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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Rice Pudding Poetry

Award-Winning Poet David Rivard Featured in Rice Pudding Poetry Series

Poet David Rivard will be the featured poet in the upcoming Rice Pudding Poetry Series on Thursday evening, January 18. Together with a group of “community readers,” including Agnes Charlesworth, Tammi Truax, Alison Harville, Joan Beskenis, Alan Bing, and Lorna Perry, Rivard will read from his most recent collection of poems, Standoff, which has won the 2017 PEN/New England Award for Poetry. Guitarist Woody Allen will also perform.

Rivard is the author of five previous collections, including Wise Poison, winner of the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets in 1996, and Torque, winner of the 1987 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. His poems and essays appear in the American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, Poetry London, and other magazines. In 2006, Rivard was awarded the Hardison Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library, in recognition of both his writing and teaching. Among his other awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Civitella Ranieri, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. A former Poetry Editor at the Harvard Review, Rivard lives in Cambridge, with his wife and daughter, and teaches in the University of New Hampshire MFA Program in Writing.

The evening begins with live music, refreshments, and conversation at 6pm. The reading starts at 6:30pm. This event is free and open to the public, and seating in the upstairs library is limited. A book signing will follow the reading. Rice Public Library is located at 8 Wentworth Street in Kittery. Parking is available in the lots on either side of the Rice Building, or across the street in the Taylor Building lot. Call (207) 439-1553 for more information.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A Poetry Salon

     Last weekend I served as facilitator at a poetry salon. I know all of the poets who were expected to attend, and they are an accomplished lot, so I put a lot of thought into what to do with them. Since December was underway I thought about the significance of the time of year for all people everywhere now and throughout history. The importance of the season is something that we all share, a mark of our humanity. It occurred to me that ekphrastic poetry is the same, and so that became the theme of the salon. 
         As an introduction I initiated a discussion of a collaboration that I find simply fascinating; Allen Ginsburg and Paul Cezanne, and I read his poem below, and shared how Ginsberg said that studying Cezanne's paintings had great influence on his HOWL. The poem and a good analysis are here:     

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What's it Like to be You
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Mommy? .... Mommy, tell her to go away.
      Mother of sorrows, I think of you now and may have at the hour of your awakening.
Hunger, how is it you followed me this far from home
      I would like to hear you voice.
We've had so little, and our bodies no longer groan.
      And where did your buttons go?
How did I get here
      Mommy, make them go.
and how do I get out?
       Somewhere, oh somewhere, there lies an answer to my prayer.

      As promised here are a couple of links about ekphrastic writing opportunities:

Friday, November 24, 2017

Call for Submissions

      I've always been enamored with Rumi, and love his poem This Being Human. I know that I am not alone in loving that poem and that many people have been helped by reading it. Yet when I hear it I often find myself inspired by just the title, and my monkey mind goes swinging off in another direction. This morning I succumbed to that inspiration and wrote the poem that actually came to me on my yoga mat yesterday. It later occurred to me that I would love to read more of these, poems written from the prompt of those three words, This Being Human.

     So let's do it! I will organize, edit, and seek a publisher if we compile enough poems for a volume. Your submission can be emailed to me at

     Here is the original, though there is no need to stick to Rumi's interpretation of This Being Human. I want to read yours.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Updated bio

     I am updating my bio and setting up an Amazon author page (which is proving to be fairly challenging) but thought I should share it here as well.

      By day Tammi works with fourth grade readers and writers and as a Connections program facilitator for the NH Humanities Council teaching new adult readers, and at home, writes stories. All of her work is about sharing her love of stories with others, especially in sharing stories that tell truths previously buried. She has lived and worked in New Hampshire, Maine and Germany, and has taught in a variety of nontraditional settings from preschool to prison. In 2008, with NH poet Kyle Potvin, Tammi founded the non-profit The Prickly Pear Poetry Project: Processing the Cancer Experience Through Poetry.
      Children’s literature is a lifelong passion and she has several picture books ready for a publisher. She is currently working on two works of heavily-researched historical fiction; a middle-grade novel-in-verse (ready for publication) and an adult novel, still being revised. A volume of her poetry (also about history) is due out in Feb. 2018 by Hobblebush Books. Her work can be found in several journals, newspapers, magazines, and online, including at The Huffington Post. In 2014 she was the first winner of The Provenance Prize for creative short fiction, and has been awarded stays at several prominent writing retreats. In 2015 and 2016 Tammi was awarded the Buffler Poetry Residency at Portsmouth (NH) High School. She was recently selected to be the Maine Beat Poet Laureate for 2018-2020. Tammi is a member of many writing and historical associations. She writes from a cottage in southern Maine, and is seeking representation for her work.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Found Poem

Thursday, October 19, 2017



I am pleased to be a member of the MWPA. Learn more at ( .    

