07 May 2010

reading at the Press Club

Pinewood Table Writers are reading at The Press Club
Monday, May 24
7:30 - 9 pm

Joanna Rose, reading from her new novel, Ruby's Roadhouse.
Scott Sparling, reading from his new novel, Wire to Wire.
Sherri H. Hoffman, reading from her new novel, The Wildish Boys.

The Press Club
2621 Southeast Clinton Street
Portland, OR 97202

*Update: Hosted by the Mountain Writers Series. Suggested donation at the door: $5. Visit their website for more information, or download the event flyer (note: the flyer has a 7:00 pm start time, but the correct time is 7:30 pm)

Follow Scott on Twitter: @sparling
Follow the Press Club on Facebook
Follow the Mountain Writers at www.mountainwriters.org

Very exciting! Look forward to seeing you there.


02 May 2010


A pair of finches is working really hard to make a nest in the hanging bowl of jasmine on the front porch. They both flew out of there, incensed and squeaking, when I watered this morning. Is it the same pair that battled for that spot last year?

The robins are back, same as every year, to the nests in the arbor, and there's a red-cheeked flicker on top of the suet feeder, practicing his shrill scree for the annual mating performance from the chimney cap on our roof. The tulips are almost gone, but the columbine is up and the oak trees are filling in green and thick. In the garden, violets are everywhere. The first daisy is about to bloom.

It is an awkward juxtaposition of familiar cycles and my own unknown path. I am out of work but not without options. My daily schedule fills with writing and tasks, meetings with friends and people, job possibilities and networking. Time goes both fast and slow.

Another turning point, to be sure. Anticipation feels just like being in trouble. I stir the wet garden dirt with my fingers to hold me in this moment.

By this time next year, there may be finches in the planter again. There will be these same spring days of hard rain and sun breaks, columbine and daisies in the garden.

Perhaps exactly like today.


"There's no normal life, Wyatt. There's just life."
 - Virgil Earp (Sam Elliott), Tombstone, 1993.

16 April 2010


I have re-written the last chapter three times in the last couple of weeks. Not well. Just re-written. Most of what I wrote today and yesterday is what I call "smack." 99.9% of it will be the pieces left on the floor after the final cut. It's the stuff generated during a spin-cycle. Writer's block. Call it what you will.

In theory, the act itself is supposed to be helpful, like working a muscle during the off-season. Writing my way off the fabled plateau that my trainer at the gym is also strategizing to break me out of. In light of her recent workout plan that has left me limping with sore hamstrings, perhaps I need some new interval writing workout. Some kind of power program that launches the chapter into the next level.

I feel a sudden need for some leg-warmers.