Saturday, May 31, 2014

Portland Women Writers, and me

Hello. I have everything to say, and nothing.

From this time forward, I will misuse commas. Because writing allows you freedom. Once you learn it, you can break the rules. I find some comfort, in the rule-breaking.

In Portland, Oregon, my home for three years, many good women are writing and rule-breaking. They live in this field dominated by men. I should look up whether women writers also earn less on average than men. Or, on second thought, I shouldn't. I should keep writing.

These local and accomplished writers -- Ursula K. Le Guin, Cheryl Strayed, and Lidia Yuknavitch -- live in Portland and write. They came together this month to promote the new release of a selected, favorite, out-of-print book. They each picked a book that had touched them and wrote a foreward, then a publishing house bought the rights and reissued the works. (Pharos Editions: The Lists of the Past, a collection of stories by Julie Hayden, chosen by Strayed; The Tattooed Heart & My Name is Rose, two literary novels by Theodora  Keogh, chosen by Yuknavitch; and Crazy Weather, a classic coming-of- age tale set in the American Southwest, the selection of Le Guin.) 
From left: Yuknavitch,Strayed, and le Guin.
Bottom right: Cute blonde, my friend, Fufkin.
At Powell's in Beaverton, May 15.

At the event, each writer spoke about the books, their authors, the publishing business, and why readers are so important (buy from independents!). If I could tap every hour into their strength as true artists, my cup of inspiration would be overflowing.

But my cup is close to empty. If I were a tell-all blogger, you'd understand every nuance of why. When does a writer start thinking her innermost story is the one everyone is interested in reading? Certainly, Cheryl Strayed didn't hold much back in Wild. Lidia laid it all out in Chronology of Water. I'm not them.

I have many plans unfolding. A long road-trip, a relocation, a resettling. More writing, I'm sure. Close time with good people. In the next few weeks, I say my good-byes to Portland. I release my book. I re-assess.

I have everything to say, and nothing.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

To Live Deliberately, By Henry David Thoreau

Why should we live in such a hurry and waste of life?
We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.
I wish to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.
I want to learn what life has to teach, and not, when I come to die, discover that I have not lived.
I do not wish to live what is not life, living is so dear.
Nor do I wish to practice resignation, unless it is quite necessary.
I want to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,
I want to cut a broad swath, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.
If it proves to be mean, then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world;
Or if it is sublime, to know it by experience, and to be able to give a true account of it.