Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween -Edgar Allan Pooh...


Happy Halloween (photo costumes throughout the years...)

 2011 - Mr. & Mrs. Ricky Ricardo (aka my husband and me)

Me as Bret Michaels & other Poison member who just happened to be at the same party!  (I'm the one on the left) Another favorite costume...

Bret Michaels (me) & Jimi Hendrix (aka husband) 2010
Jack Skeleton & and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas 2009

Later that week, I became the Devil's Advocate  (I didn't want to wear my wig anymore) 2009

One of my favorite costumes Rosie the Riveter (2008)

An Oldie-- Probably 1995/1996 - Me as Edvard Munch & my husband as  "The Scream" painting  -- Though looking back, we look as if we're hipsters...

 I hope you all find time to dress up as someone else today... 
Happy Halloween! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Because you asked... the Original Toaster Ad

I received a couple emails asking to see what the original toaster ad looked like before I revised it. Here you go--

Let's promise to never be in love with our toasters...


Art Matters - Vintage Ad: "Forget the toast-- let's write some poems"

I found this old add for a toaster and decided to fix it up a bit.

I think our priorities are a little skewed when a toaster is more important than someone's passion.  Of course, if your passion is making toast, then this world was made for you.

Art Matters!


Thinking about Sylvia Plath a Few Days after her Birthday...

Sylvia Plath has been on my mind.

She was born October 27, 1932 (she died at age 30, February 11, 1963).  So while playing around on Google, I found this--

Which led me to this Indiana University paper: "They Had to Call and Call": The Search for Sylvia Plath Peter K. Steinberg

As I read the paper, here are a few things that stood out to me--

Anne Stevenson suggests: "Almost every writer I know has severe depression...It's when you know you're not fulfilling yourself, when you know you're letting yourself down. To be an artist, you have to grant a certain authority to yourself'" (qtd. in Malcolm 107).

Plath chose to attempt suicide while her mother watched A Queen is Crowned at the Exeter Street Theatre in Boston the afternoon of August 24, 1953.6 She took a bottle of sleeping pills, filled the Friday before, along with a glass of water and a blanket into the basement. 

(Note from Kelli:  This was what we know as her first attempt at suicide as a 20 year old at Wellesley)

In October 1962, after completing The Bell Jar, Plath stated in an interview: "I believe that one should be able to control and manipulate experiences, even the most terrifying, like madness ... I think that personal experience is very important" (Orr 169)


What I loved about this paper was the first page, the author took many of the headlines for the missing 20-year-old Plath. It's a beautiful remember about old newspapers and their different fonts.  I also learned that the Boy Scouts and a bloodhound helped search for the young Sylvia Plath.

For me, the surprise in all of this, was how reported her first suicide attempt was, though we didn't know her as we do now.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy to say that it has no longer been 85 days since I last submitted a poem...

I just sent 3 poems to A Public Space.


Confession Tuesday

Dear Reader,

It's that time... time to confess your sins, thoughts, secrets, all the things you need to let off your chest.

Here are some other people confessing today--

PoetMom (January O'Neil)
Live. Laugh. Run. Breathe. (Bari - not a poet, but a runner)

Normally, we have a few others-- (Michael Wells, Erin Hollowell, etc.) but it seems no one has entered the confessional as of my writing this.

Also, in doing my search for blog posts, I noticed that runners are confessing on Tuesday too.  Runners and poets and writers. I  like it.

To the confessional--

I confess I haven't yet submitted my poems yet, but plan on it today.

And that said, I am SO thankful to all your comments on my Not Sending Work Out into the World post  Thank you for your words and links and thoughts.

It is part of the job as a writer.  We need to submit (and be rejected as well as accepted) to  have publication success.  If you want that, then well, you (I) need to submit.

I will let you know where I send to.  And I'll promise to tell you what they said.  Yes or no.  I confess I'm not shy about rejections.  I think they should be celebrated because it means you're submitting your work.


I confess I've been loving poetry lately.

I've been reading Dean Young's Fall Higher and just loving what he does with words and the freshness of his poems.

If you remember Dean just had a heart transplant in the spring.  NPR did a great story on it here.  I haven't heard how he's doing now, hopefully well, if anyone knows, please share.


I confess after my retreat, I've been in a funny space (funny peculiar, not funny ha-ha). I've moved from content to annoyed then back to content.  I think coming home from a writing residency does take some adjusting.  Some things I returned to too quickly.  Other things, I eased my way back into.