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Banned Book Week

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Looking forward to this!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Working with Marilyn Nelson

      This week, as the grand finale of my much too brief summer vacation, I took a little road trip up to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire to attend a couple of workshops taught by Marilyn Nelson. She is one of my favorite author / poets and I had never met her so was really looking forward to the day.

       She first read to us, poems by four poets and had us attend to particular words that stuck with us while she did. I especially enjoyed learning about YA artist Curtis Crisler's Tough Boy Sonatas.
        During our writing time she asked us to "think about the US at this moment" and then challenged us to write golden shovels using some of the words we'd attended to during the readings. I had tried writing golden shovels before with little success, and I'm not sure I did any better this time but I include my attempts below.

     If you are not familiar with the golden shovel form, a type of found poetry created by Terrance Hayes, here is a link to a full introduction:

       I took this photo in the church, of the altar behind Marilyn, which I found so well suited to the mood of the poems we were working. (Created by a VT fiber artist, name unknown to me.)

Golden Shovels for Our America

    We survive so many yesterdays
gleeful or garbage
addiction ripening
holy blood in
your syringe, my syringe, pass the
spoon down the shit-hole hall.

I smile though grayed
dazzle in
flying and
wonder white bread gray
my dream
survives, makes
me pause just for a
minute, I become giddy
my poem the sound
I am not
supposed to make, turns strong.

                                I wonder will I?
                        I wonder if we shall?
                            Can we just create
                              a better ending if
                        we try harder, try not
                                          to make a
      joke of our freedom, a foot note
in a democracy that devolved into a
                                         shit - hole.

With this last one I excused myself from using words from the prompt poems to see what would result.

So many yesterdays
      accumulate like garbage;
            old apples ripening,
                    having fallen in
                          the shade, decomposing in the
dirt, uncherished, while a wooden bowl sits empty in the hall.

             Thanks to Marilyn, Arts on the Edge
and  Rev. Gina at The First Congregational Church for a wonderful experience. The following photos are from other stops made that day; a quick swim and feeding dinner to a duck out of my hand at the lake, a pullover at the Governor Wentworth summer house site (he's featured in my book ).

 I saw poetry prompts all over town!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Snippet I Snipped

    It is so hard to kill one's darlings, and the following snippet was one of mine. Instead of obliterating it into oblivion I find I can better cope with cutting it if I can paste it here. So from my historical novel in progress I leave this, just now knocked off the edge of my machete. For those of you following along the deceased is Ona's young son Will.

Friday, July 21, 2017

On Go Set a Watchman

     I don't as a rule review books, and this post will not be a book review as much as a sharing of my thoughts about the publishing of Go Set a Watchman.

     I resisted reading it for a long time. Then a few Saturdays ago I found a copy in the swap shop at my town dump. I brought it home and read it. It did not break my heart as I'd  heard happened to other readers. At least it didn't for the reason I'd heard it was breaking hearts across America, due to Atticus's fall from grace. To Kill a Mockingbird is, always will be, one of my favorite books, but I never saw Atticus as an infallible man. I knew we were seeing him through a little girl's eyes.

     The same girl when grown, Jean Louise, sees him more realistically. I didn't find much there to be shocking. I'm sure she wrote quite realistically of race relations in Alabama at that time. Less believable to me was the idea that she, grown-up Scout, was so pure of racist beliefs or even awareness and that her new home, New York City, was somehow responsible and so much better.

      But none of that matters. Not at all. Because we should not be reading this book. It is so clear when you are reading it that it is a draft, an early draft of Mockingbird. That is what writers do, we hash out stories on paper, wrestling with them while we wrestle with ourselves, figuring out how to tell a story while we figure out how the story connects to who and what we are. And no writers early drafts should be shared without permission. It was wrong to publish this book, at least in this format, presenting it as a finished novel. As a manuscript published for academic purposes, especially about how a novel can change so much with relentless revision, it certainly is instructive.

     This publication, and the way it was released, was grossly unfair to Harper Lee.

      When I am touched by a book, when it connects with me in any meaningful way, I give it a place in my home and am unlikely to ever part with it.

