About Riba

I'm a writer and a teacher, though I usually say it in reverse. I hope to find more of a balance between the two. ;-)

New Year’s Eve, 2019 (33)

Today I find my way back toward normalcy. I mix two big bags of bird seed, fill the feeders, replenish the hummingbird nectar. I make yesterday’s handwritten revisions to my memoir in the word document, remove pieces that don’t sing, clearing deadwood. Now I am fresh from the shower, renewed, the sliding glass door wide open, my white-crowned sparrows still rustling in the dried blossoms beneath the bougainvillea. The solar Christmas lights have come on, and my two strings of crystals and my magic ring, washed in honeysuckle soap, are hanging in the courtyard, awaiting the moon’s blessings on this new year’s eve. I have miso stock simmering, sending the scent of ginger into the air, and broccoli and cauliflower ready to roast. I submitted my manuscript to the Many Voices Project an hour ago. I have the night ahead of me, good food, a favorite book. Tonight I feel more like myself, quiet inside, even sweetness this morning when I wondered how I might make my way now back to joy. It comes to me I could feel lonely, but I like being here alone, awake to each moment, feeling the year come to a close. I can hear Ted banging pots in the kitchen next door and Rae and Kirk laughing from his trailer on the other side, car sounds one street over, people heading out to celebrate, the noises all muted and homey. I hold still, relishing the sounds of the sparrows, the colored lights in the late dusk, the crickets chirping, the caw of a raven in the distance. Quiet, peaceful, easy. Right.

Valentine’s Day Retreat? (33)

Friday Feb. 14th (and the 15th and 16th?)

Okay, this is kind of goofy. I want to offer a writing day on February 14th (and maybe the 15th and the 16th, too). But I’m not sure where it might be or if it might need to just be online.

I told you it was a bit goofy. But after our extraordinary experience at the Joshua Tree retreat in November, I had a dream telling me to do the next one on Valentine’s Day. I let myself get swept up in life, and I didn’t pursue this, but I still want to honor the dream even if it’s much belated.

So. Please save the date(s) if you’d like to do a nice long chunk of writing together (true stories, creative nonfiction prompts, lovely camaraderie, laughter).

Stay tuned. I will let you know if I find a space for us, or if this will be something we can do online together. Oh, and maybe let me know if you are interested. Not sure what we might be able to pull together at such short notice, but you never know. And it’s a holiday weekend, too!

Sending good wishes to each of you for this and for 2020!

Riba
_________________________

Riba Taylor
760-327-9759
https://499words.org/

Dear Readers (32)

First, in December there is a three-week stretch where all I can do is what must be done. (It feels like six months.) Even firm commitments, looked forward to, fall away beside the path, grieved for, lost in the tangled weeds. Then there are eight days of no work when I withdraw, retreat to my warm bed on cold winter days. I let myself reread my old favorite books, dear companions. I let myself write, cry a little as fear seeps out of me, let my mind wander, allow ahas to surface. Then big work resumes, both colleges, warmer days, bird sounds through the open windows. I begin to scribble blog posts in my notebook, or things I hope might be blog posts. (I am now terribly behind.) I am not quite back in high gear yet, but I am working and writing. And I begin to dream about truly returning here, to see if little by little I might be able to get current with you, my dear readers. Always dear. Always.

Tweet 30 Tail End

I wake to snow on the mountains, cold, clean air. I don’t have to work until later, so I pretend it’s a day off. I move through it with ease and delight, the farmer’s market, the library, trimming the bougainvillea, luxurious winter sun salutes in the courtyard. Divine.

[30 of 30 in November, re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]
Yes, I goofed, so I am posting my last three on this last day of November!

Tweet 29 Offering

We hike to the oasis across the road, small groupings of fan palms. I walk with a cluster of their dark berries dangling in my hand, savoring their sweetness, spitting seeds. When I have had my fill, I lay the berries down with care on a rock, gift for the coyote.

[29 of 30 in November, re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]
Yes, I goofed, so I am posting my last three on this last day of November!

Tweet 28 Thanksgiving Day

I indulge in my first real day off in weeks. I relish the steady, sumptuous rain. I savor each bite of my stuffing and gravy. I read my novel, cozy in bed. Instead of my Thanksgiving hours-long walk, I nap to the sound of the rain. My quiet glee and gratitude are great.

[28 of 30 in November, re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]
Yes, I goofed, so I am posting my last three on this last day of November!

Tweet 27 Nurture

Kat sends me home from the retreat with a jar of her divine vegan gravy. I make stuffing. Mushrooms, garlic, Asian pear, walnuts, my odd pancakes for the bread. For a moment I flash on being selfish, not sharing. I shake my head. I feel good tending to myself with care.

[27 of 30 in November, re-posted from today’s tweet @tryingmywings]