Museum of Four in the Morning

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I don’t usually post links to other people’s things. There’s enough of that going around. This is a beautiful exception: http://www.ted.com/talks/rives_a_museum_of_4_o_clock_in_the_morning.

Maybe it’s because I have a fondness for poets. Maybe this particular one ranks high on charisma and humor. Or maybe it’s because it hit me the way you wish everything in life would, always.

It’s a fourteen-minute TED Talk by Rives about collections, about searching, repetition, pattern, social media. It’s about coincidence. But for me, as a writer, it’s all, every second, about writing. It’s about having a weird dream of the lady you met at the super market that afternoon. Taking that dream and making it a story, and then taking that story with you back to the super market and trying to find the lady.

I promise not to bombard you with future links to other people’s things. A lot falls into my internet B bucket, but A–it just doesn’t happen often.

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These Quick Bright Things

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It’s spring, so seek them out.

Find them in your backyard.

Sketch them. Photograph them. Touch them with your fingertips. Squat down and stare.

Think about what they’re doing: what their wind feels like, how their sun shines.

They’re not friends. They won’t advance plot.

They’re details. Micro-environments. Codes.

Beautiful, awkward, leafy, and out of focus. Seemingly unimportant. Let them stand somewhere in your story.

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Tethered by Letters

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Yesterday, I accepted an editorial internship at the literary nonprofit journal Tethered by Letters. A lot of new and exciting things happening in their online forums and print journal.

“Talented. Eccentric. Passionate. That’s what you can expect from TBL’s international group of writers, editors, and publishers. Did we mention crazy? There’s a lot of that in there too. And for every moment of insanity, there are little rays of brilliance shining through. If it sounds amazing, it’s because it is…”

So look for me there.

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Happy Mother’s Day to Mine.

 

Mom & I in Zeeland, Nederland

Mom & I in Zeeland, Nederland

A few lines I found scratched in a notebook from college:

Vows to my Mother

I promise that by the time you get sick of waking up at 5am to put the twenty-five-pound turkey in the oven, I will find it endearing.

I promise to help my brother and sister in your absence, to be there in case of failed marriages or credit card debt.

I promise to retain a minimum of 27% of what you’ve taught me.

I promise to eat well and be kind to strangers, especially old ones.

 

For the interesting history of Mother’s Day, read this article by National Geographic.

Happy Friday before Mothers’ Day

Alright, so I don’t technically have a child. Yet. But, one has been growing in my uterus for the last 30 weeks; I’m going to count it. My presents this very first year include:

1. Two men’s formal-wear vests from my parents

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2. Two cans of root beer from my husband

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Click here for a story about motherhood before I knew much at all about it: http://www.versewisconsin.org/Issue112/poems/stroikStocke.html.

 

Pregnant Writer’s Advantage #1: A Thorough Cleaning of Your Belly Button

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When there are other things on your mind–things other than writing, that is–you can either clear them out or let them consume you. Do some housekeeping (metaphorically), and get rid of them. Or do some housekeeping (literally), and let it take up your whole day. I’m treating pregnancy as a great excuse to do the former, though it would be much easier now to commence a thorough cleaning of my outie. I’ll spare us all the photo.

Happy Birthday to my dad, Soren Kierkegaard, and my sister’s dog.

Probably in that order.

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KC

 

 

Unabridged Adventure Series Part 7: The Things We Circle

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I’ll admit, I used to be a circler. An underliner. A writer in margins. Until the day I wasn’t. In this two-thousand-three-hundred-and-fifty-six-page dictionary, someone circled page 1097. No other comments. No rabbit ears. No bookmarks. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind pencil or pen or inserts or coffee stains in books. Scratchings show use. Things you leave behind mean you were there. They make for interesting blog posts. But really, you can only scratch where there’s an itch: no coaster for your coffee, for instance.

Now I, occasionally, stumble across some arrogant aside written by College Christine, and my hope is that Old (Crotchety) Christine will find fewer but perhaps more meaningful quotations authored by Middle-Aged Christine. Or at least something mildly funny.

Unabridged Adventure Series Part 6, Ruined

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A Lesson in the Wheelhouse

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This is fine. It’s really fine, in fact.

I am not, contrary to popular opinion, a people person.

I write what makes me comfortable and sometimes what makes me squirm. Or I just sit on one end of the picnic bench.

Unabridged Adventure Series: The Myth of Sisyphus and other essays

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Two tickets from State Capitol Tours on page 131.

“It weighs 10,000 pounds. It has over 200 light bulbs. A Volkswagen would fit inside. Capitol rotunda chandelier designed and made by Louis Comfort Tiffany. For more information call 360-586-TOUR.”

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Unabridged Adventure Series: A Pleasing Birth

As promised, the Unabridged Adventure Series now continues outside of my dictionary. On to other used books! The first I came across this week while doing my prenatal homework: A Pleasing Birth: Midwives and Maternity Care in The Netherlands by Raymond De Vries. On page 246, a note. Addressed to me?

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The note in its entirety:

“Hi Christine–

I hope you want to join us for another adventure.

–Heather”

Reason not to Write #8: Naps.

I love naps, plural. And long walks. And small talk with strangers. But I learned at an early age that careers don’t generally include these activities. (I felt astutely prepared for a nine to five.) It took me a while to confront the lion in my driveway: what is productivity?

For a while it felt productive to sit in front of the computer and try. That is, until I realized I wasn’t writing. Anything. (Blank pages provide poor inspiration.) But naps gave me vivid dreams; aimless walks set scenes.

What did you do today? someone asks.

Took a few short naps, went for a walk, talked to this guy I didn’t know.

I dread the question to this day.

 

As it turns out though, I’m maturing. I’m also fortunate to live with a supportive husband in a place where art has value. And so it might, after all, only be my neighbor’s housecat.

In the Black Forest, Germany

In the Black Forest, Germany

 

Book Club Update

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We forgot to take photos, so there aren’t any. Look for staged shots later.

We found the book readable but not worth re-reading nor re-recommending. No link will follow.

We found the food good. The company lively. The lingering husband short-lived and two mingling cats unusually friendly.

My Girl Canon

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A friend of a friend has a new worthwhile website up and running. Check it out today to read a list of the ten books that have most moved me. Read below for a more detailed description. Or follow them here: http://girlcanon.tumblr.com/.

Girl Canon- About Us

“The power of a personal canon, secret or not, lies in the authority one needs to create it. Women need to trust that they know what’s good, what’s bad, and what serves them intellectually in order to reject or reclaim the books in their lives. […] What “No Regrets” argues for most powerfully is the right of women to reject that line of thinking and to believe that they are qualified to decide what literature should be. It argues for the public claiming of formerly secret canons: the right to create your own vision of what is best in the culture and to have that vision influence what books other people read and value.” – Sady Doyle, “The Perils of Reading While Female,” In These Times, 2014.

We are GIRL CANON, and we want to know what you read.

grrrlcanon [AT] gmail.com

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