Friday, November 28, 2008

Post-Tofurky Wrap Up

Walla Walla, WA
Wish you were here. To entertain me.

Thanksgiving brings you together with your friends (intentional) or family (biological). I don't think there's anyone out there who is spending the holidays with the latter who hasn't thought (in the most appreciative of ways): "Who are these people? How are we possibly related? How can families be so complicated?" My dad watched several Tivo'd Hallmark channel movies and my sister an episode of a reality show that follows around a family with 8 kids, while I stared at them both, bored and contemplating the ties that bind. It was even more confusing when we weren't staring at the tv, but attempting conversation. Trapped in the countryside of a small eastern Washington town with my blood relations, I wondered how the rest of America was faring. If the NYTimes most seached for keywords is any indication, they were as confused about the meaning of family and Thanksgiving as I was...

Keywords most frequently searched by readers.

1. obama
2. bush
3. turkey
4. citigroup pays for a rush to risk
5. cancer
6. november 5, 2008
7. citigroup
8. sweet potato
9. thankgiving
10. china

* photo courtesy of jfranklinwillis'

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Portrait of the artist's girlfriend on the couch.

If you see a dramatic improvement in my photographic composition after tonight, it's because I'm going to see Literary Arts presents Annie Leibovitz. And if you don't notice a difference, I blame the nose-bleed seats!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Eeeee eee eeee indeed.

What an odd, perfect combination.
Tao Lin interviewing Joy Williams over at Book Slut.

* photo courtesy of Lele's flickr page

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First Storm

The beauty of the rain is how it falls, how it falls, how it falls (Dar Williams)

Tonight the first big storm of the Oregon rainy season is supposed to hit. I can't really muster feeling worried, though, when rain drops are spattered across my window like stars, or diamonds, or tears.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Closed Book.

Mission Accomplished!
Photo courtesy of Careenin

After a hundred-plus hour work week, Wordstock 2008 has come to a fantastic end. Sex dreams were discussed with an Oregon children's book author. An emergency run to Office Depot was made to ensure John Hodgman had an orange sharpee (the only pen he'll sign his books with). I found the most unlikely crush, a 90 pound poet in a red stocking cap who rocked both the sold out Poetry Slam and Live Wire. I spent every second of the last five day feeling so lucky to be a part of something that brings my favorite things in the world - books and writers - to my favorite city in the world, Portland. And to Wordstock's core volunteer team (who've lent hundreds of hours of their time), and the hundreds of Portlander's who've simply lent some of their weekend to the knocked my socks off. And now, Belvedere and I agree, it's time for a nap.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


National Novel Writing Month (or, to those of us in its hackles, who don't have enough time in the day for the next 31 days, we just short hand it NaNoWriMo). National Novel Writing Month is a mad experiment heavily dosed with quantity over quality. In short: you agree to write your "novel" every day for a month, with the finish line being November 31st, and 50,000 words. Revision (and there will be a lot of it) comes later. Much, much later. I'm heading into this knowing that our biggest work event of the year, Wordstock Book Festival, is happening next week and I'll be working 15 hour days for a while.

I have two visuals to cling to when I feel crushed by the impossibility of this task: Zadie Smith wrote White Teeth during her final year at Cambridge, she wrote the last few chapters during finals. In the living room of her parents house. Because she had just broken up with her boyfriend and had to move somewhere. Yikes.

The other is this incredible timelapse video of the route of the New York City Marathon, condensed down to 3 1/2 minutes; because one type of marathon or another, it's all about moving one foot forward, again and again, till you hit that sweet finish line.

You can follow my NaNoWriMo progress here.