Thursday, August 10, 2017

Check in - self-inspiration

Summer 2016 Corporeal Writing Seasonal Workshop. photo by Domi

I can't believe it is now August 10th. And don't you hate it when people start off a conversation like that? I do.

But, it is.

So - I just posted my final 10k submission in the manuscript workshop for this round. That is 30k words of my book I have shared with others. And on which I have received some really good, helpful, insightful feedback and perspectives.

I've also gained insights into the project. Revised and re-visioned significant pieces. Written new sections and taken things out. It feels like it is coming together.

I also signed up for the Winter Intensive. That online workshop in the Literary Kitchen with Ariel Gore, with daily assignments and feedback to keep my writing moving and active during that distracting and potentially triggering holiday time. And I signed up for the Winter Manuscript class. This will be the first time she's taught it in the winter and I hope to have the entire draft at the next level and ready to "take it on home" with that workshop. I hope.

That's where I'm at. Oh - and I am going to the Corporeal Writing Summer Heat writing workshop this weekend, again at the beautiful Oregon Gardens Resort. I loved it last year and I know I will this year, as well. Love it and am nervous and ready to go to that place with my writing, again.

Writing. Revising. More writing.

And trying to build some loafing into my schedule. Because loafing helps with creativity and brain and body require some down time, too. (And that was in our weekly assignment this week in the Kitchen; but I do need it anyway.)

The project is moving forward. Yes.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Revision Is Hard (for me)

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I am in a 12-week manuscript class and we just passed the halfway mark.

It is an amazing experience with Ariel Gore at the helm, and a group of skilled writers with so many good stories to tell. There are writing exercises, prompts, feedback, reading other authors' words, resources Q&As, and more.

It is very helpful and my project is moving forward.

Moving forward and away from me and I chase it and I catch up and more comes along and I see many possibilities. Building that onto the revelations and experience at Writing by Writers Methow Valley retreat/workshop in May, which built onto Corporeal Writing workshops with Lidia Yuknavitch and Domi, which built on earlier workshops with Ariel in the Literary Kitchen.

Possibilities for strengthening my writing, making words clearer and the stories pop and sizzle and feel right.

And, still, I am not daunted by the new material. I am excited to work in lost or forgotten details. To take a couple of found threads of my stories to weave them together. To work with memory and storytelling and, well, you'll have to wait and see. I am excited to make changes.

Once in a while that little critical voice comes along which whispers (or yells, although its voice is losing power) that I can't/shouldn't/won't/don't dare write this thing into completion. It brings up doubts and fears and old confusion of responsibility and truth and wonder and forgetting.

The forgetting is the harder part. Forgetting is easy and it used to be that forgetting happened without notice, without any signal, and celebration or achievement slipped away, too. Not just the hard stuff but the good stuff, too. It all slipped away between a blink and a breath, shut in a room far away out of sight out of thought. Never happened in the consciousness.

But it did. But it didn't.

Now things don't slip away so easily. Now that critical voice is quieter and sometimes it gets lost in the successes and the stories and its stories have lost a lot of their power. It's good.

It's not easy. And when I go through these stories I've written and am writing. When I relive them and remember and the sensations run through me, through my corporeal being, the trick is to let them pass through and not get stuck.

But doubt doesn't go away that easily. It may never be totally gone for me. The goal is to quiet the doubt and the confusion, and let confidence and skillful means take the lead, the louder voice.

While I work on the stories of times when confidence and skillful means meant basic survival.

Revising the stories for flow and word choice and pacing and clarity. Revising heartbeats and breath, movement and stagnation, making room for readers. And me.

It may be hard, but I'm on it.

And I'm doubling down on the meatloaf and mashed potatoes. If you haven't read any of these stories, there is a ton of context missing. Just trust me - meat and mashed potatoes are in the revision.

This really was in my fortune cookie tonight!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tick tock tick tock

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I am a real writer.

Yesterday I received a rejection of a story I submitted in April. I thought it was about time for a response and, yes, the email arrived. Thanks but not this time.

Rejections are good. It means my writing is out there. Slower submission process than I'd like. But my writing time is mostly spent on the Work In Process (WIP), reading the writing of other authors in the 12-week manuscript online workshop, doing quick writes and writing exercises for the same workshop.

So, writing time is spent more on writing than submitting. Which is fine. But this was my last piece out and my goal is (somewhat sadly) to always have one piece submitted somewhere. Which means that my options are: find a place to send that particular story; pick another story and find a place to put it; or find a place I want to submit to (where I think my work will fit) and then find a story I've written that fits (or can fit with editing).

So. Rejection = successful writer.

Today I had some hours stretching out before me. After dropping S off early in the morning (hey, 8AM is early for me!) and having the rest of the day to myself until 3:30, ( was going to write.) I had Big Plans.

And I have 10k words due tonight before midnight, plus the rest of a writing exercise.

I did spend a lot of time in front of my computer. A lot. I took a couple of breaks from my writing-screen-staring. But mostly screen-staring, with moments of writing.

It is possible for me to submit the 10k words that I have as they are. I identified the section I am going to submit last week. Then I changed my mind and wanted to put in two other pieces, which meant pulling out a bunch of words. Which I did, but I had to write a brief explanation to fill in a gap.

I did get some rewrites done. Oh, because I was 222 words over the limit. So I have to at least get it under 10k. I cut a bunch of words, enough words. Then I had to do some rewrites to strengthen that story. And now I'm at 10,400. Sigh.

And how much did I get tightened and rewritten and stronger from the 26 pages? Two. Two pages.

Sometimes the time and the writing energy don't coincide. Or maybe it was because I was up too early and not optimal sleep in an unfamiliar bed.

Or.

Whatever. Dinner in 30 minutes. Then I have to return to the writing and see if I can give the whole thing one pass for basic clean up before I submit it to the workshop before 11:45 PM tonight (giving myself a little flex room in case of problems with the intermittently disappearing WiFi in this hotel).

I will commit to identifying either a place or a piece for my next submission before the end of this week.

And I will submit 10k tonight regardless of the status. After all, this is a manuscript draft class, not the finished product.

Okay, back to it.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Next 10k

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I am preparing the next 10,000 word submission for the Manuscript workshop in the Literary Kitchen. I can't believe we're through the first month already! The other writers are inspiring, the feedback and writing is helpful; and Ariel's feedback and the writing exercises are awesome, as always.

This 12-week workshop is exactly where I need to be right now.

And it's working.

I am a little surprised and happy to say that I am having a hard time identifying the next 10k words to submit. Not because I have to write it all before next Monday. I currently have 98k written - some of that will go away, others words will be added. But I want to get feedback on some a couple sections as part of the 10k and I want the sections I submit to make sense and. I love having this problem.

I identified what I was going to submit on Tuesday and pulled it together in a separate document to edit. But last night, as I was falling asleep, I realized that there is one section with - um, something special, I'll leave it at that vague description for now - and there are several other instances of that special treatment in the book. I want to include another of those special sections, which means I have to remove something else to keep under the 10k submission requirement.

I can do that.

And I love having this problem. This workshop makes me happy and I am making a lot of progress on the book which, I admit, I might not have gotten to yet.

Thank you, Ariel. Thank you, all of the Wayward Writers in the Literary Kitchen with me right now.

Okay. Back to it. (Well, back to it after I'm done with work tonight.)

[My Bitch Media totebag arrived yesterday, which was a gift for upgrading my monthly subscription. So, of course, I wanted it in the photo. Look at my manuscript now! So pretty and colorful and so much good information in those dividers and notes on the pages.]
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Monday, June 5, 2017

Manuscript Update


I was about 1/3 of the way through reading the manuscript when I took this photo.

