Monday, August 31, 2009

more politics of health care

Recently I've read several anecdotal stories supporting the need for health care reform. And I've heard people get up in arms and misunderstand or misquote or believe propoganda from the fear mongers and there is an outcry that we don't need to change the system.

Do they really think the current health care system is working? Do they really believe the lies being spread about what has been proposed and the options? Do they really believe the current system is fair and healthy and better than what most other countries have?

Recently my partner overheard a couple of guys talking right outside our house. I don't remember all the details of the story - but it was the usual about not needing health care change, how national health care would be a disaster and people would abuse it, and so on. Then one guy said, "aw, it doesn't really matter anyway, cuz I've already got mine; I don't care."

That's what it comes down to: an attitude of "I've got mine so I don't care what you need or want." I don't know what the perfect system would be or if there is a "perfect" one; I do know that this one is not working.

Today I saw the following article - which was not intended as a commentary about health care in this country, but I think it's a good one to add to the archives on the subject. This article was triple this length, but I think I'll let this article speak for itself - and I know there will be some who will twist this to mean other than I intended. I'm glad he at least has a community to help him where our "health care" system fails.

Where's Waldo 100k winner Erik Skaggs needs your support

Erik Skaggs, 27, of Ashland, won the Where's Waldo 100k in a time of 9:11:05; but was hospitalized later that day and remains in need of medical care.

.... Erik ran and won the Where's Waldo 100 Kilometer Ultramarathon last Saturday in record time but began having medical difficulties later that day.
Many friends throughout the ultrarunning community have already asked how they can help. One of Erik's biggest concerns is the mounting medical bill. Erik does not have health insurance. He may be eligible for some assistance through his membership with USA Track and Field, but will no doubt require monies for the deductible and for the expected costs well above the coverage. An Ashland runner and friend of Erik's has opened a bank account at Umpqua Bank in Ashland, Oregon to receive donations that will be used to help defray these medical expenses.

If you are interested in reading the rest of the article, you can do it on the Run Oregon blog on the OregonLive website.

Picture of Erik Skagg from UltraRunning Online

Sunday, August 30, 2009

adventure: Deschutes River

Yesterday I went on the Miss Fit Adventures Deschutes River rafting trip. It was my first time and it was awesome! We did the full day, 18 mile, trip with the Imperial Rafting company - and they were great, too. Here are just a couple pictures. More stories to write and pictures to post later.

The photo above is heading into Boxcar, with Kathy riding the bull.

The photo below is the initial drop into Boxcar. Yes, we're all still in the boat at this point and that black spot near the center of the picture is Kathy's hat, still riding the bull.


Friday, August 28, 2009

music: vote for Julianna

Of course you are free to vote for whomever you choose on the website. And, of course, I would love to see you vote for Julianna Waters - a friend, skilled musician and songwriter. This is a great honor for her to be selected for this competition and I wish her well. She deserves this recognition.

Good luck, Julianna.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

walking, writing, fundraising!

My next walking event is the Komen Race for the Cure 5k on September 20th. I will be walking with a team of friends and friends of friends, the MissFit Alliance. Yes, this team was born out of the MissFit Dragons (dragon boat team).

The next big event after that is the Mayor's Walk, 10k, which is a part of the Portland Marathon. Write Around Portland, is doing a fundraiser in conjunction with the Portland Marathon and its associated events - for walkers and runners. This amazing organization is one of the many which has been hit with budget cuts due to decreased funding. The staff of Write Around Portland, who are the original founders (plus one), as well, have decreased their work hours in response - which has not decreased the amount of work they do, only the amount they are being paid. They use their funds very well, run an excellent program, and have served our community well.

I don't generally do fundraising in conjunction with my walking events. But this time is different. You can read more about my story and reasons for supporting them on my FirstGiving page - where you can also be a donor of whatever amount you feel you can afford. You can either click on the button below, or click on the widget at the top left.

Honestly, I would not be fundraising if I didn't stand behind the organization 100%. As a volunteer facilitator for them, I have seen firsthand the difference their workshops make in people's lives.

Think about it. Even $5 will make a difference.

Monday, August 24, 2009

ponderings of the day

Time. Money. Priorities. Desire. Time.




