Sunday, December 31, 2017

Another Year Ahead

I don't do a big celebration on New Year's Eve any more. When I was younger, yes. I went out, went clubbing (though we didn't call it that), went to parties, sometimes drank too much, sometimes not. Music, dancing, friends and strangers, fun.

Then it became smaller gatherings, much less drinking (there's a story in how that came about, something about a van and my partner's purse, which I will write someday), a lot more staying home.

For the past several years I am often working on New Year's Eve and it's fun. At my part-time job it can be fun and those of us working past midnight take a little break to acknowledge and toast the change of numbers (with sparkling cider because, duh, we're at work - really, it is sparkling cider).

This New Year's Eve I am working. Looking forward to it. It will be the usual night crew and we'll have fun. We have snacks and a couple of us are going to order pizza since our lunch/dinner breaks are around the same time.

And my writing. I am writing. I just posted my final story in the Winter Intensive online workshop with Ariel Gore last night. I still have to do feedback for three other writers' stories, then that one wraps up. (After I copy all of the feedback on my pieces.)

Next week I start with the Winter Manuscript class with Ariel. I volunteered to be in the first group, so I have to get 10,000 words of the memoir ready to post by the 7th. They're almost ready, but not quite. With the holidays and the Winter Intensive workshop, and being down with the crud for two days, I lost momentum on the manuscript excerpt preparation. But I still have a week left with a few good chunks of time for writing within that week. In March/April I get to do the spring seasonal workshop at Corporeal Writing with Lidia Yuknavitch.

NaNo17 Coast Retreat, Oceanside OR
And. Yes. The end of 2017. It's been a rough year on many fronts. Many frustrations and outrages (due to outrageous events), many changes (some for the good in my personal life and others not so good in the bigger picture).

While I am happy to see the backside of 2017, for many reasons on a larger, national and international scale, 2018 doesn't look any better.

On a local and personal level, 2018 looks spectacular. I am writing more and this project may actually come to completion. This year? I don't know; but that would be nice. The second half of the theatre seasons (and the beginning of a new one for Profile Theatre) have awesome productions ahead and I am looking forward to those.

I have no profound words and I don't write New Year Resolutions. I make decisions and "resolutions" throughout the year and see no need to do it only this one time, so I don't.  I do hope that 2018 is a better year, even though I know there are so many challenges for so many of us still out there, so much left to defend and be vigilant. I hope that we can support and honor each other and keep that vigilance on our communities and the people, places, beings who are important. We are important.

Be strong. Be safe. Enjoy however it makes sense to you to usher 2017 out the door and welcome 2018. Keep writing and making art and dancing, creating in your own unique way.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

One week later

It has been a week plus a day since the end of NaNoWriMo. Another year of writing more than 50,000 words in a month (10th consecutive year) and this year I did write every day. I had two plays in November, and still managed to make write every day and meet the goal.

So, what's next?

I did have my regular writing Tuesday date this week - although we moved it to Monday because Tuesday was my birthday and I had breakfast plans before I started work. I did not write new work on Monday, but I did identify the next section for editing. Which is a big accomplishment; the even bigger accomplishment will be editing those sections.

I signed up for Ariel Gore's Winter Manuscript Class, which is a good thing. That gives me an external goal to edit and keep moving forward with the project. Which is one reason I signed up to do it! That and the fabulous feedback from Ariel and the other participants. And the deadlines. I will have to submit three 10,000 work chunks of writing for feedback. I requested to be in the first group, because I have a draft of the manuscript done and I am in the editing phase; I am not starting from scratch. So - I have now identified the sections I will be submitting and am working on revisions.

Or, I will be working on revisions. Soon. Actually, I do have a writing date next week, too, and have committed that time to writing even if that's all I can squeeze out next week.

