Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Gut Punch

[This is new and raw.]

Gut Punch
by DS Hearn

The decision now done I wonder what the next blow will be. Not when. Because the when is tomorrow, unless it has already happened today and I haven't seen it. I've been working.

The punch to the gut of the confirmation that this is what will be in the government seats. The punch to the gut that people's rights will be violated; the proof is already in the works, each day more and more. And that They don't care.

That this country will be - or already is from several articles and comics I've seen - not trusted, not respected, mocked.

This is not about losing the vote or that the other dominant group members are in the White House.  It is not about the "R" and the "D" of this country.

This is about: The loss of rights. The loss of dignity. The loss of hope (temporarily). The trickery and lies and manipulations which led to the claim of "the win," many of which have already been proven a sham, a ruse, a mask to gain support then abandoned. The lack of knowledge and experience already witnessed.

This is about
land the earth
water air
the meaning of respect
going backwards
losing ground
slipping into chaos
struggling to breathe

step by step
not giving in not giving up

giving to each other not being divided uniting for the earth for people

dipping into the waves of sorrow and loss
dipping into the waves of strength and resistance
dipping up for air
dipping down for rest and recovery
dipping to rise again buoyant

and saying

Friday, December 9, 2016

After NaNoWriMo

The challenge after the writing frenzy of November is to continue a solid writing practice. It is one reason that I participate in NaNoWriMo every year, to renew my own commitment and to strengthen my practice of regular writing.

And, this year, to move a project forward.

There were challenges this November. One being that I had a little more performance interpreting opportunities than I usually take during NaNoWriMo; good opportunities and I was thrilled to be able to do them. The other challenge was the direction things are going since the election. This event raised fears and anger and more. But I decided to turn those energies around into awareness and into continuing to write.

I also registered for two online workshops with Ariel Gore. The first is a workshop I've wanted to do since she first offered it, but the timing hasn't worked out - personal essay writing. This time it falls across a time where another workshop I was scheduled for canceled - so I had already blocked the time for writing; seems a bit of synchronicity in the timing. The second workshop with Ariel is outside of my usual writing style, and that is good. The second one is a Noir and Dystopian intensive, something I've wanted to check out, try, but haven't yet. This seems like a good time to dip into that genre and especially with Ariel.

So I'm excited about the two new writing workshops.

The publication of the excerpt from my memoir steal beats warm in my heart. I've received some wonderful feedback from people who've read it at Hippocampus Magazine, words of encouragement and people who want to read more. I have been working on that this month. I have compiled all of the pieces into one place and am going to print it out. It's a lot of paper, but I am at a place where I need to see it in print and I need to mark and cut and move and paste. And edit. Parts of the manuscript at this point need some serious editing and revision. And I have some new pieces to put in to the document and the writing of some of the old and new is of a different style and I need to get more consistency. This is a good place to be in the book's development, but it is a slower process - at least for me. The editing process is longer and harder; I like the writing part better. Although I do want to say that I have some great editing tools I've learned from Ariel and from Lidia Yuknavitch which make the process feel possible and productive.

So, onward. My writing continues. I will get this Work In Process done. And I will continue to write other pieces, as well.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 - it's a wrap!


I wrote my final sentence for 2016 earlier today and that was the end of NaNoWriMo. I updated my word count and then got on with the things I had to do today.

About an hour ago, a friend and fellow-NaNo participant and I were texting about her win, and she mentioned that today's square on my NaNo word count calendar was still red.

Huh! I had updated the words. But the square didn't change. So it seems that I needed more than five words to get the square to change to orange.

I finished my errands and came home. Opened up the laptop, turned it on, waited for everything to get it up and running and programs opened. Wrote a few paragraphs.

And *now* I am officially done with NaNoWriMo 2016. My final word count has been validated at 60,771. This is my biggest NaNo to date and it feels good.

I also have a plan to continue working on this project and I'm excited - with an edge of overwhelm, but the excitement is bigger - to bring it to an edited completion. This will take some time, but I will be working on it.

Goodbye, NaNo 2016.

My new goal was 60k in 30 days. I became a NaNoWriMo winner on 11/21 and decided to increase my goal and keep writing to the end of the project. This will be my highest ever NaNoWordCount.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 29 - New Goal Met

Today, at my weekly Tuesday writing meetup, I passed my second, self-decided NaNoWriMo goal. 

When I passed the 50k mark on November 21st, I knew that if I didn't set a new goal, my writing would most likely fall off. It might not go away, but I would probably lose momentum and wouldn't get much else done.

And there was more to be done.

There is still more to be done.

And just a few minutes ago I passed my updated NaNoWriMo 2016 goal: 60,000 words in 30 days. My current work count is 60,329 and I did validate that on the NaNo website. 

Tomorrow I will write a few more words, because I have written every day this month except for November 9th. That is my only red day on my NaNoCalendar this year and it seems fitting, because of the implications of the election and because that was the day we drove to the coast for the NaNoWriMo writing retreat!

I did it! My longest NaNoWriMo project to date. And there is more to write and I will. This one will continue being the main project I work on. Because this was a rewrite and new pieces for a project I already had in the works.  

Yay for NaNoWriMo! Yay for me!

Friday, November 25, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 25: keeping on

I am still trying to write to 60k before the end of November, since I passed the 50k mark so early.

I think I will actually get there. My writing has slowed, but that seems to make sense. Since we went out of town yesterday to spend it with our complicated and extended family. It was a good day, There was about one third or one half of the whole bunch there, I'd guess. Hard to track the numbers. It was a good day. The drive down, which is normally 90 minutes or a little less, was two and a half hours. There was a lot of traffic, more than anticipated and planned for, and it was raining heavily with standing water on some parts of the freeway.

So yesterday I wrote a very short bit after we got home. But I had to go to bed early (for me) for and early (for me) job out of town.

But circumstances happened and I ended up with some extra time today. Part of that bonus time was spent meeting one of S's _?_ cousin first removed? or something. I'm not good at mapping extended cousins and relatives in that way. But he and his wife came down from Seattle to visit family here in Portland, and had planned to come by here first to go out for lunch with S; and since I was home, I was able to join them, with my phone on because I was on call if the job site needed me to go back.

I enjoyed meeting them and we had great conversation. And agreed to get together, again. More like-minded people in my life is good. And they are planning to move to Maui in a  year or so, which means, boo hoo, that we might *have* to travel to Hawaii to visit them. I've never been there and it hasn't been on my list of places I had to see. But having friends there might make it more appealing.

Back to my writing. I have been able to get some writing on the project done today. I am taking a short break to check in here then will try to get more in before going to bed.
 Right now I am nearing 56k. Another confessed hope I will make public and maybe it will help me get it done: I hope to wrap this up before I go to rehearsal tomorrow night. Meaning that I hope to get another approximately 4400 words written before 5:00 tomorrow.

We'll see. If I can avoid checking in on my people in Facebook for a little while, that will help.

