Showing posts from October, 2011

Surfeit and Link-O-Rama

I've written before about participating in a local writing community, but since I can't get the blog's search function to load, you'll have to take my word for it. Writing communities, and their value, can inspire differences of opinion among writers. I can see both sides: communities can be useful, and they can also be distractions from doing the work. During the seven years I've been in the process of moving here, living here, and adjusting to life here, I've found it useful to keep company with other writers. With some writers, at some times, for some purposes. Sometimes I feel that I know more about writing than I have actually practiced, and so I don't seek out new insights, "how to" articles, workshops, or opportunities to learn about writing. Instead, I focus on taking apart writing (my own). Applying what I know. Trying things. Sometimes I attend readings and workshops simply to be in the same room with many people who think writing is impo

Literally: No Really, I Mean Literally

It's October and the leaves are turning. Friday I was driving to a morning meeting in town, enjoying the vistas in front of me: golden poplar and birches intertwined with dark green spruce, balsam, and pine. The moose maple and low-lying brush have gone orange and red this year. Beyond the trees lay the lake, glinting silver blue in the mid-morning sun, and beyond that, the Sibley peninsula, Isle Royale, and Pie Island in their various shades of purple. I came to the top of a rise and gasped audibly. The view took my breath away. Literally: a breathtaking view. Over the years, other images used figuratively have shown me their literal roots. One summer Saturday, the our end of the bay developed huge rolling waves, coming from town. It had been a calm morning -- the kind of morning, in fact, that my grandfather and then my mother used to warn about. The kind of morning that encouraged people to go out fishing, perhaps too far from shore to be safe. Sure enough, one of the guys out f

"All I Can Say": A Timeline

This entry got long and all self-reflect-y. There is important stuff at the top, and also about subscribing at the bottom. Feel free to skip the middle. The new Room magazine, Issue 34.3, will be out soon, and my essay “All I Can Say” is in it! Here's the cover. Here's a link to the editor's opening essay , which starts off with my own piece. Nonwriters sometimes ask writers, “How long did it take you to write this story?” To illustrate the difficulty of answering that kind of question, I've created a timeline of events that are (mostly) relevant to this essay. 2000 (May): My mother dies, technically from pneumonia, but really from Alzheimer's Disease. She lived in Oklahoma; I live in Colorado. I had quit writing about my mother's illness during the last year of her life so that I could be more present in it. I take up writing again soon after her death. 2001 (September): I take my first class in American Sign Language (ASL), something from my List,* with a (