|"Working" on 3D planet project, midnight|
Everyone is breathing under my roof, more or less. Except for me—I’m inadvertently breath holding again as we near November 1 release date for my first poetry collection, November Butterfly (Saddle Road Press)…I’ve been in Ninja marketing mode, sending out press releases and review and event requests as soon as the kids catch the bus to school (and even when they don’t). By night, starring as Encyclopedia Brown on steroids, sniffing down the missing homework trail, tearing up the Silver Strand for 3 am runs to CVS for licorice, frosting, and $20 dollars worth of other assorted candy (should you, say, have forgotten your Model of a Cell project were due tomorrow…)
...or taking my turn as Harriet Home-maker, peeler extraordinaire of blueberry fruit leather off the ceiling. If you cram enough frozen blueberries in a blender and froth them for long enough, they form a temperature differential primed to explode the blender lid all the way up to the ceiling, at least under the supervision of my teen willowy 5 foot something I-just know-she’s-taller-than-I-am-now daughter…
…which is why we added Blender to the list of appliances not to use unless mom is home. Though a mother’s presence doesn’t necessarily deter dangerous activity…in fact, later that day, I was able to detect, over killer-bee drone of vaccuum, the ER scream from far side of bathroom door—
|Diffuse Moons Robyn Beattie|
…which turned out just to be my son reacting to the nasty crack of curtain rod over his back having downed it while foot juggling a tennis ball in the shower. I’ll take credit for inspiring the multi-tasking part. The rest, I’ll bequeath to my triathlete husband. We saved ER for the following week when the juggler came down with a right side stitch that kicked in after a X-Country meet followed by soccer practice.
With a middle child’s sense of timing, he waited twenty-four hours, full moon casting its light across the carpet just before bedtime, to tell me the pain hadn’t subsided and was in fact, he told the advice nurse, (the clincher), moving into his chest. One doctor on duty, 30 people in the waiting room, an IV, CT scan, and seven hours later, we were on our way back home just as the sun came up, armoured with the admonition to “drink more water” and a good dose of the queasies from listening to everyone else’s catalogue of injuries from scorpion bites to falling off stools to broken jaws.
So that’s where I’ve been…while squeezing in a bit of blogging up poetry prompts on the main site. If you are too far away to come to a writing class or November Butterfly workshop, stop by the website and write with me virtually….I’m using November Butterfly’s Table of Contents to create writing exercises based on the poems in the book…you can access the ones I’ve gotten to so far here:
|Cover Photo Robyn Beattie|
Cover Design Don Mitchell
November Butterfly Book Launch at San Diego Writers, Ink
Join me in person on Saturday, November 1, 2014 (Dia de los Muertes), at 2:30 for a one hour writing workshop, Writing Past Fear: Free Your Butterfly. We will write about our mentors and play with paper cutouts as a way to approach core stories we haven’t been able or willing to write about yet. The $30 fee includes a copy of November Butterfly. Or, just come out for the reading and book signing following the workshop, $5 suggested donation. (Register here with San Diego Writers, Ink for Free Your Butterfly workshop).
In Sonoma County, I’m launching on November 10 (Veteran’s Day) at Coffee Catz in downtown Sebastopol. Catz is a fabulous coffee shop near and dear to my heart. I escaped after the birth of my first child on Fridays to write; in fact we held the baby shower for that first child (blueberry blender girl) in the back room behind the velvet curtain. I return to teach the writing workshop described above at 2:00, followed by free book signing and reading.
November 11, I’m thrilled to be reading in the company of my Saddle Road Press sisters, Ruth Thompson (Woman with Crows) and Michelle Wing (Body on the Wall) at Moe’s Books in Berkeley at 7:30 p.m. Reading and book signing event free of charge.
For more information about these three events, visit my Events page.
AROHO Fellowship Award:
It is difficult to celebrate this next bit of news when so many of my friends and fellow retreat participants submitted applications to these awards from A Room of Her Own Foundation. I wouldn't be where I am today without the love and support of the many women gracing my life as a direct result of AROHO's retreats. I am deeply grateful for this turn in the sun, and very honored, to have been selected to attend the 2015 AROHO Retreat as the Marg Chandler Memorial Fellow at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico next summer.
We have a beautiful program waiting for us at the 2015 Retreat and Waves Discussion Series: Writing Against the Current with Waves Discussion Fellow of Distinction Maxine Hong Kingston. I still have my copy of Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts from undergraduate study days at UC Davis when I was lucky and brave enough to have troubled Kingston for a signature. I can't wait to hear what she has to say in 2015 and to bask in the inevitable fertile discussions fed by the minds of the AROHO women.
|Robyn Beattie Photo Assemblage|
Not just because we are featured in it—but also because of how interesting it is to look at women’s mentorship models over time, I absolutely love the in-depth scholarly article Alexandria Peary, PhD, wrote, titled, Walls with a Word Count: The Textrooms of Extracurriculum (published by College Composition and Communication on the National Council of English Teachers' website last month). We blogged it up at Mother Writer Mentor where you’ll find a link to Peary’s full article. She draws some parallels between the practices of an editor of a 19 Century magazine titled Godey’s Lady’s Book and writer/blogger/editors at three sites (She Writes, Mother Writer Mentor, and VIDA’s blog Her Kind). Top photo is mine; the rest are by the amazing Robyn Beattie.
The Woman Warrior at 30: Maxine Hong Kingston's Secrets and Lies at Slate by Jess Row (2007)