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Showing posts from 2014

My Desk 2014

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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 r…

Other Forms

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Sometimes, when I wander the world, I think about the other art forms I could have chosen if I hadn't become a writer. The mystery and grace of music calls to me. The sheer physicality of dance is tantalizing. The essential powers of image and color are so elemental I rely on them constantly in my own language work.

Yesterday, I stumbled on a small exhibit at a rather hoity-toity gallery in downtown Ballard. I don't normally go into this particular gallery because I've had at least one experience with a certain clerk where I felt, errr, out of place and naive for inquiring about the price of an oh-so-expensive piece of antique jewelry. On this day, I'd seen the clerk (also the owner and chief artist) leave the gallery and walk down the street, so when I peered into the window and thought about entering, I felt suddenly emboldened and adventurous. I went in.

The art that I found was so exquisitely beautiful that I wished at once that I'd had something to do with its…

World Fantasy Convention

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Earlier this month I attended my first ever World FantasyConvention (WFC). I traveled all the way to Washington DC, all by my lonesome, and checked into one of those giant corporate hotels that are mostly comfortable but also vaguely unsettling. (Why, oh why do they insist on carpeting their endless hallways with vertigo-inducing patterns?)
I knew a few familiar ladies would be attending, most of whom I met at Sirens (see this post, or this one) or through the ever-sweet Gili Bar-Hillel on twitter. Otherwise I was expecting a whole lot of strangers and strangeness. It is, after all, a convention for fantasy writers, readers, industry professionals, and fans. I felt sure there would be horns. Maybe wings.*
The other group at the hotel that weekend turned out to be RollingThunder (bikers in support of POW/MIA veterans). In a few short hours, I was lost in a sea of black leather jackets, Technicolor hairdos, prosthetic limbs, and intricate Celtic jewelry. I felt quite small and desper…

777 Challenge

This Twitter challenge brought to me by the kind and funny Casey Blair. From her site: "The rules are to start on page seven, seven lines down, and post seven sentences of your work."

Challenge accepted! This excerpt is from my novel, RAIN MUST FALL which follows the lives of three psychic friends living in a small town in the Pacific NW. For more info, look at my projects.


****    
She flipped the last of the pancakes onto a plate and walked them to the table. She knelt beside me, and studied my face. She had kind, blue eyes like Valerie’s, but her brown hair was shorter, and her nose was longer. She frowned. “How do you know that?” Her voice turned sharp, accusatory.

     “Know what?”
****

I am tagging Lola Lindle, Darian Lindle, and Emmie Mears, if any of them would like to play. 


Sirens and Spirits

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This past weekend, Darian, Lola, and I traveled to a land of ghosts, spirits, slayers, and mediums. It was an incredible journey (no pun intended) and I can’t thank the Wise Women who organize the Sirens Conference enough.
For those of you who might not know, Sirens is a conference dedicated to women in fantasy literature and this year’s theme was Hauntings. The conference this year took place at Skamania Lodge in the heart of one of Washington States most beautiful natural areas, The Columbia River Gorge.


Writers, readers, fans, and industry professionals interested in this topic traveled from far and wide to discuss a wide range of related spooky topics and texts over the course of three days.

Part of what I love about attending conferences is that I meet amazing people, and sometimes, just sometimes, I find the kind of human connection that endures and enriches my life. I can honestly say that this year’s Sirens made many of those connections possible and I’m still giddy and glowi…

Autumn Returns

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Hello there! Hope your summers were good to you. All is well here in Seattle. It’s been a long and full few months and now we’re here, at the edge of autumn, and I’m reminded why this is my favorite season. There’s no end to the beauty of the trees and skies of September.  When I taught public school I had such little time to notice the colors of this particular month. Now I spend part of every day being grateful for my new freedom and perspective. I walk outside at every chance. I daydream.




In writing news, I’ve signed a contract for my first ever short story sale! I’m new to this process, so I’ve been slow to announce anything specific, for fear of jinxing it. In that spirit, I’ll keep the details hush-hush for the moment. However, I will tell you that I expect my pub date to be in October or November of this year. (Fingers crossed!) When I get more confirmation and info I’ll be sure to crow it from the rooftops.
Drift, my new novel, has been fully revised and is out now to my last…

Clarion West Write-a-Thon

There is one week left of my first ever ClarionWrite-a-Thon! I chose to participate in this fundraiser for a few important reasons I’d like to share:
First, I believe in the power of story, particularly stories that stretch the limits of our world. I recently made a list of some of my favorite literature of all time and was not surprised to find many titles that could fall under the umbrella of “speculative fiction”.JK Rowling, Jeanette Winterson, Arundhati Roy, Maxine Hong Kingston, Virginia Woolf, William Shakespeare, Ellen Kushner, Phillip Pullman, Rudolfo Anaya, John Crowley, Isabel Allende, and so many more of the world’s great writers, play with magic and science in their stories. Clarion West is an organization that fuels this kind of work and I’m honored to support them in whatever way I can.
Secondly, Clarion West is located in Seattle. As a result, many great teachers and writers come through our little corner of the planet. Selfishly, I’d like that to continue.
Thirdly, I’…