And I'm excited: I signed up for two online writing workshops in January. One is a class I've been wanting to do since it first appeared and now, due to the cancellation of another workshop, I'm able to take it - writing the personal essay; this version of it will be an intensive (every day for 12 days or so, rather than over several weeks). Ariel is also offering another online intensive workshop in writing Noir and Dystopian writing ("Fatalist Fiction" - love that name) I signed up for. These are not genres I have been writing, but I have wanted to explore them, so the timing is perfect and it looks really good.

Once again, doing NaNoWriMo has put writing and creating back at the top of my list - or at least parallel with the income producing work I do.  NaNoWriMo, along with the Corporeal Writing face to face workshops and the online Literary Kitchen workshops is keeping me writing, keeping me exploring, providing inspiration, place, and time for writing. And validation and support.

Look at me! I'm still writing. *grin*

Monday, November 21, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 21 update - I'm a Winner!

I haven't been keeping up with my daily posts about NaNoWriMo this year. I was a little derailed by the election and then other things keeping me busy. But I have been writing every day.

And - tada - I'm happy to announce that I have been officially verified a NaNoWriMo Winner! I uploaded my story, word count checked, and I am at 52,252. That is a happy number.

In years past, when I passed the benchmark early, I usually stopped shortly after. Because (a) the story was done, or (b) there wasn't much more to write before The End so I did and stopped, or (c) I didn't like what I was writing and vowed to never touch it again (two of the years writings will not be revisited - yuck).

So this year, my ninth consecutive year as a NaNoWriMo winner, I have decided that I am going to keep writing. Because I have more to write about for this project and I don't hate it, yet.

Therefore I am announcing that I am setting myself a new goal of 60,000 words before November 30th. I was going to just say, I'll keep writing every day, but I know me. And knowing me means that having a more concrete target is a little more motivating. And telling a few other people keeps it real and keeps me accountable, even though I doubt anyone would really do much if I don't make it.

I'm a winner!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 17 - maintaining my lead

I just hit 1770 words for today. This is good. With the exception of Monday this week, I've been able to keep ahold of the additional words I wrote last week when I had three and a half days dedicated to writing. Which is why I do the dedicated writing times in NaNovember - to either catch up if I've fallen behind or to get ahead on my word count so I have some wiggle room.

My NaNoWriMo stats say that I will finish on November 22nd if I keep up this pace. But that pace includes those dedicated days, where I wrote 23,000 words in those three and a half days, so, no, I will not be maintaining my pace. I don't think I will have any more 5000 to 8000 word days this month. I don't have that much time in my schedule, except for one day at the very end.

Wait! I just figured it out. Actually, if I write the average of 1667 words per day, I will be done on or around November 22nd. Wow! I still don't think it will happen, though it is a possibility. After all, I am going to be in a writing workshop this coming weekend. There will be some writing happening in the workshop, but probably not at the NaNo level, though the content will probably be withing the context of what I'm writing. That or post-election essays I've also been writing a bit of since November 9th. (Yes, I'm doing a combo rebel NaNo this year; I have my novelized book and I have some essays, because some days the story is not flowing but the rage and fear refusal and disgust are running high, so I write it. It's all writing and it's all within November.)

I have extra words and I'm holding on to them. Even if I do pass the 50k early this year, which it surprisingly looks like I will, I am planning to continue writing this stuff through the end of November, and beyond. My plan as of right now is even to continue at the NaNo pace.

And, again, I hope that this commitment to writing continues past November. The commitment being not merely to write, but to keep it a priority and add more writing time into my schedule each week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 15 - I'm good

Today my total word count is 37,667. The target goal for today if one is writing the average number of words per day to hit 50k on November 30th is 25,000.

I'm good on words for today.

If I could keep up this pace they computations say I will finish on November 20th. That's a big IF that I'm not going to make. But it's nice to know.

Progress on the original story, which is good. I also wrote a short essay today, which may be cleaned up for sending out into the world, or not, I don't know. I was happy to be able to get some words in today because the rest of this week is super busy and writing much of anything, until I get to the writing workshop this weekend! may be difficult. But that's why "I'm good" is actually great for now.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A quote for our current time

"This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal." - Toni Morrison

Saturday, November 12, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 12 - water words

I came over to the coast with another writer on Wednesday night. This is my annual NaNoWriMo writing retreat and, yes, so far, it has always been at the coast. It will probably continue to be at the coast, since the ocean's movement the smells the fresh wash me clean feel on my skin the stepping into nature of it all is good. Watching water between words, listening to the water rock sand as I sleep.

This was the first year is was hard to leave home to come to the coast. It was hard for me to leave S at home; she was invited, could have come with us, but she has clients to see and art to make and a shift at the gallery. We were both fine with me coming over but given the election results it felt like a time to be together.

On the other side of that feeling was a determination for this to not be a time of collapse. To not be a time where fear or disappointment took away my writing. This writing retreat was planned long before the voting and I wasn't going to let my voice be silenced by the results, wasn't going to let my writing be taken away. And S completed a powerful painting these past couple of days, while I've been here. She sent me a photo of it last night and it has a lot of energy and life and movement, so she obviously had some creative work to do in her studio, which is there and not here at the coast.

My current word count is 25,035. This is the goal for November 15th, the halfway point, I'm there now. I am going to push for at least another 5000 words today, knowing that my writing pace may be slower next week, with many things happening in my schedule. I have written over 5k each day here and it's good.

I have been tweeting my word count updates. While keeping an eye on the protests at home. Protests with other groups joining in and trying or actually derailing them into riots. I know people who are in the protest groups and I would probably be there if I was at home.

I read Facebook status updates and articles about what is happening in the internet via data times I allow myself. I am fortunate to have an extended family's condo to stay at over here and for writing retreats it's good that there is no WiFi, it keeps that writing distraction low. But I do allow myself some time to check in now and then, to read how others are doing. To keep connected in this divisive time.

I will have more to say on this situation, as I have been changed by what happened on Tuesday. Some of that change was already in the works, some of the changes had already happened and I am grateful for having those skills and strengths in place before Tuesday. But right now I am here to write this other story. The other story has wandered and had new beginnings and taken unpredictable turns, and it's all okay. This year NaNoWriMo for me is about exploration and writing every day as much as I can and about letting the words flow where they want to go.

This year I had a basic plan coming in to the writing and it has veered from there. I have started down that path a couple of times this month, so far, and written some good sentences and written many words and the writing has led me to several places. I figure that whatever I write is what I need to get out. What I am probably going to end up with this year is several story starts and a bunch of essays. Or essay foundations for rewriting the story that needs to be told; yes, mostly that.

Now, I'm going to post this writing, turn off my WiFi and get back to the business of NaNoWriting.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 9 - a red square day

I knew there would be a few red square days on my NaNoWord Count calendar. Today was it. There may be more and there may not.

If I could make the Wednesday square black, I would. That would fit.

It wasn't that I was in mourning that I didn't write - though I was and am angry, frustrated, disappointed, and more. There are moments of overwhelm and sinking, moments of floating through the waves of not understanding how people could be so ______fill-in-the-blank_____.

I had things to do and a writing retreat to get to.

I considered not coming to the writing retreat today because I left my family at home and it feels so much like an important time to hold and love and breathe our people. Leaving her at home I feel a tug, and that's okay, we had some quality time before I left.

