Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

No Writers' Meeting This Week!

Sorry, folks, life is crazy. Go on out and see Sam Sheridan at IUSB instead. You can find all the details on the IUSB Creative Writers' blog. The link is on the left, along with the new workshop schedule.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Believing It

One more thing about Tattered Cover bookstore. I found a magazine I really liked there - and you can read it online. The Believer. I've just made it through the first article, but if the rest of the magazine is this well written, I'm sold.

That Was Fun While It Lasted

I might miss the views, but after two 12-hour trips to and from Denver, being stuck on planes, in penalty boxes on runways, and in airport terminals where young rambunctious children gravitate toward me, and dealing with the joy of Homeland Security, which only serves to make me feel lousy and not one bit more secure, I have no intention of setting foot on a plane again. Flying ain't what it used to be.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Enough of That

In a few more hours, we'll be heading home. We're both ready. Yesterday, though, I found this really cool independent bookstore, Tattered Cover. They had almost everything you might want to read and an amazing calendar of events. So, there are some benefits of living in the city. I found a Denver Quarterly (go figure) in the lit mag section and lo and behold inside the cover were poems by John Gallaher and DDL. So now I have something to read on the plane. I liked the place so much I might sneak back there this morning before we go.

In a little bit of serendipity, the new issue of Slow Trains came out today, with my essay! I believe the editor is based out of Denver. Funny.

Now, I'm bracing myself for the plane ride home. I would love flying, if I could only do it without Homeland Security and all those people in the plane. I swear this is the last time I'm flying. Next time, I'm going on the train.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hitting Pause

The headline on The Denver Post this morning read "Overwhelmed". The article tells the story of Tim Masters, released after a decade behind bars for murder. His conviction has been overturned based on DNA evidence, or more precisely, a lack thereof. I go on to read another columnist's article, Susan Greene, and find out that the Colorado state crime lab will not test evidence for defendants. It took a long process and $67,000 to get DNA samples sent to Holland for analysis. The samples showed zero evidence that Masters was on the murder scene, an ex-boyfriend of the victim's DNA showed up instead.

Obviously, the saga is brand new to me, no one I know, nothing I'm tied to, but evidence of truth intrigues me. It always has. It seems we're more in love with the illusion of order than we are with truth. This isn't a new observation by any means, but those days when once again it hits me in the face always give me pause.

16th Street - Two Views

Attitude Sickness

And here's a picture that Ryan will appreciate, much more than I do. We've left Estes Park, the elk, and altitude sickness behind us and have settled down to do the real work of this trip, the reason we came, corporate meetings. I wish I appreciated cities more. This is Denver, from my window on the 16th floor of the Adam's Mark hotel. Some crazy guy is swimmnig in the pool below, although there is snow on the ground. Gene has run off in his shiny black shoes to do the meeting thing. I'm trying to get in the frame of mind to write. I know I should go out for the naked exploration thing, but so far I've had breakfast in the room, all brought from home: my own homemade granola, some instant oatmeal, a banana, a cup of tea. The maid is not sure what to do with me. She is from Somalia. She is wearing a hajib. I'd like to sit and talk to her for awhile, see things from her perspective, but she doesn't speak much English. I'm trying to explain that I just want the bathroom straightened, some fresh coffee packets. I don't need fresh towels, I don't need the vacuuming. She can see I've made the bed and I haven't touched those nice robes hanging in the closet, or drank the $4.00 bottle of water. I finished Walking to Martha's Vineyard last night. I didn't enjoy it as much as Ill Lit, but found this poem very striking (as usual, the formatting refuses to cooperate and I apologize, because it is important, but for the moment this will have to do):


by Franz Wright

Now I'm not the brightest

knife in the drawer,

I know a couple of things

about this life: poverty

silence, impermanence

discpline and mystery

The world is not illusory, we are

From crimson thread to toe tag

If you are not seriously disturbed

there is something wrong with you, I'm sorry

And I know who I am.

I'll be a voice

coming from nowhere,


be glad for me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Estes Park Moon

The view from the YMCA lodge.
Last night, an owl swooped low, almost hitting our car, in pursuit of some other winged creature that
apparently got away. Missing its meal, the owl roosted on a nearby light pole and watched us unload our belonging for a very long time.

Elk Weather - Rocky Mountain National Park

Mike's Being Published!

I'm behind the times, but congratulations to Mike for his publication in Action Yes. This is an awesome group of writers we're a part of, folks.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Into the Great White Open

(With apologies to Tom Petty)

I've been buried the last few days in a slew of work, so I've missed all the finer points of life like going to class and writing and even reading blogs! One morning I didn't notice until noon that my sweater was on backwards. Of course, my family didn't notice either. They just let me be. So I guess it didn't matter. But I'm chucking it all for a few days and heading out of town. I have a free flight to Denver, which is not where I would choose to go in January if I was doing the choosing, but I'm not the one choosing, just the one going along for the ride. All that being said, I'm looking forward to the naked exploration, as Talia mentioned on her blog. I haven't been to Denver for about 30 years, (yes, I know, before most of you were born) and I don't remember I thing from the last time. So, with any luck I'm going to get caught up on my reading and writing and see a few things. I'm going to take as many pics as I can for your viewing pleasure. I have a feeling the dominate theme will be cold and white.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Manchester England - Hair

I saw Hair live at the Morris Civic way back in the day. I was pregnant with Tom, so it must have been 20 years ago. A hippy chick in the cast gave me a flower.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Writers' Group News

Yes, eight of just met at The Chicory last Friday, but we're doing the workshop thing again on Wednesday night at Chris O'Brien's, just in case that night suits you better. Check out the complete schedule on the sidebar.