I have completed reading all 429 pages of that manuscript. Don't worry, it won't be that long when it's published. I knew there would be some duplication of information or even copy/paste errors - but I thought there would be more. There are about 20 pages in total which are near exact stories. I say "near exact" because there have been some edits on those pieces, or small sections form within removed or moved. But those 20 pages are less than I expected.

Which is good news and, oh boy!

I do expect there to be a lot cut in the edits and some rewrites. I do still have a couple of gaps which need the stories written to fill. I will.

This is also printed double-spaced, 12 point font with extra margin on the right for notetaking.

I have also written my assessment of where the project is right now.

And am working on my Hopes and Intentions for the manuscript workshop which starts at the end of this week.

Next up will be to identify and prepare 10,000 words for submission to the workshop, since I volunteered to be in the first group of submitters. My 10k words are due next Sunday, June 11th.

A couple of months ago I set myself a deadline to complete this draft of the manuscript by the end of October 2017. Wow! I am actually putting that information out into the larger atmosphere. There it is.

And I do think I will hit that goal this time. I may even get it done a little early, thank you to the wonderful manuscript workshop I am about to embark on with Ariel Gore and some fabulous writers in the Literary Kitchen.

Here I go!
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Monday, May 22, 2017

I'm Excited to Jump into Editing

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Five days : writing and writers, in the middle of nature as far as your eye can see, fed and caffeinated and watered, extraordinary faculty.

With particular thanks to Pam Houston for starting Writing by Writers (and for making one of the sites at Methow Valley)


Huge thank yous to Lidia Yuknavitch for being, and for being present with our group of 12 and helping us find ways to make our work stronger, for your support. And thank you to my workshop writing partners, Sheila, Kristin, Chelsea, Taylor, Arielle, Ellie, Rochelle, Bridget, Marcie, Cindy, Chanel.


I know it was an especially good writing workshop when I come home excited to jump into revisions and rewrites, which includes not only the editing I knew I had to do, but two more threads/themes I need to go back and incorporate throughout the project and some questions I have to answer.


Next up isr Ariel Gore's Summer Manuscript online class, which begins in three weeks. Currently printing the full manuscript to begin final prep for that. So, more editing!

If you know me in my writing life, you know that "I'm excited to edit" is not usually in my vocabulary. Which is how i know this is the real deal - that the gems from Writing by Writers are true and that the timing for Ariel's manuscript workshop are spot on.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Writing, Not So Solitary a Task


I'm at the Writing by Writers Methow Valley workshop again this year. The drive up was gorgeous. The lodge is expansive and feels like a great place to meet to workshop writing, the beds are heavenly, the location far from city lights & traffic & incidental noise & distraction; good food, friendly staff; the faculty and participants are delightful.

And I was sitting here on a free-time break, in my room, on my laptop (my roommate is out hiking; some people are writing; some are in the hot tub or doing other activities). And thinking.

Last night I skipped the Cowboy Dinner, which also meant missing the founder's reading. But I skipped last night's event because I was writing. During the day yesterday I knew I was going to stay and write, because I felt inspiration in me, waiting for me to sit down and listen. I didn't know exactly what it was but something was there.

And I was right. I wrote a small but very major piece of the story. A piece I've struggled with since stories morphed and became The Writing Project. And I also am 100% sure it is right because the other thing that happened is that this new -- okay, I'll say it -- new ending not only feels right, but there are other signals that it is the right thing to do. Because this new ending of this book means there are some things I have to go back and change, or back and add, through the entire project. And I am completely fine with that. This is what needs to happen and it feels right and I'm looking forward to my next tasks. Which are huge. And I do mean gigantic huge pieces of writing work. Wow.

Yesterday, the second full day of workshops and events, my creativity said "hello, oh it's you, yes, I know, but I've been waiting for you and now you're ready, so let's go." Yes, I get small bits here and there. But this is the real deal.

I don't know how it will balance out. Still or again and that question doesn't entirely matter right now.

