Category Archives: Continuing

October arrives

The week slid past. Some sun. MORE RAIN. More jackhammering (including right now). K “bricked his phone” (don’t ask) and I continued to work on a number of small village quilts and the Barn Storm (below).

One FB friend called it “Cabin on a Lake.” I can see that, but to me it is a barn in a field.

I didn’t like the Moon Face in this one (which was unintentional), so I added some stripes to hide.

Face was too goofy

There was also turkey soup with kale and a walk around Crystal Lake.

Hazel (handstories) boat with books


Missed the exit for Route 2 on the way home but the Pike was faster so it didn’t cost us, time-wise.

During the writing retreat at Stump Sprouts in Hawley, Mass (led by Maureen Buchanan Jones), we had little sun. It which hardly mattered given the indoor focus, but it did mean I didn’t get the same quality of photos as other years.

This year I walked A LOT. I finally got to use one of the many emergency ponchos I’ve purchased over the years (and for which I have taken much shit, BTW). That was a vindication of sorts.

The retreat numbers shrank for Covid and did not scale back up, probably because it’s so much nicer to bunk alone. It made a nice difference. At night, it was so quiet and so dark. Quite delicious.

It’s hard to characterize the retreat experience. People made me laugh. Some cried while reading. We were silly, intense, thoughtful, and there for each other. It’s true that when you show up for another person’s writing, you are showing up for them.

I also did Tarot readings for about half the group which added a little extra intimacy.

I “got” a couple Lucy Audubon scenes (even though I keep saying I don’t want to write about her) and interestingly, a Salem witchcraft scene. That was unexpected.

Now I’m back home and wanting to get it together. on Instagram, maybe a newsletter, etc.

QUESTION: thinking about my upcoming trip to Montgomery, Selma, Birmingham, Jackson, and maybe Memphis — any recommendations?

Another QUESTION: Are any of you interested in writing with me and others once a week starting in September? It’ll be ten weeks on zoom. Two hours a class on Wednesday mornings. The structure is simple and surprisingly productive — we write to prompts and then read around. All levels of experience welcome.

Email me ( or drop a comment if interested. First class is free to give newbies a taste. Otherwise, $30 per session. I always talk to people before enrollment.

Recent prompt


Yesterday, I made a cake and it is delicious. It combines two almond cakes from the NYTimes cooking app. That makes it a bit of an effort but since my not-hungry-for-three-weeks brother had a wedge, it was worth it.

If you haven’t read Maggie’s comment from yesterday, do. A vivid description of her aunt.

Another day of grey here. What can I say?

I tried to walk Lila just now but a pop went off and she immediately turned around. Done. We trotted back to the house. She is scared of loud bangs and if too loud or prolonged will hide under the guest room bed.

Rescue dogs often come with shadows of trauma.

Trauma came up in my writing circle this morning. As a prompt, I posted a writer’s description of coming home to a completely wrecked house after Hurricane Andrew. I wondered if it would be productive. Was it ever!

So much insight in that group! It is the best thing in my week, week after week. I hesitate to gush, as if doing so would jinx things, but the most amazing words have come spilling out so regularly that I now think of these fellow writers as unstoppable. Unjinxable.

I’ll close with this Apple TV drama recommendation. Eight episodes. Incredible writing. Beautiful cinematography. It has: family secrets, betrayal and redemption, bad parenting, and lots and lots about wine. I love too that a lot of the show is in Japanese or French.

One of the writers also contributed to CALL MY AGENT. That’s the one about a talent agency in Paris. Also very good.

“Riot is the language of the unheard”

Lying on the couch after dinner, half-asleep and wondering when all the shows about WWII will finally dry up, I suddenly remembered the dead robin in my bag. Eek! I’d picked it up on our walk yesterday with the intention of burying her here and then forgotten.

Still in my bag? Sleeved in a newspaper plastic but still. I’m going to California in the morning. Imagine if I’d forgotten it altogether.

I found that butterfly tag in my carryon laptop bag. “Riot is the language of the unheard.” Where did I hear that? A slightly haunting relic of the summer of George Floyd? Does anyone know who said it? [thank you Deb and Nancy. This was said by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.]

And, to pick up on Grace’s blog about creative endeavor, there is that question that thrums through the life of a maker. Why? Why do you do it? In particular, what is the point of all these collages, many of which exist purely in ones and zeroes on a screen?

This one is paper, but uses a print out of a digital collage in the background (me, peeking out above the book).

One thing I said in the comments is that there are very few things I do in life that don’t require overcoming resistance. Ugh. This again? Working with pattern in cloth and collage is not like that. I just find myself doing it. For that reason alone it’s a valuable, ongoing exercise.

There’s more to say about this, but as Jude recently noted on her blog, maybe the saying matters a whole lot less than simply continuing.

Right now, I’m “getting” scenes about some characters living in Boulder during the pandemic. I have no idea yet whether this is a viable project. There are ecstatic dancers who appear and disappear (all women) and no one knows what to make of them. There is a feral boy who lives deep in the woods. There’s a mom and her three kids, one of who is decompensating (again). Her middle child is a lawyer working for a social justice group that objects to decisions being made about the former bomb factory at Rocky Flats (turn plutonium-contaminated land into a public park? Really?)

I share this because, like the collages, the scenes keep coming whether I want them to or not. I’m sure Deb can speak to this.

Okay. Off to give Ken a tour of recently planted perennials so he knows what to water in my absence. Mostly divided hosta. Oh those reliable and prodigious hosta!