Friday, December 20, 2019

New Essay Published at Literary Kitchen

Published at Literary Kitchen on 12/19/19


A new essay by Dot Hearn

I sit on the convertible futon in its couch position, feet up on the hand carved teak wood box which doubles as a coffee table and storage space for the things which would otherwise clutter up the living room. I’ve already retrieved the binoculars from the box and they sit beside me in anticipation. My cup of sweet Earl Gray tea is within reach.
The ocean is dark blue today, no serious waves until the water .....
Click on through to read the full braided essay, "On the Verge."


Thursday, November 28, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019 is (almost) a wrap

On Tuesday, November 26th, I crossed the 50,000 words written in 30 days mark. It was my regular writing time with a friend. I posted here that I was nearing the finish line; and I continued to write.

With one minute to go before I had to leave our location to go to work, I did it! I had written 50,017 words. I didn't have time to update my count because I had to drive to work.

Yesterday I did write more, and today I wrote more. Because my secondary goal was to write every day in November and it looks like I will make that one, too. I have never made it all 30 days in NaNoWriMo and I wanted to give that a shot, too. My current word count is 52,312.

Two more days of NaNoWriMo 2019 and this one will be done, too.

My writing this year was - again - in the "rebel" category. I did start a novel and I like the novel I started. I like the ideas of the novel and I want to develop it more and see where it goes; it could become an actual book! Or at least a full length short story (although if I do that, there is an element of it I would need to simplify or eliminate one thread). The rest of my writing, probably one-third of it, was for the Personal Essay Intensive online workshop with Ariel Gore. That was a great workshop and I finished (maybe - we'll see what I think after I reread it again) an essay I want to submit to a specific place for publication.

Another successful NaNoWriMo!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Nearing the Finish Line

As the end of November is quickly approaching, so am I approaching the 50k words written in November mark. As of the beginning of my Tuesday writing time, I am at 48,532 words. Very close. Very, very close.

I might wrap up the 50k today - if I can find a quick rhythm before I have to go to work. Or maybe it will be tomorrow -- after I get the rest of the root canal done and after my ND/acupuncture appointment.

I am also on track for my second goal of the month, which is to write every day for the 30 days. I have written something every day - 25 days and still counting. The trick will be to keep up the daily writing after the 50k. If I can write every day this month, I think it will be the first NaNoWriMo where I have written every day. Last year I think I only missed one.

It has been an excellent writing month!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

NaNoWriMo is Happening!

This has been a up and down NaNoWriMo so far. But I have written every day - which is awesome! I have been a little behind and growing more and more behind every day. I wasn't upset because I knew I had this writing retreat coming up, which is where I am right now.

The plan was to be over here early afternoon yesterday. But my mouth had other plans, which included an emergency trip to my dentist, where I was told that I had a dead or dying root and that's where the pain was coming from. And that I needed to see a specialist and probably needed a root canal. (It was pretty bad. If you know me in real life, you know that I tend to have a higher pain tolerance; I've been told that's because I'm a redhead.) I told them that I was supposed to be going out of town that day and was going to be gone for almost a week. They were very kind and helpful and found someone who could get me in yesterday afternoon. There is more to the story - but enough for here is that I had the appointment, she confirmed the need for a root canal, a bunch of the work is done but I need to go back to get it finished up, which can be done after the retreat is done.

So we headed out about seven hours after we planned, but we arrived. We are tucked into this lovely quaint Oregon coast cabin until next Thursday. We went to New Seasons and Trader Joe's and we have food (and alcohol and other fun things) and we don't plan to leave until we head home on Thursday and back to work. Except we might, weather depending, go down to the beach. (We are in a place where the cabin is up on a hillside, so "go down to the beach" includes actually going down the hill.)

Today I wrote a lot and made good progress on both my NaNoWriMo novel and on an assignment in the online workshop I am participating in. Good work all around! I am not done writing for the day. This day will be done before I am done writing. Which is "all good" as the saying goes.

