Sunday, February 19, 2017

Chloe Wofford's birthday was yesterday.

A good interview with Toni Morrison.

She talks a bit about white centrality and that to me brings awareness. And having the power to name things., including yourself. And having the power to choose for yourself vs. the false power of choosing for someone else.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Pencil shavings

CW Pencils

I'm a dabbler in a lot of things. Painting, poetry, cleaning, essential oils, cooking, tea, make up, nail art, planners, journaling...everything.

Today's dabble is pencils. I love going to estate sales and finding vintage pencils. I use them, I compare them, I sharpen them, and have them all over the house.



I have used expensive pencils, dollar store pencils, pencils from the '50s, pencils from other countries. I've culled my indiscriminate collection down considerably and kept only the pencils that write dark enough for me. I don't care how much they're going for online, or how rare they are, or if they're entirely intact with a good eraser.  I love a rich black juicy line without having to press very hard. That is my only criteria, really and if they don't meet that, if it's a pencil I'm just not going to use, I pitch it gleefully off into the donate bag.

And I always always come back to my reliable ol' Ticonderoga iridescent silver, black wood pencils with the black eraser. To me, they write nice and dark and smooth. They erase like a dream. I find that I don't care for the regular ones as much. It has to be the silver ones, I can feel a difference. The feel in the hand is obviously different because of the paint. The lead feels pretty much the same, but the eraser is not as satisfying.



If I don't care about using an eraser, then any drawing pencil that is a 4B will do. I've tried an 8B, and I liked the novelty of them for a minute, they amused me for the audacity, but I'll leave the drawing and shading to the artists. I'm just writing a to-do list.

Collectors Weekly

Comfortable Shoes Studio


Sunday, July 10, 2016

reading is fundamental

remember that commercial? RIF. advocacy for reading, right on tv. ha.

i told myself instead of "training" to apply for an MFA (i.e. reading my ass off) for the next year to catch up to all the new college grads who've been reading for the last 10 years, i would just read for fun. not work. if it's fun it's not work, and that's just better for everybody.

goodreads is a good place to cache reading progress. it's kind of win-win to me, who has been out of the game all these years, because i get to see my progress and also leave a thoughtful review. that counts as writing practice as far as i'm concerned.

i was watching a tina turner video earlier this morning of her chanting some buddhist chants for peace and calm. is there a chant for writers?

i know, i know, our chant is the lull of fingers striking the keys. this should bring cosmos out of chaos (read Madeleine L'Engle's book Walking on Water sometime) and the well replenishes itself.

my diversion of the moment is the paris review's art of fiction. i love these articles because of the insight into writers' lives. it's almost like a "how to" for me to study.

off to chant.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

About that writing life

woke up early. want to write. don't necessarily want to write the story i've been reading at writer's group. that story seems over. but i want to finish SOMEthing.

so here i am in my journal.

i'm hungry.
i'm procrastinating.

look at me, being all professional!
this is how all pros do it, i'm told.

all the great authors...can't say they ALL didn't have internet, distractions.

i'm just gonna write it and get it over with. i kinda wanna explore my idea for a middle-aged biddies' book club that decides to read bad books like the satanic bible and forbidden stuff.

but i don't know any bad books or forbidden stuff.

has the internet given me ADD?

i need tea.

ok, next scene.

i put my glasses on. i take my glasses off. i have to be able to see the page. i am still operating under the delusion that i need my glasses to "get to work." but i am now at the stage in life of having to take my glasses off to see anything within arm's reach.

my pencil smells like sex. deep. spicy.

now i have to conjure up all the favorite women writers i can think of. imagining them using all their excuses to stop the pencil moving on the paper. stop the keys from clicking. FOR VALID REASONS. (more tea, looking up a thing online, underwear are uncomfortable, something's going on outside, was that a notification on my phone? chips.)

how did they stay on track? maya angelou used to rent an apartment just for writing and sprawl across the bed on her stomach and write longhand for three hours.

tried that. back hurts and i keep checking my phone.

how did erica jong slog thru the brilliant fear of flying? it reads like a stream of genius consciousness.

tried that. i'm dumb.

how did amy tan stay focused enough to do research day after day, when it stopped being fun? how does anne rice stay the course, does she babble drivel in her notebook, does she draw hearts that say "anne + idris elba 4-eva?" or run her pencil along the metal loops to listen to the clicks....

such large and diverse books these women produced, to keep focused on. they're large to me, these books. these women seem like superheroes. how do they do it without grass or speed. being straight-edge is so very boring sometimes.

i'm good for about two paragraphs a day, and of those i can get two solid sentences.

my attention span withers.

i'm still hungry.

i have no personal goal set. this must be my problem. i need someone to tell me when i can stop writing, because...

i'm getting in a canoe on lake superior thinking i might go to the orient, but i have no idea how fucking deep and cold this lake is. that's probably a good thing.

i'll end up in mackinaw city, trading furs.

(and get really tired of fudge.)

land is nowhere to be seen, i'll just keep going.

if i don't sink.
if i don't get scurvy.
or die of frostbite. --- shit, those are horrible ifs.

i'm a voyageur. look at me voyaging.






Friday, April 17, 2015



The Paris Review archives are one of my favorite things to read. Such a fount of inspiration and learning! This interview with E.L. Doctorow is stupendous.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

american literature dot com

american literature
for american short stories. this is all the stuff you were supposed to read in school, but ended up just copying someone else's notes instead, then wrote the paper in five minutes and forgot everything about it. typically, i'm not a fan of the american short story, but i am working on that. there's lots to chomp on, enjoy.