January 2013 Open Mic at Village Books

Dear Writers,

Here’s a verse from “January, 1795” by the great poet Mary Robinson:

Taste and talents quite deserted;

All the laws of truth perverted;

Arrogance o’er merit soaring;

Merit silently deploring.

As relevant as her wonderful poem still seems today, I also have to say, sorry, Mary! Because Monday’s lineup of writers had no shortage of merit, grace, and talent.

Madrona GroveCongratulations to Shannon Laws for publishing Madrona Grove: Poems Written Under the Canopy, a collection of Northwest-inspired poetry. Madrona Grove was printed on Village Books’s Espresso Machine and is available on shelf or online at Village Books. Shannon is an artist and created numerous different cover designs, so anyone who buys the book may have a different cover! Shannon shared poetry from her book as well as “No Morrow,” which is published in Volume 4 of Clover. She’s on fire!

Not to be outdone, Rae Ellen Lee read from her newly published book Cheating the Hog. A Sawmill. A Tragedy. A Few Gutsy Women. Points as well for the title, and congratulations to Rae Ellen for this newly launched title. She manages to make mill work, which we all can guess is exciting, hard, and dangerous, somehow also hilarious, and further, uses the tales from the mill as a jumping off place for other fearfully funny vignettes. Note that Cheating the Hog is a featured giveaway on GoodReads and the Kindle edition will be FREE on Feb 1, in honor of Groundhog’s day.

Monday night’s lineup also featured Deanna Hawkins, reading on her topic of “Where Can Rapture Be Found?” Deanna taught us about sins of the flesh, which in the modern world include Kobe beef. From this very humorous note, she took her essay in a beautiful direction to reflect on life and beauty. CJ Prince delighted us with “Before the Northwest” and other contemplative poems. She reports that she often reads her poetry aloud in her kitchen to try it out and then after reading at open mic finds additional inspiration to make some final revisions. CJ closed her set with “Packing for Boston,” discussing not only packing but packing ideas to carry. Continue reading

Clicks are Being Formed

Rare footage of my legs circa 1975.

Rare footage of my legs circa 1975.

Dear Writers,

I have previously confessed that my guilty pleasure is watching The Bachelor on Monday nights. My wicked pleasure has become reading the scathing blogs the next morning. It’s open season, with everyone from highly positioned journalists to past contestants dishing and dissing the hunky hunks and girly girls who gather in exotic shooting locations to find their true love or kickoff a celebrity career or ideally both.

Rewind to last season for a sec, where dark-haired Courtney with legs down to there and then some scored the marriage proposal from Ben the winemaker. En route, Courtney was apt to blurt out some not-so-nice comments about her female rivals, who responded by blurting out some not-so-nice comments back. Not sure if I can point to an epiphany for the season, more like a best photo op, but the denouement was that Courtney and Bensie broke up, blurted out some not-so-nice comments about each other, and Courtney is now blogging about the current season of the show.

Which leads me to her blog from this season’s Episode 2, in which she lets us know that the new gals aren’t exactly besties either—in fact, “clicks are being formed.”

I can’t argue with that truth, and I also like her spelling and plan to use it hereafter.

Which takes me back to junior high. There were clicks there too, and I was never part of them. In fact, one of the cute cheerleaders had a party and invited every girl in the class but me. Poor me. But don’t feel bad, because my life got a whole lot better and I eventually made friends and got less awkward. Plus I could spell, which apparently precluded a stint on The Bachelor but does allow me to make a nice living even though my legs are kinda, well, short. Continue reading