Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Writing Conferences?

This post originally listed possible writing conferences to attend. I've taken the plunge and am going to the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland at the beginning of August. Looks like three days of intensive workshops and speakers, and an opportunity to make a pitch (more of that later).

Here are some other writing conferences/workshops in Washington and Oregon to check out (thanks to suggestions from friends in Oregon):

Oregon. Try writer talks in Portland's Sellwood district through the Oregon Writer's Colony. Update June 24, I registered for the Others to check out:
--Tin House Summer Writer's Workshop, (Portland, OR)
--Silverton Poetry Festival, (Silverton, OR)

Washington. What about the Pacific Northwest Writers' Conference, this year in Seattle, July 17-20. Their website shows an emphasis on biographies this year. Others to check out:
--The Whidby Island Writers' Conference is held in the spring.
--Port Townsend Writer's Conference, (already full).
--Skagit River Poetry Festival, (La Conner, WA) -- great intimate festival and workshops
--Get Lit!,(Spokane, WA) -- more a reading series than a workshop/conference, but lots of fun

Writing update.

I haven't been writing poetry lately as we've been switching from the east coast to the west coast, the last three days of driving averaging 500-600 miles per day. We skirted part of one major thunderstorm, though. I don't understand how people can live in a region that brings that level of uncertainty. Give me the Pacific Northwest. I have missed these mountains! But the writing has gone fairly well. I'm now at nearly 70,000 on the novel and although that was my original goal (seemingly unattainable), I'm guessing the project (just telling the story) is about 80% finished. But progress in spite of all is still unfolding.

Now we move today into our new apartment, one place, no moving around for two months. My office is to dream of. The apartment is second floor, and my office, a small alcove off the living room, has windows facing downtown Spokane. The view makes me feel I'm floating in trees, great pines surround the house, and we're on the second floor. I'm optimistic and can't wait to continue . . .

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The longest night

Through the longest night,
time stood still,
measured by my own body.
Then you came
with infant dimples, no hair,
and knowing hazel eyes.
Every morning into night has since
been shaped by you,
girl-child to girl-woman to woman,
connecting joy to joy.

The most memorable night of my life lasted 63 hours and brought my daughter. I remember every detail of her birth. Time seemed to stand still, outside of my experience. In some ways, it seems unfair to connect birth to the concept of night, for the whole experience began at night but whether it was night or day, I could not tell. The birth itself was so memorable. No watch would be useful, for how night passed into day was measured by my own body.