Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weddings, kitchen appliances, and ex-boyfriends

Breakup Babe ties the knot
Whoa! A lot has happened in the last few months.

I got married.
I went on a honeymoon.*
I became the proud owner of many shiny new stainless steel kitchen appliances and intimidatingly spotless pots and pans.**

*As an idealistic college intern at the Peninsula Times Tribune, I wrote wedding announcements and snobbily thought it was sooo unoriginal when people went on their honeymoons to Hawaii or Mexico because EVERYONE went on their honeymoons to Hawaii or Mexico. Flash forward two decades later and where do I go on my honeymoon? Kauai! (And it rocked!)

Snorkeling in my own private tidepool
**Kitchen appliances are fantastic presents of course, but read here about how one of my most creative friends made our truly original engagement gift by hand!

Planet of the Ex Boyfriends coming soon to a theater near you
In other news, I found an excellent director to work with me on my short film, Planet of the Ex Boyfriends (PTEXB). Now I'm gearing up to raise money so we can produce it. You'll be hearing more about this soon!

Finally, I'm also getting ready to teach one of my favorite classes at one of my favorite places. Roughing It: Write a Draft of Your Book in Just Six Weeks starts next week at Richard Hugo House. Shit*y rough drafts, here we come!

Aurevoir for now,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Winter and spring adventures around the northwest

Besides getting a new day job, taking (and teaching) writing classes, walking Snuffy the spirited senior pug, and planning a wedding that is happening in only 86 DAYS FROM NOW, I have been bopping about the northwest on a series of mini-adventures and writing about them. Here are a few highlights.

Badger Mt trail in Richland

Tri-Cities, Washington
I was a Tri Cities virgin until a couple weeks ago and now I know all about the glories of this desert area with a river running through it. Hiking, biking, kayaking - it's all there. Plus sun. Oh, the sun.

Scooting about Seattle (not)
Despite my brave smile, I was too scared to ride this sporty scooter out of the parking lot! However I did write an article about renting scooters from Scoot  About Scooters and how much fun that can be. Article to be out in the summer issue of Harbors Magazine .

On the Catherine Creek trail
Columbia River Gorge
Whoa! This area is beautiful. Like seriously beautiful. We did some amazing hiking and biking here. Plus we got one of the best photos of us ever taken (that's the Columbia River behind us). Article to be out in July in Outdoors NW Magazine.

 For the sake of journalism, I donned a red jumpsuit and goggles and flew in a wind tunnel at iFLY Seattle.  I didn't even take any Xanax! (thereby making up for my wimpiness on the scooter). The article will be out this summer in Harbors Magazine.

I had never heard of Tokeland before I got assigned this story. But I had a grand time staying in the (supposedly haunted) Tokeland Hotel and exploring the many peaceful beaches nearby. Even if I did have a nasty cold at the time.

Wenatchee and Chelan
We dubbed this trip to Wenatchee and then Chelan the Cholesterol Tour for all the globules of fat we consumed. But boy was it all delicious! Especially the apple butter milkshake at the Cashmere Cider Mill. Mmm. We also skied the lovely (and nearly empty) trails at the Echo Ridge Nordic area in Chelan and saw some beautiful parks along the Columbia.

Skiing near Paradise Meadows
Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier is one of my favorite places. The view at left speaks for itself. Staying at the comfy, quiet National Park Inn is a great way to explore "The Mountain."

Eugene, Oregon
On this fab trip we biked the newly designated Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway for an article about Oregon's designated scenic bikeways. Luckily we got a perfect autumn day for our ride rather than a downpour.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here comes the...


Nearly 10 years from the time that Breakup Babe was born on a sad, sweaty summer day, she (I) got engaged.

Yes, moi. Engaged to be married!

I am finally wearing that diamond ring that Breakup Babe so longed for in her sexy little struggle, or at least claimed she did. Personally I think she really enjoyed her sl*tty phase, knowing (if not truly believing) that she might one day settle down.

I'm a little terrified, to tell you the truth. I know it won't be that different from the Domestic Bliss (TM) that Dave and I live in currently with Snuffy the spirited senior pug in our 650-square foot condo with only one bathroom. The Domestic Bliss (TM) that we have been enjoying for oh, almost four years now.

We pretty much are married except that I don't yet enjoy the benefits of Dave's killer health insurance and haven't yet received loads of fancy cookware or gone out on the town wearing a veil and waving a dildo. (Wait, is that what people do at bachelorette parties? I've never actually been to one.)

Still I'm too terrified to talk about actual marriage. So let's talk about WEDDINGS! Now that's a subject I can get behind!

Wedding Fever!
Our purported plan is to get married while the weather is still nice enough to tie the knot OUTDOORS and while mom is still healthy enough to enjoy it.

And an outdoor wedding in this part of the world limits you to the second half of July, August, and September.


So far, here's what I've done in preparation:
I loved Cama Beach and Camano Island State Parks (both on Camano Island). Cama Beach has quaint, historic waterfront cabins on the beach and a gorgeous new hall with fantastic views that's perfect for a reception. And adjacent Camano Island State Park has some idyllic spots overlooking the water for a ceremony.

However I'm not sure Camano Island is gonna work out for boring reasons mainly having to do with stuff already being booked except for Sunday nights and how I don't want to have a wedding on Sunday, blah blah.

All right I'm talked out. I'm sure you'll hear more about this in the days to come.

You might also witness some brainstorming about how I can write a sequel to BreakupBabe that features her older, wiser, engaged self yet where she is still neurotic and impulsive enough to create *conflict* and *crazy adventures*!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Greetings, Earthlings.

Me and mom in the old days
This has been a wacky fall and winter. I've been a bit under the weather and keeping a lower profile than usual. My mom was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer a year ago and it seemed to hit me all at once this past October.

First with a cold that never went away. Then the tension headaches that ate Manhattan.  Oh and let's not forget the back injury I got working on my laptop IN BED (the most unglamorous injury ever) and also the knee injury earned backcountry skiing last April (a tad more respectable) that have kept me from hitting the snowy slopes and neon lights with as much fervor as I usually do.

Oh, poor me, right? Meanwhile my mom is going through chemo and losing her hair and having many awful symptoms, on top of worrying when this stupid cancer is going to kill her. She has always been so robust and active (like me) and now this monster has laid her low.

But not TOO low. Because since her diagnosis she quit her job, traveled to the Galapagos with my sister, and to Alaska with me (on the worst-weather-ever-but-at-least-the-boat-didn't-sink-cruise.) Soon she's headed to Hawaii and Russia.

Best news yet, her doctor told her this week she was in remission. Yes, remission! That was a word none of us expected to hear ever. Not that she's cured, her doctor sternly told her. This thing could rear its ugly head in another three months or another year. It will rear its ugly head again, says Dr. Oncologist.

But while the monster is in hibernation, she can take a break from chemo. Yay! She can get back the two weeks out of every month that she loses from being poisoned. Yay! Her eyelashes can grow back and food might taste normal again and she'll regain some of that vibrant energy that has made her such an unstoppable force for creativity and social justice and adventure all her life.

So that's what I've got for you.

  • I'm speaking at the AWP conference in February (along with some staggeringly famous authors). Who-hoo, freezing Chicago, here I come!
  • I'm teaching an online blogging class for the Editorial Freelancer's Association starting Feb 15.
  • I just finished my first screenplay, called "Planet of the Ex-Boyfriends."
Ok, maybe "screenplay" is a stretch. It's a  five-minute script. For my class at Experimental College called "Let's Make a Movie!"

Tonight we'll be voting on a script to make movie out of (anyone in the class can submit one) and I want mine to win! If it doesn't, it was hell of fun to write, which is more than I can say about a lot of things I've written recently.