And I wasn't going to let this election take away my writing. Not even this one writing retreat. This is mine and it's important.

You may see some of my writing change, be bolder, be louder. I can't really pinpoint what will change but I have been changed through yesterday's results. This is my voice and I will write and I will share.

I'm at the coast, stocked with TJs groceries, a bottle of wine, decaf coffee, tea and the company of a writing friend. I will write. I will not be silent. I will not collapse in the face of what lies ahead.

A day away from writing to get me to here is fine. I'm coming out of the fog and I have things to say - or at least write.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 8 - writing meet ups work

Despite what is happening right now - or perhaps because of what is happening right now - I am posting that I am still writing. I wrote a pile of words today and they were good words. The word were on track with the story and they flowed.

I was late to the writing session but I got there. I opened the laptop. I had a decaf latte and a Green Goat breakfast bowl and I wrote. I wrote almost the daily average, just a hundred or so words short. And it was good.

My current word count is 11.410. The goal for today was 13,333. Not too far behind. I will have several hours of writing tomorrow. Then Thursday to Saturday are exclusively for writing - I hope to get many words ahead because next week is busy.

So this other thing is happening right now and I am disappointed and pissed off. In a bit of not quite shock but irritation. Oh, and embarrassment.

Yet we will go on. I have been reading posts on breaks. People who are out there in the front lines of my writing circles, for the artists and the misfits and those of us working on our voices and our art, with the people on the ground in the streets and making voices heard.

And fear. There is fear.

I will continue writing. That can't be taken away. As many in my circles are saying, there is work left to do. There would be work to do either way, this is more work.

Part of our work is to not be silenced.

I am writing and will continue to write.

From today's NaNo Pep Talk

NaNoWriMo Day 7 - nanowhat?

Okay. Monday was not a zero writing day. But almost.

Monday I wrote 84 words on my NaNoNovel. Not zero.

Eighty-four words is better than zero words.

Tuesday morning I have my weekly writing meeting and I will write. I don't know that I will get caught up tomorrow morning and that's okay. I hope to get a little more steam going in the writing before I go to work.

To be fair to myself - Monday morning I had to take care of something before a meeting which was before a long work shift. Not excuses, but definitely factors in why I lad less time to write.

And if this weren't NaNovember, the day would have slipped by with no writing. Reason number whatever that part of NaNoWriMo for me is strengthening my writing practice. It works.

Monday, November 7, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 6 - chugging along

I did manage to get some words written today. Crammed in mini writing sessions on my breaks and reached around 1300 words. Not bad at all! I'm at 9.759 words and I should be at 10,000; a 241 word deficit is nothing and I will make it up. Maybe not tomorrow or the next day. But by next weekend I should be ahead. My annual writing retreat is coming up and I hope to bank a bunch of words because the following week is busy.

NaNoWriMo is working its magic. I, so far, am writing every day and today the story flowed through me. Now that I've let go of the idea I went into the month with, the story is coming through. It is not the story I started with or what I thought I was going to write.

I like what I've written these past two days. Don't know where it's going and don't know what I'll do with it all later. I'm not even thinking about that right now because November, for me, is for writing and following the words.

Editing will come later, in its appropriate time. Now is for creating.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 5 - caught up, until tomorrow

I had a job this morning. Then a break. Then a long piece of work.

I knew this going into the day so I took my laptop so I could write during that three hour gap. I managed to get caught up in my NaNoWriMo word count.

I did some thinking on the page.

And I let the character lead the way and just observed, writing as she went, and did not try to force her back into the little bubble I created as a frame for this year's novel. It went much better that way. I thought that this year I had a good idea. No, I had a good idea which was worth trying and I did, but I got a little stuck so I decided to move on and, again, let the characters take the lead.

This is my fun part. It gets messy, sure. But it's fine. I enjoy putting words on the page and/or screen. I love letting the language flow and letting it be whatever it will be and seeing where it goes. So I did. And it moved.

I believe I'm through the little stumbling place and will be back on track.

And I wrote a lot of words today and got caught up with the daily average word count target. Until midnight. Then it starts again and I have another chunk to go.

That, my friends and followers, is NaNoWriMo.

Go, go, go.

My ending word count for Day Five is 8,436.

NaNoWriMo Day 4 - even on show day

I met up with another writer today. And what is amazing about that is the is was Show Day. I interpreted a show in the evening, but we still carved out a bit of time to write. Awesome!

See? This is one of the reasons I do NaNoWriMo. I've learned over the years that I can't fall too far behind because it becomes very hard to catch up. I have, every time, when I've fallen behind. This yer the story has been a bit tough from the first keystrokes, and I'm only on day 4 (actually, it is now day 5 as I type this).

So I know, write some every day, if at all possible. And I made it happen today, even with and interpreted performance in the evening.

I manage to get nearly caught up; just a couple of hundred words short of where I should be at the end of day four. And I'm okay with that.

There has already been a shift in the story and a couple of gems came out in my writing. It seems this story wants to go in another direction and I'm going to let it go and follow in its footsteps. I learned my lesson about five years ago when I tried to insist on too much control of a story's direction.

So, flow story, flow, and I will follow.

Ended the day with a word count of 6505. The target for day four was 6666. Not bad.

Friday, November 4, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 3 - meh

I had another appointment today. Then final rehearsal for the play I'm interpreting tomorrow night.

And not much writing.

It's okay. It's still early in the month. I did write some. And I wrote more past the midnight word count cutoff. But whether looking at my current word count as part of the 3rd or the 3rd and 4th, I'm still behind. A little

Okay. Word count as of the end of my writing time today is 4239 words. Slow. I'm going to call that my end of day 3 word count, so I'm only 761 words behind. Which leaves me, let's see, 761 + 1667 = 2428 words to write on a show day. I can do that. Especially with having a 2-hour writing time scheduled with another NaNoPal tomorrow. I will still have time to go through the script again, shower and get my show clothes ready, meet the friend for writing, get dinner, get to the show and do what we need to do before we begin.

Probably not much writing will happen after the play tomorrow since I have a morning job on Saturday. But that's okay. I will keep my fingers moving at the writing time and get story words written.

I'm stuck in the story. Not sure where it's going and not being able to let go of the foundation I'm drawing from. Hopefully I will break through that soon. But, for now, I'm still writing, even if it isn't great literature and if it feels a little flat.

Isn't that part of why I do NaNo? To move through the debris and garbage and get it cleaned out so I can write. And to recommit and strengthen or revive a writing practice. So even 'meh' words written are still more words written than the pace I've been keeping recently.

Yeah, me. I'm writing! Goal for Friday is 2500 words before I interpret the play tomorrow night.

I can do that.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 2

On the second day of NaNo, I ended with a word count of 3307, just 30 words short of meeting the 1667 words per day average. The story stalled a bit, but I kept writing. It ended up being a busy day and I didn't get started writing until after several things were done - some of which took way longer than anticipated. But I still got in a good word count. I plan to keep writing and writing through this boring bit, before going to bed.

