hours later on Sunday. No problem.