Let's Chat for a Minute


I usually try to make this blog a literary destination--like a peek into the notebooks and the history, new poems, stuff like that. However, I'd like to float an idea or two your way. Let's chat. Got your coffee? Good.

To begin, my killer treadmill got here this morning. One of God's gifts lately is that I can afford to save myself from going to the gym, which I hate, and bringing gym quality equipment home. Which I did! So the dog and cat went in the basement and stared at me with a "what the heck are you doing?" look as I pounded away. Hey! Three miles before work! All right, maybe I did 2 1/2 miles. OK, OK--it was 2 1/4 miles, but it was still before work! Come on, give me a break.

Two things are on my mind.

One: I am going to beloved Fishtrap in Oregon this summer. The best writers' retreat anywhere. If you want to write and hang out with deer, mountains, rivers, pine trees, blue jays and Pacific Northwest ranchers, poets, novelists, loggers, cowgirls, bear hunters, haiku masters, zen monks, hikers, birders, potters, folk singers, goths, dreamers...this is the place for you. You'll have to sign up fast, though--space is limited. Check out their website and you'll see how cool it is. I tend to teach there about every two years. I often threaten to move there and live in peace forever. It's that good.

But I have been thinking about launching an e-workshop through this website. What do you think about that? Your own personal Fishtrap, no matter where you are--if you're a writer or simply a fan. I can easily, and free of charge, put up some useful stuff now--like a list of recommended books, thoughts on writing, things like that. But I have this other thought nudging me, and I don't know if it's insane or not. I don't know if anyone would do it, or, if they want to do it, how I'd orchestrate it. But if enough of you do want it, I'll be in Seattle soon hanging with Michelle, our secret website guru. She is the shamaness of the cyber ritual. I think we can design this.

So here's the idea: what if we create a workshop/retreat for you? What if you PayPal or something like that, a reasonable rate. And you get things like: 1) a daily meditaion on writing/useful or intriguing quote via e-mail, for a year; 2) a monthly packet of writing promts/exercises; 3) the occasional writing essay or piece of writing about writing from me; 4) some kind of message board, members site where you could post work and have it workshopped in community (password protected so only members go there); 5) new works (like the occasional chapter of Hummingbird II); 6) and regular message sessions (live) or even group phone-ins where we could check in with each other and/or chat? Is this an idea that would interest anybody? E-mail me, or post a response on the blog. I'd really like to know.

Writing (and reading) are lonesome. Is it worth the effort to make a portable sanctuary for the writing soul? Is it too much work on my end? Feedback, please.

The second thing relates to the Hummingbird.

As you probably know, Teresita makes her paperback debut this week. I'm starting the tour at Anderson's in Naperville. Wed night (the 5th). I'm starting the day with a ,ong interview with Kasey Kowars for his radio show. The following week I'm going to Missouri--and then we're off and running.

One of the reasons I wrote the book was to bring Teresita back to the world. I didn't want her to be forgotten. But, you know, when you work with mystical types long enough, you get mystical. I was already a freaky li'l spiritual type anyway. But I surely feel that she is alive somewhere, and she is aware of us.

Wouldn't it be amazing to open a website called Messages For Teresita? A place where people can send her an e-mail. A request for prayer, or a message, or a confession? And we agree to have some serious folks pray for those requests. Make the site anonymous. But let people know they can talk to her--because I suspect she is listening. And even if it's only us, we will honor them. Confess and get it off your chest.

I think it's crazy.

But I also think, as an experiment, and a kind of spiritual/art project, it might be astounding. Can you imagine what things you might read there?

What do you think?

Let me know.

Yrs 4ever,


lakshmi (not verified)

I realize this might be a bit outdated, but both ideas sound awesome to me.

I would definately, absolutely be the first one to sign up for the workshop. Grace can keep the jersey.


Duc Ly (not verified)

I like the idea too and maybe you can comment on the blogs that the writers have been keeping too.
just a thought

Anonymous (not verified)

good ideas, wees.


cher (not verified)

i like the idea of the online workshop! i'd sign up!

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Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat:  If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.

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