We write and we write and we write and we write

A Year in Ink, Vol. 10, the annual anthology published by San Diego Writers, Ink has just been released and it’s a fine one. This is the tenth anthology SDWI has published and I was honored to be invited to be editor for this edition. In the early years of the anthology, when I was Executive Director of Writers, Ink, I served as managing editor alongside the guest editors of volumes I, II and III. And way back when… I worked with the editors of several anthologies for The Writing Center, the nonprofit literary organization that preceded San Diego Writers, Ink. But this is the first time I got to be Editor—both a thrill and a challenge.


In writing the Introduction to the collection, I wanted to acknowledge all the ways we writers make our art. This is what I wrote:

We go to our desk or table or we find a tuckaway in a corner or a make-do set-up in the garage or attic or basement or under the stairs or out back in the shed. We pile pillows behind us in bed or slouch on the couch; we load our laptops or iPads, or notebooks or journals, and we walk, we bike, we drive, we trolley to the café, the library, the bench in the park, the spot on the beach, the hideaway in the hills. Before dawn, before bed, after hours, after work, after all. We play music or we insist on silence. We go it alone or we do it together. We join a class or a workshop, a group or a gaggle. We conference, we symposium, we retreat. The kids are at school. The baby’s sleeping. The cat. The dog. The chocolate. The coffee. Does anyone smoke anymore? On assignment, by inspiration, sudden flash or deliberate urge. First draft, third draft, who’s counting draft. We write. We write and we write and we write. And out of that—our stories, our poems, our essays, novels and memoirs: This Anthology.

How do you go about your writing? I think I have gone all the places and done all the ways mentioned in the piece, except my bicycle was stolen years ago and I never get up before dawn. Oh, and I don’t have a dog. Yet.

The cover art for A Year in Ink, Vol. 10, is from a photograph by Patrick McMahon, titled “Ascendence.” At the release party for the anthology, I was presented with a print of that photograph. It now hangs over the desk just inside my door at home. It’s the first thing I see when I enter my home and the last thing I see before I close the door. It’s beautiful and alive and will ever be a reminder of the anthology and the organization I care so deeply about.

Copies of A Year in Ink, Vol 10 are available from San Diego Writers, Ink.

Here’s a Mini-workshop for Spring

Spring! How I love it—everything is abloom in my neighborhood and daylight savings time started, which means I can take my afternoon walk/Happy Hour coffee break later in the day while it’s still light and enjoy all the aliveness of the season. Yesterday I came home with a sprig of jasmine stuck in my buttonhole and a dozen colorful photographs.

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The Memoir and the Amaryllis

This is the second year my daughter-in-law gave me an amaryllis for Christmas. Maybe you got one too. They come all packaged up in a pretty box—a disk of potting soil, a large amaryllis bulb and a pot to grow it in.

I followed the directions on the box, soaked the potting soil in water until it filled the pot then planted the bulb, pointy side down, and set the pot on my kitchen table where, each morning, I sit with my coffee and my notebooks and write.

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