The other things today: acupuncture, another personal appointment, researched and bought a new phone for S (it was almost like buying a car! Final research at home, go to the phone store, where they toss out numbers and terms and it doesn't make sense initially and no matter what they say all it really means it that there is no longer a loyal customer discount and you're going to pay a shitload of money for a new device), went to dinner at the only truly authentic Southwest restaurant in town, then home and the transferring data and setting up the new phone process was painfully long when the store used to do it in a few minutes. Oh well. A good day.

And I wrote. Something. Nothing stellar and it's boring. Truly. Boring. But sometimes that's what it takes to get ahead in the writing, moving through the slow stuff!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 1 (a)

Wrapping it up here at the midnight write-in. I currently have 1750 words written. The first 1558 words came in the first hour and I've been slowly eeking out a few words between conversations and a trip to the bathroom and the snacks table.

I reached the end of a section or a scene. I'm not sure what it is but it feels like there is a period at the end of what I've written so far.

Which means that I am going to write a little bit more. I don't want to end on a "completed" note. I want to stop my writing session tonight (this morning) with something happening and forward motion. It makes it easier to pick up the writing at the next writing session and keep going.

I am satisfied with what I've done at the outset of NaNoWriMo 2016. Off to a good start.

Yay. Me.

Oh. I received a little boost of energy and inspiration on Sunday. A piece of my memoir was accepted for publication in Hippocampus. I feel proud and very excited for this opportunity. Receiving such a sweet and welcoming acceptance email for this piece was just the shot in the writer arm I needed to launch me forward into NaNo.

No, I'm not ready to share what I'm doing in NaNoWriMo this year. In NaNo I am calling it "No. 9" which is for it being my ninth run at a NaNoWin. I do have another working title, but the content and that title are still secret.

This one is not a mystery novel.

Monday, October 31, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

It's here!
The NaNoWriMo novel 50k writing marathon is under was as of midnight November 1st.

Below is my monthly progress.

Green = good, met daily average.
Yellow = okay, about have daily goal.
Orange = I wrote something.
Red = nothin' written and that's okay, but want minimum red.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Momentum at Rest

It really isn't as contradictory as it looks. It's also another title that I'm not quite sure where it came from, but it bits. Or I hope it fits. Or it will fit before I'm done writing.

What I was thinking about when I started to write this is how it's getting closer to NaNoWriMo. I'm excited and feeling - yes, again - doubtful that I can do it. Again. This is going for number nine.

Hey, that's a good number!

My point. I have a place to start this year, and a plot, but still no outline. And I'm good with that. No, I'll take it back. The story I am basing this year's novel on has a Scapple of the pieces - which is a type of mind mapping software made with writers in mind (the same people who created Scrivener). The mind mapping is not an outline but could serve a similar function.

See? There I go thinking about pantser or plotter. Maybe I'll go for a hybrid this year; that looks like where I'm headed.

So it's a week plus a day before NaNo begins. The period of waiting. Getting pens and paper and backup laptop battery and extension cord with multiple plug ins on the end to share with fellow NaNoers. Preparation in whatever form that takes.

The "momentum at rest" is the active and conscious version of "inertia." With inertia my brain goes numb and I am filled with doubt (I've already admitted the doubt, okay), and the project is fogged over, murky, it's gray like Portland November skies. But with momentum at rest, the energy is there, I'm alert, and I know the blue is on the other side of the clouds, but I can't take action at the moment, so I rest.

Momentum at Rest. And counting down toward NaNo.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Gathering Resources and Making Plans

November is getting closer, which means NaNoWriMo is almost here. Yes. I am going for the 50k in 30 days, again.

Do I think I can do it? Yes. And no. Depends on when you're asking and depends on, I don't know, the wind, perhaps. Yes, I know I can reach the 50k. I've done it for the past eight consecutive years. Going for number nine.

Last year was one of my dull years. I crossed the finish line but what I had was a mess and probably won't be going anywhere and I haven't opened that file since November 30, 2015. It was only the second year I'd written all those words and have no intention of ever looking at them again. It was kind of like cleaning out the garage and the attic - a good thing to do but not something to revisit any time soon.

This year I hope to write something I like and feel good about. Do I have a plan? Maybe. So, yes, I guess, I have a maybe plan. An idea that I think I will go with.

But here's the deal: even the dull years where I'm pouring words onto the page and hitting goals and cleaning up head/hand/heart space, I'm writing. For me, that's what NaNo is about: writing. If I get something "good" - yippee! A bonus. I do hope this one goes better.

And by better, I mean that there is a cohesive and complete story. It will need editing because I am a pantser. Yes, I am. I may try to have a minimalistic outline - if I go with the maybe plan - because I have a lot of information about this story already.

No, I'm not telling. Not yet.

NaNo is coming and I am excited. I have my writing retreat booked and tonight I even ordered up a few food supplies for that retreat. I have my schedule planned to include some writing around work and theatre. And some other slots besides the retreat tagged as writing time where I won't let myself add more work. Because, NaNoWriMo.

My plan to get up to daily writing speed hasn't happened. Not yet. It might still be a good idea to get there. Or get to almost every day writing. I'll try. Because, NaNo.

Now I must get to bed because - no, not NaNo - my weekly writing meetup is in the morning and I need some sleep.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's Fall. Leaves Falling. Words Falling. Fall Introspection.

Feeling a little, something. A word popped into my head which wasn't the word I'm feeling and not the word I was thinking. That word was "nostalgic" but that isn't what it is.

I'm feeling. Some excitement maybe. After all, NaNoWriMo is coming!

And a Corporeal Writing workshop in November.

October brings me a chance to interpret "Trevor" at Artists Repertory Theatre and then a staged reading of "Hazardous Beauty" at Profile Theatre. And what will be an amazing wonderful experience of a second chance to interpret Profile Theatre's "Antigone Project" - but this time it will be at Oregon School for the Deaf.

I'm also doing a 30-day Lunar Challenge writing experience online. It is day two and I just finished up my intro. I haven't written day one yet, but I will. And then move on to day two writing. But I'm writing here right now instead of doing that. The facilitator is a writer I met in the Corporeal Writing workshops, who is a creative and energetic spirit full of heart. This is part of my increasing my writing time. My writing commitment. Because NaNoWriMo is coming; and I want to do this anyway.

Maybe this will be the year which launches me forward into writing. Maybe.

For now, back to the work and the script. After I write the two daily assignment, I mean.

So what was it I'm feeling? Oh, right, reflective; introspectively reflective. Nice!

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Eve of Another Interpreted Show and NaNo Approacheth


This is about passion. About creative passions and keeping them alive in spite of obstacles of time which may mean money which may mean time which means. Keep on keeping on don't stop don't look back look forward to the vision and keep it going.

Creative passion: theatre/theater and writing/writer/author
Creative passion needs inspiration/input/inflow
Creative passion realization needs time
Creative passion realization needs space

Don't give me the line about the physician author who wrote a ton of books on prescription papers at his desk between patients. Don't tell me about the mother painter/author who locked herself in a room and left all the children to fend for themselves (or each other) for hours while she created. Don't tell me that if it's important enough I will make it happen.

I am making it happen. My way. My time.