A time of reflection on what I'm doing and what I want to do and what I need to do. What I have done and have been passionate about. And if it is all still true or if. If. Maybe things have changed. Maybe I have change - no, I know I have changed.

I should erase all of this and think these things through and then write up a neatly crafted essay on time and change and desire and finding right mind and right action. And acceptance.

Or I can leave this as a marker that life happens and sometimes desires and needs don't fit neatly into the space we're allowed. And decisions need to be made.

And in this land of "you can have it all" that maybe, just maybe, sometimes it's okay to say, "no, I can't" or "no, I don't want to pay that price and so I will choose." Then choose. At least for now. To acknowledge that people change and opportunities change and life sometimes gives us something new which doesn't fit. And we do have a choice. Not necessarily an easy choice.

This post feels like it is going down the rabbit hole of "but what about X?" (there are so many Xs and look at it, maybe your X and my X intersect and collide so who's half of the X has dominance?), or "do you mean to say that we all can control everything which happens to us no matter what?" (which I don't, but I don't have an answer about when and why and how we may or may not), or what about the other beings with which we regularly interact and impact and am impacted by. Questions. No answers. Thoughts.

photograph from GTD Times

Saturday, August 22, 2009

spoken word: "Fight. Have Sex. Think. Sleep."

Spoken word artist Juliana Luecking, aka QueenJuliana, of Kill Rock Stars and live performance fame, has done some really nice work. It is alive and real and makes you think and touches deep inside. She has a great series, mostly on YouTube and on Moli, called "People are a Trip" which asks the big questions and gets a lot of answers. She also has a CD with some amazine pieces, called "Big Boned Broad" which I listen to repeatedly. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, and is also a massage therapist and reiki practitioner.

If you like this one, go see more of her work.

If you don't like this one, go see more of her work. You'll probably find one that speaks to you. Humor, politics, the arts, filmmaking, life, opera, New York City, people.

Click here to watch her short piece, Fight. Have Sex. Think. Sleep.
"People live in all nine stories of that building. They fight, have sex, think, sleep, make good art and bad decisions. They have unruly hair in the morning, complicated schedules during the day, and tasteful quiet dinners at night. Their gruffness in the stairwell is completely appropriate. The building is on Broadway, just south of Union Square in Manhattan.

spoken word: Minton Sparks

"Jesus, Kitties and Flowers" by Minton Sparks

Friday, August 21, 2009

weather linguistics

Different regions of the U.S. have their own particular weather patterns and their own culture around their weather. For example, Alaska has many different names for snow, from what I've been told. They have a lot of snow and there are different conditions for and types of snow. Here in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, we have only three (I was going to say that Oregon in general only has three types, but I'm not sure that's accurate for southern and central Oregon): snow, flurries, blizzard/whiteout.

Another example is right here in good ol' Oregon. The weather phenomena we have multiple names for is: rain. I have visited other cities where their "rain" list is like our "snow" list: short and simple; one even has simply: light rain, rain, heavy rain.

But we also have another weather condition which we divide into minute distinctions. When I saw droplets on my window that were a little bigger than a dense fog and recalled no rain in the forecast, I decided to take a look. I pulled up the prediction for today and clicked to see the details of their forecast. I looked at the "conditions" row and this is what I saw:

2 AM = Mostly Cloudy
5 AM = Overcast
8 AM = Overcast
11 AM = Partly Cloudy
2 PM = Mostly Cloudy
5 PM = Partly Cloudy
8 PM = Partly Cloudy
11 PM = Mostly Cloudy

When I looked at them, I thought about the difference between "mostly" or "partly" cloudy, and how "overcast," which means clouds in the sky blocking the sun, is different from mostly or partly cloudy. Is "overcast" a synonym for "we don't know how much but it will be cloudy?"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

event: authors reading and zine launch

From Alltopia

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Join us on Sunday, August 23rd at 6 PM for the launch party of our harvest issue: Clothed/Naked.

Hipbone Studio - 1847 East Burnside, PDX

Support independent publishing and community arts!
Meet interesting folks!
Bring your friends!
Great date idea!
Hear some of the authors read their writing!

Admission is free.