This was another moment of noticing how having time held for the sole purpose of writing and writing related conversation/inspiration/sharing/exploration generated - surprise - writing.

And sitting here on my bed with my laptop, I was thinking about the last three mornings of workshopping other writers' pieces. Discussing creation and craft and opening and what's working and ideas for going deeper and richer and signature moves.

And that, even though I was alone in the room last night when I was writing. Even though I am often alone when I am writing, for me, at least, writing really is not a solitary task. And even the Tuesday times when I meet with another writer for two hours and we write, my writing is mine and hers is hers and we are together but doing the parallel task of writing independently. And I think - not for the first time - that writing is not a solitary task.

Not really. Or not always. There are solitary elements and times where we probably need to be alone to do what we're doing.

But writing, I don't think, is solitary. It can be at times. But it isn't really.

I'm sure someone can give me some names of writers who have done it without anyone else.

But these days here I see, again, how we need each other, too. How our writing can be strengthened by having other eyes and ears on our words. How other perspectives can help us see our work in new ways. And, as Lidia says, they can help us find our "signature moves." Which we don't always see because we are too close to the words or other reasons.

So the words are individual, yes; the stories come from our bodies. But we benefit from exposure and time with other writing beings, other creatives.

The myth of the lonely writer is another traditional trope I think we can let go of, too. Writing in community has many benefits.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rearranging Letters to Make Words


So much happening - in my local world of words and theater. In this country with the - no, I'm trying to keep politics out of here, which is one reason why words have shown up here less frequently, I believe. 
I do not mean that personal and political are unrelated. Or that writing about the political situation and the crisis we are in are separate.

But I have been overwhelmed with many things that are happening. Overwhelmed and yet I call and/or send emails and/or send postcards and/or do the online forms with or without personalization other than my name. 

Facebook has become a daily near-ritual, which I vowed it would never be. But politics and having people I know in the 3-D world I trust and respect who are helping keep me informed. Finding links to research. Reaching out and being there for others. It is all important.

Here, writing, that side of me which creates because I can't not create. Who writes because there's a drive and words to say. The me here, "inside voice" is what burbles to the top of word lists right now. I don't have to shout about it, I can just be the quiet me, the reflective me, the going inward and bringing up stories and words and putting them together into something to share. Or not.

Not separate. 

But right now vulnerable. Not just because of politics. Because of writing. Because of my writing. And I keep going, will keep doing it. Will get it done.

Vulnerable. Yes. And sometimes that is hard to put down.

I just did.

I'm still here.

Next week I will be going to the Writing by Writers workshop/conference at Methow Valley and I'm excited. I will be in the Lidia Yuknavitch group again this year. What I submitted this year is not as strong as what I sent last year, which is okay, it's a workshop and there will be feedback, which can only help make the two chapters stronger. I am also working on revising a piece to submit; I haven't found the deadline yet, so I hope I don't miss it. I am also doing a different sort of daily writing, which is hard to get myself to do and I have, for six consecutive days; yay, me! 

And I've been writing a lot of correspondence related to a major section of my work - performance interpreting. There are some conversations happening related to some potentially exciting performance events, which I can't say right now and I'm sorry for being vague. I will be posting more over at Performing Arts Interpreting Alliance (PAIA) about three interpreted shows which have just been added ("Sordid Lives" as part of the OUTwright Festival on June 10; two short Kabuki plays being performed in English at PSU on May 30; "The Tempest, a Magical Steampunk Adventure" at Experience Theatre on July 2). 

Oh - and back to writing: I signed up for Ariel Gore's Summer Manuscript Workshop. Twelve weeks devoted to working on/finishing a book project. Yes, I did it. I signed up. I had secretly set a date to complete the revision of the manuscript in mid-October. When I saw a reminder about Ariel's workshop and I checked my calendar, the timing was almost perfect so, I took the leap. I am excited about that and. Wow!
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Friday, April 21, 2017

Hey, It's Me!