This week has also been full of wonderful theatre as I prepare to interpret a classic production of "A Christmas Carol" by Portland Playhouse. Portland Playhouse has earned the awards they've won for this production: it is fun, colorful, visual, full of the holiday spirit, the cast works as an ensemble - it is a pleasure to be able to work with them to make *two* performances accessible (a plug: Wed 12/13 at 7:00 pm and Fri 12/22 at 2:00 pm; if you want access to the interpreters, choose yellow seats). This production is family friendly set in the traditional period.

I am also preparing to interpret "Twist Your Dickens" at Portland Center Stage at The Armory on Thu 12/21. This is the fifth year I've interpreted the production and the third time with the same  interpreter, Jayodin Mosher. We have fun with the show and work well together, never knowing exactly what we'll be interpreting because there is improv in this production, as well. This is not your traditional Christmas Carol (hence the name, *Twist* Your Dickens!) and PCS recommends this for ages 14+.  There is still a Scrooge and Bob Cratchit and a few other familiar characters, plus a whole lot more!

So, this last week, theater was back in the front seat with me and writing in the back. But soon, that seating arrangement will switch.

No complaints, just noticing the lovely seesaw of my creativity.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

It's a Wrap: NaNoWriMo 2017

I achieved both of my goals this month, as I know I already posted: I wrote every day in November and I surpassed the 50,000 words written in 30 days.

I continued writing past the 50k target, and my validated word count for NaNoWriMo 2017 is officially 56,281. That isn't the highest number of words I've written in a month. My highest NaNoWriMo was last year, at just over 60,000 words. But I don't think I've ever written every day in November before. I tried to look at my stats to see - but they weren't tracking all of the stats in the same way (or data was lost in a website upgrade) my first three years, so I don't know.

A very successful NaNoWriMo this year. And some impressive "lifetime total" NaNoWriMo stats.

And I just successfully passed the goal for my tenth consecutive NaNoWriMo win!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

NaNoWriMo Update Day 29

NaNoWriMo Winner for *10* consecutive years!

Yes, I did!

I wasn't ready for sleep, though I am getting tired.
I decided to work through and assignment about writing on each of the senses.
I have three senses done, so two to go,
and while I'm still not ready for sleep, I am ready to stop writing.
For today.
I compiled my project.
I opened the document and checked my word count.
I uploaded the project into the NaNoWriMo Validator and
I am a 2017 NaNoWriMo Winner 
with a word count (so far) of 

I will continue writing on Wednesday and Thursday.
I will update my word count at NaNoWriMo.
But I met the requirement of 50k words in 30 days.

Go, me!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

NaNoWriMo Update - Day 28

Here is where I am

Oceanside, OR

Current word count is 48,002.

I will break the 50,000 mark tomorrow. And I will keep writing. 
This is important.

I will make my secondary goal of writing every day.
Which is also important.

And when NaNoWriMo 2017 is done, I will keep writing.

I brought the printed version of my memoir with me to the coast. So after I sleep off the drinks and dinner and celebration after we both have posted and verified our 2017 wins on Thursday night before midnight, on Friday I will write more on what I've written this month. Then I will begin the next round of edits and rewrites in the memoir. 

All is good.

I also have the script for the next show with me, which I will not even touch until Friday.

And I have a book to finish reading, some short stories to fill in short breaks and between naps (if you know me, you know that's a joke; I don't take naps). I have a couple of new magazines which arrived the other day and I brought Big Magic (which I have listened to five times, but this is my first time reading the printed book and it is getting into me in new ways; I love it).

And I'm at the coast. With wind water trees birds salty air, and in a small town with only one restaurant, a teensy cafe, no stores, a cute quaint post office and fire department. 
Nestled in this cute true Oregon beach cabin with funky familiar comfortable features and unstable internet connections and little to no cell phone surface (unless I'm actually on the beach - go figure!). This is a perfect retreat for crossing the NaNoWriMo border into preparation on the next play, with time and space for thinking and breathing clean air.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Quick NaNo Update Day 27

I haven't been posting daily updates like I usually do during NaNoWriMo. But I am writing every day, which is also important.

