Category Archives: Santa Barbara

A Weekend Of “Instead-Of’s” (Big Beach Edition)

Instead of the LA Times Book Fest, the beginning of my son’s Spring Break: Instead of the LA Times Bookfest Poetry Tent, this: Also a cave (!): This: Er–and this (at a different beach–a short while later–if whiles can be short–why … Continue reading

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Spacks Street

Sunday, a memorial for the poet Barry Spacks took place. I arrived at Santa Barbara’s Museum of Contemporary Arts 10 minutes early for the service to find it mobbed. Wonderful! Seats went fast. I sat next to the poet Dan … Continue reading

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Notes From The Retreat #1: Books

At last weekend’s SCBWI retreat, 4 editors imparted useful information–and shared book titles they love–Picture Books (PB), Middle Grade (MG), Non-Fiction (NF) and Young Adult (Y the effing heck A). I know what the abbreviations mean. YOU know what they mean. But, … Continue reading

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In the Wake of a Rejection

The last day of July hurtles into focus as I prepare for mini-break #4: single-mommying 3 kids for 3 days. Will be intriguing to see how I fit in writing time. I’m thinking between breakfast and the day’s planned outing, all outings … Continue reading

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Mini-Break 3: There and Back Again

The doctor said a slight fever would come. “Reaction” to a shot. He was feverish for a day. The next, he sneezed and went a little hoarse. But the fever was gone and he was uber-perky and when I meekly told him that maybe … Continue reading

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Clues

So it’s time to leave the Little House and tear him away from several days of precious Pottery Barn living and Angry Birds on the Kindle at odd hours and foods we don’t normally eat at home, like grated-cheese-and-nitrate-free-bacon-quesadillas-for-breakfast-with-1-maraschino-cherry-on-top, and … Continue reading

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Beach Break

This was last weekend, all Winter beachness, crisp, clear light, air cold enough for us to wear sweaters we haven’t seen in over a year, sweaters with jeans and sweats and bare feet as we ran on glassy beach, Anacapa, … Continue reading

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And May All Your Turkeys Be Bright

It is 197-something and there are cats on the kitchen counter pulling apart the cooked bird with their claws and fangs. It is 199-something and a slobbery Rottweiler mix has hold of a turkey leg and the entire baking pan with turkey … Continue reading

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Note From The Writing House

As I write, a fountain bubbles outside remarkable windows. It was bubbling when we arrived. No note was left instructing me to turn it, or the fountain outside the guest bedroom off, and I wasn’t about to go hunting for control panels … Continue reading

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The After 9/11/2001 Post

Last year I posted this piece on 9/11/11, the crux of which is: One morning, as my boss and I walked across campus after a 9/11 tribute during which she’d read a poem to hundreds gathered at the special ceremony, … Continue reading

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Tribute To Mike deGruy

Mike DeGruy loved the ocean. He wrote about it, filmed it, lectured on it (all over the world, to all ages), explored it. He died last February in a helicopter crash, in the midst of doing research for a film … Continue reading

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Snow White Revisted (Part II)

I drove up to Santa Barbara by myself, for a change. High school reunion—the first I’ve ever been to, but not the first my friends have been to and it’s only because of Tdoll and Ddazzle and our nearly life-long … Continue reading

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Snow White Revisited (Part I)

And just like that, 2 hours of sitting in traffic was replaced by the type of couch that swallows you in a smooth, nerves-loosening manner, windows looking out on lush greenery, walls hung tastefully in my sister’s collection of California plein air, … Continue reading

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Anteater Elegance

At the Santa Barbara Zoo, a fellow mother and I gazed at the anteater flicking its tongue at grass and slowly waving its unbrushed, showhorse-arched tail. Behind us, our 4 ½ year old boys practiced “Ninja” moves and tested their … Continue reading

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Quote For The Weekend (Yet Another “Revision” Edition)

I work hard, I work very hard. All the books at leat 30 revisions. —Ha Jin In working on a poem, I love to revise. Lots of younger poets don’t enjoy this, but in the process of revision I discover … Continue reading

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Roar While You Can

I picked up the preschooler from his place of happy learning and song and drove him up the coast to a museum party celebrating a new installation of animatronic dinosaurs. My husband phoned as I stood in a vast, beamed hall … Continue reading

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Brief Blog Break

I am stamping the blog with a poem instead of PB’s impressions as I prepare to hoof it out of town.  Hoping that this get-away reboots my brain and produces thousands of words as I work on a certain bit of sequel. T … Continue reading

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Quote For The Weekend (Tide Pool Edition)

“If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” —Rachel Carson … Continue reading

Posted in Avoiding My Writing, Children's Books, fish, ocean related, Quotes, Santa Barbara, Writer quotes, Writing, Writing Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

I Told You So

We hit town late afternoon-ish and I immediately honor the request for the museum and its entertaining dinosaur footprints indented in cement, pgymy mammoth bones, taxidermied (the fraying sort) mountain animals and vultures, buttons igniting barn owl shrieks and snake … Continue reading

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Miss MOL Break

Sometimes I live vicariously through Miss MOL, an art curator by-the-sea. I love her recent sojourn. She hits all the cool places and makes me laugh. Check out her latest post on the Springs. THREE DAY TOUR.

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Pass The Cognac, Baby

My husband and I are parents not used to going out in the evening together—just us— no preschooler in tow. I may hit a book club or Target by myself around 8p.m. My husband may work late one or two … Continue reading

Posted in Adult writing, Me and Us, Poetry, poetry reading, Santa Barbara, To Explain, WTF | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Quote For The Weekend (Early Edition As Leaving, Again, Briefly, For Cooler Environs That Happen To Include Beach-Whooping, Intrepid Anemone Poking (parent-monitored), Kicked Sandcastles And The Kind Of Fresh Air That Knocks Out Preschoolers And Their Mothers In A Very, Very Good Way)

“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept … Continue reading

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Quote For The Weekend (Early Edition Due To Fleeing The Heat For Environs Non-Inclusive Of Internet But Very Beauty-And-Beach-Infused, Which Means Instant Writing Angst As I Am Distracted By Natural Wonders–Although I May Surprise Myself—er, Or Surprise My Muse By Taking Her Phonecall Before It Vanishes Into Late-Night Candles, Sweetly Bubbling Fountains And Stargazing…??? Oh. Yes. I Really Need To Get Away)

“Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on.” —John Steinbeck

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Respite Rant

In the past 24 hours my youngest sister and family made it home to Iowa in what was supposed to be a 3 hour tour, I mean a 4 hour flight, but quickly morphed into one of those all-nighter/early-next-morning nightmares during … Continue reading

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Quote For The Weekend (Sunday Post-Reveling W/Family Edition)

What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life – to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. ~George Eliot

Posted in Avoiding My Writing, Me and Us, Santa Barbara, To Explain | 1 Comment