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!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Other Forms

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 making. It isn't so strange for me to look at something and think "I wish I'd thought of that", but these sculptures made me ache to learn this art form. They felt both personal and universal. Beautiful and odd. Familiar and alive.

The sculptures I saw were by a local Seattle artist named Patty Grazini. They are made, (I was told by a much more friendly clerk), entirely out of paper. Each figure is an animal, based on a real woman from history. Grazini found articles from 1880-1910 in the NY Times archives that inspired each piece, and they are almost as entertaining as the figures themselves. These articles were carefully printed and framed near by. Please click on this link to visit her site and see more of these gorgeous creatures.

Owl, the Poetess:

Wolf, the Arsonist:

Her exhibit is currently running at Curtis Steiner's Gallery in Seattle, Washington.