Kamis, 28 Mei 2009

Other Worlds

My friend Karin sent a wonderful card with a picture of a faerie house, built with stones, roofed with moss, bordered by a little stone walkway near a little stone bench. I would like, so much, to fit inside that house, and inside so many others that must certainly contain miniature tea pots and wonderful books. Here is a picture of my neighbor's homestead, a favorite little garden spot on the corner of two quiet streets in our neighborhood.

Rabu, 27 Mei 2009


I had a fine day yesterday full of surprises and good wishes. Here is a photo swatch of some pajama bottoms my sister sent. Birthdays are a good occasion to be thankful for family and good friends, and I am grateful for both. I also had a great surprise in the mail: the latest issue of Bateau arrived, with my poem, "The Musician," included in it. That was an extra birthday treat!

Kamis, 21 Mei 2009


"Carmen" tonight at the Wharton Center! I'm very excited. Michigan Opera Theatre brings everything in -- sets, costumes, orchestra, everything. I don't think MOT is doing anything here next season, and I'm sort of surprised this production wasn't canceled. Last October, I read an article in The New York Times about MOT's budget cuts. They canceled a performance scheduled during the Final Four tournament because they thought they could make more money renting out their parking lot to basketball fans than selling opera tickets (and incurring the expense of a production).

Senin, 18 Mei 2009

Good Things

The East Lansing Art Festival was last weekend, my birthday is coming up soon, and this frog is back in the garden.

Kamis, 14 Mei 2009

Ann Patchett

I went with a group of friends to hear Ann Patchett speak tonight. The Capital Area District Library brought her in as part of the 2009 Spring Author Series. She was fantastic! She shared hilarious stories and talked of her reluctance to tell people that she is a novelist. On some recent occasion -- a gathering of people in Tennessee who share the same (long and odd) last name as her husband -- she did tell someone she was a novelist. The woman said, "We are all novelists. We all have a novel inside us." Patchett said, "Oh Really? Are we all mathematicians? Do we all have an algebraic equation in us?" She mentioned the much-discussed rule of 10,000 hours and did not hesitate to emphasize how hard she has worked, how many hours she has logged. She also shared the story of her friendship with Renee Fleming. After Bel Canto was published, Patchett found out that all of the arias her fictional character sang happened to be all of the arias Fleming sings. People started saying Patchett had written a book about Renee Fleming. One day, Renee Fleming called Patchett and invited her to lunch. Patchett hadn't known anything about opera before she wrote the book, and still didn't know much about it when she met Fleming. Now they are great friends. I came home and pulled out my copy of Fleming's The Inner Voice, which I have not read, just to check when it was published. Yes...it was published after Bel Canto, and among the many acknowledgments printed at the beginning of the book, the first listed is a tribute of thanks to Ann Patchett. Ha!

Jumat, 08 Mei 2009


In the waning days of NaPoWriMo, I got sick. I kept writing, but on the last day, my doctor said, enough, and put me in the hospital. So NaPoWriMo ended, for me, on April 29 instead of April 30. But I think I fulfilled the spirit of the mission, and I will return to my 29 poems in the days ahead and tinker with some of them. I was in the hospital two nights -- long enough, this time of year, for leaves and blossoms and yards to change. And long enough to weep when I returned to leaves and blossoms and yards. Our lilacs are blooming, and they scent the neighborhood with something that for me will forever be associated with hope and excitement. It's graduation time, and my head returns to those spring days when I was 21 and felt like I had so much poetry ahead of me. I still feel that way, especially when I smell lilacs.