Creative passion : theatre     writing     performance interpreting
Creative passion needs financial support
Creative passion needs rest and time down to percolate
Creative passion needs alone-time and community-time; seclusion and connection

My way errs to the side of caution and my way errs to the side of taking my time and it works. It takes longer and I've passed  the age of ever being a young-writer-wow-look-at-her-go and I'm not old enough to be the miracle-senior-genius-writer. I'm me and my pace and get-it-done ways, which I do and pieces are coming together coming to fruition coming into being and I grow we grow it grows.

And my writing calls while I focus more on theatre on theatrical interpreting on the other interpreting work I do which brings in the money for the home and the utilities and the health insurance massage chiropractic new shoes and black shirts black pants black socks needed for work. And the writing workshops of course. Writing calls and I whisper - soon.

The play I am working on right now is inspiring and new and fresh and challenging and worth all of the time we're putting into our preparation. The play I am working on right now is five re-tellings of the Antigone story by modern female writers and they are good. Very good. Inspiring. And because of the short run of the production our preparation is condensed compressed saturating time this week - necessarily.

Just the other day I was ready to toss in the towel on the writing. Or at least on NaNoWriMo this year because I'm not going to make the deadline I set for myself to finish the next draft of the memoir manuscript. At this pace I don't see how I can finish up the draft before NaNoWriMo 2016 begins so how can I start something else new where is the time and energy and what about the X and Y and A and C and....

Wait! An idea strikes about what I might write about. Then another idea comes up in a discussion. Then another resurfaces from the past and I'm on the NaNoWriMo website looking at all of my purple completion bars/stars/numbers from years past.

Wait! An inspiring discussion with an actor and my team interpreters after the show tonight and pieces coming together and hope and possibility and dreaming together, the four of us. Passions.

I will do it, the writing, the November thing. It seems a little early but not too. NaNoWriMo is coming. And more plays. And my other interpreting work which keeps me on my toes and busy and keeps me financially in the flow and I'm still in the flow.

Creative passion needs recommitment and inspiration and time. And patience.

Deal. I'm in.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Writing is/is not a Solitary Activity

I've heard a lot of people - ordinary people on the street; published authors; editors; writing facilitators/professors/teachers/mentors; others - say that "writing is a solitary activity." Which I think is true, in some ways. Not true always. And while I do think that the act of writing is a thing we can do alone, we may often do alone, the process of creativity and writing is not something we do alone. It takes a bunch of people to make this writing thing we do move from our brain and hands onto the page, be it electronic or printed.

The writer alone in the room writing.

Does it happen? Yes, absolutely. And, no. Is that the everything of writing? Sitting alone and putting words onto the page/screen?

For those who may think of, or actually do, their writing entirely alone, cool. Good. Do what works.

But I think, like the photos below which I took from the balcony in LACMA on our visit last March, to get the writing out into the world it takes more than just the person doing the writing. Each process may look different for different writers; I'm sure it does.

But, like these people carrying the long tube/rolled up something/whatever it is up the stairs, it would be a nearly impossible task for one person. But together they were talking, laughing, serious, and it was smooth and easy and they nearly glided up the steps.

A few days ago I applied to another Writing By Writers conference taking place later next year. And I was accepted. It is a different group, in general, from my tribe of writers, but it's a good group and there is overlap. It was a life altering experience last spring and I want to do it again. I was among writers and I felt like a writer; I was - and am - a writer.

But my tribe of writers is bigger than that. There are two other groups which have been huge supporters in this writing process and continue to be. Several individuals in particular - but even the groups as a whole, because they are led by two people who attract good people to them. They lead by example and believe in all of us and hold space for use to create and develop. Without these two groups, I wouldn't have the manuscript I'm editing right now. I wouldn't have the short story collection in process, or the guts and energy to tackle NaNoWriMo again this year, even though I'm still editing the manuscript (I hoped to have it done before November, but unless I get a supercharge of writing time and energy, I'm not sure I'll make it). I still have moments of doubt about whether I should be writing, if my writing is "any good," if the story is worth putting out there, and so on.

Some days I'm the "tube" and I'm being buoyed by my fellow Corporeal Writing writers, and the authors I've met through Lidia Yuknavitch's workshop series, gliding along knowing that I am one of them. Some days I am one of the "tube bearers" and supporting and lifting up other writers with feedback or head nods and encouragement, or just being witness. My years of workshops in the Literary Kitchen with Ariel Gore and fabulous Wayward Writers was similar, although that tribe is online, and it is a solid foundation I carry with me now.

I am also fortunate to have a writer friend who I get to meet with on a pretty regular basis for shared writing time and feedback. See? Again, not alone. Sometimes we are writing simultaneously. We are not working on the same project - but we are sharing space and mutual accountability for showing up - and writing. I've had a few writing groups off and on; I think I'd like one of those, too, but am waiting and open for the right configuration of writers with compatible time and space to come along. Or maybe I'm waiting for me to make the time and space so it can happen; which I think I'm on the right track and am in the process of opening up some space in my schedule for more writing.

The tube. The tube carriers. Writing is solitary activity. Writing is a community activity.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Reading Suggestions? Road Trips!

What are your favorite road trip books?

If I asked you - and I am asking you - what are the essential road trip books I should read? I'm not talking about books one should take with them while on a road trip (although those suggestions are also welcome).

For you, here, now, today - what makes up a good road trip book?

Who and what should I read and why?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Summer Heat Eros or What I Did Today

EROS            THANATOS

survival           survival
instinct            instinct
physical          physical
love                anger
life                 death
creativity        violence
   passion         aggression
preservation    destruction
 -satisfaction   sadism

   each inside the other

Sometimes to create, do we not have to destroy? To destroy what has been placed over our Self and our Desire and what constricts us. And don't we, in our creative process, destroy something - make something different than it was before. And in destruction aren't we also creating something new, because taking something away leaves space and time for something new, a replacement, a creative opportunity.

Audre Lorde: "Erotic moves us toward personal and political change." and "Our erotic power becomes a lens to see the world."

Re-examining what "eros" means. Places where its power might exist and the knowledge. How we suppress the expression of "eros" and what if we didn't?

Lidia Yuknavitch: "Eros as activism."

Friday, August 5, 2016

Corporeal Writing Summer Session

heat words eros, breaking through timidity, first time second time many times returning to self to the body, speaking from the body breaking down personal limitations, being present in our messedupness not alone sharing space sharing wine whiskey beer soda water sharing breath and air and stories. standing swimming floating in pools of water cold hot. we. are. here. because words. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

On the Cusp of August

Where am I? Who am I?

Oh, me. Hello, again. Yes. Things have been busy. Good busy, but busy is busy. You know?

Yes, I know.

Hey - you know the coolest thing that happened to me today?

No, What?

The workshop I'm attending next week? They sent "this is the final email before the workshop ... important information ..." all relevant and all good. But. The coolest thing? They made a mix tape to listen to on the way to the workshop! How super awesome is that? I sampled a couple of the songs but am saving the full Listen for the drive next Friday.

Super cool.

Yeah. It is. They are. Super cool. Like that. Words and revolution. With its own mix tape.

August. The place to be.

Good night.


