Saturday, October 28, 2006

Well, I'm back from VCCA. After a couple of days in the hubbub of the real world, my time there already feels like a dream. It was such a fruitful time--what a pleasure to wallow in words for over a week, to have nothing to do but write and eat and sleep and commune with nature and creative people. I hope I'll find a way to maintain the momentum I developed there--I really reconnected with my novel, which I'm very grateful for (I think part of the trick will be to continue to limit my internet access--it's amazing how much time I fritter away online). I will try to share more details soon, but for now here's a poem I wrote my last full day there:

An ode to VCCA

On the cow-flanked road
between bed and desk, a patch
of asphalt has fallen away,
exposing large chunks of quartz
beneath, as if the road itself
is a geode, broken open
into radiance. We all break open
here—"I had a break through today,"
I hear again and again, from writer,
from artist, from composer, each of us
cracking through the stone skin
of our lives to find hidden minerals
that startle us with their color, their ability
to catch the light. One day, I opened
my studio door to find the room full
of ladybugs, walls seething with them,
air alive with specks of red, and I knew
my own heart had burst open there,
coating every surface with its jagged,
winged, hum.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I am leaving tonight for my residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. I am so excited to have a span of days to do nothing but write. I have been spreading myself thin lately, and my writing has become fairly anemic as a result. This time in Virginia should help make it more robust again.

I am going to try to go on a media diet while I'm there (I loved Shalom Auslander's recent column about how the media affects his writing process) and severely limit my time online. So if I blog between now and October 25, please give me a kick in the butt and tell me to get back to work!

See you when I return...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I am quoted in this lovely, timely Sojourners article: From Imagination to Action: Can fiction be a vehicle for social change? This is an issue very close to my heart, of course, and Valerie Weaver-Zercher explores it in a very thorough and thoughtful way. I am delighted to be included in the conversation.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I have a small collection of hilariously-translated pencil boxes on my desk. They have been here for so long, I rarely notice them anymore, but today they jumped out at me, fresh and new and joyful, and I wanted to give them some appreciation.

I'll try to post pictures when I can find my camera, but until then, here is the text of each:

--Sandy & His Friend (featuring one Peanuts-like character, and one blobby, less distinct character, both in baseball garb)

Love always bring us luck

They only say
loftyness is that the more time goes
the more it adds the value.

The world of shining hope for
you and me

--Bobi & Tom (featuring two dinosaurs and a teddy bear)

From time to time, the usual moment seems terribly beautiful

--Super Happy Girl (featuring, not only a super happy girl with a super happy dog sitting on her head, but free floating strawberries, doodles, and random newspaper clippings about Bill Clinton)

A new morning came to seen. My eyes glittered at the moment.

(and, my favorite)

--Animal Kids (featuring kids wearing hugely-headed animal costumes)

I'll sticky about my favorite things. Waves of joy, coming with feeling. How are you?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Happy 16th birthday to my amazing son, Arin! How is it possible that my wrinkly little baby with the wise eyes is now a 6 foot tall guy who can grow a beard and has size 13 feet?! Crazy. His eyes still have that same wisdom, though.

In this picture, Arin is jumping his skateboard from one roof to another at the elementary school down the street. I asked him not to do this any more after I first saw the photo (the fact that the portable buildings in question have recently been dismantled will help enforce this!) but I have to admit, the picture gives me a thrill. I love seeing his grace and courage. I love seeing him soar.

May this be a year full of the best kinds of flight.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

If you have a chance, please click on CODEPINK's first Give Peace a Vote PSA today between 10:30am-11:30am PST. We're hoping to get it to the top of the most-viewed list on YouTube so it will reach more people (and hopefully inspire them to sign the Peace Vote Pledge). This PSA features Jackson Browne; others are in the works as we speak. Thanks so much for your support!