I knew this year my word count, reaching 50,000 words in 30 days was going to be a bit more challenging than usual. I also knew it would probably be really close to the 11:59 pm November 30th deadline. And it is, all around.

I am confident I will make it. It may be on the 30th that I post passing the goal and verify my word count. And I am okay with that.

Right now I am sitting at 43,890. The target for today is 45,000. I don't think I'm going to hit it today.

But, plenty of time ahead to reach 50k. And I will.

That is all.

No story updates or outtakes from this year. No. It's all staying right where it is for now.

I've got this.

Here is where I'm heading tomorrow for a few days, to finish writing my NaNoBook and a day to recover and do, well, whatever I feel like (and make one business related phone call because it's that important; but I might have to drive a few miles away to get a signal).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

NaNo Update Day 21

It has been a struggle to keep up with writing these past few days. Past two weeks, actually, but especially true the past few days.

However, I am thrilled to say that I am back on track. And that i just passed 35,000 words for the month. Which is what it would be for me to be on track, so, while 35k words is many words, it is also right where I should be today in order to keep up with the daily average.

And some great insights today. I am excited by what I wrote and, no, you don't get to read any of them. Not yet. At some point some of this will go into publishable words. But right now this is, truly, without any malice or negative intent, a very shitty first draft. Which makes it an excellent first draft because it means that I am pouring excitement and connections and raw energy of writing into this shitty collection of words.

My (maybe "so far") word count today is

Sunday, November 19, 2017

NaNoWriMo Day 20 - update

It is palindrome day for me! My total word count so far, and, no, I didn't plan it this way. But it is nice when it happens. Once in a while my word count is a palindrome and here it is!


I will be writing more later in this day, but this is where it is at the end of another writing session. I am lagging behind, just a little. But I should be able to get the additional 858 words into day to be back on track.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NaNo Update: Day 15

It is the middle of the month and - tada - I reached 25,521 words written today!

I will probably not get any more words in for today and I am fine with that. The target total for today is, obviously, 25,000 since it is the middle of the month, and I made it. I have also written something every day. I think my lowest daily count was around 325 words; but I was ahead at that time, so I was still on the daily target goal. And I am achieving my secondary goal of writing every day.

I updated my badges on my Author Dashboard on  and noticed this encouraging and interesting fact. This is, for the ten years I have been doing NaNoWriMo, my daily average.

Go, me!
   Average Writing Pace
1,765 words per day

Sunday, November 12, 2017

NaNo Day 12 - so far?

The target for the end of Day 12 is 20,000 words written. I just finished up my (first, I hope) writing session for today, November 12th.

My current word count is 20,066! Still on track. A little fussing to get me to this point. But the writing session I just finished was successful and satisfactory.


Twenty thousand words down; thirty thousand to go!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

NaNo Day 10 into 11

I have still written every day.

Today, I am still on track. Even if I do not write another word today I am still on track; up by 280 words. I knew this would be the slow down time, with the plays. And it's all fine.

I have some built in writing times every week and a writing retreat at the end of the month. Yes, the writing retreat I usually do more toward the middle of the month - but it was delayed this year by theatre. Two of my passions which are vying for time: writing and theatre, rinse, repeat. No complaints, an admission that sometimes there are not enough hours in a week for me to do everything I'd like to do. That's life and I know it.

So. The writing itself is going. I am writing what I need to be writing and I am making progress.

No, no story synopsis to share. No excerpts. Just a vagueness that I am still writing, writing every day, and keeping up a decent pace.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

NaNo 4, 5, 6

I've already fallen behind on the daily posts here and not even through week one. That's okay, though, because I am still ahead of the word goals. Which is good. I am nearing that point where I will fall behind; and if I don't, well then. Okay!

