Thursday, July 30, 2015

Colorshare, Times Three

I love color. It's the first thing I think about whenever we move to a new home (I wrote about that here), and I tend to think about colors in terms of moods, textures and smells, and to have strong feelings about them.

I was very inspired by this article, The Keeper: 39 Paints, in the latest New York magazine. It’s all about color and has practical elements--advice about the proper paintbrushes, lighting, coordination, etc.--but the parts I really liked were the shiny streaks of color, with a designer’s brief comments about what that shade does for him/her. These people with their thoughtful impressions about hues felt like kindred spirits. And each blurb seemed to have a complete story ensconced within. I was so inspired that I sat right down and wrote a new short piece, titled “Resonant Blue.”
On the subject of blue, there’s an exhibit running through January 2016 at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena: A Revolution of the Palette: The First Synthetic Blues and their Impact on French Artists. At the beginning of the 18th century, “Prussian blue” was accidentally discovered in an alchemist’s laboratory, and this new pigment had an irrevocable effect on the artists painting in France and throughout the world. Who’s with me for a visit to the Norton Simon?

Lastly, don’t miss the blue moon tomorrow, Friday, July 31. Here’s a scientific take on this fleeting phenomenon: Blue Moon, but you’re free to hold tight to the more imaginative and artistic interpretations.
Wishing you a weekend full of color!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Look, New Direction (sort of...)

Change is natural. Change is good. Change is what happens when you’re making other plans—is that it? When I was a kid, I used to rearrange my bedroom a lot. I liked the fresh perspective it gave me, a way of being a new you in the same place. So. You may have noticed this blog’s new clean and stream-lined look. I started typing away in this space five years ago and I’ve really enjoyed it, not only as a way to join the dialogue about books and writing, but as a practice field for my skills, a place to work out thought processes and flesh out ideas. I’ve written book reviews, contemplations about the writing process and the publishing business, film reviews, short fiction, and lots of posts that can only be filed under the subheading: Other. And for the past year, I’ve been sharing a “Poem for the Weekend” each Friday, a practice which accomplished what I had hoped: it got me reading more poetry. A bonus: the exchanges I had with readers about poems they love. So although I’ll be discontinuing the Poem for the Weekend feature, I remain open to hearing about poems you’ve found and I might still share one myself from time to time.

So what’s the new direction, you ask? The thing is, I’ve got this novel to write. Anyone who's undertaken this foolish task will tell you it doesn’t leave much creative juice for anything else. I will still be blogging (no fear!), but maybe my posts will be more brief, less fleshed out. And because I’ll be deeply immersed in fiction, I anticipate that the offerings will lean towards topics involving inspiration and creativity and of course, the routine and practice of writing. I may share something I saw that galvanized me; I may point you to something I read regarding the nuts and bolts of the process. And I will always feel obligated to point you to an amazing novel or film. Often, I may just pop up for air and to say hello.  

I’ll still be writing an occasional book review or musing for the LitChat blog (as long as they’ll have me), like this one about which readers YOU should be writing for: Writing in the Round.
Meanwhile, there are more changes afoot! Keep an eye on my author site,, in the coming months for more new stuff and possibly, some book news. And of course, I’ll be hanging around Twitter and Facebook if you’d like to connect there. Thanks, as always, for staying with me.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Poem for the Weekend: Robert Creeley


I've been away on vacation and so, did not have a poem prepared for this week. I decided to Google one, maybe something about summer, but noticed that the first thing that popped up when I typed the single word, "poems" was "poems about rain." So although the weather is entirely southern-California perfect here today, I give you a poem about rain. Because apparently, it's the sort of weather that gets people thinking about poetry. If you're wondering what the second Google prompt was, it was "poems about love," another topic that figures into Robert Creeley's rain poem. You can read about the author here.

The Rain

by Robert Creeley (1926-2005)
All night the sound had   
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.


What am I to myself
that must be remembered,   
insisted upon
so often? Is it

that never the ease,   
even the hardness,   
of rain falling
will have for me

something other than this,   
something not so insistent—
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.

Love, if you love me,   
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,   
the getting out

of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.
"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka