Posted by blk1 on 13th July 2008
I’m up on Sunday morning and it’s 7:30. I slept well and that will make today much more fun. I am hooked into a writing piece that began on my Image/text blog and I moved it to the Eanthology with a just a bit of proofing. I wondered what more I needed now that the text was out there without its image. I had it up late one night and by the next morning I had some great feedback. I responded and got more.
I shared the piece with Mary and got some very supportive comments. Just reading it out loud was so helpful.
Last night it was back into the piece and really reworking it. I don’t know if it’s better but it’s just exploding. I think I will put it up on my blog with this reflection, but I am getting ready to put it back up on the EA.
Funny, as I was graduating college in 1971, lots of my hippie contemporaries who were not yet ready to begin careers, looked westward. I was all about crossing the Atlantic, and spending my first summer travel adventure in England and Austria. A European history major, I was not yet bitten by the see America bug, and I remained untouched for many years, saving my summers for more trips to Europe while my younger brothers traveled together across the country overwhelmed by the parks, the deserts, the Pacific Ocean, Las Vegas. I was the family snob.
But when I began to teach high school, Georgia O’keefe came into my life. A great documentary about her on Channel 13 turned me to her art and to her Southwest.
My dreaming began to take shape when I found my writer’s identity with the help of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and one day at school, I picked up the phone and called the number on the back page of her book. Natalie answered the phone. Natalie Goldberg graciously shared information about her upcoming summer workshop in Taos, New Mexico and my southwest travel plans began in earnest.
Georgia and Natalie joined forces and I fell in love with the southwest, then and forever. Many of us were captured in the spell of the southwest. Maybe a second home? Maybe?
For the next 4 summers I found my way back to the area: writing, riding in the mountains, but somehow, as hard as I tried, I would always be a visitor. Too far from the Hudson River.
But I never lost my passion for the feel of the southwest and Tuvia joined me in January for a return to Tucson and it was still overwhelming and overpowering and thrilling.
I am an American. I am an American.
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Posted by blk1 on 15th January 2008
Writing on my blog, on other blogs, sending emails, working on digital pieces, working on articles, grants…writing. I realized today as I was diligently composing my daily early morning journal piece that I like, love to write. I spend most of my time on this computer writing, writing. Imagine. I have spent years running away from the pleasure of writing.
At the moment I was slowly working on a piece for the NWP and taking lots of time avoiding the actual writing, until I was so eaten up with guilt I opened the file and spent the day reading and writing. Looking over at the quotes Kevin so speedily sent me to use in the article. Of course I didn’t really write the whole day, but I actively worked on the piece and enjoyed the challenge even if I’m not totally sure where it’s going. I’m confident it will get there because Paul will be working on it with me and then other will check in as well.
So once again, writing is something social, to be shared and talked about. It’s not an isolated and lonely process. Of course it can be. Lots of writers suffered their way through to the end of their great pieces. For me, I’m so much happier working hand in hand with others. It’s been so cool to talk through this piece with Paul. So cool.
I am not concerned about what he will think of me as a writer when I send him something. I will instead be waiting to see what he thinks and what I still need to do. It’s really a cool process, but it’s shared and that’s what I love.
Actually, as I think about it, that’s what I love about writing on this blog. I don’t know if anyone is reading this. But what fuels me, is the possibility that someone will. It’s exciting. I would never bother if it were just for my eyes alone, preserved in a notebook.
I don’t usually reread my blog posts, but I could and I like how they look when I finish them.
I take that back. I really would like to read these at another time.
It’s so much fun to write about my writing….ahhh the process of reflection…too bad I couldn’t bring this power home to the group I worked with on Friday. What a frustration!
Okay…enough for now….I actually just reread the article draft from yesterday and it’s not bad.
Nice! Writing, what fun!
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Posted by blk1 on 1st January 2008
Tuvia and I spent our first New Year’s here at Lincoln Center, 11 years ago. It was much colder on that night, in fact, the coat I bought in preparation for the evening, I wore last night as well. As we walked together, practically strolling I remembered that first walk together, that was almost the same, that is expect for the wind that almost blew us over. I remember holding on tightly to Tuvia’s hand and he was thrilled to step up to the macho plate.
I remember that evening, wearing my slinkiest black dress and following Tuvia at intermission into the crowded mass heading out for a glass of champagne. We shared our glass and returned after intermission smiling broadly. Zubin Mehta was conducting and after intermission he returned with a sparkling top hat and his glass of champagne. It was a romantic evening even in the wind. We were out of the city in no time after the concert and by midnight at a friends’ party, together. A perfect way to usher in our relatively new relationship.
So this year, we returned to Lincoln Center. Sure we’ve had fun on the Eve’s in between, but it felt RIGHT to be back at Lincoln Center. No Zubin and lots of schmaltzy music and at intermission we stood on line for a glass of champagne (for $10) and as we got to the front the lights began to flash and they ran out of champaign glasses. I really wanted some diet coke but we returned to our seats happy to just enjoy the music. After all the night was young. It was a nice concert but I’m not a big fan of Joshua Bell, but the finale was Bolero and for that I was juiced. Bolero, I know a version that we played as kids in our school concert band. What’s fantastic about that piece is the opportunities for the woodwinds stanza by stanza with the steady beat of a quiet snare drum. Now we never sounded like the Philharmonic, but getting inside a piece of music allows you to listen more carefully when you least expect it. And here we were getting ready to leave and Bolero made the whole audience stop and move with the music, at least I was moving. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. Solo flute, oboe, clarinet, tenor sax, soprano sax, bassoon and back and forth,…and then brass and strings but only near the end. This is piece is more about the sound of the woodwinds. I could have stayed for more. But Loren Mazel is feeling his age and seemed to give all he had just to walk on to the podium and raise his baton. His successor should infuse the music with a new, youthful energy as the whole center gets an overdue makeover.
A wonderful walk to the car, a ride home and one hour to share some fancy chocolate and instead of champaign, good vodka, my drink of choice, when I drink. And then the ball dropped and we were ready for the same.
So happy new year to us and to all. What will 2008 have for us?
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Posted by blk1 on 10th September 2007
Every day since January 2, I’ve been writing into the morning on my word count journal and loving it. It’s public so the entires are written with a sense of audience and I love that as well.
For years, as I completed a writing retreat, workshop, summer institute, I promised myself I’d write daily in a journal and I always began with a crisp, cool new journal and a great pen, and it was placed lovingly right next to my bed so I could write in the morning or before I fell asleep. I always began with resolve, but it never went much beyond the first week and after a month or so, the abandoned journal was an unpleasant reminder of my failure to make good on my promise to myself. Soon it was back on its shelf. But NOT THIS TIME! I have been writing daily and loving it. And now I am hooked and sadly, due to a tech glitch I don’t seem to be able to open my journal blog. UGH! But my buds from word count are trying to help. I want my journal back. I WANT MY JOURNAL BACK. Until then I will be posting daily here, even though I have been saving this journal for more lofty thoughts.
And I am back up and running. My day just isn’t right if I don’t begin with word count. What a wonderful habit.
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Posted by blk1 on 7th September 2007
Just as we were moving from ’06 to 7 I remember IMing with Karen and the conversaion turned to writing on line. Karen suggested a daily online journal, Word Count that she was beginning on the 1st. One word on the first, two words on the second and so on…and I loved the idea from the start. Sure, I have in the past, promised myself, usually after a writing retreat or summer insititute that I would write religiously,every day. Of course the effort was valiant, but after a week or so, I was moving that new journal from the table next to my desk, back to its place in the study, on a book shelf. Why not try this, no sweat and it was more attractive that it was on line. I’m not sure why?
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