I confess also that I have already put on my winter weight (I'm thinking it's from a week of wine, cheese, and prosciutto at my writing retreat)- okay, I called it "winter weight" and it just became autumn, what can I say I've always been an overachiever.

Ever year I tend to gain 5-10 pounds in the winter and lose it in the spring.  It doesn't freak me out and in fact, I like my curvier self.

Rosie O'Donnell has a great rant about it in the movie Beautiful Girls --

(You can watch the whole monologue here on YouTube, just be aware if you're watching at work or have little ones, Rosie has some colorful language starting at the 1 second mark and going on from there.  But I think her rant is both hilarious and true, and have always remembered it from the movie.)

And yes, I confess I believe the big butt is part of the deal.  If you don't have the bum to go with what's going on in the front, something isn't right.

I confess a recent Facebook status was "I realize I like cheese more than I like fitting in my jeans."  Bring on the brie!



Friday, October 21, 2011

Sending Work Out into the World (or Not Doing That at All!)

Happiness is Submission to God...zilla

That above photo made me smile.  Submission to God, or Godzilla, or literary journals, I'm not submitting anywhere these days!  In fact, I was looking over my "Days Since" calendar and it's been 81 days since I've submitted a poem.  Good one.

I know that submitting one's work is part of the job, but I'm lazy at it and can be a perfectionist.  I said I hadn't been submitting because I didn't really have any good poems to send out.  Okay, that's fair-- we don't want to display all our half-finished coloring pages, but it's more than that.  I have gotten to a point where I really dislike submitting and I've become lazy about it.

If you are reading this as a writer looking for advice, I advise you not to follow my example.

Submitting your work is part of the job of a writer.  Longer prose work to an agent.  Shorter pieces to literary journals.

So what's my problem?

I've basically just put it off and allowed myself to be unaccountable for that aspect of my writing life.  Basically, I like writing more than submitting, so I've written, but haven't sent anything out.

I need to.  I connect by email with two other writers and each week (though we've been sloppier about it this year) we mail out our weekly goals.

I will put on my goals that I will send my poems out to two places next week. This is the time of year to be sending out your poems, sort of like adding seeds to the garden so you'll have flowers blooming in a few months.

So where have you submitted recently?  Any good news?

I'd love to hear and be inspired by what you've done...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday: BatCat Press & Renee Emerson

Over the summer, I received the most lovely chapbook of poems by Renee Emerson called Where Nothing Can Grow.  It's published by a small press called BatCat Press and you should definitely check them out.

I receive a lot of books in the mail, but this one definitely got my attention.

First, it's a chapbook, but it's hardbound!  And hand-constructed.  I opened to the center and could see where they punched holes and threaded the stitching, yes, hand-stitched.  Oh books, how I love you.  And the inside cover has a beautiful navy blue design and a velum cover page.  Yes, each individually bounded and numbered by hand.  To me, these books are a work of art and we need to support these presses.

You would think that a book like this would be $50 or more, but no, $10 for a piece of beauty.

And I haven't even mentioned the poems.  Beautiful, also.  Renee Emerson writes poems that ground the reader in place and story.  She writes in the poem, "Sons and Daughters," The one with the most expensive camera/becomes the photographer...  And her poems are snapshots of life, snapshots of stories and moments.

I read this chapbook while being driven someplace and that is how I felt while I read, as if I was being taken from my life into this paper world.

As in this poem "True Story"--

Oh, what we could've had!
Co-mingling, litters of star-mice,
true luminous bodies, scattered
in long grass, reflecting ...

Renee writes in a way that invites the reader in. I cannot tell you how much I admire this trait in a writer, she is happy to have us along for the ride!  And it shows in her poems, she writes with music throughout her narratives, looking back and considering, bringing us into the place.  It's a true gift of a poet to be able to bring a place to a reader.

The last poem was probably my favorite, the poem, "What we have and why we have it," where she writes:

Because my hands are ink stained
from notes to suits from suits, and my heels
are chaffed by cheap shoes...

And rent, with its baby
bird O of a mouth opens
each month.

Because we fill it, each mouth, each month...


You can pick up Renee Emerson's book WHERE NOTHING CAN GROW here

You can learn about BatCat Press here.

You can learn more about Renee Emerson here at her webpage.

And here's a link to another of Renee's poems from Boxcar Poetry

I am thankful to be introduced both to a new poet and new press, though both aren't exactly new, except new to me, but how lucky I feel to have found them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Confession Tuesday - Writing Residency Edition

Our note because last time, we had a few haunted incidents in our apartment (which I personally loved)...

