Tuesday, September 29, 2009

submission opportunity

Zine seeking submissions. I know the person who puts out this zine through my online writing workshop group (Lit Star Training with Ariel Gore). Take a look and submit if it fits you!

Voices Against Violence Zine
is accepting submissions for our next issue. Please send in your essays, poetry, letters, personal accounts, artwork & photography to be included.

What is the Voices Against Violence Zine? A small zine-diy style, with work from people of color, indigenous folks, trans people & queer survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and sexual assault. Included topics can be: healing from trauma, transformative words used as a healing mechanism, enabling healing, life after trauma, self-help guides/resources, self-healing, dancing as means to healing, healing through narration, forgiveness (do we need it?), & collective trauma.

Voices Against Violence zine is to be used as a community teaching tool, as a jump off for discussion and creative outlet and for conversations that need to happen.

Voices Against Violence is part of Café Revolución, with help from Philly’s Pissed. Check out their downloads.

Send submissions in English, Spanish, tex-mex, spanglish or any combination* via email, either in text in the body of the email or attached in .txt format to noemi.mtz (at) gmail dot com.

In the subject enter voices against violence submission. Include a brief bio, your mailing address, website if any. Mention your zine or any upcoming projects you’d like. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know or include a pen name. Email any photos, artwork as an attachment.

deadline: Oct. 31st *translations would be cool but not necessary.

forward and repost! thx


Saturday, September 26, 2009

coming to a screen near you?

I went to the premiere of "Papers the Movie" tonight with a couple friends. It was a moving story and very well done. This is an important issue that I will admit to being rather ignorant about prior to learning about the film a month or so ago.

This film is the story about undocumented students and what happens to them after they turn 18. They have no papers, so they have difficulty getting into colleges (are turned down by some flat out - no questions asked), getting jobs, can't get driver's license, and so on. Are deported. Are held in detention. This young people are born here in the US or come here as very young children with their parents. They grow up here, are educated here, are Americans, and yet, on their 18th birthday they become "illegals."

This is an important film and they did a nice job. They have a few more local showings scheduled and are taking it nationwide. They have been accepted into a couple film festivals and have applied for more.

Check it out. "Papers the Movie". Go if you can, when it comes near you or you are near a showing.

Friday, September 25, 2009


originally posted at Run Around for Write Around Portland

A friend was planning to do the Mayor's Walk with me on October 4th. Unfortunately, she had outpatient surgery, which resulted in about 20 stitches, and the doctor telling her it wouldn't be a good idea. The stitches come out just before the event.

My friend was bummed. We did the event together last year - the first time either of us had participated. We were looking forward to doing it together this year - 12 months of fitness training and miles walking/paddling/biking/elipticalling (I know, that's not a word!). She felt badly that I might have to do it without a walking partner; I told her it was fine, I would use it as my pace training that day.

She laughed. She reminded me that last year we stood there at the start on the bluff near UofP, with our eyes toward downtown and nearly cried. It looked so far; it was drizzly; it was only our second event and it was an overwhelming site. Now here I am saying "it's my pace training for the week."

Things do change. With training and persistence, things improve. And it's important to look at my accomplishments sometimes, too. It's too easy for me to look at what didn't go as planned, e.g. "darn, I only did 17.5 minute miles today; what happened?" or "wow, I didn't stretch enough and my right shin and big toe are so cramped." Those may be true. But it's also true that, while completing the 10k at 2 hours and 9 minutes last year was great - this year I'm aiming to complete it in under 1 hr 42 minutes.

Keeping perspective is important. And friends can help do that.

And a reminder: please donate what you can, even $5 will help, to Write Around Portland. Click on the link to the left - the FirstGiving box - to help me raise money for this very worth cause. Thank you!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


One of my new favorite blogs is "Writing Under Pressure." She has a great format, a smooth writing style, and essays or prompts that make you think.

Check out her Wednesday "word of the day" - brilliant!

Thanks, Christi.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

seconds do count

originally posted at Run Around For Write Around Portland on Sunday 9/20

This morning I participated in the Komen Race for the Cure. A small group of friends and I decided to do the Women's 5k Untimed Run.

Remember, me, the walker? And I just said I did the run? What we really did is that, out of the 7 of us, 2 were going to run, 3 of us are in training for the half-marathon, and the other 2 were planning to walk.

It was a brilliant plan and it worked. We started near the back of that event's pack - with the slower runners (over 10-minute miles). Our original plan was to to all run across the start line and then the walkers to slow to our walking pace (either training or regular walking) after a block or two.

Luckily, the start was so slow that everyone except those in the very front were fast walking across the start once you got there. Even the smaller pack of runners were starting out walking due to the number of participants.

