In autumn 1991 I was an observer but not yet a writer. I drove my eleven-year-old son and his friend up Interstate 5 where it traversed the Tejon Ranch approaching Bakersfield. The mountains rose like brown whales from an arid sea of olive chaparral. We weren’t there to view California in its austere native splendor. We’d gone to see the Umbrellas.
Environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude had installed almost 1800 twenty-six-foot-tall yellow umbrellas flanking the hillsides along the highway. They popped open, polypropylene mushrooms blooming overnight in fairy rings and staggered parades. Up close an umbrella’s oversized ribs and golden sails loomed large enough to shelter our entire family. At a distance they tumbled across the landscape like lemon gumdrops. (more…)
Here begins The Alphabet of a New Blog with my first entry, A is for Anticipating My First Year.
A blog is short for “web log,” an individually driven discussion forum available on the World Wide Web where nearly everyone in the cosmos can tune in to a yak farmer in Outer Mongolia to learn the craft of making yak butter, or to an Inuit hunter on the North Slope of Alaska to admire a sled maneuvering over sea ice. The word individual suggests that anyone can instigate a blog, for any reason, and hope to reach the eyes and minds of everyone out there in Computer Land. That’s just about everyone everywhere except the aboriginal tribes of the rain forests of the Amazon. Them we should leave alone. If you own or can borrow a computer and an Internet connection, you can communicate regularly with people you don’t know and don’t owe any money to. In democratic fashion, even with people to whom you do owe money.
To my readers, please note: One of the widgets on this blog is a white W in a blue circle, the words “Freshly Pressed” wrapped around it. WordPress is the website host tool that makes it possible for Ink Flare to exist. I was honored to be featured recently on their Freshly Pressed page for the following article. I’m reposting my article here for those of you who didn’t have a chance to read it before. Hope you enjoy it.
Girl, seven, sits on a swing, scuffling the sand with her toes. She is too young to know how to strike a match. She isn’t lonely or alone. She’s writing a story in her imagination, writing as she always does, by sifting through ideas before she commits word one to lined paper. Like, what would happen to a kid who couldn’t find the way home? Or, why would a girl spend a found dollar on paints when her dress is so outgrown that the sleeves pinch her arms? And, how does that boy plan to sneak the puppy into his bedroom, and what does the little fella eat? The problems mount for each character, the resolutions are not obvious. At seven, little agonies generate tears, and fixing things means happily ever after. Figuring it all out takes a lot of toe scuffling. In her stories the world eventually brightens though not without a fight.