My current word count at the end of the sixth day of NaNoWriMo is 12,417. That is an impressive number given everything else. The story did change, as I suspected it would. It has become a series of exploratory essays, I think, or something. I have committed to writing every day this month on this topic and seeing where it leads and what I discover. So I am a NaNo Rebel this year, and I am okay with that label. The goal is still 50k+ words in November and my own personal of write to this topic every day.

In other news, [besides the angst of rising health insurance costs (which were not a surprise but it doesn't lessen the impact) and the shock of the increased property tax bill (that was a surprise; a significant increase) and the car insurance raising the rates just because] our furnace has now stopped heating. It started acting up on Saturday. It still worked but was noisy; it heated and pushed the warmed air around. That continued Sunday and I asked a friend for a referral and got one. I called them Monday morning and they are coming Tuesday afternoon. But when I got home after my late night Monday shift, the furnace was humming quietly but no heat or fan. I reset it, the fan blew, then it stopped. No heat. At least it's not getting down into the 30s tonight; we do have a portable heater so I ran that in the bedroom to warm it a bit, then turned it off. Headed to bed now to get my side of the bed warmed while the chill is off the air. Tomorrow it will be fixed (I assume and hope). These are the facts of having a home, I know, it's just one thing. These are just a few of the little details of life which are encroaching on writing time. And I am grateful to have a home and insurance and a car and a job and a relationship and my cat which take up some of my time. Truly.

I am still confident I will make this my tenth consecutive NaNoWriMo win. I have a small retreat built in later in the month where I will catch up and get it done if I need to; or just continue to write every day on this topic if I've already passed the 50k.

Now, to bed, before all the heat leaks out of the bedroom.

Friday, November 3, 2017

NaNo Day 3

Posting this now in case I don't get back to it before midnight. Which I might not. But I am still ahead of the 1667 per day; and I did write today.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

NaNo Day 2 and a Rant

An update on my NaNoWriMo progress. It is! I am writing. I had my opening words from the midnight write-in on November 1st. After a play rehearsal the evening of November 1st, I went home and wrote a little bit more.

Today (Thu 11/2), a writer friend and I met at the Corporeal Center and had a write-in, with other writers coming to use the space and Domi greeting and conversing. I managed to write a good chunk of words while there. Then relocated and a little while later I wrote more words.

The words were kind of flowing! It was a good writing day.

I closed out the day with a total of 5556 words - which is over the average target word count of 1667 words per day (which would make day 2's target 3334). I am deliberately over because I know there will be some minimal days ahead.

One of my goals this November is to write something every day. Last year I wrote most days; this year my goal, in addition to the 50k, is to write every day. Even if I meet the 50k target ahead of time, is to continue writing every day. (Can you hear me laughing? it will be a struggle to do this year, even though I usually finish around Thanksgiving.)

No, I'm not going to post much of anything about what I'm writing. What I started at the midnight write-in is probably not the story I'm writing. It was words and I thought that would be it. But there has been a major shift. A good shift and I feel on track. But I am not going to talk much about content this year. And I'm fine with that.

* * Warning: Stop here if you don't want to read my rant! * *

Now for the rant: health insurance (with mention of car insurance and taxes).

Maybe I should just stop right there.

No, here are the details, which I know many others are experiencing, as well. I am not alone and I know that I am in a better place on this issue right now than some. Though I am in that group of people who feel the ground slipping and resources changing.

I am so disgusted. Don't even ask me because I don't believe that the "health care" talks from Washington DC would make this any better - I believe 100% that it would be even worse. Does this system need to be fixed? Yes. Is the GOP/T plan any better - oh, no, not at all.

So - my insurance rant 2017 heading into 2018.

My new health care insurance packet arrived. Look at that screen shot, no, this is not comparable. It is not comparable at all. Another $90 per month rate increase for slashing my "benefits" - which I never use because the only thing I use them for is the requisite periodic lab work due to a genetic mutation, which I pay in full, and the requisite one medication I pay for in full, which has a total cost that is below the minimum copay for rx? So I pay you for the privilege of paying everything out of pocket and I get to pay you more for it? Does this look comparable to you? I mean, yes, I knew rate hikes and slashes were coming. But. Still. 

