So, as I anxiously await submissions for the next issue of GRAPH(feeties) [extended deadline July 17, 2016], here’s a one-page take-away I made in April for a writing workshop. I did a session on using drawing to help yank words onto the page, for those times when they aren’t spilling out on their own accord. It features my first attempt at creating a superhero, The Penciller, not to be confused with The Inker, because one has an eraser on her ass (yes, my pencils are gendered female) while I imagine The Inker to be opaque and permanent in her actions (which seems almost villainous).
Have no Fear! The Penciller is Here!
Yesterday, I went out into the desert and watched my son shoot a rocket that he had made into the clear blue winter-chilled sky. When the engine ignited, the rocket blasted into the air and then the second engine went off, separating the nose from the body. The nose drifted down under a billowed parachute and the body, designed like a glider, slowly circled the desert like a buzzard until it succumbed to gravity and spiraled into a dwarfed palo verde tree. It was a perfect start to the new year—the quiet desert landscape, clear air, clever crafts, and physical reminders of the power of gravity.
For this year, I’m launching a new zine on walking, seeking a publisher for my cartoon/verse memoir By the Forces of Gravity, starting a new book project and continuing to teach landscape design and history at ASU (as I have since 1993). This is the last year that both my kids will be teenagers, with one who’ll finish her first year of college, while the other starts high school. My husband and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We’ve both known each other for half our lives, most of this time as a couple. And yet, there’s always something new to discover. I love this, finding the new in the familiar. And the old. This may be a new year, but let’s face it, I’m old…older than I’ve ever been. I could live without the aches and pains, but I like being on the back nine of life. It lends a kind of urgency to not wasting time fretting about shit I don’t care about. But I’m not starting to build my own coffin out of sustainable wood yet, since this year my dad will turn 80 and he’s still running ultras. We Fishes tend to live like energizer bunnies, or Timex watches, or all those other things that just keep going and going.
Happy New Year Everyone!
The Glider Rocket New Year’s Day 2016
I made the six panel comic (below) for the program of this year’s Mothers Who Write reading at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA) put on by Amy Silverman and Deborah Sussman. I took their Mothers Who Write workshop in 2010 and have been reading at the May event ever since. Amy and Deborah have been bringing out strong and evocative writing from moms for many years and the comic is just a few of the takeaways from the writing workshop. This is an unsolicited plug for their awesome workshops, so here’s a link to more info: Mothers Who Write or on facebook
my comic thank you for Amy Silverman and Deborah Sussman and all the Mothers Who Write alums <3
Recently, I wrote a brief essay about inspiration for the next issue of I.T Post that’ll be out next month. I love writing short pieces for the same reason I love reading them. . .they’re like tasty snacks that whet the appetite. Snacks never bore me and always leave me wanting more. But brevity doesn’t make room for everything.
Today, it occurred to me that what I didn’t allow room for in the essay was the importance of reading other people’s work. This occurred to me, because I just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I can’t figure out why my teachers in high school didn’t make me read this book long ago, instead of The Scarlet Letter, for instance. Totally beautiful story telling. I wish I had a big brother like Jem.
I also read an interview with David Levithan this morning and he said this about his writing process: “I usually have a definite idea of the beginning and a vague idea of the end. Then I just write.”
Then I just write.
I love that.