Get Your Papers Together to See Seattle Opera’s The Consul

consulbookletA modern, English-language opera about a woman fighting bureaucracy sounded like a painfully tedious proposition – too much like my real life.  But I attended The Consul at Seattle Opera because I have season tickets.

A bleeding man bursts into a decaying apartment, forgetting to shut the door. Knocking over furniture he falls to the floor, calling his wife. She rushes into the kitchen, trailed by his mother. The secret police discovered their meeting place; one of their friends is dead. He has been followed. John Sorel drags himself up the fire escape while his wife washes his bloody hand print from the door frame seconds before men in trench coats enter without knocking. Continue reading

Crutches, Color, and Confidence

yellowlightOn a Friday night almost exactly 21 years ago, I was alone. My boyfriend was at Jam Box with his band. My roommate was with her boyfriend. So I planned a night with the blues: Eric Clapton, Dr. Pepper, and my new bass guitar. I went to the gas station across the street from my dorm and bought a six pack of Dr. Pepper.

Alone on the street corner across from Bellarmine Hall, the night felt ominous. I had only taken driver’s the year before, so I knew a yellow light was nine seconds long – in Arizona. In Washington, where the speed limit was 15 mph lower, a yellow lasts four seconds. I ran into the crosswalk on the yellow. The light changed, and a Baptist minister in a 1981 Mustang hit me, breaking my leg in three places. Continue reading

Book Report: My Kind of Place

my-kind-of-place-medIn the introduction to My Kind of Place, Susan Orlean confesses that she loves to travel – even to places that don’t sound wonderful. When the collection of essays begins with a taxidermy convention in Springfield, Illinois, it is immediately apparent that she means it.   Continue reading

Statistically Speaking: January

This year, I am trying to learn from my blog stats, but as usual, in January I was distracted by the more creative search terms that led to this site:

Jim butcher went all midichlorian

I only read the first three books in the series, and only wrote a post about the first one, but apparently someone thinks he’s jumped the shark recently.

Njala seattle

Oh my god, if you are in Seattle and want to talk Njala, please comment on this blog. I don’t know anyone IRL who cares about the sagas, and I would really love to talk to you.

gemma alexander wicked

‘nuff said.

Panty mishap

I should just rebrand as a romance author. It’s obviously where the market is.

Alas, the most common search is still “asgeir trausti girlfriend” and there’s nothing I can do about that.

Even more disappointing, the most common search term was “unknown.” WordPress explained thusly:

In September 2013 Google started to rapidly expand the number of searches that it encrypts, which results in a higher proportion of “Unknown search terms” in your stats.  According to some sources, this expansion will eventually result in encryption of all Google searches.  This is being done for privacy reasons by Google.

I like privacy, but it makes reading my stats less fun. Here’s what people were looking for, by the numbers:

Unknown (123)

david kroll paintings

Some of David Kroll’s works are back up in the gallery near my office.

how to make santa dolls

Well, I did write about Desiree’s Dolls a couple years ago. But those were rag dolls, not Santa dolls.

  • pictures of gemma dee condon

Who is this person?

Despite the odd search terms, some people found something worth reading on the site in January.

Top posts:

Seriously, if you haven’t supported their new album yet, please do.

If you’re anywhere near Seattle, drink there.

Being a traveler, I love to see where people are reading from. Predictably, the top countries are the US, Iceland, and Canada. Finland is catching up to Canada, and that makes my heart sing [melodic death metal]. One person from Kuwait stopped by.

And that’s the stats.


Book Report: Beggar’s Feast

beggarsfeastCrows and squirrels. Beggar’s Feast is crowded with these urban vermin, potent symbols whose meaning I could never quite make out, just as I could never quite tell what was behind anyone’s words when I was in Kandy town almost exactly twelve years ago and saw neither crows nor squirrels. When I pulled Beggar’s Feast by Randy Boyagoda from the stack of overdue library books all I knew was that the book is by an Iceland Writers Retreat featured author. When I discovered the novel was set near Kandy, and that it spanned a century of Sri Lankan history, I was certain that it would be one of my favorites. I even hoped that it would help me understand the week twelve years ago that spawned some of my own best favorite travel stories. Continue reading

Book Report: O My America!

OMyAmericaIn preparation for Iceland Writers Retreat, I am reading a book by each of the featured authors. Although it feels weird to review a book by a pending teacher, I read best when I know I have to report on it later, so here we are. While I was immersed in A Year of Wonders, all of my library holds came in. I picked the next book at random: O My America! Six Women and Their Second Acts in a New World, by Sara Wheeler. Continue reading

Sleeping Beauty at Pacific Northwest Ballet

sleepingbeautyThis last week my life has taken the work/life balance conflict to new levels. I am up against a hard deadline on a major project at the day job while my building was on lockdown with half a million people expressing their love for the Seahawks on the street outside. Last weekend my family passed a major milestone – all four of us rode the lift and came down the mountain together. And on Saturday, my youngest daughter and I caught the matinee of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production, The Sleeping Beauty. It’s a true classic, rich in symbolism and full of an entirely different, more graceful kind of balance.

I didn’t have time to write a personal review for this blog. But I did write a parent’s review for the ParentMap magazine. Since there’s nothing worth reading here today, why don’t you click through and check out my review on their newly redesigned site?

I’ll be back next week with another Iceland Writers Retreat book report.