Below is my current word count graphs, and you can see the ups and downs, now moving closer to on target. My estimate is that I will be at goal tomorrow and then keep going. I can' really predict how far I will get on this trip. But with very little to do except writing, hopefully it will be a lot of words on the page.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

NaNoWriMo Update from Day 8/9

I took a few hours tonight (Friday night) to attend three Lit Crawl events. Readings at one of my two creative heart centers: Corporeal Writing in downtown Portland. They were the site for three strong groups of writers - a conversation, and two readings. It is good for me to get out and just listen to other people reading their powerful writing.

I also changed the sheets on the bed today. Which the cat thanked me for and I was barely out of the room and he had climbed up and plopped right down in the middle, fast asleep - or so he pretended - when I returned a couple of minutes later.

And I slept in today. A luxury I haven't had for over a month. That was nice, too.

Then I finished the end of this story I'm working on, which I need for a writing workshop on Sunday. No surprise, characters from my NaNoNovel showed up, so that is also part of my NaNo word count. Thankfully.

With the rewrites and the other writing I did today, i passed the 10k mark. Hooray! I still have another 3200 or so words to go to get caught up. Which I won't do today (now Saturday) - probably not do today. Or maybe I will if I get that inspired. Who knows what I may be able to do after another good night's sleep! Which is where I'm headed now, with 11,946 words under my belt.

Hooray for writing!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019 update

I have managed to write a little bit each day. I am behind in my word count - which is not all that surprising. But this year I do have a writing retreat planned, so I am not concerned about being behind. I have a few days away to catch up and get ahead coming soon.

I also have a workshop this weekend, to which I am supposed to take a piece of writing to share and work with. Yikes! I did manage to write something today - which is a piece from my NaNoNovel. It needs a little more, which I plan to do tomorrow while I'm spending half a day in Gresham, waiting for a car repair to be done. Nothing like being trapped at the car dealers in the suburbs to make writing happen (I hope!). I am finally getting that defective air bag situation taken care of.

But, as of right now, this is what my stats look like. Sitting at 7460 words; the target for today is, yikes!, 10000. I am a little further behind than I realized. Oh well; I will get right on that tomorrow.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

NaNoWriMo Day Two

Hard to get into the writing habit. But I did write today. It was not a zero day. Too early for that.

Then wrote another 950 words after I got home. I mean, what else should I do with that extra hour?! I thought I would get more written, but I am tired. I will get more written before I go to work tomorrow (later today, I mean).

I like what I am developing. It is very rough, but it has potential. I look forward to seeing where my NaNoWriMo 2019 writing will take me.

Friday, November 1, 2019

NaNoWriMo Day One

What an amazing day it was!

On October 31st I had the absolute pleasure of interpreting Tina Packer's "Women of Will" at Portland Playhouse. It truly is part Masters class and part performance. Tina Packer wrote a book, of the same name (also available as an audiobook, read by Tina herself), and then turned it into a play. The entire work is 12 1/2 hours long. Then there is also this overview version, which is about 2 1/2 hours and includes scenes from a dozen of Shakespeare's plays. Her work follows the feminine in Shakespeare's plays, along the continuum of the canon; exploring five phases of his work by examining the female characters. She and co-actor, Nigel Gore, are knowledgeable and talented and offer many insights, and entertainment.

Following the play, I changed into my regular non-working clothes and, along with my interpreting teammate and fellow writer, headed to Starbucks, then the Portland airport.

To the airport to write after interpreting a play?

Yes, indeed. Vancouver and Portland NaNo groups hold a midnight write-in to kick off the current year's NaNoWriMo. (Not to be confused with the kick-off party, which was a couple of weeks ago.)

As of the end of our time there, my current word count is 2,183. And I still have most of November first to write! For now, some sleep. Then later on, after I've rested and am ready, I will write more.

I have a title. I have the start of a plot.

And are we surprised that it is coming out a little dystopian? And probably will become even more so? No, I am not surprised. I don't know where it's heading, but it is off to a good start.

I present to you my NaNoWriMo 2019 project, "Life in the Cracks."

Monday, October 28, 2019

Counting Down to . . .

The time is almost here. I am counting down to NaNoWriMo 2019. On Thursday November 1st, after interpreting a play called, "The Women Of Will" with Tina Packer, I will be among the writers gathered at PDX to start our 2019 50k+ novels. At midnight, as the MLs (municipal liaisons) count down to that magic time, midnight, and we all begin writing.