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Checking in here as me. Just me. Not me the interpreter, not me the coordinator, not me the how-I-appear-to-others. Me.

I guess.

Or me in the moment. Yes, this is me in the moment.

I just created and posted several interpreted theatre events in Facebook. And forwarded some news of the day things; reposted is the correct word.

And caught up with some work people about this project and that idea and the things I've been discussing with different people.

And.

This morning before I went to work another of my providers not-so-subtly, yet kindly, suggested that I might want to look at when I have a break coming up. Which I do.

Sort of. No really, I do. It's five days not only off of work but completely away from work. I will be steeped in writing, again, for the Writing By Writers Methow Valley writing conference/retreat/workshop. That will be awesome. And I will be unavailable for work while I'm up there soaking in the writerhood and being my other me.

Okay - in my writing world. Things are moving and happening. No, I'm not done with the major WIP (work in progress). I am making great progress, though. And a plan, goals, have emerged (again, but I think this is "it.").

I had some huge insights and my heart and guts shifted during the Corporeal Writing Revision workshop I attended recently. It was amazing - everyone was amazing. All of the words and the open and the being together in a room with these excellent beings, sharing air and food and words. I left with some insights; major insights.

So, I've been writing more, again. Some of it enforced by needing to submit work ahead of time for the Methow Valley experience.

Oh - and if you didn't catch it on Facebook (I know there are a couple of followers here who aren't on Facebook), I received heartwarming news from Hippocampus Magazine. My "Alone in Reno" piece, which was published in the December issue, was given the Most Memorable piece for that issue. I was surprised and touched and it means so much to me. (I just found out a couple of weeks ago; you haven't been kept in the dark for too long!)

I also have been writing short poems this month. The goal is one per day - after all, it is National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo - not officially affiliated with NaNoWriMo). I did well for a while. Slipped behind and caught up. Now I'm behind a few days, again. I will try to get caught up, again. These have been primarily haikus, with a couple of etherees, a really bad (I am not exaggerating) limerick, and a cinquain. You can take a look over here in the Playground if you dare - but don't say I didn't warn you!

I now return to the other thing I was doing.

Writing is happening. Theatre - lots of theatre - is happening. There are new ideas and projects in the works (no, I'm not saying anything, yet). And I am looking for the places where I can get a little R&R.

Keep creating!
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Friday, March 17, 2017

Breaking News: Politics induced anxiety?



There is still so much. Every day. Some new horror, travesty, embarrassment, destruction. 

We are not even two months into [45] and the gang's term and the world and especially our country are turning upside down, inside out. Somersaults of terrorism on  its own people and people of other lands.

We believe horrific things which seem like they could be true. Sometimes they are, sometimes it is something being told slant to cause a ripple a wave a tsunami of reaction while something else is being done behind the curtain. 

"Truth is stranger than fiction" is not a cute literary phrase when it's true. We have problems distinguishing truth from fiction and when lives are on the line we start parsing words, semantics, emotions on high. Just because something posted on social media seems too outrageous to be true doesn't mean it's not; doesn't mean it is. It is telling that we can even consider that some of the information being put out as "news" might be true. A year ago some of the truth would be seen as parody and some of the parody would be laughed at outright because there was no way it would ever be true. But, now, when there is such blatant disregard for people and the planet and any living being, the outrageous might actually be the truth. 

Right now I'm going to step away from Facebook and Twitter and the news because. Because right now my anxiety is high and my particular "health anxiety" has been triggered. I am going to step back from the news and politics for awhile. I am keeping an eye on my body and will go for medical help if necessary. But I seem to be in a state of old trauma response patterns so the thing to do is remove the trigger and be vigilant and apply some self-care.

