Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring

Hello there, my dearies!

I hope, wherever you are, that your winter is slowly departing and making way for boatloads of green.  Seattle is definitely in bloom, as these quick pics will profess:

Spring Snowflake

Grape Hyacinth


Plum Blossom


Salmon Berry Blossom


Ginormous Cherry Tree! (That's one of my favorite trees in town.) 

Besides beautiful flowers, I've also been able to hang with some lovely ladies. Darian, Lola, and I took a quick jaunt to Bellingham, WA to lunch and chat with Kathryn Cottam, Roberta Cottam, and K.M. Tremills. These Canadian ladies are the real deal: kind and creative spirits who are rockin' out creating gorgeous books. It was wonderful to spend some time with them again.


I also got to say hello to a couple former students who attend college at Western Washington University.


After this silliness, they stole my phone and took about a dozen selfies while I wasn't looking. Their punishment is that I publish one of those photos here! HA! (Seriously, though, I love them both so much.)


Then, just last week I flew to Colorado to help plan for this year's Sirens Conference (incidentally where I met the writer ladies above). If you're curious, I've written about Sirens here and here. During this trip we got to tour the facilities for 2015 at the Inverness Hotel in Denver:



Plenty of sunlight and cozy seating. 




It was great to be there and look ahead to October, but it was also good to come home to Washington and be with my family. My little one has been sick, so there are plenty of Mama-duties at the moment, not to mention all the agent research I want to accomplish as swiftly as possible. Oh, and there also might be a new writing project brewing already. (!) 

I can't seem to let myself rest for long. There are too many stories that need telling.


Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you all are well. I'd always love to hear from you in the comments or in a personal message. The internet can feel like a strange, lopsided place to me. =p

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rain Must Fall


One of the settings from my current project RAIN MUST FALL. Made for me by talented brother, Chris Bishop. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

California Dreaming

Although I was born in San Francisco, six weeks later my parents moved back to Florida. Miami was home for eighteen years, then Massachusetts, then New York, and now Washington state, where I hope I'll be for a good long time.

I used to joke that since I've lived in three corners of the US, I'd likely retire to California. It was a joke because I didn't believe it. I visited California a couple of times, but I never quite understood the allure. San Diego was nice, but the parts I saw were touristy. San Francisco was okay, but it seemed so dense, expensive, and hip. Warm weather? Big deal. Ocean? Whatever. The Pacific is c-c-cold. I've still never been to LA. Huh.

But now I get California. Holy smokes, do I get it.



I just spent nearly a week with a few of my favorite writer-people basking in the sun and greenery of Marin County, just north of SF, and I don't think I'll ever be the same.



I had no idea that such a stunning landscape of grassy hills, groves of oak and redwood, wide marshlands, and windswept cliffs would be our playground.



I was amazed by how remote and wild the area felt, given how close it is to a major metropolitan area.



Here's hoping it can stay that way for a long, long time.


Can you spot the two coyote in that last picture? We also saw a peregrine falcon, plenty of turkey vultures, hawks, lizards, deer, elk, and a few bellowing elephant seals! I mean... is this place even real? It IS! I was there! I still have a vague tan to prove it!



Since my return, I've been reading a bit on Terri Windling-Gayton's blog about how magic and nature are bound to one another. I've always felt, as David Abram suggests, that my perceptions and awareness are altered by spending time outside. There's no question for me that certain landscapes evoke a deep peace or even a bright need to create. Marin is MAGIC.





Course, people are magic too. After spending an extended time with these marvelous women, I feel alive in a different way than when I'm muddling through the daily business of my life.


Right now I just want to sit around and think up stories.



I want to stay up all night.



I want to rewatch Velvet Goldmine and Jupiter Ascending, because WHAT JUST HAPPENED THERE?


 I also want to record record record it all so I don't forget. Guess that's my inner packrat at work.




I finished this round of revisions on my WIP during the retreat so now I'll take a break to focus on other projects and hopefully gain some perspective. Then I'll polish it up and prepare for the long and (probably brutal) business of querying. Honestly though? Right now, I totally feel up for it. Thanks to our incredible host, Ysabeau Wilce, and to the fun and fearsome Tiffany Trent, Darian Lindle, and Lola Lindle. And thanks, of course, to my loving partner who held down the fort so that I could go have an adventure.


Can't wait for next time!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sea Glass & Revision

I’m entering the last phase of work on this draft and trying hard to be patient with my revision process. 


It can feel a little like hunting for sea glass on a wide beach of stone. The sparkling stuff is there, but hiding. When it reveals itself, there’s a moment of hope and excitement. What else might I find here?

 


Or maybe revision’s more like the making of sea glass itself. A slow sea-tumbling, a grinding and smoothing until there’s something of beauty left behind.



But then, I want my prose to be sharp and clear, so maybe it isn’t like sea glass at all. Maybe revision simply requires something like the frame of mind I’m in when I walk the beach. 


Part looking for something, part exploring what the world offers, part happy just to be where I am.



Trying not to jump ahead to the next phone call or errand or chapter. Trying to be fully inside my own story.



Lucky for me, winter is a good season for sea glass and beach combing. Let's hope my revisions turn out well too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Desk 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, a quick note from my writing desk(s):


You might already know that I travel from place to place when I write. Sometimes I find a table inside a coffee shop, sometimes I wander around outside. Most of this movement is helpful in that it keeps me fresh and wide-eyed. It helps me pause and take notice, even if the view is a stormy parking lot or a soggy street corner.


No matter where I land, I love my work. In 2014, I've been lucky enough to slowly reframe my days so that writing and well-being are at the center. 


I can't say enough how grateful I am for this time.


Writing is what brings me alive. Stories of love and survival matter to me. They help me connect to the people I love. They help me learn. No matter where I perch with my laptop or notebook, stories help me to see what makes this strange and difficult world so precious.


And yes, I want to contribute in some small way. I'm working to shape one place, one corner, one body of work to better reflect the peace and love I feel at the root of all things.



My writing goals for 2015 are about more time and more peace.


So many of you kind folks have made this year possible for me. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement, thumbs up, smiles and nods, comments and likes. Thank you for your friendship, distant or near. You made this year a wonderful one for me and my family. May your 2015 shine bright. May your stories unfold in surprising and joyous ways.


Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year!