Dear Reader, 

I am writing to you with my "retreat mind" still somewhat intact.  I know in the next few days I will lose this silence, and return to what seems "normal"-- NPR always on in the kitchen, the chatter of Facebook and the rest of the internet, the world's news coming at me from all directions, but right now as I type this, the day feels slow--even with many tasks and commitments ahead--I do not want to check MSN, Facebook, Twitter, but want to keep this calmness in my head.

But there's a lot that happened in a quiet week of working.  

To the confessional--

This is my room where I wrote for the last week.  I confess, by day two I had put a yellow blanket over the floral comforter because it was hurting my eyes or as I kept saying, "My bedspread is offending me."  Annette called my bedspread cover "Victorian Fainting Couch" style, and she was very close to naming what was hurting my eyes.

Annoyed Hornet in Wine Glass

I confess because the days were warm and I kept my windows open, I became the Hornet Trainer.  By the end of my stay, I was very much the Karate Kid of the Wine Glass, if you remember that scene with him, a fly and chopsticks, well, let's just say I raised the bar a little bit by adding hornets and a wineglass.  I could scoop them from the air by the end of this trip, in fact I've been cast in a new movie:  The Poetic Kid: When Hornets Attack.

I confess this is where I sat and wrote a poem straight through on evening at 5 (that is Mt. Baker in the distance, Denise Levertov's favorite mountain).  And I confess when I tried to recreate the magic the following night at the same place, it didn't happen.  This is poetic inspiration (similar to Project Runway motto)-- One night you're in, the next night you're out.  

The second night I did get a new poem, but it wasn't as brilliant as the first poem in the way it was written out.  The first poem came out start to finish (when this happens, it's truly a gift).  The second poem had many arrow pointing in between other lines.  The second poem worried if it was doing it right, if it could be all that its big sister was before.  The second poem dropped the baton, but picked it up and kept trying.

Romantic Movie Lovers: notice the background of "An Officer & a Gentleman" (it was filmed here)

I confess my writing residency made me make a choice that was hard to make. On my 2nd day there, the awards celebration for the Washington State Book Awards (Susan Rich, Oliver de la Paz, and I were all finalists) was scheduled in Seattle AND January O'Neil was in town to do a reading.  I bought a dress, I planned on going to both, and then... I didn't.  

This wasn't an easy choice.  I sat with myself and listened hard.  My ego wanted to go.  My ego wanted to get dressed up and be part of the crowd, the glorious winners.  But my writer self wanted to stay tucked in.  My writer self said, "You will leave here at 1 pm and not return until midnight or the next day."  My writer self said, "You will lose one full day of writing and have to resettle in."  My writer self said, "It's about the work this week..."

So I stayed.  My apartment mates helped me feel better about my decision and at the time I did.  But I confess, there is a part of me that wished I could be in two places at once.  Because I chose not to go, I made a point to write and revise more while on the residency to make sure, something would come out of the time I chose to stay.  And it did.

I confess I took a daily nap at the residency.  I was amazed how tired I was--write a poem, take a nap.  This was my schedule.  And I was good at it.

 I confess I think everyone should take yourself out of your regular life for at least a week a year. And really try to take yourself out.  I texted my family mostly so not to be drawn into the daily details, though I learned I could call them at night, but I kept it short.  I would always end with "I need to get back to work" as a reminder that I wasn't just up here giving myself pedicures and talking with the gals, but actually producing new work.

And I confess, returning to one's home after such an experience offers a few interesting things to consider--

1)  Your family realizes HOW MUCH YOU DO when you are here and appreciates you more.  Honestly, it felt good to be missed.

2)  You are creating good role models for your own kids (if you have them), especially if you have girls who will grow up with their own passions and interests, and especially, if they are artists themselves.  (I write this because women/moms seem to have bigger issues about leaving their families for a while to write than dads do...)

For example, the first time I went away to write when my daughter was even younger, I was a mess. I felt guilty.  I felt as if something terrible was going to happen when I was away.  I cried.  I called home all the time to check in. I could hardly be away.  And then about halfway through my week, I realized my time to write was almost over.  I didn't waste it away by worrying or crying (okay, I still did both occasionally), but I wrote.

I wrote new poems and remembered what it was like to be a person with dreams, goals, interests and passions.  Getting away to write reminds you that you are a person with individual dreams, goals and passions.  That's a good thing.

3)  Coming home can be a bit of a transition.  -- I've gotten better.  Two years ago, I came home terribly vulnerable and basically crash landed back into my own life.  There were tears and fights and more than I can write here.  But what I've learned is to allow myself back into the world more softly.

