Home is the sailor, home from the sea, and the hunter home from the hill
March 21, 2023
. . . and the writer home from the readings.
I hope you are enjoying the start of spring. The Misconceiver and I finished winter with a fortnight of travel. We stopped in St. Louis, MO; Columbia, MO; Iowa City, IA; Chicago, IL; and Detroit, MI, giving readings in each city to benefit local groups supporting, protecting, and fighting for reproductive rights. The encounters were deeply personal and heartwarming. Audiences all wanted to know how on earth, in 1997, I had been so prescient about the 2020s. I wasn't, I had to tell them. Other people were. I just read what they were writing, and created the world they dreaded would evolve from our liberal sleep. I also realized, as I talked to all the intense, interested readers and activists in the audiences, that the point of my novel was not the ability to have an abortion. It was the ability to have choice. Overused as that word has been, we tend to forget that the ability to make moral choices, to consider and then to live with their consequences, is both the burden and the privilege of being an adult human being. Take away moral choice, and you render a person neither adult nor fully human.
I'm happy to report that we raised a fair amount of money for the Midwest Access Coalition, The Reclaim Project, and the Emma Goldman Clinic. And the work continues. If anyone on my mailing list knows of reproductive rights groups in your area who could use a fundraiser, I hope you'll put them in touch with me.
And next up . . . Meditations for a New Century! This little book launched at the Associated Writing Programs Conference in Seattle, followed by an event on Orcas Island with Jill Johnson, poet extraordinaire and also the publisher at Wandering Aengus Press, which awarded me their nonfiction prize in 2021. The cover represents the blending of two meditative images. The first is Georgia O'Keeffe's "The Lawrence Tree," in the permanent collection of my local art museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum, which has the artist looking up at the twilit sky through the branches of a ponderosa pine on D.H. Lawrence ranch in Taos. The second is the notion of a stone dropped into a pond, rippling out in all directions while also plunging into the depths. I love the cover and hope readers will as well.
My February reading with Ethan Rutherford, canceled by late winter snow, has been rescheduled for May 24. If you're in Connecticut, come by the West Hartford Library to talk about fiction, essays, and the creative life we're all trying to find within the chaos.
May the breezes be soft and warm for you,