Unzipped

I’ve been stuck , unable to write “the last chapter” of my memoir for a while now. I’ve tried tricking my brain–well, my inner critic, to be more accurate by writing short pieces that have nothing to do with the book. Or blogging. Or setting a scheduled time to write that last chapter. Every scheme to escape the Iron Maiden clutches of the inner critic has failed. Continue reading “Unzipped”

How Not to Fall to Pieces

2021 was a year when everything seemed to be falling to pieces: our Democracy; the climate of our biosphere which caused uncontainable wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and massive climate-fueled migrations; the widening fracture of America between people who believe in science and evidence, versus the FOX-watchers who believe what their masters tell them. America is dividing itself into irreconcilable camps, fighting each other over their ideologies. Continue reading “How Not to Fall to Pieces”

Creativity Talks: On Writing a Memoir

Photographic collage of the author with trout.Four days after my father passed away on May 4th, 2020, I began to write about his passing and his life. As I wrote, more memories came out… more about my mother and father meeting, about my growing up in a State Department family, about the loss of my mother, and more about the destruction of my marriage. There was so much about loss in the natural world, and about extinction–a concept that has always frightened me.

And now, a year + later, here is a whole manuscript, a memoir of loss… Continue reading “Creativity Talks: On Writing a Memoir”

Pieces Making the Whole: Collaging Through COVID and Beyond

The Peace of Nature, collage of author and leavesOctober, 2021–My god, so much has happened since my last blog post last year. Momentarily blown apart by the pandemic isolation, I lost my sense of self. Now the pieces of me have started to reassemble. But not like before. I am, in fact, a different person now. Continue reading “Pieces Making the Whole: Collaging Through COVID and Beyond”

Creativity Talks: Jodi Paloni, Collaging Art and Life

I was connected with Jodi Paloni when I was searching for editorial expertise on a memoir I was writing. “You’ll love working with Jodi,” said our connection. “She is into the natural world, and relationships, and loss like you are.”

The more I worked with and learned about Jodi, the more I did, indeed, love working with her. She is a poet, a writer of a lauded book of fiction, a coach and a yoga practitioner. And, I discovered, a terrific collage artist.

I wanted to know how she came to making collages. Was the experience of writing similar to the experience of making a collage? Did she see a difference in the kinds of stories she writes and the kinds of stories her collages tell? And so much more…

Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Jodi Paloni, Collaging Art and Life”

Creativity Talks: Annie Thomas, At Home on the Range

D763EA48-0A0D-4FCF-AA9B-62ED8F7E4B69_1_201_aI met Annie Thomas in the‘90s when we both worked at a small software firm in Northern California. Annie was in Marketing and wore cowboy boots. She was a buoyant, fun and funny colleague, adept at making lovely handmade books for friends, and hand-drawn cards for her friends.

She went to Montana to experience life and work on a friend of a friend’s ranch in the Boulder River valley for a summer, liked it, quit her software job in California, and moved the Montana in the summer of 1999.  Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Annie Thomas, At Home on the Range”

Creativity Talks: Cathaleen Curtiss, Storytelling in Felt

Cathaleen.NYC.I first met Cathaleen Curtiss at a programming class during my first few days working at America Online in 1997. We were being taught how to post content using AOL’s bespoke publishing system, Rainman. She was the company’s new Director of Photography, and would grow, and eventually run, a staff of 60 photo editors, setting the visual tone of the service. Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Cathaleen Curtiss, Storytelling in Felt”

Creativity Talks: Bowled Over, with Marty Carroll

B94E6E4F-3349-4DAA-B2D4-3AEE2D358B84Sometimes creativity “just happens.” A random spark igniting a flurry of experimentation and invention. Marty Carroll, full-time nurse and sometimes seamstress, talks about the inspiration and process of creating fabric bowls.

Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Bowled Over, with Marty Carroll”

Creativity Talks: Shelli Can–and Does–Make Things By Hand

shellican-58-resized.When I first met Shelli Martinez she was
knitting a pair of sweat pants.
Knitting them.
I was incredulous. “Is there actually
a pattern for knit sweatpants?”
Well, no, it turned out, unless I was talking about the pattern she made on graph paper after taking apart a pair of her favorite jeans to see how they were constructed.
I remember thinking,
“I have so much to learn
from this fearlessly creative woman.”

Continue reading “Creativity Talks: Shelli Can–and Does–Make Things By Hand”

Creativity Talks: The Art and Energy of Self-taught Painter, Matt Sesow

dogfish.sesowIn 2009, I heard about Matt Sesow, a D.C. artist who was described to me as “a modern-day Picasso.” I was skeptical (I tend to be skeptical about most things just-met dates tell me). But when I looked at Sesow’s website, I felt as though my fingers had just been stuck into an electric outlet: the paintings’ energy pulsated, jumped and vibrated. His colors burned.
Continue reading “Creativity Talks: The Art and Energy of Self-taught Painter, Matt Sesow”