Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

You can contact us at werkingwells (at) gmail . com

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Better Day

Yesterday in Christchurch New Zealand, the earth rattled, split open and reminded us that despite every precaution; we humans are not immune to Mother Nature's force. Andy's parents live on the South Island of New Zealand during this part of the year, and we are grateful that they were not in Christchurch during the quake. They're doing fine and wanted to let us know as soon as they could--much sooner than we got word of the quake here in Portland--that they were doing okay.
We've visited Christchurch New Zealand a couple of times, in 1996 and a decade later in 2006 and calling it a city is a bit of a misnomer. While it's the largest city on the South Island and the second largest city in New Zealand, it's really more of a bucolic town, filled with gorgeous buildings inspired by England's gothic architecture, a meandering stream where the locals watch the tourist punt (to be guided in a boat kind of like a gondola in Venice) past the college, and fabulous gardens, in parks and seemingly in front of every home.
It's a sad day in New Zealand and we hope the death toll doesn't continue to rise. Fortunately the Kiwi's have the infrastructure and tenacity to ride out the aftermath of this tragedy, but we wanted to let our friends and relatives know we are thinking of them.

*The Photos*
I'm not sure, but I think the church in our picture was destroyed yesterday. Need to check on that. Also, our favorite store in Christchurch was this amazing drygoods place. Gotta wonder how it did after the quake.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Restocking the Pond

Morning fog has finally burned off to reveal another gorgeous day here in Portland. I know, we have a reputation for being a miserable wet place to spend winter, but it seems that there's always a week in February when the sun comes out, tiny bulbs poke out of the ground and we get tricked into thinking Spring is here. It's not.

It would be an understatement to say I’ve been writing a lot these past five months. I’ve been writing enough to fill reams of paper, enough to wallpaper the whole house if I wished. I’ve been writing short stories, essays, a bit of a screenplay and even a young adult novel. I can’t say it’s all very good, but some of it rises to the top and makes it worth spending the hours. Yet, while I write and will continue to, no matter how little I publish or sell, it can get discouraging not getting things to the point where you feel they are ready to send out. It’s even more discouraging to send things out and not hear how they—your little essay or short story—are faring on the desk of various editors.

Julia Cameron, writes about the need to be self-nourishing since writers are those who draw from an inner well of ideas, images and thoughts. She says that “any extended period or piece of work draws heavily on our artistic well. Over-tapping the well, like overfishing the pond, leaves us with diminished resources.” I’m afraid that my pond is feeling dried up this week. A few bits of algae lay skimming the surface, but I’m not feeling that I have much to give to the two pieces that are sitting on my desk needing some editing.

So, I need to restock my pond, prime the juices and do whatever I can to make writing flow again. One of the things I’ve been doing is reading some really great writing. My newly formed book group is reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and I’ve been devouring his book. Another thing I’d like to do is re-read Twyla Tharpe’s The Creative Habit. I’d rather have dental surgery than watch a dance performance, but I respect her process and the ideas that she writes about in her book. I think I need a field trip somewhere. Going to Seattle last weekend didn’t really jumpstart any writing but maybe I need to spend a few hours wandering a part of Portland I usually avoid.

Dylan has a part in the school play, Henry & Beezus. She plays Judy Cappy a bff of one of the main characters. She says that her character is supposed to sit around, read Seventeen and do her nails during most of the play. Not a huge stretch of acting we tell her. She agrees. Wasabi spends most of his days staring out the window and barking at squirrels. Andy’s not off to Europe this month, but maybe going to Japan next month for work. We are all going to be in Japan for Spring Break, but that’s another entry. Sayonara till then.