So - the deal with the few seconds is this. I kept up a pretty good pace, although I know that one of the two I was walking with was slowing her pace for us. After we did the up and over the bridge, loop up on Naito to make it the full 10k and then headed back for the finish line, I saw the timer coming into view.

I was pretty bummed when I got close enough to see the numbers and not just the red glow on a black rectangle. I could see that I was going to cross that finish line at about 49 minutes and that was slower than my recent times of similar length. I computed the numbers in my head. Bummer. Too slow.

Without going into the convoluted math I do in my head (round here and approximate there to make it easy to compute) - the actual numbers came out better when I had a calculator. It's funny - because I keep forgetting that knocking off .1 or .2 of a mile to make it easier to divide, or ignoring the true seconds and rounding up - it all works against me when I'm looking at pace.

What went as a disappointing approximately 17-minute miles to an acceptable actual calculation of 15.2-minute miles showed me that, yet again, seconds do count.

The little pieces of time, the actual measurements, each step, counts.

Just like each $5 or $10 or whatever amount our friends, family, co-workers can drop in our hands or put on our FirstGiving pages counts for Write Around Portland.

Click on the "donate now" button on the left to contribute whatever amount you can afford. Thanks!

Friday, September 18, 2009

submission: poetry & social issues

Call for Poetry Film and Video
Deadline January 15, 2010

Split This Rock invites poets, writers, artists, activists, dreamers, and all concerned world citizens to submit original poetry films or videos forthe 2nd Split This Rock Poetry Festival, to be held March 2010.

We are looking for artistic, experimental, and challenging film/videointerpretations of poetry that explore critical social issues. Selected workwill be screened during the Split This Rock Poetry Festival film program. Entries can be up to 15 minutes long.

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2010.

See the guidelines andentry form for full details and submission requirements. Guidelines: http://www.splitthisrock.org/documents/2010film_guidelines.pdf

Entry Form http://www.splitthisrock.org/documents/2010film_entry.pdf

Please share this call widely.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

character sketch

Write or draw the following scene by adding details. Let me know how it goes and feel free to post it here!

jj: eyah?
tee: up?
jj: yeah.
tee: got it?
jj: yup.
tee: water?
jj: oh yeah.
tee: both?
jj: all.
tee: {2 thumbs up}
jj: yo.
tee: baya.
jj: s' later.


Monday, September 14, 2009

it is just around the corner

NaNoWriMo is coming our way, again. And I am excited.

The first reason I'm excited is that I just discovered that the potential legal issue related to editing and publishing last year's NaNo novel, isn't an issue. There was the potential of having to either completely rewrite my novel or just give it up - that's how central this issue was to my story. But today I discovered that the copyright on the thing mentioned in my novel expired a long time ago (30+ years) and it is now in the public domain. Yay! Onward with last year's NaNo novel.

The second reason is that I just made my annual donation to the Office of Letters and Light, which is the organization which does NaNoWriMo. And I ordered this year's t-shirt. That may seem silly to some - but I like having the shirt which identifies me to other NaNo writers when I'm out and about. And I like this year's design - plus it comes in cranberry; yay for color! I also ordered a "Camp NaNoWriMo" shirt. I love that design and it's fun.

So - I'm ramping up for NaNoWriMo 2009. The new forums will officially open on October 1st. I'm updating my profile little by little.

And I'm moving forward with the editing of last year's book. I think it deserves a shot at publication and I'd like to have the first basic revision - or at least the revision plan - started before I write this year's novel.

One difference for this year is that I have the setting already selected for the novel. Last year I opened my laptop at 11:55; plugged it in and loaded the programs. And at 12:01 am on November 1st, I started typing. Not a single thought about plot or story or characters. It was a wild and fun ride. But this year, I have my setting. Beyond that, I don't know. There may be a little more structure once Halloween arrives - or I may, again, open the laptop, type up the opening scene and just go where it takes me. Well, I know I will follow where the story takes me, I just don't know if I'll have any more sense of direction or a road map when I start.

I suspect it will be another type and go.

And I'm good with that.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

inspiration is a two-way happening

Last week I took my distance training day off - on the advice of my doctor because of pain in my Achilles tendon; but still. I took it off. I did a one-mile stroll with a friend the next day. Then I missed my pace training 2 days later; same reason. I did the 4 miles of the pace training, but at regular speed - not speedy speed. That was this last Monday.

On Tuesday I did my strength training and regular walking (several short brisk-ish walks totalling an hour scattered in between my jobs).

Then it was Wednesday and time for my hill training (in preparation for the half marathon in Seattle; I don't need it for the Portland Mayor's Walk!). I was concerned about my heel and feeling a little frustrated about missing the distance day and not doing the pace training. And doubting myself. Not wanting to do it - up and down the hill to Mt Tabor several times.