I ask my family not to ask anything of me on the day I return.  Even the question of "What do you want for dinner?" can make me fall apart sometimes.  As I said, I've gotten much better at transitioning faster, but do give yourself some time to reconnect with your own life.  There may be some things you see in your life that you don't like anymore, or you need to fix when you return.  So give yourself some time to return back in.

I love these signs; they remind me of The Partridge Family.
C'mon get happy...

I confess while my manuscript is still untitled, it's on its way.

When I left, I had two pages of poems I felt were complete, now I have thirteen pages in my manuscript.  I also have a nice selection of poems asking to be revised and saying they are almost ready to be included (I came close to putting them in, but I'm really working on not adding poems to my manuscript until I feel they are completely and positively done and the best I can do).

So I feel good about what I did.  And maybe I'll start submitting poems again. I haven't for awhile because I felt as if I didn't have anything acceptable enough.  I do now.

Thank you to a week of poetry.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Where I Am

This is my desk for a few more days.

Notice the "Make Art, Not War." Notice the wild sweet peas and beneath that a picture of Frida Kahlo.

I came here to begin revising my third manuscript. I have, I went from two pages of poems that I felt were complete to fourteen pages. I started three new poems yesterday.

One I started while sitting on the edge of a cliff looking at a lighthouse and a mountain.

Deer are everywhere here. But so are hornets. Each afternoon I know it's time to close my windows after I've caught and released no less than ten hornets with a wine glass. Hornet season is bad this yes, or maybe these are paper wasps. Either way, they find their way and I am their escort out.

Thankfully, I am not afraid of bees or wasps or hornets and in fact, if their buzzing wasn't so loud, would let them travel the room until they find their way back to the blackberries. But I am afraid of not writing poems or working, and their buzzing makes me lose my place, lose my poem, and that is why we can't live together in this small room with big windows.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to Celebrate a One Year Anniversary of Book Publication

This week is the one year anniversary of my book, Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room, which came out last October from White Pine Press.

How am I celebrating?

I am devoting the entire week to my third manuscript (currently untitled). Yes, I am spending the week writing.

I have been looking forward to this and this week realized I had scheduled it on the anniversary of my book release, which felt perfect.

I'll post photos after my week and let you know what I've done, what challenges I've had. I don't think I will finish it this week, but hoping to get a better idea of how it will be ordered, what its deepest themes are and figure out what poems I need to write.

Until we talk again, let your world also be filled with words.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Confession Tuesday

Dear Reader,

It's been a quirky week.  Or maybe I'm just quirky and weak.  It could be either.  I have a lot of weirdness on my mind, let's just get to things.

To the Confessional--

I confess one of my favorite things to do is empty the trash on my Mac laptop because it makes this noise that sounds like paper crumbling.  I get some weird serotonin kick when I hear it.  Sort of as if I've done something spectacular.


I confess I also love to organize my gmail and put things into folder and only have a limited amount of emails showing. While it hasn't happened in years, an empty email account with zero also gives me a serotonin kick.


I confess I signed up to do a half marathon in June.  I am *not* a runner.  I'm a walker, a rider, or a paddler.  Why did I sign up for this?  I want a medal.  It's as easy as that.

And I won't be running (I am not built to run as I am one of the softer curvier people in life and running makes me feel as if I'm made of cookie dough--okay, I am probably made of cookie dough, but I don't need to feel that way).  So I'm walking it.  It's not until June so that means my December of fudge and Christmas cookies will not be sacrificed.

Oh and I know running is supposed to give you a serotonin kick, but honestly, I get more a kick from cookies.


I confess I think it's weird that they are selling a 3D television that requires you to wear glasses.

People have to put on 3D glasses in their home to watch their television.  This seems like a big pain in the butt.  When I watch TV, I like to have about 5 other activities going on--answering email, making a To-Do list, reading a magazine. I do not want to sit in my living room looking like the Terminator just so it can appear as if the stick is coming at my face.


I confess it's always amazing what we can be sold.  So many things that were once conveniences or just high-tech playtoys are now essentials.  And I kind of dislike the part of me that goes back into the house to get her cellphone.  Just go, leave the cellphone behind.

My entire childhood was spent leaving the house to play and not returning until dark, until we could no longer see each other while playing kickball.  I think as a kid I would have been annoyed if my mum gave me a cellphone and told me to stay in touch.  And really, I would have lost it.  I would have dropped it in the ditch or the creek or the many places I played at that involved water.

