Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Window or the Mirror: How Do You Write?

Spitting Caves, O'ahu





Do your stats or likes influence the nature of your next post?

I was still ruminating over yesterday’s interview with artist Stuart Breidenstein. We had a great discussion on describing the artist’s life: creating art to fill orders, creating pieces to fill the store, finally creating art he’s interested and currently passionate about.

So my partner and I discussed the whole balancing act and then he brought up the idea that all artist (writers, jewelry designers, painters, musicians) have to make a choice: “Do I create what I want to create?” or “Do I create what I think others will like?”

My partner used the analogy of the window as art which allows insight to the artist’s soul and passions, independent of outside criticism. He suggested the mirror is a type of art which the artist creates so people will see themselves in it and like.

Since I’ve re-entered the bloggers’ world, I have to decide every day. Should I post things that I have a need to create and share? But what if I have no followers, no likes. Or should I post things I know my fellow bloggers would like? Creative versus commercialized art.

Is there a happy medium?

The Leisurely Cobbler and Hats: Definition of Success



There’s a cobbler in Italy, slightly slanted off the tourists’ path. He cobbles his shoes in the morning and plays his guitar in the afternoons. He leisurely goes inside when it’s time to resume work.

This story was told to me this morning in an interview I did with an artist in Bend, Oregon. The key word that I tripped over was “leisurely.” It’s how this artist defined success. Yes. As an artist and business owner you wear two hats: creator and manufacturer. Both are needed to survive.

But the ability to wear two hats, to take time off to swim in the lake or play guitar in the middle of your work day, could be a sure sign that one has reached success.


Paradise Lost: Asking For Directions

Photo credit:

At least Adam had an excuse.

Original Sin

Photo credit: to Adam:

“Does this leaf make my ass look fat?” 




Dear Adam Letter

Dear Adam,

I’m sorry to leave you.
I just want you to know,
it wasn’t you.


Today: A Ritual


Time-weathered bamboo stalk.

Time-weathered bamboo stalk.



Somewhere along our nightly rituals, my partner would kiss me and ask if I loved him today, which implies many undercurrents. Was I irritated with him, could there be something bothering me, or did I truly enjoy his presence in my life. Today.

“Yes. I love you. Today.” Or “I LOVE you today.”

Of course, some days: “No. Haven’t decided if I love you today” or just plain, “No. Not much.” On a white background, these words seem harsh, but it’s the tone and inside cue we’ve created to open up unpleasant conversations. I’m sure there are days when I’m not lovable either! (Very few though)

This dance reminds me to appreciate our love each day.

And once in a while, when you get an “I love you today and always”—Swoon. Love. Sigh.


Tips for Writers

I was asked to submit some advice for the new cohorts in my low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at OSU
Here was my advice to all the new incoming, aspiring writers:

Three words of wisdom: flutter, beat, breathe

Flutter through drafts. They’re just that. Not chiseled in stone.

Beat. Find the heartbeat of the writers you love. Beat in harmony. Daily.

Breathe. The birthing process of discovering your writer’s voice is painfully beautiful and almost eternal.
Bear down, breathe along the way, or you’ll pass out.

What to pack for the low-residency at the beautiful artists’ residency?
Snacks: welcome to the CID Pack (Chocoholics in Denial). Bleed some, share some.
Note: one small, disposable bag of insecurities is allowed. See travel regulations Section 4.2 for size restrictions.