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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

what I learned from my California writing retreat

I learned that if I buy a tricycle on craigslist, the owner of this irate dog will totally, fuckin,' make it fit me.

I learned that there are more vintage cars in Santa Cruz than any place I have ever been.

And many of them are trucks, and many of them still have their original paint.

I learned that some taco shops will let you bring a dog inside. (Dog courtesy of my hosts).

I learned that you can get these gear-shaped steampunk doughnuts at a 24 hour doughnut shop called Ferrel's that even has wi-fi.

I learned that New Jersey isn't the only place with weird roadside attractions.

And that just when you expect a threatening character to emerge from the beat-up trailer behind said roadside attraction, one will.

But if you show no fear aforementioned character may share what he knows of the roadside attraction, leaving you unharmed but not significantly enlightened.

I also learned that if you have the opportunity for a writing holiday in California, don't submit to markets with quick turnaround: checking email becomes a distraction. And if you intend to plot a new play and novel, don't bog down editing old stuff.

AND that getting away from all distractions, and focusing exclusively on writing (with breaks for hiking around) is a great way to accelerate progress on your writing goals and remind yourself what you're capable of when you put them first.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

first flower of spring

Saw this March 4th in a friend's garden--neither of us knew what it was. 

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

ann marie's miracle car

Dwight is a friend of mine who runs the frame shop in Birnam Wood. He has written some Sherlock Holmes novels, a memoir, and a book on theology, and also built this great bed for my perennials while I move. We were on the way to the diner and talking about Dwight's new novel when I saw this vintage Ford Galaxie parked alongside a gingerbready Victorian house.

I love vintage cars. I asked Dwight if he minded if I pulled over to photograph the Galaxie.
He said not at all. By some freakish stroke of luck, the owner had just pulled up in a more recent model car. I took her to be in her sixties. I asked if I could photograph the Galaxie and she said sure--and --would I like to start it up?

Would I? You bet I would!

But I wasn't able to start it, even with the owner, whom we'll call Anne Marie--after the Elvis song--coaching me to give it a little gas. She said she would get in and start it up for me because she knew the feel of it.

She also said that she had bought this car new in the late 1950s, and had kept it running all this time. She was 98, she said, and had been born in 1918.

Dwight pointed out later that makes her only 92. Sad that our elderly should be so given to mendacity and braggadocio...

Dwight gave some input as the car was reluctant to start.

I took this picture at the exact moment the car started.

Sweet, sweet greenhouse gasses!

Seriously, it was a thrill when the car started.

After the triumph with the car, Anne Marie asked if we wanted to see her dog, too.

We did. I think she said it was a Norwich Terrier.

Meeting Anne Marie and her dog, and taking a (stationary) ride in her car was a great start to the week--one of those rare, magical confluences that go a long way toward balancing the grief life likes to dole out. I am eager to persuade myself that there are enough good and pleasant things in the world to balance the dismal things.

But of course, there are no scales large enough to contain the misery and joy in the world, even for purely subjective research purposes.

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