Complimentary beverages will be provided; donations gratefully accepted.

this is what i meant

The last whitewater kayak trip was from McIver Park to Carver Park. There were a few "floaters" along the way, but the numbers and variety of floating things increased as we continued. Especially from Barton Park to Carver - whew! Some places they were practically wall to wall with not a lot of room to maneuver through them. They were on innertubes, air mattresses, kiddy pool toys, kiddy pools; many of them were drinking (regardless of age); many of them were smoking (yes, while floating down the river tied or held together by hand, through rapids, drunk and/or high). The percentage of actual inflatable boats in this photograph is much higher than what we experienced a month ago. It did get a little annoying.

Today there was this picture from, which is a brief glimpse of what we experienced. It was a warm weekend - we should have known! Next time, we go during the week if we can.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

they've arrived!

The NaNo badges are here! The NaNo badges are here!

Yes, come November, you will once again be subjected to my NaNoWriMo musings.

My coffee drinking, late nights and early mornings, raves about the progress of the novel I will start at the stroke of midnight plus one minute on November 1st will become the fuel for my daily (goal!) posts. With little calculator widgets inserted here on my blog to let you know my progress.

As well as how it goes with working, volunteering for Write Around Portland (my group will finish on November 14th), participating in my fourth online Lit Star Training workshop/class with Ariel Gore (in which I plan to be focusing on the revisions of my first NaNo novel, plus the quick writes), and training to walk the half marathon as part of the Seattle Marathon on November 29th.

Yes, I will be walking my first half marathon the day before the end of my second NaNo attempt. Which is why I have planned a couple extra days in Seattle; to catch up and complete the novel if I have to and to relax and celebrate its completion if I have it done a little early (last year I hit the 50,000 word mark the night before Thanksgiving; I'm hoping for the same this year).

I'm excited! NaNo ho!!!
(and did you notice how well one of the color schemes fits my blog? perfect!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

quote for 8/19

You can't out-think someone who's not thinking.

Monday, August 17, 2009

submission opportunities

With thanks to Creative Writers Opportunities List (crwropps) :

The Chariton Review Short Fiction Prize
Deadline: August 31

multigenre contest: CWC, Inland Empire

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Skamokawa, WA paddle

Ridgefield Kayak took a new trip today and I was there with them. It was beautiful paddling from Skamokawa, WA to Cathlamet, WA - a total of about 7 miles. The original plan was to end at Skamokawa, but the weather prediction, along with tides and all those things the guides check, indicated some strong winds that would make it better to start at Skamokawa.

The trip was really nice. We went through sloughs, on rivers, a little bit on the Columbia river. We saw osprey, eagles, terns (I forget which kind), gulls (of course), Canadian geese, killdeer, purple martins, blue heron, a small young ill/malnourished coyote, river otter, neutria, and probably more that I either forgot or didn't hear what they were called. We paddled through steep banks where animals surely lived, along the edge of swamps, past abandoned waterfront property and some which weren't abandoned but looked nearly the same. We saw old piers where the plants are now growing out of the top, natural Ikebana which was incredibly gorgeous, one place that I named the "ghost forest" because of pier-like tree trunks sticking out the water, all the same height, in front of a forest bank.

I didn't take very many pictures, because I was busy paddling. And I was still getting used to a new style of hardshell kayak. It was a little nervewracking for a few minutes when we first went on the Columbia river portion, because there were little waves and wakes, as well as more wind. I felt pretty comfortable in the more snug fitting boat up until that point - so much so that I even attached my spray skirt (which means I wasn't afraid of falling in the water and not being able to get out of the boat because of the skirt) - but the choppiness and the wind were much more rocky. After a bit I adapted - and will admit to being glad the Columbia portion was fairly short. Next time it will be easier.

One paddler had been called in to work, so it ended up being three guides and three guests. Not bad odds! Everyone was a delight and it was a great day.

This short video is at our lunch stop at a sandy beach along the Columbia river.

Pronunciation: "Skamokawa" = skah-mock'-ah-way ; "Cathlamet" = cath-lam'- ett

Friday, August 14, 2009


Art Affair
2009 Poetry Contest
Entries must be postmarked by October 1, 2009 and should be unpublished and/or
unaccepted for publication when entered into the contest.

