California Green

  i. Green is something special in California. Oh,sure, we have “green all year” because people can water their lawns and gardens to keep them vibrant, and there’s no white blanket of snow to cover them up. But in the wild hills that frame our developed landscape, green is a rare and fleeting thing, dependent…

Hard Climb

I. Part of California’s Transverse Ranges, the Tehachapi Mountains of Kern and Los Angeles counties cut an east-to-west divide between the fertile San Joaquin Valley to the north and the inhospitable Mojave Desert to the south. Cresting between 4,000 and 8,000 feet, they connect to the mighty Sierra Nevada to the east, and to the…

Manipulations

1. In a couple of weeks, I’m heading off to the Santa Cruz mountains to participate in a weekend yoga and writing retreat. In fact, I’m leading a session on photography as meditation, which means what I ought to be doing right now is brushing the dust off my camera and planning what I’m going…

Do a Lot of Work

1. Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo. 2. I have undertaken a great folly. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an over-exaggeration. But “self publishing” is such an abused term that it can, indeed, seem like a folly if you venture even the smallest toe into an arena where anyone can…

These Three Queens

I have all these queens roaming around in my head. There are the ten queens, of course, who make up The Book of Ten Queens—Imbra, Aven, Enn and the rest. Erise, the lost queen, and Robin, the false queen, are both a part of that cycle, too. (You can go hunting for early signs of…

Can This Block Be Broken?

“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged…I had poems that were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.” ~ Erica Jong There are many people who don’t think writer’s block is a real thing, or…