Saturday, January 29, 2011

dot's small stone: January 29

off-white cream cheese, layered green pimentos,
and blood red sundried tomato.
smooth on the tongue.

small stone #29
by dot.

quote for writers: "fearless"

Fearless is an interesting word, for in fact, in being fearless you are not without fear, rather you are withstanding fear. You are moving forward in spite of it. Writing a very short story requires a degree of fearlessness, and I think reading one does also. I have deep respect for the very short story for many reasons, perhaps most profoundly for its fearlessness.
--Meredith Pignon

Friday, January 28, 2011

Razor's Edge for Januray 28th

Last night I interpreted a performance of Moliere's "The Imaginary Invalid." Well, I interpreted an adaptation of a new translation of Moliere's "The Imaginary Invalid." Portland Center Stage did it very well, very much farce, very visual (which is plus for audience members who are Deaf). Before the play begins, audience members are introduced to the period of the piece through the opening music. Once the audience is guided out of the current world by the auditory collage of various cell phone rings, watch beepers, all things noise-making (which is highly effective - you can watch at least half the audience scramble to their mobile devices to make sure the thing is off) - the house lights dim and the play's music starts; they are guided into the onstage world. In this case, it was harpsichord. The music continues, the lights go out completely so the audience is literally 'in the dark' and when the lights come up, the actors are onstage and the play begins.

So today's Razor's Edge prompts are a video of a harpsichord performance and a word prompt. My suggestion is to read the word prompt and listen to (or watch if you want) the video. Begin writing. Write for 8 - 10 minutes.

And if you'd like to post your writing here as a comment - I'd enjoy reading what this piece inspired.

WORD PROMPT: As I turned down the hill toward home, I realized that everything past the next block was swallowed by the thick fog. Then, coming out of the whiteness toward me, I saw...



Thursday, January 27, 2011

dot's small stone: January 27

harpsichord keys dance actors onto the stage
bright lights reveal our two hour world

small stone #27
by dot.

dot's small stone: January 26

blue and red flashing lights inside
plastic pastel rubber noodle-ball
ignited when it rolled off the dash

small stone #26
by dot.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

quote for writers

Thank you, Rooze, for your discovery and for sharing!

To write experimentally is to adopt a subversive and transgressive stance to the literary, and to break up generic and linguistic norms. This formal transgression is significant because it can be a means to rethink cultural mores: for example, to shake up ideas about sexual identity, class, or race. 
by Hazel Smith, The Writing Experiment

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

dot's small stone: January 25

half moon's amber glow piercing
the midnight fog across the river

small stone #25
by dot.

Monday, January 24, 2011

dot's small stone: January 24

black, brown, white seed-speckled bagel
translucent red lox slices
atop snow white cream cheese

small stone #24
by dot.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

dot's small stone: January 23

language barriers dissolve
in shared love of poetry.
a collaborative project is born.

small stone #23
by dot.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

dot's small stone: January 22

aqua blue morning sky. clear.
the river a churning mocha,
walking with friends along it's shrinking banks.

small stone #22
by dot.

Friday, January 21, 2011

dot's small stone: January 21

72% cocoa, crunchy nibs, roasted coffee beans in pieces
shredded dried orange peels
bite of Nirvana

small stone #21
by dot.

Razor's Edge: January 21, 2011

Nature takes back its own. You can't keep her down, you know. Last week many people were stranded up past Sandy, Oregon - from Zig Zag, near Welches, and beyond. Lolo Pass - the major "thoroughfare" (the only way in or out) was washed out by the flooding Sandy River. Houses were lost, damaged; cars, too. The river rerouted itself and took out chunks of road, trees. I also heard about the flooding in Australia, where lives were lost, entire districts destroyed - no comparison, I know.

But this is where I live - near it; I drive by this area on a regular basis for work, for adventures. This is what happened. I'm a bit melancholy and my Literary Kitchen writing assignment this week had to do with the news. So I've been paying a little more attention - not that's not quite it; more like I've been thinking about what I see in the news more, longer time spent on the stories, noticing, reflecting, pondering.

