Fifty Days in France #1 String Theory

Fifty Days in France #1 String Theory

It was my first trip abroad in 32 years. For two months I wandered solo from Paris to the French countryside and attempted time-travel. In my computer was a half-completed novel called Looking Glass Girl.

I’ll start my story near the end, with a poem I wrote in the final days of my artist residency at Camac Centre d’Art in Marnay-sur-Seine, population 236.

The real story is that I struggled with my novel and its painful subject matter.

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Today I must retravel

The taut ground of soothsayer
Who broods in caverns for a glimpse of light.
How have I lost the glinting stone
I kept so long in my fist?
I have thrown down despair
And taken Struggle
And now it prowls round me as I sleep.
The eyes of Struggle
Are amber and do not blink,
The eyes of Seer in the dark
Who pleads for just one breath of day.

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Character Mashup–“Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem, Too”

This poem, by Jim Hall, is one of my favorite mashups, and I often read it in Talking to Your Characters and in Teen Poets at Bellevue College.


To see Jim Hall’s take on his poem, as well as the entire poem printed out, go here.

Another game to try! Do one OR MORE of the following:


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Game of Poems

Young woman dancing

Dancing on the Razor’s Edge

You speak in riddles because

You ache to speak.

You ache for space

To expand and contract.

You cast your words into the chasm,

To be caught by one

Whose breathing holds your breath.


When your foot finds the brink

You ask the air


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Can We Talk?

I have not shared any of my work-in-progress here because it has felt too close to the bone. It’s a YA. It’s about art. And it’s about time-travel. It’s about a girl who feels responsible for keeping someone else alive, and how she goes back in time and thinks she wants to stay there. It’s a verse-novel, so it’s made up entirely of poems.

But it’s time for some mutual sharing. I’m looking for a small group of young people (high school/college) and some art.

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“Geek Fiction” and Other Writing Classes this Spring at Bellevue College

You’ll have Doctor Who for homework!!!

Here’s what I’m offering at Bellevue College in the Spring  (Registration probably begins in March):

Geek Fiction Writing
This course analyzes popular sci-fi, fantasy, superhero and dystopian screen favorites to discover what makes them tick. Then we use these tools of excellent storytelling in our own original fiction. This is a step beyond fanfic, as you’ll create characters and worlds that are wholly your own.

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Dancing on the Razor’s Edge

This is a course description for a poetry class I hope to offer this summer at Bellevue College.

Teen Poet: Dancing on the Razor’s Edge

Poetry is dangerous. The instructor urges extreme caution. Bring paper, pens and words (caged if necessary). Hear the work of young poets, published and unpublished and then let your own words out. Cut through the steel bars and let loose what you really want to say.

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Postcard Poetry Project: Drones

This one goes out to Michelle Castleberry, and is best understood as a response to her fabulous poem, “The Gift.”


The night you stole the hives,

We had gone out—

A thousand of us guys—

One last rollick on the town

Before sampling the delights of our virgin queen.


The girls had fed us ambrosia for days

As they gazed into our compound eyes

And exclaimed at the size of our mandibles.

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