Let the month of writing freely and as a priority begin! Soon, anyway, not just yet.


Do I know what I will be writing? No.
Do I have a germ of an idea of storyline or plot? Maybe. Just a tiny speck.
How many NaNos will this be? This is my 12th consecutive year of NaNoWriting!
How many have I been a "winner" (written over 50k words Nov 1-30)?  This will be - hopefully - number 12.
Will it be fun? Yes.
Will I love what I write? Don't know. At least I (probably) won't hate it!
Am I taking a writing retreat this year? Oh yes! Absolutely! Missed it last year.

I have set up my 2019 author page on the NaNoWriMo website. I have joined the PDX NaNo Discord. Have joined the NaNo Reddit.

Have my Halloween all planned. From Shakespeare interpreting to transition to my author self and off to the airport with a friend & writing buddy. And ready to hit the keyboard! Maybe I'll spend this week's Tuesday writing date brainstorming the speck of an idea and see if more comes out. No writing the actual novel until November 1st; but I can take some notes and brainstorm.

In case you're curious, this calendar shows the target word count for each day of the month. Wow! Look at those numbers.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

One month later

I've been back home just over a month now, from the road trip down through California, across Arizona into New Mexico and up to Taos, then back home through Utah, Idaho, Oregon.

It feels much longer than a month. I worked as many extra hours as I could to make up some of the time (meaning money) that I didn't earn during those lovely two weeks away. I also had an event I was involved with which took time, and more time, and additional time. A lovely annual event I love; but it still required more attention than the original agreement, which was fine, it was important. And my partner had, apparently, a burst blood vessel in her eye, which turns out is actually a common occurrence and no big deal - and with arnica and compresses and extra thick eye drops healed itself quickly, faster than predicted and well ahead of her upcoming trip to Italy to teach art; but we didn't know what it was when it happened and it was a late night trip to urgent care, arriving about 20 minutes before they closed but, luckily, she was the only patient. And there was a minor car accident (not her fault, but we're still waiting for the insurance company's determination on that - the other driver blamed her) - an accident is pretty much always a pain in the butt but the car is repairable and drive-able.

I didn't realize until I was writing this: it has been only one month.

One month. One full month. Not bad and I am not complaining. But I remember on the last leg of the trip, driving home through the Columbia Gorge, I was thinking and then said - I don't want to lose the good things from this trip. I don't want to forget the slowing of time in a good way and the being able to relax and just be present some of the time. I don't want to forget that life exists in a realm where there is time and space and air to breath.

One month.

Have I forgotten already? Not quite. Not entirely. There has been a lot of good happening, as well. In the theater side of my life, there are two new places I am working with and am excited about. I am excited by many of the theatrical productions I get to work on and see this season - there are a lot of really strong plays and casts. It is a power filled season. I have a short fiction piece coming out in an anthology sometime soon; I will share the details as soon as the release date, title & cover are available. I have my November (NaNoWriMo) writing retreat planned [I didn't get the residency I applied for and it really is okay; the coast retreat is later that month will be spectacular in a place I love and it is half the distance away, so, more time for writing!].

I have not forgotten. But it was receding to the background. Until now.

I remember.

Time and space and air to breath. It is within me. It is around me. I will remember to take time, too, even when obligations require more time in the moment. In my overall life, there is time, space, air, breath.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Inspiration and Rejuvenation

We traveled through eight states in thirteen days, we looked at art and met up with family and friends. We had six days in a row where we could wake up on our own schedule, no alarms. We took in the sky. So much sky and light and, for a while, time. What seemed like so much time when we arrived at the second part of our trip, Taos NM, became so little time left and so much to do. It all worked out and isn't that often the way with a trip? At the beginning the time stretches into a far away horizon, but at the end it seems not much was actually accomplished and so much might be missed.

Wait. Rewrite that narrative. One goal of this trip was rest, relax, rejuvenate.



It was a success.

We also had some wonderful discussions, saw beautiful art. And the sky! Did I mention the sky? Here, let me show you.

Creative inspiration in the form of an expanse of blue, clouds, openness.

Monday, July 22, 2019



I don't have many words to go with this photo.
It happened.
I took it.

