Friday, November 21, 2014

Out of The Chrysalis: Feral Mom Attempts November Butterfly Book Tour Sans Kids

I am still basking in the warmth of a beautiful homecoming trip to Sonoma County where we celebrated November Butterfly’s arrival—I left Southern California with a bag full of books and returned with a scant three copies that were spoken for before my plane landed in San Diego. I traveled alone, having celebrated with my husband and my children at San Diego Writers, Ink the week prior. How odd, but lovely, a bit alien, to escape as writer self and leave mother self behind.

Or try. Within two hours, texts from the kids and husband trickled in… “Where are the car keys?” “When are you coming back?” “I miss you already!” And one graphic photo of a bloody toe…all gently eclipsed in San Francisco by my brother, his wife and my niece. They kindly whisked me off for a beer—even though I am not much of a drinker and fruitflies tend to get the better portion of any quarter glass of wine my husband pours for me.

But this was The Trappist, and in the bronze dusk of the unassuming low-lit hallway that makes the venue so cozy, I converted, sipping a very fine, dark, foaming 8 Wired I-stout, admiring the miniature tree limbs advancing up the wall above us with evenly balanced tendrils. I was further spoiled each day of my visit--omelets by my sister-in-law, Italian dinner out, and girl-time curing toes of their winter pall. Finally, by night, in the slightly freaky and deafening silence of putting only myself to bed, I succumbed to the pleasure of losing time between the covers of The Book of Symbols:Reflections on Archetypal Images, (Taschen), table of contents pulling me in with incantatory list: Egg, Breath, Star, Sun, Moon, Crescent, Eclipse, Comet….

Further north at my father’s home, my collaborator Robyn’s chrysalis artwork greeted me on the table. Inside, tucked in a butterfly pocket, she and my father had collected “magic words” (bookmark sized quotes to lift the mind).  At nearly a foot tall, the chrysalis card is a delight to hold and open, serving as a three-dimensional out-picturing of this year’s process.  After some superb seven-secret-ingredient pancakes (my father’s specialty), we headed out to Shiloh Park for a morning hike which is just what I needed in order to ground before the afternoon workshop and reading at Coffee Catz (thank you Debbie and Keli!).

The vibrant reds and golds of the changing leaves and sprawling oaks still linger in my mind’s eyes as do the heartprints of the friends and writers circling the workshop table and back room at Coffee Catz, and again, in Berkeley at Moe’s Books, where I had the honor of reading with Ruth Thompson (Woman with Crows) and Michelle Wing (Body on the Wall) to a full house at the invitation of Poetry Flash (which meant lovely introductions for all three of us poets by the generous and thoughtful Richard Silberg and venue set-up and arrangements thanks to Joyce Jenkins).

I also had the privilege of meeting Don Mitchell (A Red Woman Was Crying) for the first time in person (after months of email correspondence).  Don is the other half of Saddle Road Press (located in Hilo, Hawaii) and the man responsible for the book cover magic and logistics of poems on the page plus all the hand-holding during the thousand invisible decisions that signal final stages of book-making. Ruth Thompson, pictured here, is the other half of Saddle Road Press, and the woman responsible for editing November Butterfly and seeing it through to completion.

Other collateral joy: time with my poetry steady Liz Brennan—she’s already put up one of our new short prose Perhaps, Maybe video collaborations we had time to record over the weekend, The Hummingbird’s Complaint.

I am in the process of mapping out new book tour events and will announce dates as we confirm them; I am overwhelmingly grateful for the love and support of my family and friends.

Additional Links:

January Blogging Class:

I’ll be offering a four part blogging series of classes (from Beginning Blogging to Advanced Blogging) in person through San Diego Writers, Ink, starting in January, 2015. Here is the link to the first series of classes for Beginning Bloggers. I welcome bloggers at any point on their blogging trajectory, and former students are always welcome to join us again for blog support. I tailor my courses to fit the needs of each forming class.

November Butterfly Prompts:

As promised to workshop participants, I am still writing poetry prompts for the iconics in section 1 of November Butterfly--I will have one up for Nefertiti in the next couple of days. Visit this link to see all ten prompts up so far (from Marilyn to Jeanne d'Arc). 


Suzi Banks Baum said...

Congratulations Tania! What a wonderful book to share and inspire us all. Thank you! xoS

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Thanks so much Suzi...bless you for reading.