Thank you, Amtrak.

Train from Bratislava to Budapest

Train from Bratislava to Budapest

I often write while watching things go by: people, scenery, that dappled horse in the back corner of a farmer’s field rearing up just as the train passes. So the writers’ residencies to be put in place by Amtrak definitely deserve a spot on my blog and my Facebook page and anywhere else I can write about them, for that matter. Thanks, Amtrak, for realizing the value of artists, the financial struggles they go through, and the ways in which you can help contribute to their success.

Click on the link above or here for The Wire’s full article.

Advertisements

Best and Worst Reason not to Write: #7

DSC00388

I’ve been dropping hints all week. (Remember these? Photo of bike with suspicious carrier. Incriminating syntax.) But here’s my final and most obvious shot. Above is the face of a coffee-adoring woman who’s spotted bags full of freshly-ground Turkish coffee. In Istanbul nonetheless. And, get this, according to the sign, the bag she’s pointing at would cost her half a Euro. This woman, however, has been weaning her intake. Why? Because she’s four months pregnant.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Reasons not to Write Numbers Four and Five: Romania & Turkey

DSC00156 DSC00174

(Above: Dracula’s Castle, Bran, Romania and Dracula’s writing desk)

In lands pregnant with folklore, filled by mysterious forests, enchanting music and, above all, equally interesting people, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Yes, you packed notebooks of varying sizes, plenty of pencils, a pen or two, and a camera. You kept them (always) in your interior jacket-front pocket. Hiking, driving, on a boat down the Bosporus. (You’d be more upset if your trusty green spiral notebook was pick-pocketed over your passport and so feel for its outline frequently.) While you slept, the items waited not-so-patiently on the hotel nightstand.

And so, now that you’re home, what have you got to show? How many pages did your writing occupy? How many of those notebooks did you pack back away in your suitcase as they quickly filled? How many pencils lost their led at your leaning?

Answer:

1. Not much.

2. Six small–reporter-pad-sized–pages.

3. Zero notebooks packed back away.

4. Zero mechanical pencils that need re-filling.

But there are moments. Just moments. Somewhere. Everywhere. Written and un-.

DSC00414  DSC00413

(Above: Bookstore, Istanbul, Turkey)

Holiday Cheer: Believing in Someone’s Vision

DSC09487

There are a number of things someone could say when you tell them you spent $150 of hard-earned cash on a five-inch-thick dictionary for your living room. There are plenty of questions they could ask. Plenty of sidelong glances. Or they could spend days in the basement and build you an Oak stand on which to display it. One that fits together without any nails or screws, and so it easily collapses to transport across The Atlantic.

DSC09490

Frame Story

DSC07908

Not too long ago, I purchased this 3’x4′ frame at our local consignment store, which happens to be across town. On this sunny day, I walked and I stopped. I walked and I stopped. Last summer we carried a couch from that same store. While the couch was better for breaks, the frame was better for photos. Both were great for thumbs up from some strangers and awkward stares from others. But what the frame was best at was forming stories in my mind about the impromptu paintings I was creating.

Poem promotion countdown: 36 purchased! Only 41 remain. Get yours here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/165156186/custom-poem-for-25-cents-free-shipping?ref=shop_home_feat.

Productive Spaces: an Amsterdam Houseboat

DSC08952  DSC08967

Two photos of the boat’s living room, which has been partially plastered in book wallpaper, assuring no pages fall off their shelves when the barges go by in the morning. The only binding to carry a title is The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, by Edith Holden, published posthumously in 1977. Even reading Edith’s Wiki page (found here) is enough to make one want to write. And so I did.

The Year-Ago You

My latest piece is up online in the Fall issue of Tethered by Letters where it won first place in their flash fiction contest! It’s a quick read, which is what I’m always looking for on a Monday.

Photo taken near Groningen, NL on a recent wadlopen trip.

Photo taken near Groningen, NL on a recent wadlopen trip.

Writing Abroad

A couple recent trips made me realize the value of experience. More from Poland & the Amsterdam houseboat to come…

DSC08191

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.