The first shot of the sunset reflected in the windshield was an accident, the second, too; that was not my focus. But the third one, the one I took after this one, was too arranged and too much trying to be perfect. While this one, the second accidental photo, captured the moment of slightly off center and slightly out of balance and the lights colors lines draw the eye toward a point of vision, distance, insight.

If I had to describe my writing - it is this.

This photo.

No more words right this moment - just look - see it. 

Feel it.

A coming together. A deepening.

Friday, June 28, 2019

New Moon and Solstice Intents

writing      words    
inhabiting cultivated shared power,
community built on trust and positive relationships,
deflecting negative projections

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Water Retreat (Whidbey Island)

I recently spent a few days up on Whidbey Island. Time off for me, except for driving S to and from teaching a four-day cold wax class at Pacific Northwest Art School.  I want to say that I spent all five days writing; I didn't. I want to say that I spent all five days working on three in-process projects and completed them all; I didn't. (I did complete one and started an important report.) Or maybe I want to say that I took time out and just relaxed all five days; I didn't. What I did do was take some time to relax, I even took naps a couple of time (which I truly never do, unless I'm sick, and usually not even then); I did get nearly done with a work project, which is now completed and I am sending it out today.

In my writing world - it is still happening. New writing is slow. Still working on revisions of the book - by which I mean I am still putting the hand edits into the electronic manuscript, which is (as I knew it would) resulting in more edits and rewrites as I go. I am also currently working with authors on content edits of their stories for an anthology, which should be out in the fall. The first group of editors read through all submissions and make selections for what will be in the book. Then those stories were handed to the content editors, of which I am one. This is an exciting opportunity, to work with the authors to strengthen and tighten if needed, to make sure that each piece fits well with the book's theme and style, while keeping the integrity of the author's original voice. When we're done, the stories will go to the layout and format team for putting together the structure of the book. Watch for an announcement about that book in probably late fall.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Putting a Little Air Back in the Blog Tire

I still don't know what I want to do with the renewal of this domain, with what is now primarily a blog with its own name. I know I don't want to let it go but what that looks like, I'm not sure.

So I am now trying to post here once a month. To not let it die. To pump it up just a little. Keep it moving forward.

I am writing more essays and stories, more nonfiction pieces and dystopian.

The .:LOOP:. reading went really well. I did have a small technical glitch, which I think I figured out four days later during my therapy while I wasn't talking about it. It still went really well. There was one piece of my multimedia reading which failed. But if one part was to fail, it was the best one to not make its appearance. The sound. I wish it would have all been there, but the other pieces, my words, my reading, my visual handmade "word container" the short movie I made - all worked beautifully and those were the most important parts. One tech failure leaves me with something more to work on and improve for the next time. And there will be a next time. And next time I will made a checklist, no matter how small, to make sure that everything is as it should be in terms of the technology. Really. I am not upset about it.

It is the second week of another online writing workshop and I am writing this when I should be wrapping up the finishing touches of my week two assignment. Which I will return to now. I have procrastinated long enough and time is short. (Time is up, really, since it is after 3 AM and I do have to work "tomorrow" which is later today.)

Writing is happening. And submissions. I submitted one piece after work tonight and am working on two pieces (only one of which will be published) in an anthology.
Performance interpreting is happening. And performance interpreting education and coordination is happening (a lot).
Regular interpreting work is happening, too.

And life. Life goes on.
Life is good.
Life has had a few (externally caused internal) bumps recently. But life is (still) good.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Author Bio

I am not a fan of writing bios for myself. Be it for interpreting or writing or theater, I just don't like it. I feel awkward and don't know what to say.

I have developed various length bios over the last few years, for different needs. Which I update and adjust as needed. Once in a while I need something totally new.

The totally new need came about a couple of weeks ago, in preparation for the writing retreat reading and the AWP offsite event reading. I have a short version bio I actually like right now - and it has an even shorter version that is fun, too.

The reading, .:LOOP:., at Corporeal Center on 4-20-19 needed a bio and a pic. I don't have my official "author photo" yet, but I have a couple I've been using that are okay. Tonight I received this multimedia bio from Domi Shoemaker, writer-captain-mammal-extraordinaire. They have the golden creative touch; truly.