I distracted myself by checking my email. Which turned out to be the perfect anecdote to my funk. There was the following email from my dragon boat / half-marathon walking / whitewater rafting friend :

Hi Dot... every now and then I check in on your writing [on your website, The Writing Vein] ... and I love reading what you write! I also just wanted to tell you that it inspired me because I'm getting to the point where I think about going out for a run/walk or walk and I don't want to... but you remind me that I will feel better if I go and do it. Thank you for that!

I was just going to go do the 1/2 Marathon without training but think I'd
better get out there and get my feet in condition!

Don't forget the Race for the Cure on the 20th!

...oh, and she's a MissFit Alliance Race for the Cure teammate, too.

I went out with a smile and walked up and down the hill. And without any pain in my foot but with a renewed sense of "I can do this."

Thank you, K, for your perfectly timed counter-insprational note. And I did feel better for having done it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

semantic question of the week

Tell me what you think about the differences between the following two sentences.Give me Strunk & White citations, grammar textbook quotes, personal opinion, gut reactions - whatever. Talk to me about them.

He will try not to show it.


He will try to not show it.

What are your thoughts or rules?

Friday, September 11, 2009

T:BA:09 : Block Ice & Propane

Erik Friedlander talking about and playing excerpts from
"Block Ice & Propane"

I am looking forward to seeing him perform this tonight for PICA's T:BA:09 festival.

There is still a lot left to see if you haven't made it to anything, yet. Dance, theater, art, performance, film, being surrounded by creative types and other creative community members, local and traveling.
Try something new.
Who knows!
You might like it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

T:BA:09 : in order to see

multimedia presentation with live dancers
where do i look
it started with film broadcast on the back of the stage
then the live dancers appear
in front
audience's attention split
eyes wander
the dancers copying what was and is
on the screen
lights off
dancers on the giant screen behind
the same and different
than on the stage
not quite
in sync but
sometimes yes
or nearly

after a little while it becomes
like reading music
i remember
my split eyes
with hands on the piano keys
eyes bouncing from treble
to bass and
and then one day
i found the space between
the space between
the clefs and reading music
was easy

like those optical illusions
where you can't see the image
you focus
you have to find a space
on the picture yet near
and unfocus
and then you see

the dancer and the screen
rather than
unfocusing in order
to focus
and watch the
on stage and screen

poem inspired by T:BA:09
dance performance, "too"
by Dot.
photographs from
Amy O'Neil's tingyrage
bottom photo, O'Neil performs
in Ten Tiny Dances

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


There are some amazing performances, films, and art happening at T:BA. Go, if you can. Later today - I hope - I will write a bit about what I've seen so far. I had to miss yesterday (due to interpreting for Reba McEntire, so I'm not complaining!), and missing today due to a full day of work. But spent time there Friday - Sunday and it was great.

I will admit to being a little under-impressed when I first saw the line-up 6 weeks or so ago. But I was wrong. Really wrong. It is an amazing body of work.

Thank you, PICA.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

first lines: new favorite

I'm not one to have a long list of favorites. When I'm asked, "what's your favorite color?," I pause and think about what I seem to be gravitating to recently. When asked, "what's your favorite book?," I think about the last few I've read and pick the one I liked best.

So something like "favorite first line" is not in my general vocabulary. Or hasn't been. There are ones I like; it may be the first line of a poem, novel, short story, chapter - I've known some.

But today I finished up the short story I was reading in Tin House vol 10, no 4. It was a gift from a friend who knows me pretty well (thanks, BB!). Then I turned toward the back to Dorothy Allison's "Jason who will be famous."

And a new trend was born for me. I will start noting a list of favorite or 'wow' first lines.

This one is beautiful and I was to share it. The rest of the story, which I'm still reading, is good and worth a read. But the opening caught me.

Dorothy Allison's short story starts like this:

Jason is going to be famous, and the best part is that he knows he will be good at it.


Friday, September 4, 2009

copy: walking around for write around

I will be walking the 10k Mayor's Walk in the Portland Marathon. I am a walker, not a runner - and I'm fine with that. I am not a race walker, I am a walker who is increasing her pace little by little, with a current goal of doing under 17 minute miles in a half marathon in November. And I'm okay with that, too.

I read Loren's post [on the Run Around for Write Around Portland blog] with a knowing nod about what keeps you going when you don't feel like it. I am just coming out of one of those stretches where I've had to drag myself out the door to go for the 5-mile pace building training walk, or the 8-mile distance building walk, or to walk up and down the hill to Mt Tabor 5 - 7 times. And that's been okay, too.