I'm not stepping away from the computer because I  have a piece I need to edit (or write something new) for my writing feedback group. But I'm going off Facebook and the news for a bit.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tale About a Keyboard

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Technology: one of the necessary "evils" of life (note the quote marks, which means I don't really think it's evil, okay, I mean, you know; a precedent has been set, right?). Today's journey through techlandia was this. I woke up and did my morning routine of check work email, check personal email, check text messages, go to the computer and check the overnightly news and FB posts about such news and things my friends are doing. Upon waking the computer, I was greeted with the 'need login verification blah blah blah" - yes, I know. I put in the password. Nothing. Thought I typed it wrong, did it again while sipping the dregs of yesterday's coffee. No response. Nothing. I tried to erase the password it thought it was and couldn't. To cut the story short - no response from keyboard, which was fine before I went to bed. Absolutely fine. And it's one of those ergonomic keyboards (love it!). Plugged it into different USB ports; nothing. Checked that another device and USB cord were working and plugged them into the original USB port for the keyboard. Fine; worked as it should; no problem. Found my backup ergonomic keyboard and plugged it in. No response. Tried different ports. No response. Retrieved the new-in-box-never-used keyboard (style I don't like, flat, narrower, shiver) - same thing. No response. Yes, I tried restart my computer. Voila - a message that there was a keyboard malfunction. Sigh. Searched online on a device. Told to restart computer and then press F2. Um, I can't, the keyboard doesn't respond. Another helpful person had replied with press F8 with restart - again, malfunctioning keyboard. Had to abandon the project for appointments and tonight a rehearsal. I had managed to get to the point before I left in the control panel where there was some potentially useful information. However, I couldn't start it -- I do know enough to not start a potentially hours long troubleshooting and repair event when I have to leave the house in 20 minutes. So I didn't. Off to appointments, dinner, rehearsal. Home ten hours later. Changed into comfy pants and a super soft t-shirt, made a greens & berries smoothie, filled up my water and I'm ready to attack the computer keyboard problem. Devices ready because I had a plan. Use devices to search internet for more potential issues. Email search results, URLs, etc so I could copy paste from email on my computer (luckily I was still logged in to my email account!) and, hopefully, resolve it quickly. Computer still showing no keyboarding device. I decided to try, one more time, to click the Microsoft "search for device" before proceeding with what was looking like it was going to be a very long night; the keyboard was not responding. This time, it took. Whatever it was, the problem is resolved. Whatever it was, leaving it alone, taking care of other responsibilities and knowing that this was low on my priority list, was the right thing to do. No reason. Nothing changed. Other than time and space for the computer and keyboard to think about what they had done and change their behavior. Sure, right. First world problem, I realize. Problem of privilege, I also realize. And, today, it was one thing I could do right, not related to politics or the state of the country, the world. One thing I can look at and know that I made the right decision this time. 


Monday, February 27, 2017

Today, this poem

Today I was reading through The Flavor of Unity: Post-Election Poems, by Kim Stafford, again.


This poem, today, yes. The children.




Champion the Enemy's Need
by Kim Stafford

Ask about your enemy’s wounds and scars.
Seek his hidden cause of trouble.
Feed your enemy’s children.
Learn their word for home.
Repair their well.
Learn their sorrow's history.
Trace their lineage of the good.
Ask them for a song.
Make tea. Break bread.




photo from Guifford County Partnership for Children

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Burnt Tongue 19

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I will be reading at this event on Saturday, February 25th. I am so excited and grateful to be invited to read at Burnt Tongue 19. Crush Bar here in Portland at 4:00. Some early for any hope of getting a seat.

I know what I'm reading but I don't know what I'm wearing.

And I finished editing the two pieces for the anthology today. And submitted them.

Writing is definitely going well right now. Which is good.

The WH continues the destruction of our country, and it was blatantly admitted that is the plan, well they said the structure - same thing. Continuing to keep up with what's happening and doing what I can and pushing my comfort zone in that area.



Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Issue of Privilege

... (spawned from a Facebook exchange and the news and.... )














FRIEND:   "One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. The president of a free country may dominate the news cycle many days — but he is not omnipresent — and because we live under the rule of law, we can afford to turn the news off at times. A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene. In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago."  [quote from Andrew Sullivan


ME:            I love that quote, too... And believe in it; we should take breaks from what is happening, and care for ourselves, our families, our communities, and do what we love and what restores us. And I also agree with something else in his article - "Here is what we are supposed to do: rebut every single lie. Insist moreover that each lie is retracted — and journalists in press conferences should back up their colleagues with repeated follow-ups if Spicer tries to duck the plain truth. Do not allow them to move on to another question. Interviews with the president himself should not leave a lie alone; the interviewer should press and press and press until the lie is conceded. The press must not be afraid of even calling the president a liar to his face if he persists."


ME:               And I also believe a person who assumes they can take just a break at any time has privilege; I'm not calling that wrong, I am saying that we should acknowledge that as a truth. I do not think it is hyperbole to say that some people are unable to take a break because their lives are directly threatened. If we acknowledge that some people have the privilege to be able to step back and take a break, and some others don't, POC for example, then perhaps we can use that knowledge to change the dynamics. If those of us who have the privilege to say I'm going to disconnect from the news and Facebook and anything political for a week would also be willing to help a neighbor or a friend or a local organization who is unable to step back, we can start to change that. Start a dialogue. For example: if a family has immigrant relatives (right now Syrian, Muslim, Hispanic are being targeted, I know you know) then they most likely cannot take a break from what is happening with ICE - that affects every minute of their lives right now. There is another upturn in violence and aggression against POC, many or most of them cannot just take a break from the news, from politics. There have been some recent events related to people with disabilities; those people and their communities are on watch; these times things are moving fast. For those of us in the LGBQTIA community are waiting for the promised destruction of rights we have recently been granted, and aggressions against that community have increased, as well. 

My point is: I believe we should acknowledge there is privilege in being able to just say, "I'm taking a break from anything political." And I believe we should look to our communities and see where there is/might be need of support for those who don't have that privilege, ask what we can do to help give them a breather or a break. I believe there is danger in ignoring that some people do not have the ability to take a break and I believe in the break.






Friday, February 3, 2017

Fatigue and Recovery

I noticed last night that everything I was writing, or starting to write or comment, about things I was seeing on Facebook related to the WH was sarcastic. Not funny, not humor, but pure sarcasm.
I know! Sarcasm can be good, but it isn’t always. What I was noticing was that defeated sarcastic. The what the fuck is the point, what the hell are they doing now, will do next feeling of uselessness and/or ineffectiveness.
So I stopped posting anything. Well, I stopped posting any of the news, and of the crying in my coffee stuff. I did find a few positive articles and stories and shared those. Those are good, too.
But my defeatism still existed.
It was still there when I got up today. So today I vowed to myself to keep (mostly) off of FB and the news for a little while. A few hours or probably until after the show tonight. Because I am feeling a rage exhaustion. We have been promised there is something coming about the Queer community. I want to be able to face that with my full rage, without exhaustion and without defeat. This all affects all of us and the people in our neighborhoods, country, the world, I know. I know. And all of that is personal. And this one will be extra special personal to me (see that note of not-funny sarcasm, still there; damn).
I want to take this one on full face frontal. Like I did when I made my call to Homeland Security today urging them to NOT confirm Bannon, who is not representative of the people and the values of the United States of America (that was probably the most nerve wracking call to a machine I’ve ever made).
But coming for the Queers is coming for me. I am already there for the other people who have been targeted and the outrage and the horrors being caused by the man who claimed the title. And this one is me and my direct community and if it is as bad as some have said, that it is as bad as the possibility of a person being thrown in jail/prison just for beeing queer – I want my full rage and power restored.
So I’m mostly avoiding the news for several hours.
This is where I am……
cartoon-owl-fatigue-alarm-clock-coffee-brown-owl-161655
a stressed, exhausted owl I found online (from weibo.com)
This is where I want to be before I jump back into the circle of action….
tim-roth-as-dr-cal-lightman-in-lie-to-me.jpg
Tim Roth as Dr Cal Lightman, in Lie to Me

And I just signed up for the #CorporealWriting offering "Writing About Class in America: A May Day Workshop " in April. Participants raved about the last session of this workshop and I'm glad it's being offered again. One star for me today. See? I am coming out from the funk. A few more hours and I'll be ready to jump back in. 

