Sunday, July 26, 2009

When in Doubt ~ Two Brains Dialogue

"Two Men Meet, Each Supposing the Other to Be of Higher Rank," Paul Klee, etching, 1903
This week I was given a practical tip by Elizabeth Stark & our writing forum. I was stuck on how to solve a couple of anomalies while revising my novel. In our forum we talk about our Storyteller (right brain) and our Brain (logical/left). I write from my Storyteller or intuitive brain and so often can't see some small, but pertinent anomalies. Elizabeth picked up on them immediately, & in trying to figure how to bridge the gap, she suggested I have the two writer parts of me dialogue on paper. I did, and got an immediate solution! If only the world's politicians could come up with solutions so easily!
I know this is an often used conveyance in making decisions, but sometimes we forget to apply it to each riddle, or area, in our lives. Now, I'm off to re-write those parts of the book to bring more clarity. Oh, the Paul Klee etching immediately jumped into my mind when I was searching for a topic for this blog. No one, no one part of our brains, cannot meet and find common ground. I'm not sure if that's what Klee meant, but I'm sure if I could have a chat with him we'd have a wonderful conversation.... or maybe, we'd just sit down & take out our sketch books & draw in silent communication.
Happy Last Week of July!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Writers are Ladies and Gentlemen

Taos Summer Writer's Conference

Symphony of Color, Ed Sandoval © 2004, TWC poster artist & Taos artist

The Taos Summer Writer's Conference is winding down after an intense, wonderful-learning week. Working on the Moby Dickens' Bookshop concession, I saw participants and presenters coming and going, stopping to browse books, or chat with one another. What a superb literary vibe enveloped me. What strikes me most is how congenial, kind, and easy to be with the authors are, especially the ones with deserved accolades: Wally Lamb, Elizabeth Strout, Robert Boswell, Pam Houston, and Antonya Nelson to name a few. They are all ladies and gentlemen in the true, old-fashioned sense of the world. I, me the shy one usually, could natter with most of them like I natter with my friends. Maybe one day I'll be a true colleague of theirs when my novel is published. It's an honor to say I'm a writer with such down-to-earth talented writers to model.
I'm off to water my parched garden that is suffering a Taos heat wave. Ah, evenings to water, watch the sun set, and then read one of the novels of our mannered writers.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Starting tomorrow I will be manning the Moby Dickens' book concession for the Taos Writers Conference. I look forward to being in the melee of great writers and serious students of writing. This year the conference hosts Wally Lamb as the keynote speaker and Robert Boswell, who just received the Oprah book pick, and who also wrote the great book on writing Half Known World. Elizabeth Strout will also give a week long workshop. I couldn't put her Pulitzer Prize winning Olive Kitteridge down. It is a wonderful book in character study and development. One way writers learn is to read, read, read! I look forward to telling you all about my experiences next week.
This week I submitted my first 20,000 pages to my teacher/editor Elizabeth Stark! I love the "super red marks," her commits, and encouragement. What a joy it is to be a writer & to let one's imagination run with the story! Oh, I also just finished the ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) of Margaret Atwood's forthcoming The Year of the Flood. A real page turner, mesmerizing and page turning! Look out for it in September. What are you reading, and how is it informing your life and/or creativity?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

"Horse" Ink on wood,
Judith, May 09

This week my art and writing have been my haven. Do you ever get weeks like that, where you need a retreat from other stresses? I count myself very lucky that my creativity can now do that for me. For years I was trying to find space & time to create, while trying to use other things like reading or a movie for a haven. I wish now I'd realized all those years that it was the other way around. If I go into my creativity haven, then I come out energized to relax and read or to face the stressors head on! Right now the sky is clouding over here in lovely Taos. I do hope we get that late afternoon rain as it's always so refreshing! May you find your true havens this week.