2009 Western Short Story Contest
Art Affair’s western fiction contest (maximum: 5,000 words) is open to any
Entries must be postmarked by October 1, 2009 and should be unpublished and/or
unaccepted for publication when entered into the contest.

2009 (General) Short Story Contest
Art Affair’s short fiction contest (maximum: 5,000 words) is open to any writer.
Entries must be postmarked by October 1, 2009 and should be unpublished and/or
unaccepted for publication when entered into the contest.

The Writers Workshop of Asheville

Short Fiction Contest
Ten Honorable Mentions

Deadline: postmarked by August 30, 2009.

The Journal Award in Poetry, Ohio State University Press

Entries of at least 48 typed pages of original poetry must be postmarked during the month of September. Entries postmarked later than September 30 will not be accepted.

online poetry journal seeks submissions for inaugural issue

Zugenruhe is now open for submissions of poetry.
Zugenruhe is an online journal of international poetry, poetry of exile, and poetry of environmental memory.
Please send 3-5 poems in an attachment to
(replace (at) with @) for our inaugural issue.
We are looking for your best work on global themes, poetry that is rooted in the particulars of place, and poems that explore nature and environmental issues in a global context

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Click on the links to get more information.

Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers
$1,500 and publication in Boulevard awarded to the winning story by a writer who
has not yet published a book of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction with a
nationally distributed press.

Mangrove Review
/ FGCU Sanibel Island Writers Conference Writing Contest
Three awards—one each in Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction
Winners to be published and acknowledged in Mangrove Review, Spring 2010, FGCU's literary magazine, and given free admission to the 2009 FGCU Sanibel Island Writers Conference.

Hackney Literary Awards
The Hackney Literary Awards, sponsored by the Cecil Hackney family of Birmingham, Alabama, were established in 1969. The annual competition awards $5,000 in prizes for poetry and short
fiction ($2,500 national and $2,500 state levels: 1st place, $600; 2nd, $400; 3rd, $250); a $5,000 prize is also sponsored by Morris Hackney for an unpublished novel.

Thank you to Creative Writers Opportunities List
for compiling this information.
You can join CRWOPPS on YahooGroups


note to self:
I really need to get that new website design done and uploaded!

note to readers: I will get this website set up better, rather than just a blog. There will be resources and a blog and inspiration and writing and art. And classes/workshops.

note to the universe: I intend to set up my website so that it is easier to navigate, with places for calls for submissions, web resources, print resources, events local and other.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

event: MANOR of ART

from Milepost 5:

Over 100 artists have been invited to turn the yet-to-be-renovated rooms of The Studios building into three floors of installations and exhibits. This 10-day festival will include live music by local bands, theater and performance art, artist round tables, and daily guided tours of the 100+ exhibits.
The Studios is phase 2 of Milepost 5, formerly the Baptist Manor Retirement Home which was founded on the property in 1915.
Event Times and Dates:
  • Opening Event: 6-9 pm Friday, August 14.
  • Gallery hours: 1-7pm daily, Galleries open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Guided docent tours of exhibits: 2pm daily.
  • Music by various local bands: Friday 14th: 6-9pm, Saturday 15th: 3-9pm and Friday 21st: 6-9pm, Saturday 22nd: 3-9pm
  • Artist Round Table: 2pm Sunday Aug. 16th.
  • Experimental Theater by Hand2Mouth Weds Aug 19th, Thurs Aug 20th
  • Saturday Closing Event hosted by Sam Adams, Mayor of Portland.
All Events are Free and All-Ages
(A suggested donation of $1-$10 for admission)
Manor of Art is graciously sponsored by: Nike, Tri-Met, Muse Art and Design, Beam Development, Art Media, Scion, Paris Group Realty, Weiden+Kennedy,, Art Institute of Portland, 94.7 KNRK, PDXartscene, Mobile Malloy Productions, Montavilla Neighborhood Association.
Food provided by Palm State Gumbo
Beer and wine services provided by Manor of Art
With a Special Thanks to: Chris Haberman, John Graeter, Hand2Mouth Theatre, Ezra Johnson-Greenough, Leigh Lowry, Gavin Shettler, Micheal Feilds, Matthew Haggett, James Smith, Ry Malloy, and the hordes of incredible artists and volunteers it takes to do something like this!
A production of Portland City Art and Milepost 5

