upcoming (and) gratitude

stencil graffiti from Miss.Tic: An image of a woman in a full-skirted, 50s style dress with princess neckline, one hand on her hip, to the right of the words, "la fille coupee en deux"  Good morning, my friends — it actually might still be night, according to some. I’ve been up for quite awhile, journaling since about 3.30. What a gift.

There’s the fog horn, awakening the sea mist. There’s this candleflame. There’re these fingers, wanting to find out what to say.

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I’ve got to get this month’s writing ourselves whole newsletter together, which means I want to give a bit of an update here as to what’s coming up:

– You are still welcome to sign up to join the small but mighty group of folks who are participating in the online erotic writing workshop that I get to offer through the Transformative Language Arts Network, Claiming Our Erotic Story. We are just barely into the first prompt, getting to know each other, and we’d love to welcome you into the fold. Visit the link above (or here) to register!

– I’ll be reading on Valentine’s Day! BLEEDING HEARTS, A Celebration of Dysfunctional Love. Tuesday, February 14th, 7:30 pm, The Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission Street, San Francisco, $10-20. Simon Sheppard hosts a St. Valentine’s Day massacre featuring Charlie Anders, Sherilyn Connelly, Jen Cross, Justin Chin, Daphne Gottlieb, Juba Kalamka, Kirk Read, and horehound stillpoint. (Honestly, this show is going to be phenomenal. Come on down and do something different for your V-Day — the chocolate will still be there when you get back home.)

– Don’t forget about Writing the Flood on 2/18!

– This month’s Erotic Reading Circle meets on 2/22.

– The Spring Write Whole workshop series all begin in April — and if you’ve been thinking about joining the Dive Deep manuscript workshop, we’ll be open again in April for new members (right now there are two spaces available — contact me for more info!).  The next Declaring Our Erotic retreat meets on Saturday, 4/7.

I’ll be away for much of the month of March (I’ll be at Hedgebrook for the first two weeks of the month, and then down in LA for my sister’s wedding toward the end of the month) , but Writing the Flood will meet as usual on the third Saturday, 3/17. Gotta keep some consistency somewhere.
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My online erotic writing workshop got started earlier this week, as I mentioned above, and last night I got to spend some time with the writers’ words before I got ready for bed. This morning, after I finish this post, I’ll be reading through the manuscripts for this Sunday’s Dive Deep meeting — marking up all the places I love, writing comments and gentle questions, generally, yes, diving into another person’s

I have to tell you that I adore this work. First of all, I get to read as a part of my living. This is precisely what my six year-old self dreamed of. And I get to “be read to,” just in the context of the workshops, where I participate in the pleasure of hearing brand new writing shared with a circle of open-hearted and supportive listeners. I get to experience the pleasures of writing over and over again, every single day. Talk about grateful.

I’ve had this thought, over and over since the beginning of the year: my god, do I really get to do this? I felt it on Monday at the Write Whole meeting, listening to the writers offer their words into the room, to one another, to themselves. I’m struck, continually, with the power of new writing, with how much creative desire and power each of us carries within, and what a tremendous gift it is to share that creativity with others, especially in early drafts or nascent forms.

I’m all superlatives these days. That’s just how it is. So this is just one of my sappy facilitator-love posts, wherein I talk about how much I love and appreciate the writing of every single person (no hyperbole) I’ve been allowed to write with, how grateful I am for the chance to be with your new and crafted words, how glad I am that we get to be on this writer’s journey in some small way together.

It’s so often an isolated thing, writing — what power there is when we come together and share this art that fills us up to bursting.

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On only a very slightly different note, I’ve been rereading Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body (such an exquisite thing, returning to words you love after a long absence) , and I have this quote to offer you as a prompt for this morning (getting us into sensory detail, don’t you know):

When she lifted the soup spoon to her lips, how I longed to be that innocent piece of stainless steel. I would gladly have traded the blood in my body for half a pint of vegetable stock. let me be diced carrot, vermicelli, just so that you will take me in your mouth. I envied the French stick. I watched her break and butter each piece, soak it slowly in her bowl, let it float, grow heavy and at, sink under the deep red weight and then be resurrected to the glorious pleasure of her teeth.

Take 10 minutes (or can you give yourself 20?) to write what emerges in response to reading this– maybe your own (or a character’s) memory of a sensory meal, or a desire. Follow your writing wherever it seems to want you to go.

Thank you for the generous ways you make yourself vulnerable today, for the way you hold with grace what others offer you, how you create space in the world for creative emergence. Thank you for your ferocious tenderness with yourself. Thank you for your words.

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