Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Public Art

Hello dearies!

Lately I've run into a bunch of awesome public art projects around Seattle. I feel the great need to gush about them somewhere. What's that you say? Here? This very blog? I thought is was a writing blog. Yes, I suppose art and writing are well connected. Alright then. That's a lovely idea! =)

First up, the Neototem's Children's Garden by Gloria Bornstein. This series of brass sea creatures is located outside our local Children's Theater and I just adore them. Here are my favorites of the bunch:

Also near the Children's Theater, are a series of silly stone heads arranged in a circle. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find the name of this piece or who the artist is, but we sure love them!

While visiting the South Lake Union water park this summer, I stumbled on this fascinating piece. Again, I can't seem to find any information online about the artist or title, but the concept was intriguing: a tiny, unfinished house, filled with natural sticks and logs. I loved this simple reversal of exterior and interior. It made me think about the various ways we humans attempt to contain and shape our environments.

This next piece by Danielle Foushee we found at Carkeek Park. I love the simple way it interacts with the landscape and suggests so many beautiful natural elements : waves, bubbles, clouds, & wind.

Also at Carkeek is a piece titled "Passage" by Dara Solliday and Savina Mason. It's comprised of a series of gently colored frames that form a portal overlooking the Sound.

And then there are projects that pop up without the blessing of the Parks & Rec Department. Some of them I love just as much, though I know graffitti can be a controversial subject. I have a fondness for this mysterious face in West Ewing Mini Park and not-so-secretly hope that no one cleans it up.

Last, but not least, deep in Carkeek Park is a pretty little orchard where artist and poet Shin Yu Pai patiently stained words onto the fruit itself. I spent an afternoon wandering around searching for the words and it was magical to say the least. Many of the words felt dissonant with the place, words like INDEX and JEFFERSON. But there were others that, for me, seemed to grow from the trees themselves, words like ORIGIN and FOUND.

I certainly enjoy going to museums on occasion, but I also enjoy art in the wide world beyond. The kind of art you can stumble on one autumn afternoon, in a small sunlit orchard.

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Much love.

All photos in this post are by me. You can read more about this last piece at the Poetry Foundation or at Literary Hub . For more information on public art projects in Seattle please see the Seattle.gov site on Public Art.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Hello dearest ones,

Hard to believe that summer is already fading, but the first signs of fall are stirring in Seattle. I love this time of year, but truth be told, I love just about all our seasons, except for latest winter.

In writing news, I've finished my first draft of a new project and am really happy with it. I'll post about it here when I'm ready (most of you have already seen some news on facebook or twitter). In the meantime, I'm returning to other projects and the important business of querying for RAIN MUST FALL. I'm also trying to remember to be patient. After finishing a draft, I often want to rush ahead to revisions and sharing and editing and querying and and and... but what I really need is perspective, rest, and rejuvenation. The seed is planted.

One day it might grow into something wonderfully wild and strange. For now, best to be still. Best to look for hidden everyday treasures.

Best to turn my attentions elsewhere while I wait.

There's so much already here.

And I do love this time of year. 

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you and yours are well!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Everyday Magic

Hello sweet people! Summer continues to wind and slink her way through Seattle. She's an exceptionally dry and scaly creature this year, but still friendly and fun to handle. This past month I've been busily drafting my new project (spaceships! music! lizards!) and spending loads of time outside with my family. I also attended the PNWA Writing Conference and met many new folks who I'm excited to learn more about in the future. All in all, I can't complain. It's been a good month and I'm grateful. I haven't been querying as ferociously as I should be for Rain Must Fall, but I confess that I needed a break from that endeavor. It can wear a girl down, to be sure, even though I've only begun to scratch the surface of the process.

When I'm not busy at my desk, or with my kids, I sometimes wander around Seattle on my own, looking for bits of beauty to share here or on social media, or to collect for future inspirations. I don't know much about photography, but sometimes I feel like I'm on a treasure hunt and it's great fun to share those treasures with you.

"Dragon Eggs" as one of my (very clever) former students dubbed them. Must be a great green forest dweller.