How did we, who grew up with our parents never knowing where we were, become so nervous and so needing to be connected all the times?  I was in the free-to-be-you-and-me generation, not the free-to-be-tied-digitally-to-you-and-me world, which is where I feel as if I am now.

Hmmm... I'm not sure what I've confessed there except maybe when thinking about the old days I know there's no turning back...


Friday, October 07, 2011

Grammar Posters by Edward Howell Designs...

Happened upon this blog with Grammar Posters by Edward Howell.  These are things that put English majors in their happy place...

Elizabeth Austen's Letter to Young Writers (A @HugoHouse Series)

Seattle's Richard Hugo House is doing an incredible series on Letters to Young Writers (not "young" in age, but in the idea of the beginner's mind, the just-beginning writer, the we-always-have-something-to-learn writer).
Poet Elizabeth Austen wrote the first letter and it's wonderful.
Here's a bit of it--
Years ago I heard Stanley Kunitz say, “The first job of the poet is to become the person who could write the poems." 
For a long time I thought this meant I had to become a better person than I am. I thought I had to become virtuous and perfect, so that the Muse would give me wise and beautiful poems.
But what I know now is that all (all!) I needed to do is to become myself, not someone else’s idea of me.
Visual artists David Bayles and Ted Orland, in their indispensable book  Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, write that “…becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal, and in following your own voice, which makes your work distinctive.”

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Quote of the Day: Steve Jobs

Thankful Thursday - Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

I wish I knew the artist of this image that has been circulating around the web.

After an incredible evening of poetry at the Seattle Arts & Lecture Series with poet Dorianne Laux and so much laughter with my good friends, I woke up to the sad news Steve Jobs died yesterday.

So today's Thankful Thursday--written on my Mac--is dedicated to Mr. Steve Jobs.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs.

What I love about them is that they aren't just for tech-people, but all people, and specifically *creative* people.  I chose my favorites from the list, but  you can read all 60 of Steve Jobs quotes here.


“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

“Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?”

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.”
“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles."
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
“Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Thank you, Steve Jobs.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Collin Kelley's new book -- Remain in Light, A Novel! Congrats!

I just learned Collin Kelley's new book REMAIN IN LIGHT, A NOVEL, is now available for Kindle!  And it's only $4.99!  (It's also available for other eReaders such as the Nook, iPad, Sony eReader...)

And I also learned that Collin just passed the 3000 mark for followers on Twitter. (I linked up his blog if you want to see what he's up to as well...)

Collin is a writer I admire because he doesn't just *talk* about doing things, he does them.  

And from Collin's blog this--

The trade paperback edition is scheduled for a mid-January release and the first reading/signing will be hosted by Georgia Center for the Book on Tuesday, January 31,  7:15 p.m. at the Decatur Library. Mark your calendars!

To find our more about Remain In Light (and my first novel, Conquering Venus) click on this link.

And go here to purchase the $4.99 Kindle edition

Many many congrats to Collin for this and all that he's done.  He is truly a writer and author out in the world and I am so impressed with all he's done!  

I've included the book cover below and a brief summary of the book along with the author's portrait.

Congrats Collin!  Wishing you much success with this!  Cheers to you!
Okay, you can't really look inside on my blog, but if you go to Amazon, you can!

Author Collin Kelley
In 1968, Irène Laureux's husband was murdered during the Paris riots and his body dumped near Notre-Dame cathedral. Thirty years later, she finally catches up with his killer. With the help of American writer Martin Paige, Irène will illuminate decades of secrets and lies only to discover that her husband's death is part of something far more sinister. From government cover-ups and police corruption to organized crime and stolen identities, the city of Paris is not always full of light.

Remain In Light is a first class suspense novel. - Grant Jerkins, A Very Simple Crime

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Confession Tuesday...

Dear Reader,

This is take two on my confessions-- I'll explain shortly.

To the Confessional--

I confess I started to do today's confessions then decide to delete it and redo it because it pointed out some people a little too openly.

I think sometimes this is the challenge of the blog, to be honest, but not to mean or hurtful.  I have heard Google's motto is "Don't be evil" - Many times misquoted as "do no evil."  Either way, I think that's sound advice.


I confess in writing my first post I found this funny article about 6 New Personality Disorders Caused by the Internet -- (I confess, I have self-diagnosed myself with #3 and I still text in full words and sentences and not abbreviations).

BTW, this was from Cracked Magazine and I was surprised (and happy) to see Cracked still existed.


