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 26 Bird Signs

Winter yoga now in the courtyard, afternoon sun. Today two mockingbirds dance nearby. Courtship or play? I shade my eyes, watching from my mat. It’s the first time they’ve visited. I dream of late-night serenades from the bougainvillea. Good omens for things to come.

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

My Short Story (31)

The anthology with my short story, “Between My Ribs,” was released on November 1st. It felt like an auspicious date, part of the Halloween, pagan new year, día de los muertos set of days when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. A magic time, a good day for the book to be born. As I write, I see another layer. In my short story, the veil is thin, too. I grin, loving this connection I am drawing now. But I don’t know why I didn’t announce it, didn’t tell you all about it right away. I think maybe it’s a little bit because I am not one for tooting my own horn, as they say. It makes me self-conscious. And maybe, too, because there is a part of me who feels silly to be promoting the release of my first short story. But I bought extra copies, and one of my favorite people in our writing group at the library bought one. I got to inscribe it for her, and it was such a delight. My first signing. And I am bringing copies to the writing retreat, even if it may be a little goofy, even though it is not my first book but my first story. I am bringing them because I love the idea of them sitting there. It makes me almost teary with a kind of tender gratitude. And now, finally, here I am telling you about it, my dear readers. I wanted to tell you right away, but I didn’t. I hope you’ll forgive me.

American Fiction Volume 17:
The Best Unpublished Stories by New and Emerging Authors

Tweet 18 Sacrilege

When I let go of my trusty, old red Jetta, I didn’t expect it to last. But it did. It stuck. Cars and trucks produce nearly 1/5th of all U.S. emissions. In southern California it’s akin to treason to suggest this. But if you want to change the world, give up your car.

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

Tweet 15 The Writer’s Magic

I read the last page of Starhawk’s The Fifth Sacred Thing, brimming with hope. I cradle the book, both arms against my chest, kiss the cover, cry grateful tears. Nonviolent resistance wins. Bird, Maya, Madrone—all safe. I’m awake with longing. Oh, to move people!

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

Tweet 3 Big Belief

Today I see a photo in the L.A. Times, 70,000 people protesting the anti-immigrant Prop 187. A sea of color surrounds city hall, young Latino Americans taking to the streets in 1994. I cry, big pride in them. Good chills thrum down my thighs, big belief in Californians.

[I plan to post one tweet each day in November @tryingmywings. I am re-posting them here.]