Friday, July 8, 2016

The Hardest Thing (for me) To Do

The hardest thing for me to do is to do nothing.

I want to take that back and say that sometimes it is hard for me to do nothing. But the reality is that Nothing is the hardest thing.

I recently went on vacation. The first three days were mostly driving and filling up the gas tank, getting food and coffee, then sleeping. Get up, wash our bodies, repeat. We arrived at our destination on the third day with daylight left and time to celebrate a birthday (not mine). We did. It was great. Then a couple of days off together.


Her workshop started on the evening of my fifth day off. The participants and the two instructors had a welcome dinner; I didn't go. The next day her workshop started so I drove her to the studio and then went back to where we were staying. With my coffee and no plans.

Truly, I had no plans. We had shopped. We had a little food and coffee and tea and. Laundry? I could do that. I had an event to post to Facebook (yes, a work event - which was fine). I could. Do nothing? Read? Play Angry Birds With Friends. Read. Nap.

Do nothing.

I opted to take myself to brunch after doing nothing for an hour or two.

Checked Facebook.

Read some more of my print book. Read more of my ebook.

Do nothing?

It was hard for me to Do Nothing. I did some Nothing. And a few things: read thought birds read cooked laundry read stare-at-ceiling-fan try-to-relax read nap? read birds ahha-fix-browser-no?-shit!-workaround FB-event email-re-needtoknowsituation nothing try-to-relax. Relax-dammit. Ah nothing.

And so it went.

Do nothing? Yes. I did some nothing.

After a few days I tried to write. I went to a funky cool very local cyber-café-retreat place and tried to write. Nothing came. But rather than be frustrated I worked on feedback for a friend's writing. That was good. Way better than being frustrated about my own writing. And it was fun.

Rinse. Repeat.

Nothing. Yes, some. And it was good. It did eventually lead to a bit of an anxiety attack and I wasn't going to admit it but there it is. But even that has led to good because it was and is being an opportunity to work through what I am calling "anxiety reassignment" : finding other ways to deal with anxiety than by keeping busy.

It was also a reminder that, although I may not need to Write Every Day as some writers say I should, I do have to write more often and, sometimes (often), after a period of no writing, I can't really expect to just sit down and have it flow.


Do nothing. Do writing. Do breathing. Do relaxation. Do work. Do writing. Do nothing.

Then today I read this in Austin Kleon's weekly newsletter and it's perfect. Yes. This. Me.

From Austin Kleon -


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Reading Aloud as a Writer

I have gone to many workshops about writing. The process. The product. Structure. Poetry Fiction Non-Fiction Essay Memoir. Oh, I think I even went to one on travel writing a long time ago. And freelance writing, copywriting. Creative non-fiction. Playwrighting. Publishing. Writing conferences and retreats.

Most rooms in my house contain, among the bookcases of fiction and memoir and scripts and art books and mystery, interpreting and translation and language, many books on writing. Writing about all of the topics I've already mentioned. And more - such as "The Portable MFA" and several on critique/writing/creativity groups, being a writer, tips and hints and how-to and how-not-to.

One thing I've read and heard many times in many voices and in various word order choices is that writers should Read Your Work Aloud,. To yourself. You can read it to others, but the most important thing is to read it aloud to yourself, for yourself.

At this point, non-writers might think - why? I get that. I really do. Because, while in theory it's a practice I see merit it doing, it is not something I do that often. Yet every time, in critique group or with a writing partner or with someone I know, when I read what I wrote, I almost always find something which I want-need to change. Almost every time.

Still, I balk.

It takes too much time (the deadline is now; I have to get to sleep; I have to get ready for work; I have a list of things to do and don't have time; the cat is waiting for food; I haven't showered yet).

It's too late (at night; I'm too tired; I'll wake up S; I have to get it finished and submitted now, I have to get up early in the morning, etc).

I've read this a million and two times and I won't catch anything, anyway.

It's fine (not perfect I'm sure, but fine).

My friends and writing partners and critique group and writing conference readers have all read it and it's fine. (Ignoring the changes which have been made since each of those times.)

There are probably more reasons. Oh, and the "I don't want to" excuse. What?

I have been working on a piece of writing. It is an excerpt from a book in process and pieces have been workshopped and edited (repeatedly) and restructured, revised, chopped, rewritten. At the Writing By Writers Methow Valley in May I was given some suggested places where this piece might fit. So, as a good writer, I looked them up and selected one (for now). I read their guidelines, which also included having to cut about 1,000 words. And then there were the other story tightening and cleaning up suggestions.

I've been working on this particular version of this part of the story for over a month. I've read it at a writing group. I've had more people read it. I've read it to myself (in my head).

Finally the piece was where I wanted it to be.

Ready to submit.

But I had not read this "final" version aloud to anyone, including myself.

I forced myself to read it out loud. This submission opportunity felt important, it's a step into another level of commitment to my writing and I decided I owed it to this story and this part of the story to give it my all. I told myself I couldn't go to bed until I'd done it and I couldn't submit it until I'd read it aloud to myself. And I'd told another writer that I was going to submit the piece and read it aloud to myself before doing that. External accountability she called it (and we're doing this mutually in other ways, too).

So I did. I went home after my very late work and I read it aloud to myself.

And I found five things I needed to fix, in addition to one more that S found in her read of the piece. Three of the five things I found felt significant: grammatical errors or awkward phrases which were remnants of editing (overlooked cutting out one word from a previous version; accidentally cut out a pronoun in editing). I even found one phrase which was not a dangling piece of overlooked revision, but an awkward phrase which has probably been in the piece since its inception.

Maybe this time I "get it." I really thought this piece was solid and ready to go. I know that of the five things I found, I probably would only have found one on my final read in my head. If that.

Reading aloud. It works.

I did submit the book excerpt. And I feel confident that this draft is solid.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Little Me Limerick

I don't know what age I was when I wrote this limerick. Childhood poetry is funny.

Thank you to my sister who recovered it for me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Writing Breath

change and patience
color-infused breath dreaming
honor water spirit
creativity in my skin

Redtree Times
Austin Kleon


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Writing Update

Quick and to the point.

Because in 13 hours I will be interpreting a play. And I should already be in bed. But, soon.

Because theater is happening and regular work is happening.

And still, I'm writing.

Last week I made a couple of tightening edits to a short story. Then had to do some major reformatting to the same story because of transferring it to a different system. I complete both tasks and submitted the story to a publication. Patting myself on the back for getting that piece done and submitted.

On Friday 5/27 I finished more edits to the piece I took to the Methow Valley Writing by Writers conference. I had to make some cuts so that it fits the submission guidelines for another publication. Then I got feedback from my critique group, which I read through again, applied as fit my vision for the piece; tightened it up and made some clarifications. And I sent the edited manuscript to my critique partners.

Writing is still happening. And submissions are happening.

All is good.

Now, really, to bed. I have a show tomorrow ... um, later today. ("Grand Concourse" at Artists Repertory Theatre; I'm interpreting the matinee at 2:00.)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Percolating and Sifting and Flow

At this time a week ago, I was returning to my room at Sun Mountain Lodge, near Winthrop, Washington. I had just completed the first full day of the Methow (pronouned MEH-TAU, I learned) Valley manuscript conference put on by Writing by Writers. The day before had been a full day, comprised of 8 hours of driving with another writer along for conversation, checking into our rooms, conference registration, dinner, a mandatory welcome meeting, and then an hour in our specific author cohorts.

