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.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

True Story

I met a man once who was reading Virginia Woolf in a cafĂ©. He wore a bowtie and a hat. Except it wasn’t Virginia Woolf, it was a biography by her nephew, Quentin Bell. He said it was better than other records of her life, really, that he’d read so many.

I asked, was he a scholar of Virginia Woolf.

Not really, he said, I’m just taken with her life. Not her works, really, which was odd, he guessed, just her person. She’s inspired so much interest, he said, like Proust. He couldn't say he'd ever finished one of her novels, but he’d read all of her diaries, her journals and letters, multiple accounts of her life, criticism good and bad.

Oh, I said, I love her work but I guess I’m a bit nervous to study her life. I know about her illness and her demise, so I worry. Her work is incredibly inspiring to me. I’m a huge fan.

I encourage you, he said, to learn about her life. Though I should warn you, it’s troubling the way that people try to co-opt her, to make her into something they want her to be. Like the feminists. I mean, I want women to do anything, to be anything, but when any political platform tries to own something and mold it, well, listen to me, I’m just… and then he made a motion with his hands for talking incessantly.

I noticed that the cover of his book was brown paper. I’m a bit idiosyncratic, he said, I didn’t like the cover so I papered it.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Caterpillar Life

These guys are infesting Seattle right now, but they sure are cute. They spend weeks munching away, molting, and building (rather unsightly) communal cobweb tents for shelter. When they're good and fed, they spin a cocoon, turn into fuzzy brown moths, and live for just a couple more days, long enough to mate and lay eggs.

Sometimes, as a writer, I'm impatient to be a butterfly (read: be published and please readers). These guys are a good reminder that sometimes caterpillar life is where it's at.

Friends, wishing you a happy day!