     Tomorrow I will set Go Set a Watchman back in the swap shop at the town dump. I think that is what Lee would want me to do. Scout too.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

With thanks

I really appreciate the 10 Minute Writer's Workshop at NHPR.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Going nuts about Nutshell

     I need to talk about Nutshell.

     I recently finished reading Ian McEwan's Nutshell, his 17th novel (I believe) and I suppose I have no business questioning the man's writing but that is exactly what I am going to do.

     First, let me say I loved the book. And I loved it from the first sentence, "So here I am, upside down in a woman." It is brilliant. Everything about the book is brilliant.

     But the whole time I was reading it I struggled with the point of view. By that, I most definitely do not mean that the PoV is that of a fetus. I did not struggle with that and see it as the reason for much of the brilliance.

     Nor am I referring to the fetus's ability to talk, think, reason, or imagine. I accept all of that as brilliant too.

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      No, I struggled with the first person PoV of the fetus only because it seemed inconsistent to me, so here I ask for your help. Was I wrong in that? I felt like it fluctuated and did so frequently from first to omniscient. It made me pause many times in my reading. Now I grant you that the average reader wouldn't have had as much trouble with that as I did, say a person who isn't spending a good two hours per day wrestling like a WWF star with PoV in her own novel, (or someone who hasn't taught prenatal development at the college level) but it gave me a lot of trouble.

     Early on I decided to accept anything the narrator could have heard no matter how implausible (the flip of a notebook page), and only question that which could not be heard, thus the narrator could not have known of it. I also let go everything the baby could have known, even temporal knowledge, by way of his mother experiencing it. Even with those allowances, I examined how the fetus could have knowledge of a great many things. Some just seemed impossible to me. A few of these might have been OK to slip in when absolutely necessary, (is it?) but I felt there were far too many. The editor I am currently working with would not let me get away with that for even one paragraph! There were so many of these that I began to question myself. Was I getting something wrong? What say you?

     A few examples are:

Speaking of his uncle on page 111: "Now he feels like getting up. It's 6 p.m., he notes. Enlivened, he stands, stretches his arms athletically with a creak of bone and gristle, ..."

Again on page 117: "Now he's at her side, sharing the view, trying to find her hand."

On page 144 going on at length about a social media site giving us seventy-one gender options.

On page 158 again of Claude: "He knows he must be kind. But kindness without desire, without promise of erotic reward, is difficult for him. The strain is in his throat."

    Well, you get the idea. Am I being overly critical? Can a writer be inconsistent in PoV? Or am I nuts?


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

End-of-year Review

      Enjoying three days off upon completion of a new job in the elementary school that my daughter attended a few years back, a school I have always been fond of. It was a very rewarding year in many ways, namely, I got to do the kind of work I love to do. My title was "site coordinator" but most of my time and energy went into planning and teaching after school enrichment clubs for children in grades K to 5, that are meant to reinforce what the teachers are doing all day in fun and unusual ways, and to prevent academic failure, especially in literacy. A perfect fit for me really. I never became a traditional classroom teacher because I can't stand the constraints of rules and regulations and need to have a fair amount of freedom to respond to what the students at hand most need. This year I was able to do just that.

     Not all of my clubs were literacy focused, though I work literacy into every one. Even when I teach children's yoga, I work literacy into the lesson. But many of them were all about books; The Eric Carle Book Club was a blast, The Pete the Cat Club was a big hit, as was the Beatrix Potter Book Club. For the older grades, I taught a Graphic Novel Club, a Playing with Poetry Club, and a BFG club where we put on a play at the end.

  Digital literacy is important too, and I introduced official author apps in my book clubs as an optional activity. These kids are trying the Eric Carle apps.
 A tea party in the Beatrix Potter Book Club was really a literacy / math activity.

       This pic was taken in a science club I taught that was all about elephants, but we did lots of literacy stuff as well.

      One of the first clubs I taught last fall was a Cursive Handwriting Club for grades 3 to 5. I think penmanship is an excellent enrichment program when schools have trouble fitting into the school day. I encouraged all of my students to enter the national competition and trained them for it. Only one of my kids wanted to go the distance. She practiced and gave me her best effort, and I sent her entry in. To my delight, she won the New Hampshire competition and her entry was forwarded on to nationals. Here she is receiving the award at the end-of-year assembly.

      In her winning entry she wrote, "It helps me be a better writer because cursive helps me learn how to write words in a fun way. It helps me be a better reader because when I write in cursive I see words ..."

   In addition to designing and teaching clubs, some of the other initiatives for literacy I took this year were to bring in the first after school author-in-residence, Terry Farish,
and to oversee an optional 25-minute silent reading session every day that turned out to be quite popular with a large group of children that really need some silent, downtime.
     Another addition I made was to end each day by reading aloud to the children, no matter their age. The reasons for that could fill an entire blog post!

      One more: early on in the year, I saw that the early release day programming, (when we have the children for an extended period of time), needed work. I decided that the only way I could endorse movie watching (which the kids enjoy and it does give them a nice change of pace) was if we made it literacy based. I curated a series of movies for the year that were all movies adapted from books, such as Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web. The movies were preceded by a book talk about the author and his/her work, and followed up by fun activities related to the story. Big kids had to write a film review. These two pics were taken the day they watched Paddington.

     There were lots of Paddington books to check out, including an antique first edition.
      Kids were encouraged to bring their own favorite bear to watch the movie with and then made name tags for them.

      I loved doing this work. Getting kids excited about books and authors, about reading and writing, and sharing my love for books with them is important work, and there isn't much I'd rather be doing. But I'm not sure I'll be doing it next year.       There are a whole host of reasons why I'm unsure; the job is changing and I'm not sure what it is changing into, the grant that funds the program is on Trump's hit list for complete elimination, and coming sooner, I've been informed I am likely to lose my ACA health care. I may be forced to find a job with benefits (I currently get absolutely none contrary to what Kellyann Conway says). I wonder how society is better served by me bagging groceries instead of working with at-risk students?

     I'll keep pondering it, but in the morning I am off to head up summer camp enrichment programming. I'll keep at it as long as I can ...

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Littlest Poets

     I have been working with the littlest poets, children of all ages, for more years than I care to calculate, but it is something that I truly love to do. From reading Mother Goose rhymes to babies all the way up to reading (and now writing) novels in verse to big kids. In this post, I'd like to share some of my most recent work teaching an after school enrichment club to children in grades 3 to 5 that I called Playing with Poetry.

      I called it that because that is exactly what I aimed to have the children do if for no other reason than I wanted them to know that poetry is not boring, and that creating a poem is something that everyone can do. My objective though was not to have them write poems but to make them laugh. I really didn't want to hear poems, I wanted to hear giggles because of poems. That isn't at all hard to do.

     We started each session with a read-around (passing allowed for those that prefer listening) from anthologies of the funniest poets for children I could find, relying heavily on Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein. We passed around one book and read the poem that was opened to at random. It gets them giggling while the sound of poetry settles on them.

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     Then each week we would try a fun way of creating a poem. The first week was what we called
Twisty-Turny poems inspired by Prelutsky. They took to it as naturally as I thought they would. Below is one child's very first attempt.

     Another week was rebus poems mixing symbols with words. The following week was devoted to Book Spine poetry which is a way of playing with poetry that many adults enjoy (just google it if you haven't played yourself.) Kids, I think, enjoy it more because it gets them up and moving around and talking and they like documenting things digitally. Here are a couple of examples from that day.

      Then I introduced an old favorite of mine that I have done with children as young as age four as well as new adult readers. It always, without exception, produces results that are impressive to me, but more importantly, make the creator feel creative. I call it cut-up collage poetry. It is easy to tell how much they like it when they ask if they can do another, and maybe just one more... I ensure success by doing most of the cutting myself and sharing an abundance of words and phrases for the poet to choose from that are likely to lend themselves well to poetic expression. It results in poems that are also visual works of art. Here are some pics:

     They also spent some club time playing at because there are lots of fun things to do at the site. A little something for everyone.

     While we are on the subject of children and poetry I'd like to encourage you to check out the work of a few of my friends at I Care Foundation and find a way to participate and play with poetry.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Erase-Transform Poem

    Mine is the latest installment of this national poetry project. I found it a bit cathartic. Go ahead and give it a try!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Festival Hopping

      There was a time in my life, not so long ago, when attending festivals three weekends in a row, meant something entirely different than it does now. I haven't written a blog post in a while because I have been so busy attending festivals!

      The first was the annual conference of the New England chapter of SCBWI. Though I've been a member for a few years I had not been able to attend before and I had heard from many writers that it is a conference that really pays off. So I splurged and hopped into the car of friend and Maine author Terry Farish to spend the weekend in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is a huge conference and it is wonderful to spend time with the visual artists as well as writers who descend upon the city. I met so many interesting people I hope to stay in touch with. The dinner conversation I had with one writer whose mother escaped Auschwitz and made it to America will stay with me forever. It was especially helpful to meet and work with others, especially Jeannine Atkins, who write novels in verse, as that is the focus of my work these days. Meeting Jane Yolen was a thrill, of course, but the biggest surprise for me was how inspired I was by another Maine artist, Melissa Sweet. Her keynote presentation was one of the best I've heard in a long time. Barry Lyga gave a great speech too, and I will remember his admonishment to "take the risk" (and the one about ignoring the unsupportive father!). I've been querying up a storm to conference contacts since.

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      The next weekend brought me to the Newburyport Literary Festival which I have been attending for years. It is an excellent and affordable conference in a little city that I love to visit. Except for the unnecessarily long wait in the hot sun to get in to see Jeff Kinney, I was glad I went. I heard another talk given by Melissa Sweet (I really am a big fan now!)
      I loved how she talked about writing up for children, not down, and how she looks for one keyword that serves as an anchor for the art she creates for each page or spread. I intend to track down the essay she mentioned EB White wrote before Charlotte's Web called The Death of A Pig. Here is an example of Melissa's work from Some Writer. She told us all about the many decisions that went into this page and it was fascinating. This book is marketed to children ages 7 to 10 and I have shared it with that age group but it is a great read for adults too.

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     It became downright strange that I kept driving from Maine to Massachusetts to meet exceptional writers from Maine. I haven't read Monica Wood's work yet, but I am looking forward to it. The Portland Phoenix just named her both Maine's best Miane author and best Maine playwright. She gave a fun reading and talk that kept her audience laughing. I felt a silly kinship with her in that we had both been writing about characters named Ona for the last few years.

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     And lastly, I attended the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, another that I have been going to for years, and that is always worthwhile. My first workshop was titled the Poetry and Healing Venue which I will post about on the @Prickly Pear Poetry Project Facebook page.
      In Beyond Giggles: Writing Children's Poetry I picked up a few tips and a bunch of picture book recommendations. Did you know that words that begin with P and K are considered the funniest?  I thought that was plum kooky!
      Meeting Springfield Poet Laureate Maria Louisa Arroyo is going to stay with me for a long time as will her lessons about authenticity in voice. She uses a prompt with children and new American readers in her work that I am sure I will now use in mine; "Tell me the story of your name." I hope I get to work with Maria more in the future, and in the meantime will keep re-working the poem I wrote in her workshop.
     My last panel, called History's Inspiration: Poetry out of the Past, was such an interest to me as much of my work the last year has been poetry created out of the past. Last night when I got home I read Sarah Sousa's book The Diary of Esther Small in one sitting (another Maine connection, but an oh-so-sad one!). I can barely wait for Ellen Dore Watson's next book to come out - her reading was such a teaser!
     I'll close by sharing one of headliner Louise Gluck's poems, something to savor over multiple readings and maybe a warm cup of an earthy tea.
      Thanks to the hundreds of people that put in so much work to make me a better writer these last three weeks.

     The final stanza of Gluck's Afterword speaks to me, writing about what was, for what may be.

Shall I be raised from death, the spirit asks.
And the sun says yes.
And the desert answers
your voice is sand scattered in wind.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Poem at The Fem

      I have been studying and writing found poetry for a couple of years, and find it to be an interesting artistic practice that can be used very effectively as protest literature. I recently had one of my found poems published at The Fem, and share the link below. When I was creating it I was really struck by the number of times the officer used the word "I" especially when juxtaposed with the phrase I used as the title. I'm also posting an image of Sandra Bland found online that was published by the Chicago Tribune last year.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017


     Yesterday I gave a brief talk about Ona Judge Staines, the subject of my novel, for a group of mostly young people who had never heard of her. That is why I wrote the book in the first place - I wanted to make sure her story was never forgotten. While I thoroughly enjoy sharing the details of Ona's life, I think my favorite part of the talk was when we had a moment of silence in her honor. Yesterday was the 169th anniversary of her death.
       Yesterday felt like Ona's day. For some reason, I kept thinking about a piece of art created by Karen Battles that is also a tribute to Ona. Maybe because like me Karen is a creative artist who wanted to tell Ona's story through her art. I saw it when it was on display in Portsmouth a few months ago. It, like Ona's story, has stayed with me from the first. Though I have no money to spend on art right now, I contacted Karen and asked her if it was for sale.
       Yesterday the sun shone so big and bright, but made it too warm for the month of February. It was like a gift one knows she does not really deserve, but accepts, with both guilt and gratitude.
       Here is a pic I took of the art;

Monday, February 13, 2017

WxW short

     I lost the WxW short short competition this was written for, so thought I would share it here. The rules were: 

    Your piece can be fiction, non fiction or memoir, but it must contain a New Year's resolution, a Mustang or a mustang, the name of a Mountain Range, a reference to a seventies song, comfort food, and hope. Word Limit:  300 Words

Take It Easy

    The doctor had said, “You’ve got to lose weight. Do you really want being fat to be your cause of death?” I knew my family wanted me to lose weight too. I’m old, and have no more time for putting things off.
    So on New Year’s Day, I resolved to loosen my load. To lighten up while I still can. I want to lose enough weight to climb Humphrey’s Peak, but told only my cat. I decided to start training by walking to town, and put on my sneakers for my first trek. I hadn’t gotten more than two miles behind me, when I found myself wheezing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona staring into the window of a shiny new diner. The smell of mac and cheese and French fries immobilized me. Oh, how I faltered.
    Just when I was about to breakdown I heard an engine behind me and let the reflection in the diner window come into focus. It was a girl, my Lord, in a mustang ford, slowing down to take a look at me. I turned to see my granddaughter, looking embarrassed at the sorry sight of me.
     “Open up, I’m climbing in,” I said. She helped me lower myself into her car and drove me home. Parked, we stared out the windshield at the mountains and talked of our hopes for the future. Both seemed so distant. Mine to lose weight and stay alive long enough to witness hers, to become an architect, and build things of great beauty. Feeling frustrated at going it alone, we decided we’d buddy up to get things done, that we would both get to where we wanted to go if we help each other. “Take it easy, Gram,” she advised.
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     Her sweet love is going to save me.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My Bruised Ego

      I guess this blog post is a confessional, a lame little lament about a battering my writer's ego has recently taken, and how I have humbly recovered from it, and am ready to plod on.
     Many of you know that I spent five years of full-time work researching and writing a historical novel about the life of Ona Judge Staines, and that much of the last year was devoted to seeking representation for it.
       A few weeks ago I discovered that a non-fiction account of her life has been published by scholar Erica Armstrong Dunbar. I confess my immediate reaction was a panicked little sense of loss, which has mostly dissipated. I am truly glad for her accomplishment and know that her book is needed having been frustrated by the lack of such books when I was doing my research. I wish her the utmost success.
       Here is a piece the NYT put out yesterday about the story.

      At about the same time that I learned about Professor Dunbar's book, I came to a realization about my own that was another humbling blow. After getting feedback from some outstanding literary agents who all said similar things about my story being "almost, but not quite, good enough" I have decided to hire a developmental editor to help me revise it again. I found one who specializes in historical fiction, and once I accepted the idea that it is necessary I have become excited about working with her. It is an expense I can't really afford but after investing five years and a lot of money into writing the story, skipping this step just seems silly now. Together we will spend the next few months polishing my pages and then I will start the querying process all over again. That will also give me time to read Ms. Dunbar's book and perhaps change anything I may have gotten wrong in my research. I also hope to meet Ms. Dunbar. There is no doubt we both share a special love for a woman who was almost, but not quite, lost to history.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

WxW short shorts

      My current financial status is tight. Leaner than it has been since I was about 27 years old, a long time ago. I'm learning to live on my lean means and have found that most luxuries one can give up by being happy with the memory of having experienced them at an earlier time. Concerts for example, I used to attend every good show that came to town, but now find the cost of most shows prohibitive. But one thing I am having trouble letting go of is attending writing retreats. I miss them!

      So I invested a few hours yesterday writing a short short for a competition that will award free tuition to attend the WxW 2017 writer's conference-
Boulder Generative Workshop with faculty 
Andre Dubus III, Camille Dungy and Pam Houston .
Imagine being able to work with them for a few days! Pam is one of my sheroes, and well, Andre in person, makes me swoon.
      I had so much fun writing the entry. Here are the rules:

    Your piece can be fiction, non fiction or memoir, but it must contain a New Year's resolution, a Mustang or a mustang, the name of a Mountain Range, a reference to a seventies song, comfort food, and hope.Word Limit:  300 Words

     I just love the challenge of these kinds of crazy prompts. Wish me luck!

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