Could be a dragon den.

A smaller variety of egg. The miniature sand serpent:

Back safely in its nest.

A darling fairy home that some children left on the beach.

Complete with a scrumptious fairy feast. (Don't worry, I didn't touch the fairy food!)

A declaration of love that someone left on the base of a steel tower:

Looking up at the tower:

Around the corner:

Small golden gift:

Back home again for storytelling.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm curious if you have favorite everyday treasures too. I bet you do. Much love and thanks.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Following the Line

Hello friends!

So far the summer has been chock full of adventures. We've traveled, had visitors, traveled again, dealt (still dealing) with illness, and enjoyed buckets of sunshine. 

I'm back at my coffee shop today, briefly, and hoping to return to to querying (for Rain Must Fall), and drafting (new super fun project), and updating this blog, and corresponding with wonderful people and and and... well, to be honest,  picking up the pieces of my work right now is a bit overwhelming.  Because, yes, everything is in pieces. Such is life.

Doesn't make it less gorgeous. There are pieces within pieces within pieces.

Sometimes bald eagles arrive for lunch and send all the pieces reeling and screaming for dear life.

Other times the pieces seem quite stable and connected. Made for each other.

Though some bits are quite beautiful and whole in and of themselves.

And, er, sometimes toddlers fall to bits just as you are trying to take a family picture.

But they recover.

So we're home again and finding the groove, placing things where they go, stringing together the stories of our lives.

 And, if the Muse permits, I'm hoping to get back to crafting new and interesting lines.

Much love to you all. Thanks for stopping by. There's no way I could do this work without you. Yes, you.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Our Wishing Tree

There's a beautiful urban park near our home that stretches over 186 acres of Pacific NW forest, beach, marshlands, and grassy fields. It's one of our favorite places to visit with our children, as I'm sure it is for thousands of Seattle families. I'm continually thankful for such lush green spaces in our ever-growing city. Even after years of exploration, each time we visit, we discover some new path or area, some new creature or habitat. Our most recent visit revealed this Wishing Tree. 

In one of life's many uncanny connections, I was delighted to see this morning that Terri Windling's blog explains the Wishing Tree tradition in beautiful detail. Terri's blog is a source of continual inspiration and poetry for me. I encourage you to explore it further. 

I confess, I feel protective of places like this even though I claim no ownership. My impulse is to shield and hide our Wishing Tree from the possible abuses and misuses in might suffer. But I know, like any life, it will follow its own story. And stories are best shared. 

Happy wishing, friends! Do you have a wishing tree in your corner of the world?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Hello friends!

Had the pleasure of a short retreat this past weekend to Port Townsend, WA with the Lindle sisters. If you haven't been to PT before, I highly recommend it for writerly and artistic inspiration. The sweeping seascapes are plenty enough reason to visit, but the lively town is also full of interesting characters and happenings.

For example, I spent a fair amount of time at this coffee shop counter writing and watching the sailboats go by...

...and was then interrupted by the arrival of a robot and several teenage engineers.


They were prepping their contraptions for the Rhododendron Festival Parade and I even got to sneak a peek at their lab, located in a loft above the coffee shop. 

Since I'm currently fiddling with a MG sci-fi project, I was delighted by this encounter. Though, truth be told, it was a bit hard to focus with this going on in town:

and this:

and this:

(Please note the random Outlander in the background!)

Eventually, Darian and I decided to explore the quieter side of town and visited several gorgeous Victorian homes, the crown jewels of which were this cliffside home:

and the Ann Starrett Mansion:

The house is run as an inn and has been for sale for ten years. No one will buy it because it requires so much work and pricey historical preservation. The innkeeper let us have a look around and it was hard not to imagine a life in which we buy the inn and run it as a writerly retreat center. Sigh...

So we took a walk to the lighthouse to soothe our heartache for such a life.

It worked! Fresh air always reminds me that life is full and good. We have so much to be grateful for, not the least of which is friendship.

Hope this entry finds you all well. We missed many of you this weekend.