02 January 2012

new fiction: Chick

My new story posted today on The Intentional Ducati #3: Chick.

The Intentional Ducati began as an awareness of the odd coincidence of recurrent elements during the Pinewood Table writing groups, the first being a Ducati motorcycle that appeared one night in two different stories.

Pinewood Table instructors Stevan Allred and Joanna Rose issued a challenge to write to some specific elements, and The Intentional Ducati was born.

This year's elements include:
i. A reference to Moby Dick.

ii. A paragraph made entirely of nouns.

iii. In consecutive order, sentences of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 word(s). For example: "This will not be easy. Not easy at all. Difficult, in fact. Damned hard. Aaargh!"

iv. A 'Support Our Troops' magnetic ribbon, or a variation thereof.

v. A piece of taxidermy.

vi. A character who crosses a literal bridge.

vii. The same word used as both a noun and a verb in one sentence. For example: "She tore at the dress with her hands, almost ripping it away from the fence, but the rip hit a seam and wouldn't rip anymore."

To celebrate the launch of The Intentional Ducati #3, the Pinewood Table is hosting a reading at the Blackbird Wine Shop and Atomic Cheese, 7pm on Weds, January 4. See you there!


14 December 2011

from below

Having had my share of migraines since I was a child, I've had lots of down time over the years, more lately, it seems, for various reasons. Being forced to pause the pace and fury of daily life is jarring, and I find myself anxious in the solitude of healing.

It's cold outside, below freezing, the firs and fenceline frosted white late into mid-morning. From my spot near the fireplace, I watch through the sliding glass door as sparrows and chickadees and the black-hooded juncoes hop and scratch in the seed spread on the porch. Swarms of gray bushtits flow like schools of fish over the suet feeder hung in the eaves. Mourning doves drop from the rooftop, sluggish in the cold. Even the winter sun seems chilled.

There is a slight breeze, a sigh, a breath of air. The fir tree shakes its needles, and the thin sunlight catches the spray of ice crystals. It is Oberon's fairyland. Tír na nÓg. The air fills with glints of color and turning light.

I think it's a trick of my eyes or the pain I harbor. But then a tendril of mist lifts from the wooden fence struck with sun, and another burst sparkles through the yard.

The darkness in me eases, and I am able to sleep for a bit. Outside my window, ice turns in the light and shines a field of stars over the birds.


Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89). Poems. 1918.


THIS darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.

A windpuff-bonnet of fáwn-fróth
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitchblack, féll-frówning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.

Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

25 November 2011


Last homework assignment for the term - check.

Presenting session at Winter Wheat writing conference - check.

Finals - check.

Thanksgiving dinner - check.

Sigh of relief - ongoing.

I love this life. 

~ Sherri

From up here the water is still blue, the grass green
and the wind that buoys me is 12 billion years old.

~ from "Bird's-Eye View," Jim Harrison, Songs of Unreason