Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mid-October Check-In

A List

What I'm doing:

  • my RACC (Regional Arts and Cultural Council) grant was approved and the workshop, "As on the Stage," to train POC interpreters in performance interpreting is under way. I am honored and thrilled that they approved my grant application.  I have a wonderful cohort to work with and I am thankful to the POC interpreters who are joining me on this journey, to the POC mentor who will be joining us in 2019, and absolutely to RACC for see the need and the vision to make this happen.
  • in a chapbook making and writing workshop online with Ariel Gore in The Literary Kitchen. This is very exciting and even though the timing is tough (because I am so happily and creatively busy with other projects) it is just what I needed - for me, for my writing. 
  • I recently interpreted "Elephant and Piggie's 'We Are In A Play;" for NW Children's Theater and School. Twice. A weekend morning matinee and a weekday midday matinee. It was so much fun! We got to wear our own version of costumes and interpreting children's theater is a world of difference from the adult shows; especially a very young childrens' play, as this was.
  • I am in the final days of preparation to interpret "Wakey, Wakey" (this Wednesday 10/17). I am the main character, who has the first 2/3 of the show on his own. It is a lovely, well written, well directed, well acted play. It is hard to put into words, but it moves me in a subtle, thoughtful, delightful way.
  • There is another interpreted show the next night at another theater I work with, Portland Center Stage. No, I'm not interpreting that one - just supporting the interpreting team, and available to help if there is need.
  • The next night there is another interpreted performance at Profile Theatre. This is a solo show - one actor, 26 characters - and there is one interpreter; also not me, although I am the understudy and will interpret the pre-show event at the theater. I have to be ready to interpret in case something comes up (I have attended this show and been preparing it, as well) and to support the solo interpreter in his preparation.
  • I am STILL editing the memoir. I have made great progress. I don't see how I will get this draft editing completely before NaNoNovember, but I'm not giving up yet. I have a lot done and two more weeks to go; I may sill finish the edits before I go to an interpreting conference at the end of the month.
  • The first White Bird Unchanged performance is this Saturday. Right now, with being so busy, I question if I can go, if I want to go, since I am doing something every day this month. But I also know - I remember - that these performances are always restorative and I am able to sit back, watch, take it in, relax, be inspired. So I will go. And I will love it.
  • And I will be doing NaNoWriMo again this year. I will be at the work conference when it starts, so will be starting from there and missing the midnight kickoff write-in at the airport. But I am going to the conference with a friend, who is also a writer, so we will do our own midnight write-int, then get some sleep because we have to be at a workshop the next morning.

And all of the other regular life stuff. Not that theater and writing aren't regular "life stuff" for me - they are.

November will be a little slower, theater-wise. But not writing-wise!

My creativity is high right now and I sometimes have to remind myself that things are actually okay. There is the turmoil in the outer world, the bigger things. But that doesn't mean I should stop the flow of creativity. I should actually turn it up. In times of dis-ease and unrest, we need the arts even more.

Friday, September 28, 2018

A Ripple in the Wave : Why I Didn't

"how do we endure this (over and over again again again again)? we take turns until there are so many of us the wave cannot be stopped." - Lidia Yuknavitch

I am a part of the wave. I am treading water to keep afloat; and I will. I'm very good at the dog paddle, even if it means it takes me longer to arrive.

   by Dot Hearn

[in no particular order]
{an incomplete list}

My skirt was above my knees.
It was almost dark.
He was my best friend's friend.

My mother said about girls in too tight clothes, "she was asking for it."
My father said when a woman was attacked at a bar, "she knew better than to go to that place."
My teachers said in the 5th grade girls secret class about periods and sex and appropriate behavior, "girls must keep their legs crossed."

He said he couldn't live without me and they would separate us if they knew.
He was going to be my husband.
He was my husband.

I thought he was cute so it was my fault.

I didn't want to wake the other people sleeping in the tent.

I didn't want to hurt his feelings because he said he loved me.

I was drunk.

He was drunk.

My mother was always suspicious of men, yet always blamed the women when something actually happened.

My mother didn't believe me when I cut my thumb on a razor and it was bleeding.
My mother didn't believe me when I rammed into the back of a parked car on a borrowed boys' bike and told her I was bleeding in my underwear.

He didn't actually get me into the car, though he tried; I should have ignored his question.

My parents would say I shouldn't have taken the shortcut through the trees from the low-rent apartments to the pizza parlor.

"I tried to warn you but you wouldn't listen," my mother would have said, and added, "Are you sure?"

