Thursday, March 30, 2006


I absolutely LOVE Orion Magazine. Every issue is important, with fabulous writing and amazing photographs. Check it out. They are doing good work and telling important timely stories. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ups and Downs in the Arts

I've been an artist for all of my adult life. For the most part, I am used to feeling naked in front of people who are critically assessing my work. I've completely absorbed the most important maxim an artist / writer can learn: REJECTION ISN'T PERSONAL, or R.I.P. as I like to think of it. I've drawn it in through my pores until I truly believe it. I do.

So what I'm wondering is this: Why is it still so painful? I know the agent / editor / publisher isn't looking at me and sizing me up, only to find me unworthy. So what is it? Is it the hope that we've built around a particular chance for publication? (This, in and of itself, is an annoying trait--each new agent expresses an interest and I think, "Could this be the one? Will this be true love?" Blech, but there you go.)

Could it be that not hoping would be better all around? But what are writers, if not a hopeful bunch? I mean, really, why sit alone in a room, cranking out words for a stranger to (perhaps) read at some future time? Why? Our innate storytelling genes? Well, maybe if we were gathered around a campfire after a hunt I'd buy that, but writing is storytelling once removed. It isn't that immediate gather-round-my-children-and-you-shall-hear experience of the stortyteller. It's more of a please-oh-please-oh-pretty-please-
take-this-book-home-with-you-curl-up-with-it-and-love-it experience.

I don't really know where I'm going with these musings, just throwing out questions. Here's one: How do you deal with rejection?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It takes a village? No, it takes a world.

My cousin and her husband are in the process of adopting a son from China. They have two Chinese daughters already, and it is rare to find a boy for adoption, and only if he has health or developmental issues. Pierce is a handsome, wise-looking fellow and his new parents are proving themselves true citizens of the world. Congratulations, Holly and Richard!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Well, I'm back from my trip to Dominica. The island was lovely, the people gracious and kind. My youngest daughter went with me, too, and got her first taste of Dominica. It was her first time snorkeling, and although she was nervous, she turned out to be a natural. I would wax poetic more about the island, but somehow it feels wrong to do so. Halfway through our visit there, the beautiful new baby of the couple we were visiting (old friends) was taken gravely ill. It seems more fitting to talk about lovely little Amela instead.

She was born almost two months ago, with lovely cafe mocha skin and deep blue eyes that appear to be very wise. Her hair is the silkiest thing these hands have ever touched; it curls softly all over her head. She is bright-eyed and watches everything around her, often with a knowing, skeptical stare. Occasionally, a corner of the room becomes utterly fascinating and she convinces me to watch it, too.

She likes good conversation, preferring to be spoken to directly; she listens intently, focusing on her companion's mouth and then returning with a comment of her own, moving her mouth and tongue with gentle coos. She will be a great communicator or a beautiful singer, and with her whole body she tells you that she wants to be there already.

She also wants to smile--does so in her sleep--but has yet to form the genuine article, even though it tickles ever so lightly at the corners of her mouth. She is almost there--smiling with her eyes, especially at her parents: her mother who loves her so fiercely and completely, her father who can hardly bear to put her down.

Amela, beautiful girl, loves the palm trees in her yard. The light breezes of the afternoon make her lift her face and turn toward them. She favors the clicking fronds of palms, the beautiful singing of her mother and the heartbeat of her father.

Amela. There are many, many people wishing for your return to health, praying for you, sending you the best of all possible wishes, dreaming of the day we may have the chance to hear you sing and see you smile.