Here it is, my bio for .:LOOP:. on 4.20.19.  (If you missed the post about this new quarterly writing series, go back one post for more information. It is going to be one of the highlights of my year. Now I have to get back to editing what I am going to read and working on the multimedia bits.)

Monday, April 8, 2019

.:LOOP:. new Corporeal Writing Event

Corporeal Writing is starting a new reading series this month:

.:LOOP:. A Corporeal Writing Jag
04.20.2019     5 - 8 pm

This will be organized by the Domi Shoemaker, who previously ran Burnt Tongue for an extremely successful six years. And they are lovingly called Captain Corporeal, among other things, and the managing master of the ship called Corporeal Writing.

I am honored and excited to be on the lineup for the first reading, alongside some powerhouse writers. I know at least a few of these will be multimedia pieces - including mine.

Save the date if you can and I will see you there!

Sunday, March 31, 2019


My first AWP is a wrap. I'm too exhausted - and still smiling - to write more. But I will. Later. For now - the first photo is officially day one, when we picked up our badges (thank you, Kassie, for suggesting we get our badges and bags Wednesday night), (the schedule columns are 75 minute time slots; the rows are all of the options - approximately 25 options per time slot; those standing schedules are about 6 1/2 fee tall);  the second photo is the Moscow Mules following the final event of my first AWP, the Corporeal Happy Hour. I have pages of notes, some flyers and books, and all of that will be revisited later.

At this moment, as I head to bed, two pieces of advice for first-time AWP attendees? Make sure you're rested heading into the conference. I had a writing retreat with some other Wayward Writers on the Washington coast for a few days heading into the conference - that was perfect. My second piece of advice is to take a friend. Listen to everyone else's suggestions (pace yourself, drink water, rest, eat protein, take breaks if you need to, etc) -- and go with a buddy. The buddy system worked really well. I am still exhausted, but also still smiling.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Two Readings Next Week

Work and Writing have been filled to the brim and overflowing, in delicious ways. So, even though I have fallen embarrassingly behind in sharing words here, they have been happening:
- I am in the final days of Magical Writing, an online writing workshop in the Literary Kitchen with Ariel Gore ;
- I completed the handwritten edits on the book and am entering them into Scrivener. Which is, not surprisingly, creating more edits;
- I have two readings happening next week. One is an official AWP Conference offsite reading at Jade Lounge (the black and white flyer), and the other is in Astoria next Monday (second flyer below):
- I am working on a multimedia piece for a reading tentatively scheduled in April, and I will post an update when details are confirmed;
- I have also been very busy with theater - interpreting, supporting other interpreters, we are in the last days of the "As on the Stage" training, and attending theater (last week I interpreted one and watched three other plays in three days - one of those was ACT's "Romeo & Juliet" in Seattle, which included two Deaf actors in the cast and the ASL-English/English-ASL was integrated into the production).

Now I must go work on feedback for the online workshop and work on my final piece of writing to submit.

Here is the flyer for the out of town reading next week. If you're in Astoria or want to take a drive to the coast, here is where we will be reading. This one is not at all related to the AWP Conference, although many of us from this writing retreat will also be attending AWP.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

AWP Offsite Reading with Wayward Writers

I will be reading at this AWP offsite event with a group of other Wayward Writers: Thursday, March 28th at 7:00 - 8:30 pm; with drinks and conversation to follow until 10 pm. Thank you to Jenny Forrester for making this all happen. Thank you, Ariel Gore, for building this community and being our guide and partner in our creative journeys.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

And ... I'm Back

I transferred my domain to a new company and experienced an outage for a short time. It was not the
fault of the new company. After a few frustrating days of this website being down and researching potential problems, the new company asked me a question which led me to the answer. Apparently the previous company did something which, once the domain was transferred, the DNS was not being read.

I tried to contact the original company via phone, but the wait time was longer than the time I had available. Later, after work (meaning at 2AM), I was going to try again and discovered that they had a 24-hour online chat available, so I decided to do that, so I could attend to a couple of other things during the inevitable wait.

The wait. Yes. at 2AM I was #164 in the queue (no exaggeration) and the wait was estimated to be at least 58 minutes. At 2AM.


I gave up, disconnected, and went to bed.

