A Vortext of Words during a Weekend on Whidbey

Impatience, hope, despair, rage, fear, acceptance. Path to self-destruction? Guests at a pity party? No. They are states of mind of the writer and they were lived and witnessed during the course of an uplifting, inspirational three-day writing salon for women called Vortext, held May 31-June 2. Created by Hedgebrook, the writing retreat for women…

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When de la Cruz Family Danced Goes to Indianola

It’s been nearly two years since my novel When the de la Cruz Family Danced was published, so more than ever it’s a delight to discover readers, especially when they are practically in your own figurative backyard. Having lived in Seattle for thirty-six years, I’d heard of Indianola, but had only a vague idea of…

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Two Rejections, a Reading, and a Photo (Sort of) with Peter Coyote

Getting one’s writing published can be an exercise in both perseverance and masochism. Most of us have experienced both seemingly endless strings of rejections and mercifully short ones. This is a story of the latter. Two rejections indirectly led to my essay “Home is Where the Wart Is” being included in New California Writing 2013,…

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The Beauty of a Hedgebrook Salon

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being one of six workshop leaders at Hedgebrook’s December Salon, a day-long event at this writers retreat for women located on Whidbey Island, WA. The salon was an opportunity for women writers to partake in workshops, conversation, the famous Hedgebrook food and the capstone–a lively open…

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Grand VCCA

Grand Hotel. People come and go. Nothing ever happens. These are the opening and closing lines of the 1932 movie Grand Hotel. The “nothing ever happens” is ironic since a whole passel of things transpires as the lives of the hotel residents intersect in various ways. I thought about this movie during my recent sixteen-day…

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