Go to their website for more information, including a list of participating artists.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

writers' resource: Word Smitten

For those writers with a goal of publishing, I discovered this website via author Jessica Morrell's e-newsletter. I attended one of her workshops at last weekend's Willamette Writers Conference, in which she announced that she has this newsletter with information for writers, so I signed up. I was going to type that I signed up as soon as I arrived home, where I rushed to my computer. But the truth is that, as soon as she said it and pointed out her email on the handout, I pulled out my Blackberry and sent her an email requesting I be added to the list. Technology; instant; immediate gratification (when it works, I know). And today my first issue arrived. Among the information was this website. They have a "1010" contest, which looks great; unfortunately the deadline has passed, but maybe next year I can try it.

Word Smitten:
:: :: WordSmitten®
the people, the books,
and the business of writing & publishing
:: :: :: ::
this innovative gateway to book publishing
is for emerging and professional writers
and provides great writing and publishing tips
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

As they say in their tagline, this is for writers with an eye on publishing.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cascade Lakes Relay: leg 33

I made this video of leg 33 of the Cascade Lakes Relay two weeks prior to the event. I went over to central Oregon to scope out part of the route in addition to doing the 10k of the Smith Rock Sunrise Classic. This was the leg I specifically trained for. I made this video so that I would know what the -1372 elevation change over 6 miles pretty constantly downhill really looked like.

Imagine this same stretch of the road with no cloud cover. The temperature was 20 degrees higher, the sun beating down on walkers and runners alike, while the baked pavement radiated the heat back up through shoes. And no rain.

Looking at the video now, it seems way different than how it was on August 1st. The road was much wider when I was a walker on the edge. The turns seemed bigger and more intense. Interesting to have the whole scope change with the change in, literally, vehicle: inside a car versus in shoes on the side. And the rain would have been welcome! It did cloud over the last couple miles of the relay, but the base temperature was still mid-90s.

The relay was an amazing experience and I can't wait to do it again next year. We're already planning.

The music is from Passages, by Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar.

[note for those who may be wondering, "what's up with the little bouncing buddha thingy?": I've made periodic short videos for one of my blogs, Dashboard Buddha Films, of travel in and around the city. This video is posted there, too.]

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Note to writers from the Conference

Lesson from a workshop that is about half-way through.

Writers, be very careful about choosing your editor. I have heard many conflicting "this is how it is" opinions on items such as style (APA, MLA, etc.), adverbs generally carry a warning for sparceness regardless of speaker, description (show don't tell versus use minimal description), use said and only said versus vary the tags, appropriate grammer versus street language, and so on.

I understand needing an editor to capture what the writer overlooks and cleaning up or tightening the story. But if an editor takes the strict "said and only said" approach and the writer's philosophy is variety, it will be a rough road.

There are rules. There are conflicting rules. Pick who fits your style, unless you're just curious how someone from a different perspective would view your work.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Willamette Writers Conference, Day#3

Zzzzz. Wha-at?

Yes, I overslept. Better said = I slept enough. I was at the conference 7:30 am - 5:15 pm yesterday. Okay, so the last hour or so was hanging out with Jenny in the bar, her with a margarita and me with a mojito with too much brown sugar in the bottom, talking about life and writing and what we've learned and seen and not learned so far at the conference. We both had decided to go to a workshop about Web 2.0, but it was immediately apparent it wasn't what either of us wanted, so we ditched it.

So I was at the conference site until 5:15. Then I went home and I was scheduled to walk six miles yesterday. It was the first official day of my new training schedule, which is focused on being ready to walk a half marathon on November 29th in Seattle. This week I had a session with the trainer and walked about 1.5 miles. I strained my IT bands last week at the relay (not surprising given the six miles constant downhill leg I had on 8/1; I wasn't upset about it, it just was! Others had far more issues than my screaming IT bands) and my chiropractor told me they needed rest so to take it easy and just do stretching. Which I did. And I thought I was ready for a walk yesterday because my hips and sides of thighs felt fine.

Wrong. After about 3/4 of a mile, where the ITbands originate started to cramp up, primarily on the right. So I stopped and did some stretching for that area and the supporting areas (I think - I did the best I could with my still developing knowledge of this). I continued walking and developed a little bit more of a hitch, so I did more stretching. And then I walked. At about 1 1/2 miles, I knew it was time to turn back. This is one of the tricky things for me, learning to notice before it's too late. Once I get out there, I have to get back. So I have to learn to understand what's going on before I don't have a choice about stopping or am stuck out somewhere in pain and have to walk back in spite of it, risking doing damage; or, I suppose, I could pay $20 to go that one mile home.

My six miles yesterday became three, and at only slightly above strolling speed. So I showered and changed to work clothes and worked from 8:30 pm until 1 am. (Actually 8:40 until 1, because there was construction just over a bridge that was not there the last time I drove it and I was late.)

Then I got home at 2:00 am because I had to get gas (remember that song, "running on empty"? - that was me). And then I finished up a revision to post for my online writing class. It was probably 3:00 or 3:30 when I went to bed.

So when the alarm went off at 6:45 am, there was no way I was getting up. Nor with the second alarm at 7:10. Nor the third backup alarm at 7:25. And not even the one at 7:45.

I missed what I'm sure was a great workshop on PON versus POV. I will try to find a good source for that information, but I really like the presenter, Charlotte Cook, and it would have been great. But my body refused and I needed to respect that I couldn't go another day on not enough sleep.

I will get there in time to attend one on editing. That one I really want and need. Then this afternoon I work two more workshops: one by the president of the Willamette Writers organization and a second one by Cynthia Whitcomb on subplot. She is also amazing. An amazing writer and an awesome presenter. I was fortunate to be working her "Playwriting 101" workshop yesterday.

So, time to guzzle down the coffee with soy milk, shower, and then put the wheels to the pavement - or however that saying goes. My brain is still a little foggy and definitely not enough sleep over these last three days. I do work, again, tonight. But I don't have to be anywhere until an hour befitting the time I get home.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

One more

Not really a lesson, but a clear reminder from the conference:

If your presentation relies heavily on technology, have a backup plan. Each piece or type of technology you use ups the chance of something which could go wrong. PowerPoint, check. Video, check. Sound, check check. World Wide Web connectivity, oooh, check check check.

I felt sorry for the presenter. In that oh-yes-I've-been-there sympathy way.

Always have a backup. Burn a cd or dvd. Thumb/flash/usb or otherwise portable drive. External hard drive. Just don't rely on your entire multimedia presentation being available without a plan B.

Willamette Writers' Conf, Day #2

Lessons learned from day one:

(1) Check which category the workshope is in before attending. Probably, if it is listed under the "film" section, the topic - no matter how generally applicable it is - will tie back to film. And may have nothing to do with creative non-fiction or fiction.

(2) The experience of the presenter will probably tell you more about the content of the workshop than his blurb. I'm not saying to be stereotyping people and will, therefore, avoid a specific example I heard about yesterday, but if the presenter has been successful in selling zombie stories (I hear they're really hot right now), then he probably isn't going to spend a lot of time on memoir.

(3) Maybe the temperature is 40 degrees cooler than the same time last week (yesterday was 68 degrees; last week it was 106-107 here in the land of rosy PDX), but that doesn't mean the conference hotel will change the AC setting.

(4) I'm not the publishing and editing world neophyte I thought I was. Dang! So does this mean I have to actually DO something with the two books in process and the computer file sull of short stories and poems in various stages of editing!? (That's a joke - I am doing something with them. But I have been amazed what I do know!)

(5) It's a great conference and well run - I'm impressed.

(6) Sometimes I don't know if I'm talking to the author or their character (which may be the same!) or if this is the character they put on to bring to the conference to do the pitch with those who control entrance to the publishing world.

(7) Really, it's a great conference. I've met some great people and picked up great information. And I'm running really short on sleep, because I'm also working at night.

Put it on your calendar for next year. Or come on down for the afternoon sessions, or tomorrow's offerings!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Day 1: willamette writers conference

Did I say that I am volunteering at the writers' conference this weekend? I am. Volunteering half-time and attending half-time.