So, while I used something else entirely for my story - another "hot topic" in the media right now - this one struck me and has stayed with me. A month ago I was noticing dandelions and "creeping charley" it's called - something like that - growing through the sidewalk, pushing it aside like soft dirt, refusing to be held back. And there were icicles growing downward through the cement of the highway underpass, and ivy around the opening and also coming through cracks, crevices, any opening, any way through.

So it's not just now - but the Sandy River flooding is one recent and still alive example that, as much as we try, nature goes on. We can hurt it, steal it, co-opt it, and use it - even deplete it - but we can't really totally erase it. And not that I think we should, but it seems that some people want to try to erase it, beat it, make it inconsequential and don't consider how we can work with nature. Or that maybe, once in a while, nature has to purge iself.

This is rambling. This could be seen as navel gazing. This could be seen as thoughts that we need to consider the natural world when we build our world, our shelters, our places for joy and self-expression. Nature was here first and she will have her way. She's willing to share, but we have to meet her part-way.

This week's Razor's Edge is coming from a place of contemplation.

Nature and humans - survival.

The first video are some scenic shots of the raging river set to music - the river beautiful in its strength and powerful in its ability to destroy. The second video is more of the area, showing the washed out road, the destroyed pass, debris - with commentary and live sounds; it's unedited.

The instructions this week are simple: watch one of the videos. Or both. With sound. Or without (there is power in the silence of just watching, too; for those unfamiliar with this area, the second one is interesting as it tells you more about what you're seeing and not seeing).

Then write. For 8 - 10 minutes. Write what you feel. What you remember. What you hope.

Just write.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lynda Barry @ Cusp Conference 2009

Today I received an invitation to the Univeristy of Iowa Summer Writing Festival and the Hollyhock catalog of offerings. I've also been thinking recently about writing conferences and workshops and retreats. What do I want? What do I need? No - back to what I want. Do I attend others' events or do I work with people I know and respect and we put together something of our own?

I'm still thinking about the options and more appear several times a week now. It's an exciting time and sometimes it borders on being overwhelming because - the rest of my life doesn't stop. I'm finding, again, that putting time and energy into writing creates more writing, more opportunities, more inspiration. And it's exciting. And I don't (can't?) have an overall picture yet because at this point in time I have to rely on something else for income so that I can have a home and sustenance and transportation; the rest of my life doesn't stop. Which is good. And as long as I pay attention, I create and creating creates more creations!

So - I don't have an answer. But in looking at these options that arrive, the brochures, the flyers, the teasers in forms of postcard, I go online and look for more information.

And so it was I stumbled across these two videos of Lynda Barry talking at the conference in the title of this post. Great stuff. It needs to be passed on.

And I'll go think some more and keep you posted.

I know I will return with the kayaking/writing workshops - I'm going to talk with my collaborator and I'd like to change the title to Poetry and Prose Paddle (it was just Poetry Paddle). And I have ideas for more workshops - which gets me back to the concept of time and energy and, yes energy in in the form of money. Yes.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

dot's small stone: January 19

Bubble gum pink elephant smiling,
dancing -
My voice won't be silenced.

small stone #19
by dot.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

dot's small stone: January 18

I inhale soft vanilla, ylang ylang, and coconut.
Mind rests. Peaceful.

small stone #18
by dot.

Monday, January 17, 2011

dot's small stone: January 17

NaNoWriMo metal keyfob
red bird singing against a blue sky
happy memories

small stone #17
by dot.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

dot's small stone: January 16

pebbled orange skin in my palm
opening reveals a paler, more aromatic flesh.
sweet clementine

small stone #16
by dot.

dot's small stone: January 15

cherry red pirate hat atop yellow rubber duckie body,
black pinpoint eyes grinning through the shower's water,
orange neon beak silent.

small stone #15
by dot.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

dot's small stone: January 14

red neon "now seating" reflected in puddles
on the night darkened blacktop parking lot

small stone #14
by dot.

dot's small stone: January 13

dew covering the porch, the car
hair damp; hungry; no makeup
half of yesterday's soy latte smiles from the car's cup holder

small stone #13
by dot.