One difference not shown is that my 2017 plan I pay $70 for office visits with my primary dr until deductible is met; and $150 per visit to a specialist. Now I will have those 2 visits per year at $50 and then 50% after deductible? What about that gap of 2 visits to deductible, if needed? In full? At, what, $300 per pop?. 

Oh - I do go to the doctor when needed : My primary care is a Naturopath and Acupuncturist; I also do chiropractic and massage (necessary for the work I do; it has kept me from repetitive motion injury) - none of that is covered by my insurance, so also paid 100% out of pocket. 

With our property tax hike, the car insurance premium hike (no accidents or anything to raise it, it just went up because they could), my health insurance premium increase - is an additional $200 per month; and I don't know what my partner's health insurance rate increase will be, yet - I'm sure there will be something, but don't have those numbers yet.

On the left my deductible and my maximum out of pockets are the same (6500/6500). On the right, my out of pocket maximum is 7350 and my deductible is 6500. Whoopee; $850 "savings."

The left column, with the exception of right now having $70 primary OV/$150 specialist OV until deductible is met, is what my 2017 plan has been.

This screen shot shows the 2018 Marketplace version (left) and the KP version (right). I have been a direct KP individual member for years. I haven't wanted to do the Marketplace because I've heard of many problems with losing rights and access to information due to being Marketplace instead of KP direct. Now, staying with the direct KP plan will cost me $14 more per month than the Marketplace version and the direct KP plan will give me worse coverage; that is reversed from how it was in the past.

I don't get it.

Especially when I don't use it and what I use is so cheap that, in the case of the medication, it is below the minimum copay for a medication.

And, what I haven't said, is that I don't like my primary care physician. I ended up with her when my longtime doctor moved away. Doctors recommended by friends and my ND are not taking new patients.

I realize it is a privilege to have resources to make the premium payments. To have the choice to use natural medicines and chiropractic as my primary care and pay out of pocket. I do work - I have a part-time job at which I have no health care insurance benefits and we are kept under that hours cap where they would have to provide insurance. I also do some freelance work, including performance interpreting and coordinating.

One thing I wonder is at what point does the amount of work I have to do to be able to afford the insurance premiums become a factor in my need for health care? And at what point will it become unaffordable and what will I do? Work more which will increase mental and emotional and physical stress which will cause more need for health care which will .... and so it goes. As of 2018, my health care insurance premiums will have gone up $260 in three years. And this includes going from a Silver plan down to a Bronze plan; I had to decrease my coverage last year because, without it, my insurance would have been almost another $100 per month, in addition to the $70 increase I had to settle for.

I am not dwelling on the cycle right now. Because this is where things are. As the costs of living go up and insurance premiums go up for no reason and even without use, it does raise the question of where is that line of working more to keep making the insurance payments, when the working more becomes a factor in decreasing the standard of living and the need for more health care to address the stress.

There is more. But this is already long enough. And some of the other things I have to say do not belong in this space.


Added note: I know my health care insurance situation is not the worst. I have been hearing stories the past couple of days from people whose situation is worse. One whose monthly premium is going up $350 just for herself. I don't know if hers includes dental and vision or what plan she's on. I don't have those; only medical. There are people going without insurance because they cannot afford the premiums. The ACA is not affordable; the alternatives proposed are far worse. I feel like I am being strangled by insurance and the mangling of health care and destruction of the environment and more. And some people have it worse than me, I know.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November? Really? Really.

It is now officially November, which means, what?
That's right! It is NaNoWriMo time again.

I am currently at the Portland International Airport, PDX, with about 50 other writers. We started gathering at 11:00 pm on October 31st and at midnight on November 1st, the ML (Municipal Liaison) said "go" and we did.

