Friday, April 10, 2020

The Story on the Wall

Thanks to Mead Hunter, who first shared this in a place where I saw it. A wonderful short story.

The photos I had posted were removed.
I stated clearly this was not my work.
I'm not sure what happened - I received no communication before the photos disappeared.

But I will still link to the page, because it is fabulous!

by Mobstr

Click on over to see the whole story.















Saturday, March 21, 2020

Melting Calendars and Flattening the Curve




We've just been given the warning that we are on the brink of a "stay home" order from the Governor and the Mayor and the County Chair. We are currently under a "strict social distancing" order and that was upgraded earlier today (Friday, March 20, 2020), with the details to be released next Monday.

My body has many words inside, my head and hands haven't yet found the words to move them onto the page - virtual and paper, or in the form of pictures. Hybrids.

Every day, several times every day, the news changes.

We are so far into this pandemic now that I check not only the date of an article or an announcement, but also the time. Something which was written or announced two days ago is old news. If it was yesterday, there is probably an update, but there may or may not be major changes. Then double check that, even if it was earlier today, there is not something new.

Early on Friday I received what I am jokingly calling my "hall pass." Jokingly because this is all very real and it also feel unreal. Surreal. My "hall pass" is an official government paper from my work, which in the case of a curfew or actual "shelter in place"/lock down, identifies me as essential emergency personnel so that I can drive to work when we're supposed to be staying home. I have my official document and my work badge and it allows me to be on the streets and not be arrested or get a ticket. Surreal.

My very full calendar of theater and meetings about theater has emptied, leaving my my "essential emergency personnel" work and a few reminders. Even my provider appointments were cancelled or rescheduled, one person is doing phone or video calls. I had three shows and one event cancel in two days - and just realized that was only one very long week ago. Shows dropping off one by one - some I was scheduled to interpret, some I was coordinating, some I was consulting. A few more went away this week. There are three or four which have not yet cancelled but I expect they will - or be postponed. One show I was involved with is postponed until next fall; another show I was going to watch (not work) is postponed indefinitely. Theater is one of my passions and my fuel and a creative outlet - now gone.

So when Ariel Gore posted that she was doing a Social Isolation Writing Intensive online, I signed up. I'd just lost a bunch of work and, although my calendar has opened up, the financial hit won't start until 30 - 45 days. So I did it. I clicked register and paid. And I'm writing.

And wondering what the next day or the next few hours will bring.

I am not in a panic. I am aware. I am keeping anxiety at bay. I don't know how long this minimization of activity will last and when or how we will return to normal; and I am completely aware that "normal" is relative and life will be different - but I don't know how.

A time of upheaval. Changes many of us didn't predict or couldn't predict, but it's here. Now. Not some dystopian future. Now.

Wait. Listen. Be Aware.

In the words of the Oregon Governor, "stay home and stay well and save lives."

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Check in - writing is happening


Checking in, again.

Again, I could write that I'm busy. I am. I am busy a lot.

Am I still writing? Yes.

Have I made any progress on the WIP? No. But I have written a lot, several times every week; not every day. All of that is okay.

I still don't know what I want this space to be. What to write. What it's for.

I don't want to let it go but I don't have a clear path. Which is funny, because this is pretty much the topic I'm working on in my general life (what do I want? where do I go from here? and so on). This is also - in a way - the topic of the current writing workshop I'm in, "Experiments in Story Structure" with Ariel Gore. We are exploring non-traditional forms of writing stories, which aren't really non-traditional, but they have new names and are described in new ways; but many of the examples are from what have been considered "traditional" stories.

I am still writing.
I will continue to write.
I am still working (of course) and I am fortunate to have a part of my work be creative and inspiring and something I love (theatre).
I am in need of some down time (note to body: no, I do not need to get sick to get down time; I will make time without it - please and thank you).

I have been doing a lot of writing, actually. The most recent workshops I've done were the 14-day winter intensive with Ariel Gore, and then the current workshop (also online) started about 4 days after the end of the intensive. So - writing. Yes. Keeping it on the "front burner." I also like a lot of what I've written.

This week I have a couple of uncommitted days, where I have a little space to breathe before jumping into March. Which is going to be one of the super busy and super creative months - starting with interpreting the Oregon Poetry Out Loud (high school recitation) competition, and the month includes mentoring for one play and watching a couple of other interpreted performances that my only role is as coordinator. Full, busy, creative month.

I am wondering about this space - what do I want it to be? Not for the first time. I liked the times when I posted prompts, when I shared more resources, shared articles and advice from others. I may bring some of that back. Maybe have some regularly scheduled writings to post.

Time to go back and look at my original intentions and see what still holds and what has changed.

*

Thursday, January 16, 2020

New Fiction Story Published

*
My copies of the anthology, "places like home," arrived yesterday. I am excited and honored to have a new short story, "the day jimmy changed," included in this beautiful book. I am thrilled to be sharing the printed pages with this collection of other skillful writers, some of whom I have written with in the room in person; some of them I have shared virtual classes with. 

Ariel Gore is, herself, a talented and creative writer. She is also a fantastic workshop/class facilitator, mentor, editor, creative human. All of the stories in this book, be they in the form of fiction, memoir, or poetry, sprang from prompts in classes, or from her Saturday writing prompts (available for a $5 per month subscription).

I also was delighted to be an editor for one of the chapters. This gave me the opportunity to work closely with some of the other writers and their creative visions.

This is a beautiful book and it is available at LiteraryKitchen.net. This link takes you directly to the book's page on the website; but I encourage you to look around at what else is there.



"Ariel Gore’s School for Wayward Writers is a network, a community, a secret society of writers and art-makers. We are beginners. We’ve been at this for decades. We are bestselling authors. We’re recluses who only create for ourselves and each other. We are MFA professors, sex workers, high school dropouts, administrative assistants—and sometimes all of the above. We are witches and witch-adjacent. We are teenagers and grandmothers. We are feminists and anti-racists of all genders. We live in Eureka and Melbourne, in Seattle and Brooklyn, in Melbourne and Cairo. We gather online in The Literary Kitchen. We meet in person in Portland or Astoria; in Longview or Oaxaca; in Santa Fe or Truth or Consequences. We tell the truth. We face the consequences. We lie sometimes, too."
—from the introduction
*

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Year/New Decade



Short and sweet, because I don't make New Year Resolutions. But it is the beginning of not only a new year, but a new decade, so I want to start it on a good note.

The year 2019 was a challenging year in several ways. It was a wonderful year in many ways. Lessons learned, friendships strengthened, writing skill and production increased, theatrical life blossoming and taking off in exciting new directions. Life is good and it is a new year.

I will remember the goodness of 2019 and I will remember the lessons and move forward.

I started 2020 today with writing. That felt really good. I did good work and I wrapped up feedback from a wonderful two week writing intensive workshop with Ariel Gore in the Literary Kitchen. Starting the year with an intention of writing more and completing more writing projects.

I look forward to the new of the decade, the new of the year.

New year, new decade, refreshed creative soul.