And check this out, too: Windjammerpress is the creation of fellow workshopper Mark Sniadecki. Mark has graciously invited us to submit our work!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Peter Pan

(A little post-colonialism to add to the day.)

Q Okay. So from what I gather, you grew up in England; is that correct?
A I grew up in Ireland and I trained in orthopaedics in England.
Q I probably committed a major offense by telling an Irishman they grew up in England.
A We have the theory that no one grows up in England.

Greg Rappleye Reading

The good news just keeps flowing. Greg Rappleye will be reading at Indiana University in South Bend on Thursday, February 28 at 7:00 P.M. He has a new book out, Figured Dark, which I just cracked open last night. I'm enjoying it. Here's a small passage from "Not that Happiness":

Who is not captive to some small happiness?
To love a field you can never own--the pink mist
of knapweed, the blue of chicory.
Or the heron that settles in the neighbor's pond
and croaks through the last of your dreams.
You startle awake, patting your head, glad
that you are not a minnow, darting
among the muddy reeds. How it comes around,
this happiness, like a landlord sniffing out the rent.
Not what you ordered--penny whistles, celophane hats,
those hand-crank noisemakers--but the happiness
that finds you, scrawls a receipt, says,
"You paid for this," whatever happiness is.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


And look at this: IUSB Creative Writing Blog! Kudos to Kelcey Parker for this. What a nice week this is turning out to be.

Open Mic, Insert...

I couldn't resist. Evil thoughts control my brain. But no, really, this is going to be fun. The e-mail reads:

Analecta, IUSB's literary journal, is hosting an OPEN-MIC event for IUSB students to read their creative works of fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction.


Thursday Jan. 17 @ 6:30 p.m.
Third Floor Lounge, Wiekamp Hall

Emcee: Vince Bauters, Analecta editor

Analecta will continue to accept SUBMISSIONS for this year's issue. Information at:

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Good Stuff

I've been enjoying this blog lately: Carol Peters. I can't remember how I got there, so if I got there from your blog, forgive me. I'm notoriously bad for remembering where I've learned things. No wonder I hate writing those research papers.

Three Stories Removed

He stands beneath the eaves
at his childhood window
and watches her tramp
in the snow, the light of
the world failing,
the earth turning cold.
His hands motion above her:
Darling, come in, come home.
Wolves are descending
from the forest. Run home.
The animals breathe
behind her. She tramps
back towards his shadow.
Her feet begin to slow.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Acting Out and Joining the Marines

So, Chris and I were just minding our own business in Physics class, but poetry has a way of chasing us down. Here's our first co-curricular activity for our class, SeaChange: Reversing the Tide, but you might be interested in attending, too. Gee, Talia, this would probably be a good article for the Preface, or the Tribune, or something. It seems very naked and exploratory.

"This dramatic lecture is by Roger Payne, an internationally acclaimed marine biologist best known for his work on whale behavior, and Lisa Harrow, an award-winning actress known for her work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and her work in films and numerous BBC and American TV shows.

"Roger Payne has been featured in over 40 documentary films for television and co-wrote and co-directed the IMAX film 'Whales.'
"The lecture includes Roger's experiences working with whales and vast understanding of environmental science combined with the power of prose and poetry by William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver and other poets. This duo has performed throughout the United States, New Zealand, and Mexico. Their performance has been noted for its success in making the science more accessible, and for its encouragement of individual action in working towards creating a sustainable society."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 7:30 pm, Northside Recital Hall, NS 158.

Creek Views

Seven feet above flood stage.

Somewhere under this water is my walking path.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Writers' Meeting & Misc.

Yes, it's been dry these past few days, despite the beautiful rain. I haven't been slacking, really, just, as Rachel says, getting myself organized. Despite indications to the contrary, blogging isn't necessary for life to go on. It might even hinder life, on occasion. However, I am now sufficiently caught up and organized to return to the electronic sphere.

So --

The writers' group, still nameless, alas, is meeting on Friday at The Chicory at 4:00 p.m. Maybe we will be inspired and think up a name. This is Monday. You have time to write something. You should write something, I should write something, aside from one more blankety blank grocery list or tuition payment. Don't forget about our expanded horizons. Of course you may send out poetry, but don't forget that fiction, nonfiction, and misc. whatnot is also quite welcome. Also, you may bring fellow writers. We will be kind to them and not nip hard at all.

Whatever I've forgotten to say I'm sure you all will fill in.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Pachyderm Problems

(It's been a working vacation. Billy the elephant lives at the L.A. Zoo.)

Q. Did you ever get close enough to examine any parts of Billy, like his private areas? Were you able to get physically close enough to him to examine his private areas?
A. No.
Q. If you had been able to, do you have the expertise to know what signs or symptoms to look for for any particular kind of abuse?
A. I sure don't.

Black Skies and Meteors

Yes, as Grandpa says, it's going to be colder than a witch's tit tonight, which means it's going to be clear skies and perfect weather for sneaking out and viewing the Quadrantids. The show starts at 9:00 p.m.

Blue Skies and Snow

We got a little snow on New Year's Eve.

The woodpeckers wanted to make sure I refilled the suet.

I was standing right next to this fellow, but he didn't seem to care.

My man has a new hairstyle, I call it old kiwi dew.

The front porch is a little slippery right now.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Snow Birds

Happy New Year, everyone! Every bird and their brother showed up today at my feeders. All it took was a new year and a little snow.