Because I left my body and my mind locked away the details before someone found me tied to the tree in the middle of the elementary school track.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Sometimes My Job is to Not Work


Yesterday was Going To The Fair Day. Not officially, of course. A friend and I went down to Salem just to check it out, watch a couple of typical fair shows (the Cirque Zuma Zuma, and the Alaskan Pig Races and Hurdle Jumping),

It was a good day. It was a day I didn't work at ll.

When we'd had enough of the fair (somewhere around 7 hours later), we left. We drove back up to Portland to write for a while.

It was a good day - the not working and doing something just for fun. With a dollop of writing on top at the end of it all.

And now I get to attend a special Happy Hour event at an organization I respect madly for an event I adore. Yes, it's (non-writing) work-related, but it will be fun, too. And a good networking opportunity - practice for when I get my book published (no, not contracted, yet; pie in the sky dreaming!)

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Let's not talk about The Weather

It is now August. The temperature is going up, again. It's summer, I know, it's supposed to be hot.

It is.

Hot. As in temperature hot. We used to get 2 to 5 days of hot, which to me means mid- to upper 90s, hovering around 100. We've already had many of those days. And streaks of those days. They started early (I think the first one was in May) and have continued to show up. Last week it finally cooled down to a lovely mid-70s for the highs; it was lovely. There is another heat wave coming to land in the area later today, upper 80s, then into the 90s the next few days.

It's summer. Hot. I know.

So what does this have to do with writing? My writing space is upstairs, in a front, full south facing room, with four very lovely 3x6 windows. I love it. And - hot. Luckily, one item on the remodel list a couple of years ago was the windows. Now they open, so I can let the heat out; except when it's this 90+ hot, it never gets cool, but the room can at least breathe.

But that's also okay, because I can (and do) write in other spaces.

Did I say that I don't like the heat?

  • Writing. It's still happening. It moves down the priority list when there is a show to prep, but it never falls off my radar any more. Which is good.
  • Theatre (the JAW week was fantastically intense and inspiring and fun and audiences loved it). I'm working on a couple of other theater projects right now - though not play interpreting preparation, other aspects of theatrical interpreting.
  • Work is work - good, don't get me wrong. But it is that time of year when there is a lot of pressure to have fun get ready for school take care of the yard go on vacation finish the summer projects weed the garden harvest the too many tomatoes too many zucchini buy school supplies buy school clothes start planning the holiday puzzle with family exercise eat lite find joy find solitude party like you'll soon have no time and on and on and on. Irritability seems to be running on high in the content of the work and joy is simultaneously minimized and being sought.

I'm also wondering what to do here - what direction do I want to take this in and how far. It has meandered through a couple of ideas in the early days. Then it was more "this is me writing", reflective. And recently it has become a place to update on writing progress (or stallouts) and workshops and bits of information from different parts of my life. With the occasional NaNoWriMo updates, and Camp NaNo, though I barely wrote here during July, when I did successfully do my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of writing the equivalent of an hour each day.

I used to post prompts once a week. I think for a little while I posted twice a week - two different types of prompts. I used to post advice, mostly links to websites/blogs/posts.

I wasn't on Facebook I would probably write more here. Although I'm not generating a lot of original content there, either. Mostly promoting interpreted performances, with a few comments here and there. Reposts.

I heard that blogs are making a comeback - or trying to. As people move away from social media a bit, because the amount of information can be overwhelming and there is so much false information being shared - so many lies, misunderstandings, so much hate. And also a lot of love and true information and resources. There are connections I have in Facebook that I probably wouldn't have, at least not to that extent, if I didn't have a social media connection. Maybe there will be a decent alternative someday. Although, as things go, it will probably decline after a while, too.

I've rambled enough.

I have no insights.

I have thoughts beyond "too hot" and "how's the traffic" and "what time do I need to leave to get to work/my appointment."

But now, it is time to wrap this up and ... what? Publish it? Or delete it? Or wait until I can clean it up and then publish it?

Naw. Raw thoughts are sometimes worth sharing. I don't know if these are "worth it" - but I'm going to do it, anyway.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Mid-July check in

So - writing is happening (editing). And grant writing (work). And I am launching into an immersive theatrical interpreting experience in two days! Decided this is a good time to post a quick update before all thoughts are focused elsewhere.

On the writing front, I am still editing. My editing slowed a little as I necessarily focused my attention on a grant application which is due week after next. I am currently editing a story that I submitted part of for the last manuscript workshop. So parts of this editing are sailing and some, I'm shaking my head and thinking, "I hope I didn't submit that part looking like that!" I am, again, feeling hopeful about this book and want to bring it out into the world. Here's to holding onto that thought!

