Fruit in the Days of Darkness
Now that fall is over, and my teaching load has lightened, I am excited to get back to work on my own creative projects. In December, a friend generously lent me her tiny house for a three-day writing retreat. [If you are interested in this sweet little place, or the tiny house movement, visit aatinyhouse blog (a wonderfully written archive of April’s tiny house undertaking, complete with the nut-and-bolts practicality of the project, as well as philosophical, environmental, and literary insights into creating “new” from old).] The retreat prompted a whole new collection of short stories, which I will be working on in the coming months.
As always, Portland’s literary, music, and art communities are booming, and I feel fortunate to be surrounded by so many creative people. Specifically, I have been frequenting two reading series this past summer/fall: (1.) Bad Blood, an excellent poetry series that convenes in a wood/metal workshop, where word-craft mingles with the distant grinding of saws and the clanging of metal lathes, and (2.) Gridlords, a monthly comics performance and reading series which always offers fascinating, entertaining, and experimental works of image and text. I also remain a big PDX music fan, and recently downloaded a mass of awesome FREE local albums off Wants to Give You. Deer or the Doe, Point Juncture, WA, Team Evil, Jana Osta, Swim Swam Swum, Pluvial. Check ’em out. It’s free! In addition, I was honored to help with some final edits on a script for the local musical, Aika & Rose: A Supernatural Star-crossed Teen Lesbian Love Story, which will be performed at Headwaters Theater January 16th – January 25th.
I was such a Gridlords follower that they kindly offered me a slot to read last summer. In addition to the reading, I had this wonderful conversation with Gridlordian Lillie Craw, where we discussed constraint and freedom in the creative process, superfluous writing rituals, and Foucault.
For this winter, I am excited to announce that I will continue teaching writing classes at Chemeketa Community College, while also working on this new collection of short stories that emerged during my short retreat. I even have a reading scheduled for soft show, on February 4th at the Blue Monk. If you are in Portland, I would love to see you there!
Take care, everyone, and let me know about the news in your world!