Lidia's group at Writing By Writers Methow Valley
But the first day of workshop and panel and meals with the evening activity was last Thursday.

It was a powerful experience. I met some wonderful writers and reconnected with a couple of others from other workshops. I received helpful feedback on my ~15 pages and shared feedback (in the new Lidia-style-critique). I heard great writing. Went on walks and a short hike. Took turns on different patios and decks. overlooking the Cascade Range or the pool or a meadow. Drank in the bar. Attended a wine tasting. And more.

I left feeling energized about my writing. Confident about my writing. I had a better direction to go and left knowing my writing is solid and I can do this and I will do this.

Even after a few days of working long hours, I am still working on my writing. Even after diving into the script and the production of the next show I'm interpreting I am still carrying around the feedback and advice and insights about my writing. I also kept my Tuesday writing time, which I used to edit a piece for submission and that also doubled as my submission for my critique group.

As I typed the above paragraph, I realized that what I submitted to the critique group is double the length we agreed to share for feedback. I just sent the group an email and asked them to ignore half of it. See? Enthusiasm at writing!

Writing by Writers, led by the incredible Pam Houston, was a wonderful writing conference. Worth the time and the money. And I would do it again. They have other writing conferences - generative and manuscript and combination - at other locations. They will be returning to Methow Valley next year and I may return, as well.

With a completed final draft of the manuscript, I hope. I have set a goal for myself for a revised draft completion. I have also identified some blocks of time where I can focus on the manuscript, because part of the work I'm doing will be easier if I have time to focus in and not be distracted by work, and especially not by theater.

It was a great five days in Methow Valley.

I'm working hard to keep the writing flow going, even though the word river has to pass through and over and around some reeds and boulders in the stream. But nothing is going to stop me now.

And I have my Corporeal Writing underwear for the days when I feel doubt trying to take over.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Dream Team of Author Faculty

Do you remember when I went to the coast and I had to finish the writing to submit? Which I did.

I'm here now, in that place where I had to send the writing.

I'm here above Winthrop in Methow Valley, with mountains all around and landscape turning green with the recent rains and wildflowers popping out all over.

I'm here at the Writing By Writers conference, at the end of day two.

This is a beautiful setting. The Sun Mountain Lodge is incredible - the setting, the building, the rooms, the staff. And the beds. My bed is so comfortable that I didn't have any problems sleeping through the night yesterday. Which is not my norm. The food has been good, the coffee plentiful, and we have our own room for dining.

The participants are meeting with one of four authors over the four full days of the workshop: Ron Carlson, Pam Houston, Andre Dubus III, and Lidia Yuknavitch (I'm here). Today we had a whole group panel with the four of them speaking about how to keep going when it (writing) gets hard. This was followed by readings from the fellowship recipients.

After a break and time on our own (about 90 minutes, during which I wrote) and then after dinner, we were treated to readings by Pam and Andre. Delightful, of course. Tomorrow night we will get to listen to Ron and Lidia; which will also be delightful.

I am first up for critique in my writing group tomorrow and I should have been asleep two hours ago. Instead I've been writing and catching up on a few emails and reading over some notes I took earlier today. It's okay. I'll just have a little extra coffee with my breakfast. And I will probably take a nap in our three hours of on our own time on Friday.

Now I really must sleep. Breakfast comes early when the workshop starts at 9 AM, before that, the alarm.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

'happiness does not wait"

happiness does not wait

From the Festival of Contact Improvisation in Water and on Land
in Thailand, March 2016.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Productive Procrastination

Wiritng procrastination can be very productive.

Today I :

  • did my laundry
  • sorted and emptied my office trash 
  • took out all the trash
  • took out the recylcling
  • emptied the dishwasher
  • made the bed
  • cleaned the coffee maker then made coffee
  • strained the kefir
  • concocted a new kefir flavor (ginger curry with vanilla)
  • and am going to do an hour of exercise.

Next? Shower!

Writing? I will get to it.

Writing procastination. Don't make it a habit. But from time to time it helps me complete a few things on my chore list.

I will write today.

I will.

And maybe calling it procrastination is not the most appropriate label. The tuth is that everything on the list was - is almost always - in competition. With having a whole day off (not even a rehearsal), those things need attention, too. And today the other things came in first for completion.

Procrastination? Yes and no.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Shift in Focus

Today ended a long run of interpreted performance events for me (interpreting myself, coordinating, working on an upcoming workshop). It has been a great several weeks and now I have a couple weeks of focus back on my writing.

Well, my writing and the writing of the writers in my cohort at the Writing X Writers Methow Valley workshop. 

At my last post here, I was at the coast. At the condo alone, with the ocean front view, my laptop, and everything I needed to stay in and write. And sleep. And write.

Which I did. My writing piece was due by April 10th; I made the deadline.

Then a few days later I received an email with all of the 15 to 20 pages of writing from the other eleven people in my writing cohort. Because of two plays and the first meeting of a new in-person writing critique group, I have barely started on the Methow Valley manuscripts.

That is going to change now.

The interpreted performances went really well today and there was a nice size of signing audience present, which always feels good.

My next interpreted show is not until the end of May, so now, I will dive into the manuscripts.

After a good night's sleep following a day of work well done.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Day Three: The Process of Leaving

This is the view from my laptop, sitting at the dining table, looking past the living room space and out the nearly floor to ceiling window.

The dishes are washed except for the plate from, um, let's call it "lunch," I just ate, a cup of Pukka Revitalise tea, one fork, one knife. If you know me, then you know it was actually breakfast and, no, I didn't misspell revitalize, it's the name of the tea. Really.

This has been a nice three day writing retreat. And while I didn't accomplish everything I thought I would, I was on the phone last night with S who reminded me that I do tend to plan more than I can realistically do. She's right even though I started to protest, but only for the briefest second. Because. I know she's right.

The sheets and towels and my dirty clothes are in the dryer now. I hear them going round and round and the rhythm is familiar. And one benefit of having a place to go to sometimes which is not a hotel is that I can take my time in leaving and I can wash my clothes along with the things I have to do as a participant in this place, so I can go home with clean clothes instead of one more thing to do when I return to my everyday life.

In these three days with this view and the ocean and time and nowhere to be at any specific time, I have accomplished some writing. The biggest thing I needed to do was to complete and submit a piece of writing for a workshop I'm attending in early May. The piece was edited and submitted; check. Then I wanted to work on something for my newly formed critique group: I have to submit up to 2000 words by next Friday; semi-check. I wrote some new material and paired it with a piece of the manuscript and wove the two together - that's the "check." The "semi" part is that I still need to do some editing and work on the continuity of voice and tone and pacing before I send it in. But the hard part is done, I think. So I can probably call the critique group submission a "check, part one."

While the dryer cycles its contents to dry and I finish the last of the tea, I am trying to just be here. No specific time to depart. No specific time I have to be home. Trying to be present as long as it lasts.

