Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Young Hare by Albrech Durer

My short story, published by Hunger Mountain, is now online. It's called "Day Trip." 

 And it's also reviewed on the ploughshares website.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


June, 2017. Is it OK to have fun on this blog? This a post entirely about an orange dancing-girl costume.

Home-made headdresses, past and present.

Here in Seattle, I tend to hold fast to my daily routine, even on weekends. Feeling good means being faithful to what keeps my symptoms in check, and that allows me to do as much as possible in the place where I live. Yes, as has been noted before on the blog, travel is difficult, except for car camping. And yet, can I complain? I live a full, rich life.

But this week, I’m declaring a vacation. It’s that beautiful, dance-filled time of year. When May and June roll around, my samba group is all about preparing for the wonderful, goofball, homespun Fremont Solstice Parade. 

The parade is about homegrown creativity, and it's very much a neighborhood tradition. Over the years, I’ve seen some amazing art in motion on the streets of my neighborhood. I’ve also had moments at the parade, when I’ve looked around and it’s all been so goofy that I’ve thought—really, we’re doing this?—but then it seems half the city has crammed the sidewalks to watch. It's one of my favorite days of the year, and the preparation is half the fun.

People make amazing art for my neighborhood parade.
June is time to go all out!

My classic tomato pin cushion, a gift from my sister-in-law.
Other dancers glue their costumes with a glue-gun, but the fumes
make me sick, so I make mine the old-fashioned way, by sewing.
For my dance group, preparing means making costumes, and extra hours learning choreography. It can come down the wire, and people often stay up late to get things done. But since I can’t skip sleep... well, I’ve decided to do something radical and give up writing for a few days. Usually I hate anything that stops me from writing. Nonetheless, with a few days to go, I’m taking time off to get my costume done. I am declaring a vacation!

Our group did color blocks this year. I was in the red/orange block.
These are my "raw materials": red bra, rolls of feathers.
I bought red dance shorts, too. 

To make my headdress I started by wrapping a frame from floral/millinery wire.
See below for how the frame looked on my head. (Held in place with strap!)

One more shot of the frame. I'm ready for communications
from the space aliens!

But actually, not that interested in talking to E.T.s, so I sewed on feathers.
(Selfie in the bathroom mirror.)

The costume making continues....
My outdoor workspace later in the week
The corset top in progress. I cut up an orange
dress I found at the thrift store. Added some gold adornment.
Sewing the corset top of the dress onto the red bra, including cutting down
the back dress straps to fit, and sewing on hooks. Plus some more gold.

Almost ready...

Secret ingredient. Yes, all the gold on my outfit is gold duct tape. 

JUNE 17, 2017:

Headdress, wings, plus orange dress transformed into dancing-girl costume.

Out with friends...

Photos by Raul Campoverde

Orange is the new orange.

This is Ashley, next to me in the parade and she's totally upstaging me
(and rightly so), but stop looking at her for a second! Look to the right of the photo.
 Yup, that's me, from the back. (Nice gold sunbursts!)
And Marian is behind me, in magenta. So much fun!