So what does keep me going?

Sometimes it's noticing how I'm feeling - like the time two weeks ago when I took a day off due to fatigue, and it was the day after my training day off. I was feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. So on the third day I set out on my training walk and I'd gone only a fraction of the miles I had to go and that cloud of doom lifted and I thought, ahhhh. Recognizing that my body has become used to the daily routine. Easier and cheaper than another therapy appointment or anti-depression medication *grin*. Or it's my partner telling me I've become a little crabby and wouldn't a walk feel good? And I know she's right. And it does.

Sometimes I keep going because I've signed up for some events and rallied others to join me on events I haven't signed up for yet. An example is that Sunday I thought, there is no way I can do that 8 miles today and then I remembered that, after the Mayor's Walk, my next event is the half-marathon in Seattle in November. Which now feels not so far away; and I'm out the door with shoes laced and my Camelbak full with a package of Stingers in my pocket.

The same is true of writing. If I go too long without being actively engaged in the writing process, I get cranky. I start feeling bottled up. Stuck. And sometimes I have to completely close that internal critic's eye and just write. I keep myself enrolled in a "Lit Star Training" course with Ariel Gore so that writing is kept on my list of things to do, with weekly assignments and peer feedback. And I find submission deadlines to give me an end-point or a reason to keep revising.

I write because I have something to say.

I walk because I feel better when I do and because I don't want to lose the muscle I've gained or gain the weight I've lost.

I walk and I write because sometimes I find myself smiling for no apparent reason, except that it feels good to be alive and I have something to look forward to. Or maybe I have a kayak tucked in the back of my car. Or snowshoes in the closet waiting for the snow to fall.

Or I find myself halfway up the four flights of stairs to Write Around Portland to pick up my facilitator's bag and realize I didn't even consider taking the elevator.

stuck - why?

I don't understand why I am getting stuck when asked to write short personal essays about my walking. Or my walking and writing.

I write about it all the time. I write pieces to be published which are true and are about walking. And often writing. And I complete them.

But recently I've been faced with two separate pieces about my walking and my journey to fitness and. Gulp. Nada. Well, that's not entirely true. I wrote something - at least a beginning. And then, for one, I found myself rambling. Saying the same thing over and over and going nowhere; kind of like now.

The other one is a short "testimonial" type piece, which I'm happy to write and want to write. And. Gulp. What do I say? It's still just me; live; real. But, somehow, the words are elusive and everything I've started sound wooden and artificial.

Stuck. Think I need to sleep now and tackle them again after I've had enough sleep.

And a walk; five miles fast tomorrow - my pace training day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

a picture is worth....

This photo, by Serena Barton, just begs to be used as a writing prompt.

So : if a picture is truly worth a thousand words, then what are the 1,000 words that go with this picture?

Do it - write a story using this picture as a prompt. Or draw a scene. Or sculpt or weld or build a piece whose inspiration was sparked from this photograph.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

reading featuring Moe Bowstern

From IPRC (Independent Publishing Resource Center):
Featured Reader: Moe Bowstern
Join us for a free reading featuring zinester Moe Bowstern. For many years, Moe has brought us the inside story about being a woman who fishes commercially in her zine Xtra Tuff. She’s an amazing storyteller and reveals much about the history of commercial fishing in Alaska through a very descriptive and personable narrative that can be understood by any layperson. She tells great stories of the crews she’s been involved with and their dynamics as well being a woman involved in a very male dominated profession. An open mic will follow the reading.
Thursday September 8; 7-10pm
@ the IPRC
Free and open to the public

Independent Publishing Resource Center
917 SW Oak #218
Portland, OR 97205

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

workshop: Sisters in Crime

Sisters in Crime Mystery Writer's Workshop at PCC

The SinC Mystery Writer's Workshop is taught by four published authors who will inform you on the flesh and bones of mystery writing (developing characters, setting the scene of the crime and trends in murder) and how to create a killer plot!
You will be able to mingle with the following authors during the lunch hour book signing:

Dana Haynes is the author of three mysteries and has a thriller coming out in July!

April Henry knows how to kill you in two- dozen ways. Her latest book, co-written with FOX-TV's Lis Wiehl, was on the New York Times bestseller list!

Carola Dunn is the author of over 50 novels and 20 mysteries!

Rob Lovell is a journalism professor turned mystery writer who writes the Thomas Martindale series!

DATE September 19th, 9 am - 3:50 pm
COST $29 for class, $40 for fees (fees include lunch and speaker honorariums)
LOCATION Sylvania Campus (Room CT 212)
INFORMATION Sarah Hodapp (503-731-6642)

Register now .

Choose "Non-credit Registration" under GET STARTED.