And maybe I'll write a bit more before I go.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Day Two

The temperature returned to normal, wind blowing the branches of the trees, the ocean loud and crashing and white caps growing, moisture in the air palpable. And the sludge black coffee from yesterday's french press drained caffeine hitting blood, heritage flakes and soy milk consumed, water with lemon at hand.

Laptop booted up, phone off.

Unwashed, hair askew, still in pajamas, hands on keyboard.

Ocean rolling lulling sounds of birds holding on sounds of air water life. Words.





Thursday, April 7, 2016

Writing. Walking. Warmth.

Done! My submission for the Methow Valley workshop is in.

I took a break from writing and went to the bakery in Nye Beach - an iced mocha and a mini whole wheat sourdough loaf. This was followed by a walk on the beach, barefoot, with unseasonably warm air and waded in the any-season temperature water (freezing).

Now I'm back at the condo to create something for dinner, drink some wine, and get back to writing.

Back to rewriting. I've done my editing and the piece is in. Now it's time to tackle some rewrites. Not just edits, but rewrites and re-vision.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Writing. Moving Forward. Time

The only problem with driving vacations is that driving time takes away from writing time.

Driving vacations give you plenty of conversation time when you're traveling with someone. But less of the down time when you get to your destination. Although, for some of us (me), the driving is part of the "down time."

Which may seem kind of weird. But not to me. I love driving.

But this lack of non-driving down time didn't allow for much writing on our recent trip to Los Angeles. I'm not complaining; simply observing. The trip was wonderful and we had nice visits with Ian and Ruby.

Now I have the opportunity to remedy the lack of down time for writing by taking a writing retreat to the coast! I just happened to end up with a few days off in a row - completely unplanned but very welcome - so last week I decided to use this time for writing.

I had many options to fill the time. Really. Many. No exaggeration.

Oh - the part I haven't yet said? I received an email while we were in L.A. that the writing for the Writing By Writers workshop in May is due on April 10th.

So. Nothing like a deadline to light the fire. And, to be fair, I did start working on something about four weeks ago, but there is still plenty to do. And what needs to be done is time intensive and a large block of time.

Which I will have. Soon.

Time. Water. Salt air. A comfortable place to sleep, with a view, with power for my laptop.

Time for writing.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Writing as Part of the Path

A story often is more than what we see on the page on our hands in our minds. This story is like that. This particular story I'm talking about is how this thought came to be, which is not what I'm writing about here. Now.

It is enough for now to say that I came across the photo below with the search terms "writing" and "mandala." I'm not going to write more about why I was using those terms to search - no, not now. There is something in process and this, right now, is about what I found.

This photo, while it is not a mandala (or maybe it is in a different way), had a significant impact on me when I saw it. Even though it is not at all what (I thought) I was searching for, it was what I was searching for.

Later, this may become more clear. Or not.

For now. This photo reminds me of the path I'm traveling and the place of writing (and more) on this journey. Exploration.

Photo from Jenna Avery

Monday, March 21, 2016

workshop photos

More Corporeal Writing photos from the spring "Reinventing Revision" workshop with Lidia Yuknavitch and bunch of other wonderful beings. (photos by Domi J Shoemaker)

Corporeal Writing - Spring - Reinventing Revision

At this moment I cannot tell you why this workshop was so important.

Except that it was. It was face2face. Other writers breathing the same air, reading the same words, sharing, going into it together, speaking truths and insights and micro stories within the larger stories.

Words. My words their words our words.



Explosion. Budding. Building.

More for which words have left me.

Working through the vision and re-vision and the revision of re-vision.

Facing ourselves and each other through writing.

Finding gems and tossing some out and getting to the pieces within, where the real stories lie.

And more. But now, sleep.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

yes to corporeal writing

Not much more to say. Yes. One day in the Corporeal Writing spring/revision workshop. Revision in new ways. Entering the writing, entering community, entering through the pathways of the body.


Revision like you've never done it before. This, on top of the revision workshop with Ariel in the Literary Kitchen, I feel fully provisioned to get through another edit of the bigger project.



Power in writing.

Powerful writing.

Friday, March 18, 2016

This starts .... not quite now ... soon

the face2face Corporeal Writing spring adventure begins in
not too long
first i have to get there -- i will
leaving soon

Going deeper and wider and, perhaps, in a new direction
or two or three or

without a net
into the waters of stories within stories within
with trust
and excitement

Monday, March 7, 2016

8 * 3 * 6

I wasn't sure where my original title, "Loves and Losses and Missing Time," was leading, but it jumped up there so I went with it.

What I intended to write as I looked from my last post to now was about lost time. Not lost time, but time filled with things to do. With passions and permission, with commitments to others and to myself, with responsibilities and with new ideas and ideas waiting to come to fruition.

 It had been two weeks since I'd written here about my writing.

My writing is still moving forward.

I have a new thing I'm doing with setting some minimum goals. One is a daily intention. One is a weekly goal, which I can divide up any way I choose or can; that goal I have exceeded every week since I started tracking it.

The third thing I'm tracking (with a goal) is how much I write in a week. Although I've found with writing, that when I'm in the final week of preparation for a play, I don't write. Or I don't write much. So while I have set a weekly goal for writing, I have also discovered that the number within a week needs to be flexible and the time carries over. So that my weekly writing goal is actually an "even it out goal" with the intent of making up missed time within one to two weeks of the "lost time."

So far, so good.

Last week the only writing I did were a few final edits to a piece I submitted for the writing workshop coming up in two weeks. It wasn't a zero writing week but it was below my hoped-for minimum. But last week I had to attend a run through for an April play, prepare for a sign through for the play I'm interpreting this week, and I was preparing to interpret a poetry recitation competition. So my linguistic brain was in high demand, as was my time due to rehearsal and research and preparation.

This week I do have a writing date for two hours, which I will keep, Even if I'm writing about how I don't have time to write, I will write. I will try very hard to not write on that topic. But I will write. For two hours.

Otherwise this week I am interpreting a play on Thursday (for which I feel mostly ready, although I want to do a little more work on the hip hop song and digital detox acoustic piece) - and I'm preparing to interpret the state championship poetry recitation finals.

Writing. Is happening. Along with theater and the annual poetry event.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Work in Pieces

The writing is coming together.

Or maybe I should say the writing is coming apart.

A manuscript completed a couple or so years ago is being dissembled. Is being separated back into parts, into literary bite-sized pieces and reworked.



Snipped and chopped and reworked again.

Bit by bit by bite by byte. Straggled pieces of one thread which were woven with two more, separated. pulled out to stand alone. And another. And another.

The story. Coming apart. Re-visioning.


Which make up a story. Of a life.

One word at a time.

One sentence.

The whole.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Firefly Moment

photo from Astrodeva
You know how, when you're experiencing doubt or fatigue, the universe shows up and brings you a shimmering firefly? I love those moments. My firefly arrived via email today.

Yes. What I am doing is the right path. 

This one firefly moment will carry me through for a long while. 

I know there are many fireflies out there - and my one will hold me for now.

photo from firefly.org