I'm not going to say a lot about the grant here, right now. It is for an exciting project and I am working with a couple of other people to make it happen. Once I get the grant submitted, then I have to wait a couple of months for the decisions to be announced. More on that later. Other than to say that grant writing is not easy, but I knew that before I started the process.

The theatrical immersion project is Portland Center Stage's JAW festival. It is a festival of new plays, where the chosen playwrights are brought in to work with directors, actors, stage managers. The plays are workshopped and change daily, often several times in a day. And at the end (July 27-29), there is the Promising Playwrights Kickoff event (Fri 7/27), where the eight selected students 10-minute plays will be presented as staged readings; then Sat 7/28 and Sun 7/29 are the staged readings of the four JAW playwrights' scripts. Which I and my team will be interpreting. This is almost like competitive performance interpreting, because we spend a ton of time attending the rehearsals, keeping up with script changes, meeting with the team to work out interpreting, and changing as needed as the scripts change. Diving into the deep end of performance interpreting for this event - and it's okay, I know how to swim.

And to end on a writing note. I also decided to join Camp NaNoWriMo this month. Yes, my plate is already overflowing, but Camp NaNo helps me keep engaged with my writing and I am also using it for the grant. For Camp NaNo this time around, I am counting minutes spent writing, on both my editing and my grant writing. I am way ahead at this point (partly due to being away for three days last week). Below are my current Camp NaNo stats.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Manuscript Editing Update

I am editing almost every day. Even when I've been preparing to interpret a somewhat intensive (though very FUN) play, I have still managed to keep moving forward with editing.

It's all in time management.

Or that's what I'm expected to say. I suppose it's partly true - although my time is non-standard. With the hours I work and preparing for a play, my writing time is often very late at night - or very early in the morning, depending on one's perspective. I am fortunate to have a friend who is a coworker and author with similar hours, and we often help hold each other accountable. Which means, at times, we go write after work/rehearsal - meaning that we are writing at 11pm or midnight or 1:00am.

I have crossed the halfway point in my manuscript hand edits and the section I'm on right now is moving at a faster pace. The by-hand edits are a little slower, but I am making progress and strengthening the story. When I get through with the hand edits, then I will have to enter all of the edits into the electronic manuscript, which will undoubtedly mean more edits in that update process.

It is going to get done. I'm not sure when and there are a couple of potentially large projects, as well as two known large and time-consuming projects, ahead.

My goal is to have the hand edits done before October 30th. My super goal is to have the hand edits done and entered into the electronic manuscript before October 30th. If I can make that goal, then I want to spend November (NaNoWriMo!) on writing a first/rough draft of a new novel. No, I don't have anything in mind right now, but I would love to start something new.

Making progress! Lots of progress.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

How Does My Garden Grow

This year I put in a small garden, again. I skipped the garden last year - I was busy, the timing of a trip, rapid sprouting spinach and lettuce the previous year which we never go to eat. And. I didn't.

But this year I purchased several varieties of tomatoes and different sizes of plants (ages). I wanted to have the tomatoes spread out as to when they ripen and are ready to eat. I also planted spinach, variety of lettuce, a spaghetti squash plant, a watermelon plant. And I put in beet seed. Oh, and kale. I don't have hope of getting much of the kale, since the aphids really love kale around here. But, from the last two times I had kale, the aphids keep primarily to the kale and off the other plants. So far, I have been able to harvest a little of the kale and no aphids, yet!

We do have a few baby tomatoes on the biggest plant, The others look like they're going to make it, too.

The beets have sprouted - although they drifted significantly from where I put the seeds. But that's not a problem.

I've had several green smoothies with spinach from the garden. We've had a heat wave the last few days and three of my spinach plants are threatening to bolt, so I did some major pruning/harvesting today.

This is some of what I picked today. A dinner salad straight from the garden. So delicious!


I am very honored and humbled that VoiceCatcher selected my piece, "Rabbit Test," to be included in their Spring 2018 issue. The journal was published on Friday, June 15th.

VoiceCatcher is a publication I respect and it was high on my list of places I hoped to be published. I admire their goals, their integrity, all of the work they do. As well as the relationship they have with the community and with their contributors. The process was wonderful, and I had a wonderful editor who worked with me to make a few final edits to strengthen the work.

Thank you, VoiceCatcher, for including my writing.

I am also excited that I will be one of the contributors reading my story at the launch party on Sunday, June 24th. I am proud to be a part of this community of creative individuals and to have another excerpt from my memoir (currently in the editing process) out in the world.

The "Rabbit Test" link is under the Prose section.