It took me a couple of minutes to get started, but I did.

The opening is a bit rambling, but that's okay. It will probably take a little while for me to kick into gear and get the flow going. Right now I'm looking to get my footing and the story on a smooth track (in a NaNoWriMo kind of way) and then I will be able to clip along at a nice pace.

I will get there.

I almost always do.

And I know this story is going to take a turn at some point and become dystopian. I can feel it. I don't know what or when or how, but it is there. I have a feeling it's just outside the door of the room and what seems kind of normal and la la la is going to start getting a bit weird.

Or magical realism/surrealism.

I reached the first 1667 words (one day's count) at 12:58 AM. Not bad. Not bad at all. It's a start.

Now to get a little more written before I go home. These first couple of weeks are going to be a little challenging with the shows in rep at Profile and NaNoWriMo and all of the regular things I do.

I've go this. Wings on my fingers and a river of words in my brain.

Back to it.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

six word stories

You may or may not be familiar with six word stories. The first of these is purported to be Hemingway's response to a challenge to write a story in six words.  His story was
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

There have been many adaptations of the form over the years. The popularity of six word stories comes and goes - memoir, humor, sad stories, mysteries, and so on. There have been other iterations such as six sentence stories, or other numbers of words or sentences; restrictions in form. There was a publication (physical and virtual) of six sentence stories; I wasn't able to find the original site in a recent search, so maybe it has gone away. I had two pieces published there, one in print and one online.

In my recent search for the six sentence story site and searching what else is available on six word stories, I discovered that there was a resurgence on Reddit around 2014 (r/sixwordstories) and people are still posting six word stories.

photo from Conversations in a Bar

The reason all of this came out is from a "spark" which happened when I went to pick up dinner. I ordered from a nearby Chinese food restaurant. They have a medium size dining room and a bar I've never been in, but the dining room is to the left of the cashier station as you come in the front door , fully visible, and the bar is to the right of the cashier station, partially visible.

The karaoke nights started as once a week there, many years ago. Back when people were still smoking in bars, because that was another thing about the bar. It is right there and you could smoke in the bar and the smoke wafted out to the small waiting area near the register and over into the non-smoking restaurant.

So, tonight, I went to pick up our food. I was waiting for the obviously regular customer in front of me to pay and leave and then it was my turn. I know he was a regular because of the banter between him and the employee, she knew his pattern and said so, and they poked each other and had a good conversation.

The restaurant side seemed to be completely empty now this guy was gone. There was another customer standing out front whose order was done just before mine; they handed her the food and she left before getting to me. Two other people came in after me and were reading through the menu on the waiting bench behind me.

So, I'm standing there paying in space between the empty restaurant and the darkened bar, I can see the colored lights on the unseen wall reflected in the mirror behind the shelves of liquor lined up in front of a mirrored wall. A midnight blue glow from the dim lighting. I sense cigarettes and cigars though I know no one is smoking inside, but the body memory of it or the actual smell of it from so many years still lingers.

And a man starts singing karaoke while I'm waiting. While the employee goes back to check on my order and I'm waiting to pay.

There is no clapping, no drunk voices joining him, no one cheering him on.

One man in the bar singing a song I don't recognize and he's not the worst karaoke singer I've ever heard and I have heard better. But the point was, I thought, this is a six word story right here.

And that's what led up to this.

And the fact that I'm ramping up my daily writing practice. I have a bit more to do to get the memoir to the point I want it to be before NaNoWriMo starts (which isn't "done" - but there is a goal and I'm almost there). So I decided to start where I am and it's here.

A six word story with some research and sharing resources about the origin of the form.

My six word story:
Singing karaoke to an empty bar.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mid-October check in

It is now October 15th.

You know what that means, right? If you know me or have followed The Writing Vein for, well, since its inception, you know what comes after October, right? And I'm not talking just November.

It is NaNovember!