Thank you for keeping vigil while I regain my breath.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

One Breath at a Time

What a month. I did not intend to go a month without writing here. Weather. Holidays and family and friends. And more weather. Stuck away from home for a week. Then coordinating a wonderful team of interpreters for the local march last Saturday. Getting ready for an upcoming play this weekend and another one in two weeks.



Busy.


And distracted. And trying to distract myself from the distraction of the train wreck which became 'for reals' last Friday. I know it began before that, I know - don't think I'm that ignorant. And we can look back and back and back and see where it began and how it happened and so on.


But the officially recognized day the power ax wiped ink across pages and basic rights officially started being ripped away could be said to be Friday, January 20, 2017.


Yesterday, Monday, January 23, 2017, more pen slashing and reversals. Yesterday I said to a friend, "we'll be lucky if we survive day one." My friend reminded me that we've already survived day one - last Friday. And day two, Saturday and the Women's Marches. And day three, Sunday and we start into another week and watch as they carry out their burning as we sleep and wake and work.


My friend has started a countdown. We have so far survived five days. Meaning 1,456 days to go. Don't know if that's helpful or not - but there it is.


Today has been a hard day. I started reading the news before my day officially began and I need to not do that. Overwhelmed. Crying in the shower. Fighting back against hopeless as hard as I can. Kept my weekly writing date and got a little done on the story.


It's the story I started in the Fatalistic Fiction, Noir, and Dystopia class with Ariel Gore. Me! I'm writing a dystopian story. Not my usual, but that was my challenge to myself, To step out of the usual and write and do it new.


I can't live in hopeless. I can't breathe in hopeless. Today I will try to be easy on myself.

*   *   *

It is now a number of hours later.

My mood is darker. I am having intermittent problems focusing. I am enraged and I have to continue working.

The actions, the signatures, the blocks. This is crazy.

This is criminal.

This is the - I was going to say erosion of human rights, but erosion is slow (until the final crash?) - this is a word I won't even put here because it's not really that but it feels like that.

This is a huge stomp in the face and kick to the rights and

stomp
slash
kick

Hard day and it got worse.

I will make it through.

Wrote this morning. Dystopia.

Working tonight.

Trying to breathe. Trying to not go numb. Trying to not cry. Trying to keep aware/awake and not be divided not be crushed not fall under.

More.

For now - sending this out.

Breathing.







Friday, January 13, 2017

It's 2017 and we have Snow

*from January 13th : This was in my draft file. I could edit it or delete it. Thought I'd go ahead and send it out there though for what reason, I'm not sure. [1/24/17]*


Short and quick update. No, not a belated New Year's Resolution post or a looking back post. Or a future casting post.

This is me saying, hey! It's 2017.

And we are in snow event #4 : two in December 2016 (early for us here in Portland, OR, if we get any at all), and two in 2017. Already, two significant snow events. The last one was barely done and here we are with lots of snow. Again, lots of snow for us, I realize.

I haven't been home since Tuesday morning and it's now Friday night. I was working when this snow hit and the roads and traffic were bad even when I got off work late. I was hopin


*update: 1/24/17 .... end of the draft. What was I hoping? I don't know. Maybe I was hoping to get home the next day. I didn't. I wasn't able to return home until after work until Wed 1/18 (off work at 1 AM; got home at 4:30 AM because I sat at Shari's, writing, waiting for things to thaw a little more and temperatures near home to rise enough to make it safe(er)).*