Friday, April 13, 2007

3 Posts in 1 Day? Am I losing it?

OR coast

No, it's just Poetry Thursday. And since Blogger has prevented anyone else from talking here, by cutting off the comments, it looks like I better keep the conversation flowing all by myself. So here it is: a poem I wrote when I was in Oregon for the first and only time:


The March trees
are different here
on the other coast.
Along Route 5,
they point upward
like intractable feathers.
Only the internal weather
travels with us
wherever we go--
layer after layer
of illusory greys.
Look deeper, the sky says.
Wake up!
If you knew
you would die today,
would these clouds
be your final vison?

P.S. I didn't turn my comments off...but they seem to have disappeared. Sigh.

3 GOOD REASONS TO THROW MY COMPUTER INTO THE SEA...and 5 even better reasons not to

complaint, originally uploaded by patryfrancis.


1. For some reason, ever since I converted to beta blogger, I haven't been able to get onto a lot of my favorite blogs. The New Dharma Bums, The Writers Group Blog, and just today Grow Wings, to name a few. Meanwhile, other Blogger sites, continue to welcome me and serve up their beautiful sights and colors. Some even offer me tea; I swear it's true!

Another strange aspect of this situation? It only happens on MY computer. On Ted's computer, I can sign in as myself and visit any blog I'd like. So who's promoting this conspiracy? Blogger? My Mac? The government, maybe? I don't know, but my seagull friend and I are getting plenty aggravated.

2. At present, I'm working very hard on my second novel. At least, I'm trying to. I mean I intend to...doesn't that count for something? Every morning I wake up and commit to writing at least 2,000 words. I write my goal in my journal. I look myself in the mirror, bravely facing my bedhead, and make a solemn promise: Today I will...I swear I don't even laugh when I say it. By noon, I've revised downward to 1,000. But do you think this blasted computer can produce even a thousand measly words on a regular basis? I tell you; it's time for a new one.

3. There are far too many interesting sites on this computer. I need one that squawks like a seagull whenever I try to visit blogs or read the 10 most emailed articles on the New York Times, or to check the obits before I get my work done. Maybe a little ruler could pop out and slap my hand. On my next computer, I definitely want a squawking seagull and a ruler.

And now for the cons, which are really pros, if you get my tangled logic. In the past week, I've been incredibly happy and grateful to receive three Thinking Blogger Awards. (I hope no one will tell these kind people that the only thing I've been thinking about much later is how I can procrastinate doing my work.)

The first was from Colleen, whose blog has made me love with Floyd, Virginia so much that I'm now telling everyone I know I want to move there. (My impudent friends and family claim that I say I'm moving to a different location every year, and I barely get out to the corner store. Hmmph, will they be surprised when I send them a postcard from Floyd.

Then the marvelous Tinker, who draws and makes things, and reviews books with The Third Day Book Club and always, always inspires me with her generous spirit, chose me, too.

And just today, I saw that a new friend, Aaron Lazar, who writes provocative essays, as well as suspense novels that are definitely on my to-be-read list, tapped me.

Thanks to all! (I was also going to say "I love you," but realized that might sound a little too overzealous, and besides, Aaron's wife might get the wrong idea.)

In turn, I'm supposed to choose 5 blogs that make me think. The trouble is that I wouldn't consider adding a site to my sidebar if it DIDN'T provoke thought and joy and maybe even a little bit of transformation. And as you can see, there are considerably more than five of you wonderful people hanging out among my links.

So instead of following the rules, I decided to choose five NEW blogs that make me think. Since I was planning to update my links anyway, this was a great opportunity.

1. eSoup: I was introducted to this inspring and informative blog through KG's fabulous weekly series for writers. It happens every Tuesday on Write Now is Good; and for anyone who's interested in increasing their writing productivity (ahem) it's a must-read. (Note to self) Just do your writing BEFORE you check out the blog.

2. The Palace at 2:00 a.m. Marly is an inspired fantasy writer and poet, and I never leave her blog without feeling a little more awake and alive than I was when I clicked on it. Seriously speaking--or maybe whimsically speaking, you need to read this blog.

3. The Happiness Project: because happiness is good, right?

4. Mardougrrl: All right, I know everyone in the blogosphere has been visiting this exceptionally well-written and insightful blog for months and years. I'm slow, okay?

5. Just Be...Connected: It's not just a blog; it's a community of people committed to the creative lifestyle who share ideas and interviews, and sometimes even STUFF. What's more Just Be has planned an amazing conference to be held right here on Cape Cod in the hotel where I used to sling hash, er, I mean serve elegant dinners. (Really, the food is good, and if you come, you will get to meet all my cool waitress friends.) If you haven't yet registered, may I remind you that October is the very best month on the Cape, and there is such a generous spirit behind this, that it has to be wonderful.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Weekly One Line Obituaries

"magic fly paula," a photographer whose work draws me to it again and again, calls this "Blue Words from the Silent World." It seems to fit.

I usually like to find six obituaries before I stop my search, but these five
contain enough for one week.

As always, I will confine myself to one line about each person, but there was a story about Olive Dehn which seemed so poignant to me that I have to share it: She loved her hens so much that she never left her cottage unattended, for fear a fox might get one of them. At one point, there had been eighty hens, but in the end, only one remained. Dehn gave it away to a friend a few days before she died. I'm not sure why that story touches me so much, but it does.

The rest of these lives spoke to me in different ways. Gilly Singh Mundy, who worked tirelessly and humbly for social justice, but loved a great party, reminds me to celebrate more. And the the line about Maha Ghosananda who lost sixteen siblings in the Khmer Rouge massacre is so hopeful it sings. But enough from me; let the blue words speak.

Olive Dehn, Poet, writer, organic farmer for 40 years:

" Dehn was forever cooking, feeding, and comforting, as well as opening the house to people in need." (Or maybe it would suffice to say she loved hens?)

Don McPhee, Photojournalist:

"He found grace, courage, and dignity in unlikely places." (This is a man worth learning more about...)

Cormac Rigby, BBC Radio Announcer and Catholic Priest with a passon for ballet:

"He was in every sense a good man."

Gilly Singh Mundy, community activist, who dedicated his life to the fight against racism and injustice:

"His beautiful photographs and his love of music and food were an expression of his passion for life; he threw legendary parties."

Maha Ghosananda, Cambodian peace worker:

"For all his learning and his mastery of ten languages, he built his work on a belief in the transformative power of inner peace."