Friday, January 14, 2011

exercise and illness advice

Found this interesting helpful hint while looking for something else...

For immediate release

November 15, 2010

Dan Henkel (317) 637-9200, ext. 127 (
Ashley Crockett-Lohr (317) 637-9200, ext. 133 (

ACSM expert offers advice on when to get moving, when to stay in bed
INDIANAPOLIS – As the weather turns colder, the U.S. launches itself full-force into cold and flu season. While recent research has correctly reported that exercise can help prevent the common cold, experts with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend caution for people who are considering an intense workout while they’re sick. In fact, there are some cases in which exercise could do more harm than good.
ACSM Fellow David C. Nieman, Dr.P.H., says that moderate exercise (30 minutes a day, on most, if not all, days of the week) actually lowers the risk for respiratory infections. Prolonged, intense exercise, on the other hand, can weaken the immune system and allow viruses to gain a foothold and spread.
“The good news, for the majority of fitness enthusiasts who put in 30-60 minutes of exercise most days of the week, is that the number of sick days they’ll take during the common cold season is reduced by at least 40 percent,” said Dr. Nieman.
People who are already sick should approach exercise cautiously during their illness. To help people decide whether to hit the gym or stay in bed, Dr. Nieman offers the following recommendations:
  • DO exercise moderately if your cold symptoms are confined to your head. If you’re dealing with a runny nose or sore throat, moderate exercise is permissible. Intense exercise can be resumed a few days after symptoms subside (in cases of the common cold).
  • DON’T “sweat out” your illness. This is a potentially dangerous myth, and there is no data to support that exercise during an illness helps cure it.
  • DO stay in bed if your illness is “systemic” – that is, spread beyond your head. Respiratory infections, fever, swollen glands and extreme aches and pains all indicate that you should rest up, not work out.
  • DON’T jump back in too soon. If you’re recovering from a more serious bout of cold or flu, gradually ease back into exercise after at least two weeks of rest.  
“In general, if your symptoms are from the neck up, go ahead and take a walk,” said Dr. Nieman. “But if you have a fever or general aches and pains, rest up and let your body get over the illness.”
Dr. Nieman also encourages people to engage in moderate-intensity exercise before getting a flu shot. After exercise, he said, the body responds better to the vaccine and gets a boost in immunity.
For more information, check out “Exercise and the Common Cold,” ACSM’s fact sheet dedicated to the relationship between safe exercise and illnesses. This fact sheet, written by Dr. Nieman, is part of a Current Comment fact sheet series available online.

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 40,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

dot's small stone: January 12

rain droplets iridescent purple
against the raven's obsidian black;
limp rust worm in its beak

small stone #12
by dot.

Writing Continuity

I have been doing quite a bit of writing - though not much on my posts. aside from the small stones. Writing these small daily observations has been wonderful. They keep me on the lookout for something positive each day. Some of the days recently haven't been that great - but needing to find one small beautiful or unique or colorful thing has been nice.

Things are not going badly. Just a little ramped up in the busy-ness category. Add to it that I'm not 100% recovered from the accident and that's annoying. I've just had three good days with practically no symptoms - which was awesome. Today there was a slight flare-up - and, luckily, I had a massage scheduled. Cydney was wonderful and the area that was bothering me resolved. She also reminded me that the area is a little weakened and so these flare-ups will happen. But I'm definitely on the mend - and sometimes it's the little minor flare-ups that are irritating. But my health care appointments are being spread out and the treatments are holding. Good news!

As far as writing, I am. I did a weekend memoir intensive last weekend with Ariel Gore here in Portland. It was a great experience and there were awesome writers with wonderful stories to share. And the online writing class-community started last weekend, too. So there are two weekly writes there, as well - one 8-minute quick write and one longer writing assignment.

I'm moving forward on my memoir. I have a pretty good idea of where the book will end - which is new. Before I've had all this material, I have a great beginning, I've had some great scenes and stories - but I didn't know where to stop, where the story would end. Then last week I had an insight. I have an end-point; or two. There may be a part one and a part two. Or just one. But now I know when I'll get to the end. More good news.