What a wonderful week.

Downing the last of my coffee whle I type, after a very quick shower, fast drive, grab 1/2 a bagel some eggy thing, and cantaloupe. Now off as an attendee for my first workshop. Where my friend Jenny is the room monitor.

Can't wait to see her in our volunteer vests. My turn this afternoon, so I'll be kind..

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

submissions: Hint Fiction

from Robert Swartwood

hint fiction (n) : a story of 25 words or less that suggests a larger, more complex story

Anthology Guidelines

Tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2010, W.W. Norton will publish an anthology of Hint Fiction. What is Hint Fiction? It’s a story of 25 words or less that suggests a larger, more complex story. The thesis of the anthology is to prove that a story 25 words or less can have as much impact as a story 2,500 words or longer. The anthology will include between 100 and 150 stories. We want your best work.

It’s possible to write a complete story in 25 words or less — a beginning, middle, end — but that’s not Hint Fiction.

The very best Hint Fiction stories can be read many different ways.

We want stories we can read again and again and never tire of. Stories that don’t pull any punches. Stories that make us think, that evoke some kind of emotional response.

Click on the originator, above, for more details, including format and payment.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

relay: race results

Here are the results for the walking teams for the Cascade Lakes Relay this last weekend. I think we made a fine showing; we are mostly rookies in this activity. We did great!!


1 Rumpled Old Men Junction City 26:44:58 Mixed Open
2 Road Rivals Oregon City 27:38:28 Womens Open
3 Forever Young Pendleton 27:38:29 Mixed Masters
4 WeBe Walkabout.. Eugene 29:01:57 Womens Masters
5 WPI Rock-its Tigard 29:43:47 Womens Open
6 Sole Sisters* Aloha 29:52:48 Womens Open
7 huffin puffin Portland 30:05:44 Womens Open
8 Vintage Whine Walkers Portland 31:28:01 Womens Masters
9 MissFit WiseWalkers Portland 33:29:57 Womens Open

relay: photos

Photographs from various team members...not necessarily in the exact order in which they happened...from the MissFit WiseWalkers inaugural participation in the Cascade Lakes Relay event, from Silver Lakes, OR to Bend, Or - a total of 132.4 miles route.

along an early morning leg on 8/1/09

Gwen is "feeling the glory - finally"... we all had this moment at some point

exchange point #18, waiting for Cheri
there had been a communication mix-up just prior to this
van#2 rushed to the point, only to wait another two hours or so
(walkers from both vans in the photo) happens!...

van #1: "runners on the road" sign by Dot,
new slogan inspired by a relay support staff
who caught up with them early in the morning on 8/1/09 and told them
"congratulations! you're doing great.
last year's last place team didn't get here until 2pm."
hence our slogan, written in window crayons above the sign:
"Faster than last year's last place team"
... we may be DAL, but we're not the slowest!...

the handoff at exchange #18
Cheri was 30 minutes or so ahead of the next
walker; they are members of a race walking club
and they passed us up a couple hours later despite
having started 1 1/2 hours after us
...and we were fine with that...
nice women and it was nice to have the company
on the late night routes, especially!

this is me coming in at 3:16 AM on 8/1/09
at exchange # 24
the end of a 6.6 mile walk on the
Cascade Lakes highway
in the dark
through the Deschutes National Forest
and I'd been up since 5:15 AM on 7/31/09
with only a 15 minute nap the headlamp halo effect from being in motion...

G bringing it on home for the final leg for van #1
...still six legs to go for van #2, but this group
gets to go back to the house and shower
...oh wait, there was the clogged bathtub incident

a gorgeous sunset
complete with a phenomenal thunderstorm
a nice photo that barely shows
the beauty

Monday, August 3, 2009

event update: Alltopia release

From Lara Messersmith-Glavin, the creator-editor of Alltopia Antholozine:

It's my pleasure to announce the release of the harvest issue of Alltopia Antholozine: "Clothed/Naked."

Where - Hipbone Studio, 1847 E. Burnside, PDX (a great interior space used variously as a drawing studio and event forum)

When - Sunday, August 23rd; 6 PM. The reading should last around an hour or so.

