Going To Goddard for Grad School!

Dear readers, I’ve decided to go back to college and get my MFA in creative writing. For some time I’ve been unhappy with the editing process on Blue Truth. I feel there are gaps in my knowledge that are causing me to take missteps I no longer want to take. Because of the demands of returning for a graduate degree, I’m putting Blue Truth on a back burner for now. I will keep you posted with updates on my studies as I work toward a clearer understanding of how to write the best book I’m capable of writing. Thanks for all your support – in the past and in the future.

Fall Tomatoes and Mushrooms

Tomato Harvest Ripe & Unripe

A change in the weather meant that these babies needed to come in and ripen in my kitchen.

Today has been a day of harvesting. After bringing in the tomatoes we went mushrooming in the Olympic Mountains and came back with a bonanza of Lobster and Chanterelle mushrooms.

8 pounds of Chanterelles and Lobster mushrooms gathered this morning.

8 pounds of Chanterelles and Lobster mushrooms gathered this morning.

My Edits Are Painfully Slow So I Took a Poetry Break

Below are two poems I’ve been working on whenever I get sick of editing 350 pages of text.

Poet

I live on an inland sea
where daily
I hear the wheeze
and hack of herons,
long dactylic hexameters,
odd wracking convulsions,
sad tuneless songs
to lost sailors.
Like Odysseus –
a low down
drunk Cyrenian
who slopped
too many whiskeys,
inhaled too many
unfiltered cigarettes –
my pursuit is
beyond redemption.

I rope myself to a raft of pages
refusing to ballast my ears
against the muse’s song
calling from the same rocky knowing
that cast us all from paradise.

Saluting Aristippus for his belief in pleasure
I bend my back to the task –
unfurling poems,
turning them to luff
past the barrier reef of my skin.

***
My Strawberries Wild

Knee high wanton wilderness.
Seeded with rubies under foliage
like emerald umbrellas
pressing humidity hard into musk and loam
black with decay, the life giver.
What was relinquishes to what will be
the sweet fruition of possibility.
A strawberry forest cultivates wildness.
It is this chaos that gives a flavor
for life, for its ups and downs.
It is this juice that forces the drive
to over-reach, go beyond, burgeon.

The birds and I harvest together
each vying for our fair share.
But we are objective co-owners
of this manna. We cooperate,
co-habitate, celebrate our fortune.
The birds approve my constant hunger
as I husband each plant.
In return we are all blessed
with more and more offspring. And, too,
it’s me who tears out the tangle-foot quack grass
that thwarts each feathered farmer’s passage
on their journey to partake of forbidden fruit.

***

 

Now My Space Really Is Complete! It Has a Cushy Chair, a Dog & Her Bed, a Character Gallery & Most Important of All – a Plotting Wall!

Character & Plotting wall in my finished workspaceHere are a couple photos of the plotting wall in progress. All the visuals for composites of each major character are up where I can stare at them for inspiration. They’ll help keep my descriptions consistent, too. In addition, I’ve got a 7-foot strip of butcher paper tacked to the wall with a line that shows the way the plot climbs along its trajectory to the denouement then down into crisis in the last third of the book and finally up again into a peak moment before things settle down at the end. What I’ll do with the evolving outline is print it out, scene-by-scene, on small pieces of colored paper.  I’ll stick these up along the plot line visual where each event occurs within the novel. Then I can move the bits of paper around as I fiddle with the plot until it’s working the way I want it to.

Close-up of the character & Plotting Wall

 

 

My Writing Space Is Finished!

I finally have a room of my own again. It’s in the basement away from distractions and completely self-contained. I never need to come upstairs unless I WANT TO!

My newly remodeled work space. Lovely isn't it -- even without a chair, yet!

My newly remodeled work space. Lovely isn’t it — even without a chair, yet!

These blank walls will help me plot out my novels and move stuff around without losing track of time and date! I'll post photos as I begin to develop this handy tool!

These blank walls will help me plot out my novels and move stuff around without losing track of time and date! I’ll post photos as I begin to develop this handy tool!

One of My Poems Won 3rd Place in the 8th Annual Writer’s Digest Poetry Competition!

Hummingbird

Percussive wing song.
Throb of muscle and sinew.
Sweet tooth en plein air.
A cinnabar dash rises like fury,
strokes the weathered
verdigris of lamb’s ear
to paint cayenne and emerald
across a simple sage-blue sky.
Dragon’s blood shimmers
and morphs along prism cells
catching light. Hue and shade
as changeable as flight.

Tiny tyranny. Feeder in The Garden
whose tongue is a black snake
urging Eve with sugared words
to taste the apple’s blossom,
the pomegranate’s seed,
to open the world
with the nectar of knowing
all that the gods have hidden.