Yes. Halfway through October means that NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. I will, again, be participating in the writing marathon with the goal of writing (at least) 50,000 words beginning at midnight:01 AM on November 1st and submitting said 50k+ words by 11:59 PM on November 30th.

Up until a few days ago I had no idea what I was going to write about. But I wasn't fussed by that; I am a Pantser. Sometimes I go into NaNo with nada. Oftentimes I have a title. One year I went into it with a set of characters and a starting place. But every year I have a great time and I get a ton of writing done. A few days ago a photograph inspired me and while I was talking to someone, a thought occurred - That would be my NaNo start, and my NaNoBook cover.

This year, assuming I am a winner - which I do assume I will be - it will be consecutive win #10. Go, me!

I set myself a goal of getting the next memoir draft done, with everything revised/rewritten up to my current standards. That didn't happen and I new as we hit October that I wasn't going to make it, if I wanted to keep sleep and sanity and health intact Which I do. So I revised my goal and this I will make. I am not there yet, but I do have 16 days. *smile*

My new goal is to have all of the "gaps" written and have duplication weeded out of the draft. That I can do. It will be a bit of a push (the weeded out part), but it's just enough of a push to keep me going and not too much that I develop inertia.

I also accomplished a big personal task today and that feels really good. A task which needed to be done anyway, but I just realized it is also a critical one before NaNoWriMo hits. And I did it.

Now to sleep so I can get a little bit of writing in tomorrow before I go to work.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Question: Break or No Break

... and why!

What do you think about authors taking a break after completing a draft before moving to the next step for that project? Should they do it or not? Why or why not?

Do you?

Or maybe you take a break after a chapter or two. Or after a certain number of pages or words.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


I made a commitment to myself for completion of this draft. Then I thought maybe I would complete it earlier due to vacation. Which didn't happen and I'm working with that being okay, because I was on vacation. And it's okay to have non-productive times (at least that's what I've been told *smile*).

Now I'm looking at my deadline coming on fast and I wonder how I will ever make it.

I'm not sure how, but I will try. I want this draft done before November because I want to work on something else in November (NaNoWriMo).

I've made significant progress in the past several month - but I have much to do. Sometimes I'm excited by the prospect of everything I have to do and sometimes I feel so overwhelmed that I think I should just give up..

Don't tell me I need to consider that option; I really don't want it except in the moments where I wonder how I will ever get ahead and get it published.

I will.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


photo from FineArtAmerica
Thinking about pace today.

I just returned to work after three weeks off.

The first weekend was spent in a writing workshop. Three days at the Oregon Gardens Resort with the fantabulous Lidia Yuknavitch and Domi Shoemaker and all of the incredible Corporeal Writing participants willing to dive into Eros, Heat, Summer writing, reading, being present. This was a wonderful experience, again. The best way to start an elongated time off work.

Then I spent two plus weeks traveling to, from, and being in Taos, NM. Part of my heart is there, pieces of soul connect. I don't know if I could live there full-time and yet a few days away and I'm tugged back. Maybe. I don't know. But that doesn't matter.

What matters is that this is the first time in a long time that I let down, over a period of time. There were little calls back to my other-day life: a little bit of theatrical interpreting, and I was (still am) participating in an online manuscript workshop. Those were all fine. I successfully avoided most work emails. It was an unproductive time, which in this case, is good. Really good.

Then I noticed, back here at work, pace.

It hasn't been a super fast pace most of the day (t was a little, for a while). But I hadn't realized how much I had taken in the Taos pace. I know there is one. But, wow, I really did fall into that pattern.

I could like it.

At least for a while.

Noticing the difference. And maybe I need more of that more often.


Pace. and Space. and Sky.

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)

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

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.


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

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.]

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!

Monday, May 22, 2017

I'm Excited to Jump into Editing

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.


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!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hey, It's Me!

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.


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!

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.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tale About a Keyboard

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

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.