What - Readings and performances by the authors. Friends and family welcome! Spread the word!

Complimentary beverages will be provided; donations gladly accepted.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


What a fantastic day, today!

I woke without a sore knee, thanks to the awesome and talented Betsy Mitchell, DC, despite my record time going 1372 feet in six miles downhill yesterday. I have been going to her for years; but she has been especially supportive and helpful as I increase my physical activity and through things like aching knees, twisted back muscles during dragon boats, strained tendons during whitewater rafting, DOMS (now that was a "great" one: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, tending to show up in people as they age.... great), and she has been phenomenal as I've been training for this relay. She put kinesio tape on my tend-to-ache-knee the day before I went to Bend and gave me a new set to apply before my feat yesterday. And, voila, I awoke with not only a non-aching knee, but a knee that felt great.

My training for the event, with specific focus two to three days a week on the big downhill part, really paid off and the preparation and prevention steps helped, too. A year ago I went on a round trip 6.5 or 7 mile hike with a friend and I halfway back I thought there was a chance I would not be able to make it down to the car, my knees both hurt and the more sensitive one was throbbing and aching. (You know, once you're up there on a hike in the forest, you have to get back down - you can't park your behind and tell your buddy to just swing the car around.)

My back was sore this morning; couldn't quite stand up straight when I got out of bed. Excuse me, couldn't quite stand up straight when I rolled out of my sleeping bag on a 1" self-inflating camping pad this morning. Oh, that might of been part of the problem - I was too tired to inflate my air mattress last night, which would have given my pushed-to-its-max body a little more cush to sleep on. A shower helped and I straightened right up and the back pain eventually went away.

But my hips- or my hip sockets? Something in that area needs attention. Which is why I am grateful I have an appointment with the chiropractor tomorrow morning. Yay for me.

In another side of things - we are going to do the Cascade Lakes Relay again next year. On the ride home in the RV, we did a little strategizing and planning - which I will continue with. I will be the team captain, again, next year (like the sound of that? me!?! team captain!) and I'm getting feedback from the participants on their "kudos" and "oops." Next year will be even better.

And I have already heard back from one of this year's participants that she wants to be on our team, again. Yay!

Then tonight I had a peer editing & potluck dinner with the editor, publisher, and a few of the other authors for Alltopia, the zine which is publishing one of my creative non-fiction pieces in their fall issue. That was really nice and helpful.

The zine release and reading will be on August 23rd at 6:00 pm, at Hipbone Studio. More details to come after I get the full information from the editor.

Now I'm really tired and need to go to bed. And I have a story due today. Sleep? Write? Sleepzzzzz.

And did I tell you that my team did great! As in Tony the Tiger, grrrreaaaaaat!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Relay: results

The MissFit WiseWalkers finished the Cascade Lakes Relay at 6:30 pm - 33.5 hours!! Our team average was 3.95 mph!! We all beat our personal bests.

Relay: day 2 update

We are at the middle of leg #3 of the final van #2 group. The amazing Nikki Becker maintained just a hair over 15 min miles on her 4 miles uphill leg - most of that in the initial 1.5 miles; amazing timing. We're all doing great times and having a blast. It's hot - tho less than yesterday.

We are doing great!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Ahh, oww, zzz

4:34 AM. In Bend. Ice pack on knee. Feet happily sore. Exhausted in a wow-look-what-I-and-we accomplished way. Sleep should come easily. Up at 8:30 to shower, grab coffee and breakfast, and head to Devil's Lake on Mt Bachelor to our final exchange and the last six legs.

I will only have one: six miles steadily down for 1372 feet, third leg from the end.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Relay: day 2 update

Van #2 finished our six legs 21 minutes ahead of our estimated scheduled time : I came in at 3:16 AM and handed the bracelet-baton off to van #1.

Now back to the house in Bend for about 4 hours sleep and a shower!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Relay: day 2

It's 12:15 AM and we are on the next to last of this section of legs. I recently completed my first leg of the relay: 3.3 miles in 52 minutes! We have made up some time (two other teammates picked up time a couple legs ago) - so we are back on track for a 3:30 AM exchange with our #1 van.

Go, MissFit WiseWalkers at the Cascade Lakes Relay!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry