Posts

The Bohemian Roots of JMP

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The park seems noisy today. Dogs bark and play on the trails and in the dog park beyond those trees. Snippets of conversation float above the roar of freeway and air traffic, an ocean of sound underneath the forest's daily goings-on. Dogs are called with clickers, shouts, and whistles worthy of the piccolo line. A chickadee rumble bursts out near me, four little birds attacking each viciously, emitting the most adorable flurry of angry peeps. A lone crow's got something to talk about. A maintenance truck crunches down the road. And that's all outside my head. The inside is full of poetry! This weekend I attended the Gatsby Summer Afternoon, a historic recreation of the Jazz Age (a term coined by F. Scott Fitzgerald, did you know?), where I co-hosted a literary circle where we did readings from The Great Gatsby and poets of the era .  While I was researching "Art Deco Lit," a collection of Modernist poets the little anthology I put together for the Art Deco Society

October 9th, 2021 - The Waters & Words Flow!

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I came to the park today with a head full of words, just looking for a place to work. The fist three picnic tables near the ranger center were occupied, so I kept moving until I found one on a little hill where I can watch people get into and out of their cars and talk to their dogs. It’s funny how people talk to their dogs. I wonder if, in a year, I could write at every single picnic table in the park? Today I’m very excited to announce my kick-off event with FOJMP and CWC next month. On October 9th, the former will be holding their annual meeting (OUR annual meeting; I’m part of this group) at noon on the steps. At 12:30, something very exciting happens: the water comes on! The restoration committee has managed to get the water flowing again! Here’s the flyer for that: After that event, we’ll all spread our blankets at the Fire Circle and enjoy “A Blanket and a Basket of Chow.” This catch phrase has been used by the CWC for decades, hearkening back to Joaquin Miller’s invitation to

Park Diary #2: Have You Heard the Redwoods Sing?

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Today my writing residency begins! My program been talked up by the California Writers Club and Friends of Joaquin Miller Park , the two organizations between which I shall weave a story this year. Welcome visitors and readers! I hope to bring a breath of adventure to this weekly(ish) blog, in which I shall bravely drive the five minutes up from the city each week, park my car and look around a bit before getting some work done. The path I walk today is meaningful. The first walk I ever took in Joaquin Miller Park, in the late 1980s, was along Sequoia Bayview trail. I didn’t know that was the trail's name back then; we called it “Richard’s Run” because my uncle would come up for exercise after work. Back then there was a stretch of it where you could actually see the Bay. These days you can’t blink or you’ll miss the view; it’s in the gap between the laurels and oaks where the bike path comes down the hill.  This is a nice flat trail, and on a day like this when it’s not too crow

Park Diary #1: The Light Falls Orange

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This morning I woke up eager to start my year in the Park! The excitement of starting a new routine energized me, especially after a year working at home. Backpack. Water bottle. Tea in a go cup. Laptop.  I get more work done when I have a uniform.   Flannel shirt. Hiking shoes. Pigtails—a far cry from my lady clothes at my last writer's residence, but I'm glad to leave the black sweat pants of 2020 in the drawer. I was so excited I forgot my phone.  (For a year there, I never left the house, so it takes practice.) I considered the possibility that I was trying to leave connectivity behind on purpose...I haven't let it leave my side for over a year. Today is one of those days where the light falls orange. We’ve had such blessed blue skies lately, even as bad air quality chokes the nation. In the north, fires are again once again consuming whole forests. A whole town disappeared. Again. When I get up to the park, it’s closed. Extreme fire danger. This would not bode well f