As happens from time to time, a potential solution came to me while I slept. Combined with the information from the new company - which I was able to contact via email (go figure! a tech company I can correspond with via email) - I remembered that there was a workaround on this website a few years ago when the original domain company made a change in their process.

Armed with the while-I-slept insight and the new company information, I found some articles online and I was able to repair this website and get it up and running.

So what does this have to do with writing? Well, authors are expected to have websites and this is the one I have right now. We often have to depend on others for hosting and domains and design and so on. But it can also be useful to have some basic knowledge to be able to do it ourselves. And enough knowledge to know when we can't and we need the help of people more knowledgeable.

It also has to do with selling books, because until today, this was the only place my book was available for sale. Unless we happened to be in the same place at the same time, and I happened to have some books with me (which I almost always do - just in case).

As of today, my book, Pickle Blanket Chronicles: A Flash Mixtape, is also available at Literary Kitchen online. Thank you to Ariel Gore and the Lit Kit Collective, my book can be purchased through that website, too.

Website up and running again? Check.
Book available for sale? Check.

Other current happenings:
- the POC interpreter performance interpreting workshop is going well. We had our last in-person all group meeting last week. I am currently working with two participants on one show and one participant on a different show. We will begin the process of the final project in a few weeks (a group of them will interpret "Crowns," with additional mentoring from an experienced POC performance interpreter and theatre person).
- I am in a Write Now workshop/collab with Lidia Yuknavitch and Domi Shoemaker; we are in the final week right now. This is a process created by Lidia this time around, called Narrative Palimpsest and I love it. It is a wonderful group of writers and we are creating new writing with this new process. I can't wait to see how they develop and grow.
- I am still editing the memoir. I believe I am nearing the end of the hand edits - then the giant task of getting all of that into the computer (along with the inevitable edits and rewrites which will result from that process).
- I am signed up as a participant in an author reading during the AWP conference, in an offsite event. I am nervous (always) and excited. I don't know what I will read, yet - but I have plenty of time to decide.
- and more. But that's enough for now.

Thank you for reading.

If you're curious what's happening in my performance interpreting world, here is one resource where I post upcoming shows and information related to those plays. I also sometimes post information for other interpreted or signed performances, as well: Performing Arts Interpreting Alliance Facebook page.

If you are looking for a new domain company, check out Porkbun!

Friday, January 4, 2019

A New Year Without Resolutions

Yes, it is a new year : 2019.

Seasonal/solstice dinner with friends.
A night of good food, laughter,
drinks, and game-playing.
Nope, I did not set any New Year resolutions. Nope, I won't.

I do have a few things I'm working on in my life, like not getting triggered by aggressive personalities (had a "learning opportunity" setback on that one recently), and making choices based from my inside to looking out rather than the other way around. There are some other shifts in my writing, my writing practice and writing goals and inspiration.

But these are changes based on personal development, focus, and over time.

I am totally fine with not setting New Year's resolutions which have a high chance of failure. Instead, I have steady development and growth in areas which are already showing results and improving quality of life. I understand people who like to set goals and have a traceable starting point and maybe a community of newness and hope in starting to develop new habits with the incoming new year. It's just not for me.

My writing has moved to a new level and this feels like a permanent shift; one which may stick around this time. This week I made some major edits on the long-running book project and I can see that light at the end of this particular tunnel (handwritten edits); there is a long and tedious tunnel right after this where the edits go into the computer document (which I am confident will result in more edits). Giant strides forward happened this week and I have just another inch or inch and a half of printed pages to go. It has seemed very daunting, looking at hundreds and hundreds of printed pages, going over every word, and multiple times, for content and style edits, with an aim of consistency and congruency.

I also had a breakthrough this week in structure; I have an idea of how I can weave some sections together and perhaps spackle in a few gaps in the timeline in a way that will work.

It is exciting and not overwhelming.

It is also 2019 and this one really did come on fast. Another saying I've grown tired of and rolled my eyes at ("time has flown" or "I can't believe it's already _____") which is Now Actually True. Year 2018 feels like a blink.

Whatever your personal perspective on to resolution or not resolution, I hope that your holiday season brought you some peace and joy and that the New Year was ushered in with ease and friendly companionship (or whatever brings you contentment).