"I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing." - John Cage

Friday, December 23, 2011

Newest workshop for 2012: I Have A First Draft: Shaping and Feedback

Did you participate in NanoWriMo?  Do you have a book project or longer writing project or short story that could use some motivating guidance? 

The writer John Cheever said "I can't write without a reader.  It's like a kiss - you can't do it alone."

A three part workshop series over three months. Develop your first draft into a refined piece through monthly feedback in a small dedicated group of writers while learning techniques for structuring and revising your book as well as tips on publishing.  $135. Call for more info!

10 - 1:30 pm
1/22,  2/5, and 3/11 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Truckee’s International Peace Day Celebration: Collaborative Peace Poem Project

In celebration of International Peace Day on Sept. 21st, For Goodness Sake hosted a Peace Day in the Regional Park.  At my table for Tangled Roots Writing I collected a few words about Peace from many many people.  Here is the collaborative poem that grew from those words:

 Inhale, Hold, Exhale

Commune with the trees
outside the window, birds
that stare from their branches, 
the homeless man
that sleeps in a doorway.

Silence the thoughts
of dishes with your name on them,
finding a daycare provider,
all the other "ands."  

Listen to the sound of a pendulum clock.
Still water, cool and fresh,
mountain lakes, warm salty ocean, waves lapping,
crashing. Sunday afternoon
at your grandmother's house, the whisper
of golf.

tangled roots, iridescent wings,  movement
from here to now. Peace
is an unknown entity.

a warm breeze
blows through the aspens,
snow floats on a cold winter night,
a blanket of green
encircles the earth, a piece of me.

Watch children play,
a river flow
and a garden thrive, a silent
cliffside trail, a summit
in mind.

Sit on grandmother’s porch, listen
to the rain fall.
Peace is freedom
from worry.
Begin within, pour outwards -
belong in this world.
Peace is a purple New Jersey!
Peace means happy.

Learn –
the mountain looks blue today.

Explore the possibilities:
for your fellow earthling
that tailgates,
for yourself when you swear at him.

creature of intention.

Forgive love:
wise and unconditional and blind,
the passion of dolphins, open
and hearted, full of mind.

If you want peace, a piece of me,
work for justice, feed the hungry.
Listen to the call within.

Connect with the earth’s crust,
the vibrant colors of rock and tree,
around and around. No fear within,
surrounded by surprise.

Peace is not
an absence of war
but instead
an absence of strangers.

Can you hear me?

When the compassionate
heart wins over the mind
and you love what is before you,
maybe the peace in you

will help the children get along,
help the world have peace,
a harmony with hands holding each other up,
singing and serenity
throughout the whole universe.

Peace is a deep breath.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Newest workshop offering is for Teens preparing College Application essays

“These College Essays Are Driving Me Crazy”

Workshop for Teens

Join this fun and creative group for help developing your college application essays. Find the heart and voice of your writing.

Call for more information.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Collaborative Poem Project at Truckee Thursday 6/16

At the first Truckee Thursday of the summer, I set up a booth for Tangled Roots Writing and asked anyone willing to try for a few words in response to a quote by Jane Hirshfield's quote "Journey far enough into the terrain of language, it seems, and the heart will begin to speak."

So many people responded that their index cards covered my bulletin board three cards deep. Using only their words and phrases, I composed this collaborative poem - I hope you enjoy reading poetry that can only exist through the collaborative efforts of many many Truckee people.

Begin to Speak: a collaborative poem from Truckee Thursday 6/16

Heart pointed to the moon, a friend living close by –
far is far from how far?
When he began to speak
(the first word I understood)
he was emphatic;
a roughness implied, or uncertainty,
perhaps not his first word.
If you are still and can be silent you may start to hear
the words you have been longing.
Heart will begin to speak, above ground and below,
places we aren’t familiar with but must cross through.
Lost souls, our purpose, heartreason.

On the other side of any journey
I want to be
waiting for the next step,
filled so big with so much. Every time
I hear of a trip taken far away
I enjoy my town more and more.
How far is far away?
Begin to speak
of the mind where the heart leads;
environment to lose yourself, a road trip
or a relationship. On the other side of the journey
I will be a baby. I am going to persevere
and love. Today is my day.

He rolled the word around
in his mouth, riding on it.
Get back on
into the language within us.
Write mindlessly. Eat another muscateer.
Rise from the wild,
a phoenix.
Journey well
deep and sound, under a tunnel
ride the escalator.
When he knew that I knew what he said he almost cried.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

One-on-One Writing Project Coaching

In addition to the writing workshops, I offer one-on-one coaching for writing and book projects. I can help with concept and craft, form and structure, as well as project planning and deadlines. Currently I am working with several writers and the coaching is tailored to each individual project; some writers work remotely and others meet with me weekly or monthly. Email me at tangledrootswriting at gmail dot com if you are interested in discussing whether coaching would help your project.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

30 poems in 30 days success!

In November I committed to write 30 poems in 30 days of November to raise money for Center For New Americans, an organization in Western Mass. that helps families with literacy and work training. How often can poetry be so directly connected to outreach?

Along with many other poets, we raised over $20,000 dollars for the Center for New Americans - thank you everyone who donated!

Monday, January 24, 2011

From 30 poems in 30 days

For Kathleen

If we ever sat on a rock on the coast of Maine
it would be dinnertime -
sunset staining the slate water, waves slapping
the blue painted keels of boats anchored nearby.

Gulls would check us out for sandwich scraps.
Red combed mergansers
would sail past, moving without moving.
We’d chip quartz crystals from veins in the granite
with dirty fingernails, veins darkened red and brown
but the chips milky white,
tiny shards of moon in your hand.
You want to collect a good one for Joe,
talk of places you imagined in your sleep.
You say we have to remember this place.

I memorize your silhouette with
ocean between forested islands beyond,
currents we can’t see making passage uncertain.

The sun has set, dinner is ready -
we’ve missed the laughter in the house.
Alone outside, ducks retreat to safe places, tuck heads beneath wings,
boats bob in silence, the moon casts our shadows
across seaweedy sand, a breeze cuts my neck,
the lobsters are red, their screams
are finished, the butter is melted.

Tomorrow you’ll chase me from dock
to dock as I jump
into the ferry wake after Joe, him yelling
Let’s do it again! Jump

In the middle of the night steady rain will fall
on the old roof and the bent apple tree
and the quilt of green
where the baby practiced walking
(something significant that we forget ourselves)
hard rain dappling the flat ocean
while underneath, current cuts
deep channels deeper
as your mind grows deeper –

I wonder
what’s out there
between our island and the mainland.
A minke whale bends,
someone will see it in early morning
like a mirage of night sky.

But tonight we listen to the calming,
grass stems spider webs everything pressed
down, air glistening,
moonlight striated across the heavy ocean like milky crystal.