I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West

drew's writing:

  • "Always Forever Now," Ideomancer volume 13, issue 2
  • "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
  • "Bread or Cake" and "Pride/Shame,"2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival
  • "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
  • "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
  • "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
  • "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
  • "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

moving the garden, or, look down and laugh

It's been a terrifically gloomy week, perfect for being outside and moving plants.

I love it.

My friend Dwight lives over in Dunsinane; I've been transplanting my garden to his property from the Birnam Wood house as I prepare to move.

I asked if I could put them on his property and he built this fantastic ark for my plants. I'm amazed and quite moved that he would go to so much trouble.

Taking down the clematis vine has always been a rite of autumn. This is the last time I'll take it down at the Birnam Wood house!

I have a good friend who writes a gardening blog in the DC area, and I can tell you a funny secret about her. When she was little she pronounced clematis "clitoris."

That's lamb's ear, lavender, sage, and something I can't identify, ready for the ride to Dwight's.

I planted most of the garden, my mother planted some, my father planted others. Some are gifts from friends. The one on top in the picture below was planted by my mother and I don't know what it is.

Is it baby's breath? One plant that I've been most concerned about is this miniature rosebush, given by a close friend of the family:

The woman who gave us this helped tend my mom in her illnesses, often staying at the house late into the night.

Insert your favorite quote from The Little Prince here:


I have a neighbor I love, a fierce old liberal with a Willie Nelson style hippie look. He calls me babe. My own grandfathers were austere and stern so it feels like some glorious luxury to have this sweet old radical nearby.

I planted the periwinkle vine above because I'm obsessed with the color blue, but I told my neighbor I regretted it. One day when we're dead the people who live here will curse us for letting this vine run rampant over the hillside, I told him.

Then I'll look down and laugh, he said.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Last Drink Bird Head, of course!

Birds have been a fraught subject in my family. We are all birders, yet our history with these animals is littered with tragic or embarrassing episodes. My father backed his truck over our duck, Jesus, and his own pet crow was shot off a fencepost by a random stranger in a pick-up. My grandmother kept a deceased parrot in the freezer for years, meaning to have it stuffed; my grandfather accidentally shredded his beloved pet rooster with his tractor.

A thin, cold, sardonic man, Pop-pop expressed more emotion over Diego's death than any of us had seen from him in a lifetime.

In my life as an environmental educator, I have been bitten by all the species mentioned above, as well as by a barred owl and a vulture (though in both cases I was wearing a leather glove).

It is my hope that having a story in the Last Drink Bird Head anthology will inaugurate a new era of forgiveness and understanding between my kin and class Aves.

The original idea for this anthology came from a mildly disturbing piece of surrealist art done by a friend of the editor, Jeff VanderMeer. Jeff wrote the first Last Drink Bird Head story, then decided that more Last Drink Bird Head stories must be written. The assignment, which I received by email from Jeff, a teacher of mine at Clarion, was to write a story about Last Drink Bird Head in under 500 words.

You know. Last Drink Bird Head.

There are a number of reasons why this anthology rocks. Here are a few:

  • Writers I love, like Matthew Cheney, Jeffrey Ford, Ellen Kushner, Caleb Wilson, Desirina Boskovich, Kari O'Connor, and Ramsey Shehadeh are represented here.
  • The design is by John Coulthart, whose blog, feuilleton, is one of my favorites.
  • The world needs more surrealism.
Last Drink Bird Head is available here. My story is "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection."

Saturday, September 19, 2009


This is the longhouse I stayed in on Vancouver Island. Just uploaded this from Flickr for the sole purpose of testing the size of photos I can get from that site, vs. what I get from my hard drive.

The other men in the longhouse snored so ferociously that one night I became convinced a bear had entered. Vancouver Island is possibly the most beautiful place I've ever been. Eagles are as plentiful there as the pigeons I share the city with.

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