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.


  1. Been thinking of you often over the past few months, and wondering about your book coming out. I am sad to hear that you are moving on, having not had the opportunity to meet you more often, but understand at least a glimmering of the back story. Wishing you well in the days to come, and still anticipating holding a copy of your book in my hands one of these days...

    1. oh sarah, so wish we could have spent more time together here in portland. too much has happened lately. i will be reading you from afar, but will be back, hopefully to promote the next book and the next and the next . . .

    2. Too much, indeed. I"ll await those book promos :)maybe even have some of my own, someday, as well as a blog update. You and yours are in my prayers.


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