I confess I spent the weekend at the NW Bookfest, but was very surprised to find that all the exhibitors were outside Farmer's Market style.  We live in the Northwest and the theme of the Bookfest was "It's raining books..." well, it rained day one and our Crab Creek Review table didn't have a tent.  (I confess I didn't order a tent as I somehow missed that the Bookfest was outside.)  

Maybe I read it but it didn't register because 1) I have never been to a Bookfest that's been outside and 2) we're in the Northwest and in October, why would it be outside?

We became creative as soon as the rain began.

Annette, my co-editor and I moved our table to under an eave of a building.  Annette said, "We're going rogue" and we parked our table right by a giant sign that said, "Going Bovine." (Good enough.)

By the way, Going Bovine is a book about a boy who has mad cow disease and goes on a roadtrip (possibly with a dwarf).  Because of his mad cow disease, it's apparently hard to tell what is really happening in the book and what is in his mind.  I know this because a woman yelled, "That's my favorite book!" so I had her tell me what it was about.

This is what I love about writers, I had so many incredible conversations about books and so many other literary things that most people never talk about.  How often do I get to hear someone yell out, "That's my favorite book!"?  I love it when people are passionate about books. Warms my heart.


I confess that while the attendance at Bookfest was down, the people I did meet were incredible.

One of my very favorite people I met was Ed Lincoln, who wrote the memoir, Life Through the Rear-View Mirror.  If you're from Seattle you'll know exactly who is if I say that he was the man who built the pink Lincoln "Toe Truck."

He stopped by the Crab Creek Review table and even gave my daughter a pink "Toe Truck" keychain from Seattle's golden days (I have been hugely impressed by this token and showing it to everyone).  

His book has received a lot of good reviews and he said when Howie Mandel came to town he borrowed the Toe Truck and drove it around Seattle.  Ed was an incredibly nice man and with a great story and history.

I hope he sold a lot of books.  His story is unique and well, he's just a really nice guy.


I confess one of my favorite part of Bookfest was reading with Susan Rich, Jeannine Hall Gailey, & Elizabeth Austen.

They are INCREDIBLE poets and readers, so hearing them was a treat for me and because we went in alphabetical order, I was first (which I LOVE) because I was able to read then enjoy the rest of the hour listening to their words.


I confess my concern with the Bookfest is how many people didn't know about it and the major publishers and bookstores who weren't there this year.  No Open Books, no Copper Canyon Press, no Elliott Bay Books, no Floating Bridge Press.  These are some of my favorite organizations and I missed that they weren't there.

What is also odd in Seattle is that we have so many writers and book lovers and yet, because the Northwest Bookfest has been tossed around from location to location for a number of years, no one can find it and people bow out because they don't know what to expect.

Even Bumbershoot, which was our arts festival, has become mostly a musical festival with literary arts getting smaller and smaller.

If I had a wish (and I do), it would be that Seattle would take care of its writers and its literary organizations and give them a decent place to connect.  There are so many in this town who are in love with books and words, who love their fiction writers and their poets, this shouldn't be a grass and tents production, it should be huge (and inside).

I hope the Bookfest finds a home and an organizer who is willing to bring it back to its glory.

Here it is in 2002 in at a hangar in Sand Point (they estimated 20,000 people came through)--

I confess I miss these days of Northwest Bookfest-- at Sand Point and on Pier 48-- and I hope one day we can remind ourselves what a literary city we are.


Monday, October 03, 2011

Do What Conan Says -->

Happy Anniversary to Us (here we are after 18 years of marriage...)

My husband and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary.  18 years ago today, we were married.
How I wished we looked every day...
More realistic version of how we look every day.
I don't have any marriage advice except if you're getting married, make sure you marry someone who supports your art & your dreams, and if you can marry your best friend, even better.  

Summer 2011 - Go-Go's Concert
Marry someone who will attend a Go-Go's concert with you even if while you were listening to Madonna and Go-Go's, he was listening to Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones.

Bret Michaels & Jimi Hendrix (aka me & my husband)
If you like costume parties and you marry someone who also does, you will have more fun.  (Also, someone who thinks it's cool if you choose to dress up like a man for Halloween.)

Prom (after 17 years of marriage)
Attend usual events and name yourself Prom King & Queen even if no one has voted yet.

Realize marriage is not an ongoing honeymoon.  There will be bills and stresses and bad habits and messy kitchens and you will not photograph as beautifully as Ashton and Demi do.  And that's okay.  

Happy 18th... 

To 18 more...

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