I also have two writing dates per week set up and mostly they are working out. There are other days in the week for writing, too - but I love having two times set up where I'm committed to meeting up with someone else to write. It's working well.

Off to a good start.

I feel my life is getting back on track.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

dot's small stone: January 11

rain falling onto ice on pavement
layers of wet reflecting gray sky

small stone #11
by dot.

Monday, January 10, 2011

dot's small stone: January 10

pure white salt sprinkled on freshly laid
charcoal pavement, anticipating
the looming freezing rain

small stone #10
by dot.

deb's small stone, January 10th

Looking out my window, heart thuds hard
childlike wonder, adult dread
two equal reactions
to the same overnight snow

small stone
by Deb Scott

Sunday, January 9, 2011

dot's small stone: January 9

four-foot high stacks of hardback books, end to end,
spines out, line the poet's office
titles inviting

small stone #9
by dot.

deb's small stone, January 9th

Two dogs in our driveway playing
one black, the other golden
tails wag as fangs keep 
sharp and practiced

small stone
by Deb Scott

Saturday, January 8, 2011

deb's small stone, January 8th

Black matte tights, ankle high suede boots,
multi-color mid thigh skirt, grey bomber jacket
messenger bag and neck scarf
hip Portland woman strides across Burnside

small stone
by Deb Scott

dot's small stone: January 8

dollar-size ivory scallops wrapped in thick bacon
sauteed until milk-chocolate brown on a bed of
baby greens

small stones #8
by dot.

Friday, January 7, 2011

dot's small stone: January 7

thirteen writers sitting in a circle, each holding thirteen copies of her story.
“pass to the right.”
a community is born.

small stone #7
by dot.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

dot's small stone: January 6

lights - red, amber, halogen blue -
reflected on the midnight stilled river

small stone #6
by dot.

dot's small stone: January 5

buttercream beret, burnt orange scarf,
forest green wool coat
remains of you on the coat rack

small stone #5
by dot

Deb's small stone, January 5th

Twin does, dance softly 
natures ballet on a well worn trail
searching, radar ears
where is mom?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

dot's small stone: January 4

cardinal red raincoat on
snow white ceramic sink.
running water.

small stone #4
by dot.

Deb's small stone, January 4th

My brain;diverts creative flow
words I would write are left to linger alone
but friendship;fills the blank page
and that is creative too

small stone
by Deb Scott

Monday, January 3, 2011

Deb's small stone, January 3rd

Tall trees dance the wild wind
Shifting sunlight strobes on each new wave
Tricky winter day plays with me

small stone #3
by Deb Scott

dot's small stone: January 3

icicles and chickweed pushing through
the tunnel's concrete ceiling

small stone #3
by dot.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Deb's small stone: Jan. 2, 2011

Words from a good friend in need
...I wanted to call you first...
My heart sings with gratitude

by Deb Scott

dot's small stone: January 2nd

conversation infused
with translucent onions,
roasted red & green peppers.

small stone #2
by dot.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

deb's small stone: January 1

The geese and chickadees
ignore the frozen puddles and ice encroaching the banks of the great pond.

With hopeful instinct, beak breaks through frozen grass, the illusion of desolation cannot hide sustenance.

small stone by Deb Scott

small stone: January 1

tiny hands waving
inside dangling pink pajama sleeves
smiling at the new year
and nana

small stone #1
by dot

Welcome 2011 and NaSmaStoMo

I'm participating in the National Small Stone Month (NaSmaStoMo) starting today.

First of all, here is an introduction to this new 31-day adventure from one of the creators:
Writing your own small stones
What is a small stone?

A small stone is a very short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment.

There are no strict rules for what makes a piece of writing a small stone, as there are for forms such as haiku. The process of finding small stones is as important as the finished product – searching for them will encourage you to keep your eyes (and ears, nose, mouth, fingers, feelings and mind) open.

I have been writing a daily small stone at a small stone for several years. I have recently started collecting other people’s stones at a handful of stones.

Click on the title to read more about this meditative writing to help boost creativity and boost a positive outlook during January.

This icon will help you more easily find my small stones, and those of my guest and writing friend, Deb, throughout the month of January. Look for this icon: