Monday, December 31, 2007

Final Wrap-Up and Writing Challenge

Whew, what a week it's been! Emma was quite sick for several days, including Christmas, Kate came down sick the day after Christmas, and I'm still nursing the same cold I've had for almost three weeks, which seems to have settled in my chest. Through it all, though, we've had a pretty wonderful time. There's been surprisingly little crankiness, considering how lousy everyone has been feeling, and we've all had a good time playing with our new toys, reading our new books, and watching our new videos.

The Groovy Girl Boutique was a big hit and I was really pleased with how it all came out. You can find lots more pictures of it here.

My parents got me a brand-new, very fancy digital SLR for Christmas, so expect my posts to become even more photo-laden! I can't wait till I'm feeling well enough to really start playing with it.

I've had a few poems accepted in the past couple of weeks. I'll post more info when they are published. Tomorrow begins a new year, the perfect time for new writing. Flashathon, poem-a-day, or just jotting down a few choice words -- if you're a writer, I hope you'll join me in celebrating the new year with something fresh.

Here's a prompt to get you started: pick one moment/incident/occasion/event in your life from the past year and use it as the jumping-off point for a story or poem. Feel free to post your work in the comments or provide a link to your own blog.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy, and peace-filled 2008!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Give them Ruins

Still looking for a great Christmas gift? Ruins Terra is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This anthology of short stories and poetry explores the ancient ruins of Earth, from Meso-America to the lost island of Atlantis. My story "Rising Tide" is set among the ruins of an Anasazi cliff-dwelling in the American Southwest. If you have a sci-fi/fantasy lover on your list, or anyone who enjoys good stories about interesting places, check it out. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Here's a thumbnail of my week so far:

1 trip to the ER
1 kidney infection
2 kidneys with multiple stones
3 rejections in as many days
Rain. High winds. Rain. Flooding. Rain.

I'm tired, I'm sick, and I can't seem to get my poems in the right place at the right time. Bah. Humbug. (That's for the above, not for Christmas, which is the one redeeming aspect of this moment in time)

In brighter news, I'm getting ready to mail off two skeins each of Misti Alpaca Lace to two lucky winners as part of the Yarn Harlot's karmic balancing/thank you to those who raised all that money for Doctors Without Borders. It's beautiful yarn, purchased at Foothills Flock & Fiber in Hood River, and I'm thrilled to be able to pass it along to knitters who will (hopefully) appreciate it (because me and laceweight - not such a good combination). Let the karma roll...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Under the Umbrella

The Winter issue of Umbrella is now up!

Inside, you can find me meditating near Mt. St. Helens and gasping for air.

Ms. Ang is also there, treading the strange ways of loss and distance, and Jayne Pupek muses on winter in the not-so-distant future.

I'm also pleased to announce that I'll be serving as guest editor for the Spring 2008 issue of flashquake, so get those submissions ready!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Good Day

In case you missed it, the Yarn Harlot is sharing some spectacular news today: knitters worldwide have now raised $434,439.41 for Doctors Without Borders. It is a good day, indeed, when we can stand up and know we've made a difference in others' lives.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Ballard Street Poetry Journal has nominated my poem After Three Hours of Screening Dirt at Heshotauthla for the Pushcart Prize. I'm excited, honored, and walking on clouds.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Writing has been placed on temporary hold while I totally freak out about getting my Christmas knitting finished. Here's a peek at a few things in progress:

Oooh, sparkly! Hint: these are small and will fit in a stocking.

This one is actually a beautiful dark blue, but it's hard to tell in the photo.

I've also completed two Barbie outfits for a doll dress swap.
A houndstooth skirt with shell and cardigan. I was really pleased with the skirt, which was my own design. I'll be making more of these.

Evening gown glamour. I also made the little clutch. It was hard to mail this one off - I wanted to keep it for myself.

Monday, November 12, 2007


The Fall issue of Tipton Poetry Journal is now available, both online and in print. I'm pleased to have my poem Post-It Notes from Jesus included, along with work by the magical Michaela Gabriel and the inimitable Liz Gallagher.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I'm off to Wordstock this weekend. There will be readings, workshops, and plenty of books and lit mags. If you're in the Portland area, check it out!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Romance and Sock Yarn

Looky what I won during the Sock Yarnapalooza over at Romancing the Yarn! Gorgeous shades of purple (my favorite color!) and red. Yum. Many thanks to Barbara Bretton, who is apparently the fairy godmother of yarn as well as a fantastic writer!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

How did they know?!

You Are a Witch (or Warlock)

You are deviously brilliant and a perfect manipulator.
You somehow always end up getting what you want - without anyone knowing you're working behind the scenes.
Crafty and cunning, you can work your way out of any jam.
And it's easy for you to get people to do what you want, whether you're working for good or evil.

Your greatest power: Mind control

Your greatest weakness: Making people your puppets

You play well with: Ghosts

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Today is the last day of my 13th round of 30 poems in 30 days:

1. Fourteen Hours after the Telegram Comes
2. Postcard from Shambhala
3. Still Life with Marionette
4. Inviolate
5. On the War(d)
6. au revoir
7. Ripper
8. Lost Mementos
9. Another Night in Mortaritaville
10. An Eyewitness Account of Leaving the Womb
11. 3 Halloween haiku
12. Pink
13. Desert Roses, 1994
14. Running to Stand Still
15. Sleepless
16. Death Catches You on the Corner by the Shop N Go
17. By the Light of their Shining Teeth
18. I wasn’t taken by surprise when the bones began to speak (ghazal)
19. An Easier Way to Bliss
20. On the Third Floor of the Natural History Museum
21. Elegy for Summer
22. Sonnenizio on a line from Strobel
23. blessing the bed (after Clifton)
24. In Defense of the Unspoken Word
25. At the Powwow
26. Walking Through the House for the Last Time
27. I Have Seen the Velvet Thrush of Texture (cento)
28. Off the Map
29. The Girl Scouts Take a Nature Walk
30. black day, bright day

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Places to Write and Read

Check out A Bunch of Wordz for interesting posts on fiction, poetry, writing, blogs, and many other cool things.

Writer Mama offers great advice in her journey as a writer and a mother.

The Canadian Writers' Collective always has something new and thought-provoking, as well as often being funny and touching.

And don't forget about Raincoat Flashers, where you can post your flash fiction/prose poetry responses to visual prompts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Half and Half

Does this mean I'm middle of the road, or well-balanced? I guess it explains why I'm pretty much ambidextrous, anyway.

You Are 50% Left Brained, 50% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Guardian Poetry Workshop

My poem "Peace" made John Hartley Williams' shortlist for the September Guardian Poetry Workshop.

Congratulations to Dave Rowley, who also made the list!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Salome Magazine

My poem After is featured this week at Salome.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Almost October

Feeling listy today:

- It's pouring the rain down outside. The wind is blowing. I love Fall (my favorite season), but contemplating the months of grey, overcast skies and unending rain that lie ahead makes me want to crawl into a cave. A well-appointed cave, with velvet wall hangings, fireplaces you can stand in, and secret passages between the kitchen and the library. Hmmm, now that I think about it, maybe what I really want is a castle in the English countryside...

- Kate had an accident Thursday night and knocked her two upper middle front teeth. The left one got pushed back a bit but luckily neither one fell out. She was very upset. It's been an usettling couple of days. (A quick trip to the dentist on Friday assured us all that she is just fine and will likely not lose the tooth)

- I have mixed feelings about my flashathon. I didn't write as much as I had hoped. But it was fun and there was great participation. Guess I'm just a little disappointed in myself.

- I'm getting ready to begin my top-secret knitting project for the girls for Christmas and I'm really excited about it. An entire Groovy Girl wardrobe! There will be nightgowns and robes, sundresses, sweaters, skirts, hats, accessories, blankets, and whatever else I can come up with. All designed and created by me.

- My team (Oregon) lost to Dennis' team (Cal) yesterday. Boo hoo.

- There are some trees with brilliant red leaves near our house and every time I drive by them it makes me smile. If only I could change color to celebrate the seasons!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Barbie Gets Dolled Up

Um...remember when I said I was working on a rather complicated Dale baby sweater? It kind of took a turn for the worse and I had to frog the whole thing. I apparently have a complete inability to count while simultaneously knitting yarn-overs. Realizing that my new niece could well be in college by the time I finished, if indeed I ever did finish, I decided to scrap the sweater idea (for now, not forever) and knit something infinitely easier - a blanket. The truth is, I think this is a much better choice anyway, because it's something she can use for years and is fully machine washable and dryable. I'll post pictures of the blanket and the surprise I knit for her big brother after they've received them. In the meantime, I've been at it with the doll clothes again.

Sometimes a gal needs a little glam in her life, so Barbie got this:

The dress pattern is from Nicky Epstein's Knits for Barbie. I made up the shawl myself.

Using the same pattern with a little variation creates a less formal look:

Note: Barbie is not wearing shoes because this is surfer Barbie and she has honking huge feet. I love how realistic they are (and yes, some of us do have feet that wide), but unfortunately they don't make any shoes for them.

Finally, I'm never happy unless I'm making up my own designs, so I created this skirt and top set for Kate's Barbie:

I'm currently working on a mix-and-match set for Emma's Barbie, so keep an eye out for more pics soon.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

360 Poems

Yep, that's right. I finished my 12th round of 30 poems in 30 days yesterday. Here's the latest batch of titles:

She Never Wears Her Bonnet
A Question of Shadow
Among the Cannibals
Temporal Physics
Oath of the Blue Angels
The Way
The Authenticity of Violence
How Thunder Stepped into the Sky
Filling a Bucket of Berries
Going to Bruneau
Nine Things and a Sidecar on Route 66
Where Pharaohs Dreamt Music
raw doubt
Unexpected Bats
Sophia Loren Steps into a Discothéque
Ophelia’s Confession
An Open Letter to Calypso
Will Shakespeare is Living in a New Mexico Commune
Family History, Part V
Requiem for Hope
Remember This
Loosen My Limbs

Monday, September 17, 2007

Writer Profile Project

In case you've forgotten, let me bring your attention once again to Kelly Spitzer's Writer Profile Project. This week you can read an interview with the über-talented Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Summer's End

The kids are back in school, the days are changing shape, and every other leaf is flexing a final green finger before the fall, but you can't go wrong with fresh raspberries in September.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Another Poem Pub

Check out the new issue of the gorgeous Press 1, including my poem Aubade: Passion Fruit.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I'm back in 30/30 doing 30 poems in 30 days and it feels great. Some days are harder than others, but it is a blast. I'm also writing a flash a day for the month of September, which is decidedly more challenging, but very rewarding.

I've had several acceptances recently and you can currently find my poem not 29 anymore in the new issue of the denver syntax. This is a great zine, with a beautiful look and lots of fabulous work.

I also have two poems in the brand-new Irish ezine, The Linnet's Wings. I'm thrilled to have these pieces published because they're both quite personal and mean a lot to me. Memory of a Winter's Day is about an anniversary trip we took to the Grand Canyon. The second poem is a haibun and stretches all the way back to when Dennis and I first met. It's called Taking the Road from Crownpoint to Chaco.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Raincoat Flashers

If you like to write or read flash fiction, check out the new blog Raincoat Flashers. Each week a number of different photos are posted as prompts. Writers post their stories in the comments and at the end of the week, a winner is chosen for each picture. It's a fun exercise, a great way to jump-start your creativity, and a good opportunity to read the work of writers you might not know yet.

Last week, my flash The Bright Side was a winner.

Check it out and join in the fun!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Instant Gratification

I'm knitting my hardest project to date right now, a Dale of Norway baby cardigan for my newest niece. It's a special gift and I want it to be just right, so I'm taking my time and progress is slow.

But sometimes, I want a finished project RIGHT NOW. So here's what I've been doing for the past few days:

That's right, I've knit clothes for an entire army of Kelly dolls.

This is the first one. It's a bit snug. Okay, it's tight as heck and nobody but me can get the thing off and on her. Knit with leftover yarn from the Fourth of July socks.

This one was also knit with leftover sock yarn and I love how the faux Fair Isle pattern turned out.

Kelly as a cheerleader. More Fourth of July sock yarn, this time in a Kelly-size version of the twirly skirt. I made up the pattern for the top as I went.

Being a princess, Cinderella Kelly needed something a little fancier. This is zigzag lace from the 365 days of knitting patterns calendar, with a poncho/shawl thing to keep her shoulders warm.

Cinderella's dress has a simple i-cord strap that ties in the back.

Yet more leftover sock yarn being put to good use. Again, I was really pleased with the way the colors patterned.

Even though dresses are easy to make and, more importantly, get on and off, I decided that at least one Kelly needed something more practical for summertime play. Pants are Koigu, top is a DK for which I've long since lost the ball band.

Another princess, another ball gown. I thought these colors went well with Ariel's red hair.

My personal favorite. Knit with DK yarn using the Tiny Brocade pattern from Vogue Stitchionary 3 (colorwork).

The Kellys appeared in pairs each morning, waiting by the bathroom sink where Emma and Kate were sure to find them. They loved getting up each morning and rushing in to see the surprise outfits. Most of the dresses took about an hour to make. I don't think any of them took more than 2 hours, and that was only if I was interrupted during the knitting. It was great fun thinking up new ideas and turning them into a reality that the girls could play with within a few hours. But for now, it's back to the long-term project and delayed gratification.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I finished Kate's twirly skirt and tank top the first night of our vacation, in the hotel in Baker City, but this is the first chance I've had to post a picture of it. She wore it several times while we were in Idaho. More knitting surprises coming soon!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

nothing endures but change

fireweed and fallen log

steam from a crater

gap-toothed smiles

forest and fog

pearly ever- lasting

mt. st. helens

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tuesday Shorts

My micro-flash The Back of a Girl is up now at Tuesday Shorts. It's a super-short, super-fast read. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 05, 2007


The Summer 2007 issue of Ballard Street Poetry Journal is out now, with two of my poems, including After Three Hours of Screening Dirt at Heshotauthla, which is featured on the website as a sample.

I also have two poems -- At Chernobyl, They Monitor the Devil and Liberation -- in the new issue of The Hiss Quarterly.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Meme, Myself, and I

Well, what do you know? We're back home from vacation and I find I've been tagged by both Arlene and Ms. Theologian to reveal at least 7 things about myself.

But since I've previously listed 10 interesting things about me, as well as 6 unknown things about me, there's not much left to reveal. I'm really not that complex.

So instead, I'm turning this meme into the 8 line cento meme, made up of lines from some of my own poems:

In My Mouth, A Taste of Berry, Bitter and Sweet

Because a shotgun feels warm in her hands,
all it takes is a flick

beneath a watery surface
where light makes a circus of the iris.

I would pocket these spaces if I could
and wring their nervous paws.

The melody squirms -- honey and cinnamon
on the lips, a lingering taste of peach and raspberry.

Want to play? Consider yourself tagged for this new meme.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wish You Were Here

We're having a great vacation in Idaho. Be back in a couple of weeks!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Scenes from a Week

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site:

We went to the Fort on Sunday and had a great time. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and it was a beautiful, warm day. The cook was making delicious things over a fire in the kitchen, the blacksmith demonstrated a beaver trap, and we even got to hear a cannon being fired.

Knitter's Bell necklace and other lovely things:

I won this beautiful necklace, donated by Wendy Slowknitter, in Claudia's MS Ride Raffle. In case you missed it, each year Claudia rides 150 miles over two days to raise money for the fight against Multiple Sclerosis. This year, the knitting community really showed its heart and donated over $40,000! I love the necklace and all the unexpected extras. Thank you, Wendy and Claudia!!

Fourth of July Socks:

They love them, and yes, I managed to finish Emma's anklets in time for her to wear them in the Fourth of July parade. We walked (fast!), threw candy to the crowd, and had a great time.

Fireworks and Fun!:

Nothing beats a holiday, especially one that includes fireworks, staying up late, and having the whole family home in the middle of the week.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sock Mojo

I'll admit it: I really like knitting socks.

There's something wondrous about turning the heel, picking up the stitches, creating the gusset. Stitches running perpendicular to one another never cease to amaze me. Dennis even signed me up for the Rockin' Sock Club as a Christmas gift. I enjoy knitting socks.

Or I did.

Way back in February I was planning on knitting some socks for Kate, my four-year old. I would take her to the yarn store, let her pick the yarn, then let her choose a pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. Before any of that could happen, though, I was sidetracked by having my entire family stricken with the stomach flu (except the kids) while my parents were visiting. At the same time, we were supposed to be delivering the hundreds of Girl Scout cookies that Emma had taken orders for a month earlier.

Eventually I did manage to procure some very nice Koigu for Kate's socks, though I foolishly picked the yarn myself. This was a mistake. It took me a couple of aborted tries to settle on a pattern (Again, one I picked myself. Mistake.). I started the sock. It went slowly because by now I was sick again, this time with endless respiratory symptoms. But it went well. The first sock was finished in the early part of March. The second sock never saw the light of day.

I ended up with full-blown bronchitis and mild pneumonia the week of Spring Break. Yep, that was fun. Knitting was impossible for a few weeks. Then came Emma's birthday and a special knitting project (the Egyptian outfit) for her, and before I knew it, we were well into May and still no second sock for Kate. I decided it was time to get back into the sock groove. This was when I discovered how seriously I had screwed with my sock mojo by pre-empting Kate's choice of yarn and pattern.

I cast on, began the second sock, and was well into it by the time I realized that it seemed out of all proportion to my daughter's foot. I tried the original sock on her. It was too small! At first I thought I could fudge it. It was a stretchy ribbed pattern, after all. I tried it on her again a couple of days later. There was no way she could wear a pair of socks that size and retain circulation in her feet. I ripped out the unfinished sock and pouted. I stretched the too-small finished sock and fumed. I even toyed with the idea of frogging that first sock and re-using the yarn for a new, bigger pair, but in the end I knew there was only one thing to do.

At our LYS, Kate picked a lovely green shade of Koigu with flecks of tan, brown, grey, and blue in it. It took her all of 20 seconds to choose the yarn. It took her under a minute to pick a pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks. You can see the them at the top of this post. Finished just about 2 weeks ago. Pretty, aren't they? You'd think that was the end of the story. It's not.

Sock mojo firmly back in place, I began a pair of Fourth of July socks for Emma to wear when she walks with her Girl Scout troop in the Independence Day parade. These were knit in strict secrecy as a big surprise, out of lovely Regia Nation Colors. When I finished them this evening and showed them to Emma, she was delighted. Until, that is, she tried to put them on. They are too small. They are, in fact, a perfect fit for Kate.

I have concluded that knitting socks for growing children may not be the best idea.

Left to Right: Kate's original Koigu sock from March, Kate's new Koigu sock from 2 weeks ago, Kate's Fourth of July sock (intended for Emma).

Emma will still get a pair of red, white, and blue socks, but they'll be anklets, as I don't have enough yarn (or time) left for a full pair.

And I'll make them big, so she'll have room to grow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer Pubs

Hey, look what came in the mail last week!

I was pleasantly surprised to get my copy of Other Poetry since I had no idea when the new issue was coming. Even better was finding money tucked between the pages and a poem by Arlene Ang. My own "In the Time of Origami" is thrilled to be in such great company.

I'm also delighted to see my flash "Sugar Blues" in Kalliope, which is one of my favorite lit journals.

Coming up soon: Carousel, Main Street Rag, and Ballard Street Poetry Journal.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007

Blogs that Make You Think

Bev Jackson has given me a Thinking Blogger Award. Thanks Bev!

It is now my duty to bestow the award on five blogs that make me think.

Surviving the Workday by Ms. Theologian (aka Stephanie Anagnoson) never fails to make me think. While the focus is on spirituality in the workplace, this blog incorporates every aspect of ethical thinking you can imagine. More importantly, Ms. Theologian doesn't just think about these things, she acts on them. She provides links and ideas that can help you implement changes for a better life and a better world. Her own experiences with trying to live a conscientous life provide a perfect example.

Over at Knittin' Mom, Chrissy Gardiner also puts her money where her mouth is. She is a co-founder of the breastfeeding advocacy group Mom's Milk Anywhere, writes exquisite knitting patterns, is full-time mother to two young children, and does her part to help the environment by raising her own chickens and recycling 75% of her family's plastic waste. Her commitment to the things she believes in is an inspiration.

I'd be remiss if I didn't include Patry Francis' Simply Wait in this list. Every single post Patry writes is thought-provoking, whether she's musing on random obituaries from the newspaper, observing the world through waittress' eyes, sharing her journey as a first-time novelist, or just talking about her everyday life. It's impossible to read Patry's blog and not be changed.

Over at Zyzzyva Speaks, editor Howard Junker tells it just the way he sees it. He is outspoken and never afraid to point out where and how the literary world has gone wrong. His commentary is sharp, biting, even harsh at times, but never cruel, and he injects humor in the most wonderful ways. Whether you agree with what he has to say or are in violent opposition, there is no doubt that this blog will make you think.

My final choice may seem odd, but this is a blog that I read regularly, though I've never posted a comment. It is Wil Wheaton's WWdN in Exile. I don't read Wil's blog because I'm a huge Star Trek: The Next Generation fan (though I do love the show). It's not because I'm a closet geek, either. I don't read it for the poker, the computer game reviews, or the (to me) completely indecipherable discussions of Linux. I read Wil Wheaton's blog because he is a writer and a parent who has a remarkable way of documenting his own journey through life. When he talks about his kids, I get a lump in my throat imagining my own girls in ten years. When he expresses writerly self-doubt punctuated by moments of clarity and confidence, I'm right there with him. There is nothing on this blog that is not one hundred per cent from this man's heart, and he makes me think about my own journey in wonderful new ways. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that he's funny as hell.

Thanks to all five of you outstanding bloggers, for making me think! Consider yourselves tagged.

The rules:
Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging.
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Barefoot Knits

Presenting: Emma's new knit top and skirt.

The top is Monica from the Spring 2007 Knitty.
The skirt is Twirly Skirt published in InKnitters magazine.

It works as both a skirt and a poncho! Both patterns are from the book Barefoot Knits by Christine Schwender and Paula Heist. Based on these two pieces, it's a book I'm going to want to buy.

I knit these on size US6 needles with Mission Falls 1824 cotton and they came out really nice. I've used the Mission Falls before and it's a very sturdy yarn for kids' clothing. It washes well and holds up forever. Now I have to start on Kate's...