Friday, February 24, 2012

Promotional Device

Two bits of my writing to check out today.

I have a post up on Feminist Mormon Housewives on the tricky business of deciding my last name. (That second link will give you my post.) I'd love to have you check it out and weigh in on your own decision and how you feel about it. There's a hoppin' discussion going on over there!

Also, I'm a finalist in the Mormon Artist Blog's Mormon Lit Blitz contest, and today it's my poem's turn to be up. (Again, second link will give you my post.) Soon there will be a chance to vote for your favorites and I hope you'll throw your hat in on my behalf, but for now it's just reading time. You should also check out the other pieces. They're a great snapshot of contemporary Mormon lit, which is a vibrant little world. I'm particularly fond of the piece for Day One--Marilyn Neilson's poem, "In Bulk."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

At Emily Dickinson's House

Emily Dickinson House and Museum
Last fall Sam and I drove to Western Mass to visit Emily Dickinson's house. I'm slightly (okay, really) obsessed with her. We stayed in a Bed and Breakfast in Petersham, drove to Amherst, paid for the full tour (an hour and a half of Emily magic!) and I basically cried through the entire thing. My reaction sort of surprised me. I held it together okay, but if I would have been alone, I would have really been wailing.

I think a lot about that day with Sam. I was pregnant then, which is probably why it's stuck with me. It seemed like the only time we were out and about with that news, wholely happy and clear about it. Even then there were some signs we would lose the pregnancy, but it felt, to me, like we were both clinging to it, grateful to even be where we were as briefly as we would be there. 

And I don't know how to explain my tears other than that. I was emotional anyway, and somehow those stories of Emily (Emily and her enormous dog, Emily baking bread every morning, Emily's signature white dress, Emily puttering in her very own greenhouse), spoke to me. To me she is such a personality: a quiet personality, perhaps, but one that filled up that house she lived in, and echoes down through her intricate poems.
I feel like I look so happy in the series of pictures we took here.
Sam is celebrating poetry, obviously.
I love this picture.

Monday, February 13, 2012

We Three (Four) Quilts

I have a slight obsession going with modern-looking quilts. (Don't believe me? Check out my Pinterest Board. And follow me, why don't you?) When I saw a gorgeous zig-zag quilt last November, the wheels starting turning, and suddenly I had committed myself to making three of them for Sam's family for Christmas. One for his mother, one for his aunt, and one for our sister-in-law. And hey, why not another one for our little niece, thought me.

Let me tell you, making four quilts in a month is not easy. I'm not really sure what I was thinking. I think I was looking for some distraction, but I got a bit more than I bargained for. I was working on them after Sam went to bed, in the mornings before I went to work. I found myself trying to sneak a few seams in while I waited for water to boil, while I waited for Sam to put his shoes on, before I dashed out the door for this and that. And still, closing in on our departure date, I was far from done and discouraged. Luckily, my friend Em is kind and generous with her time and quilting prowess, and she came over and helped me finish them up. She's a saint, is what she is.

So here they are, in all their glory. I have a sweet memory of Sam's mom wrapping hers around her shoulders like a cape and twirling in front of the fireplace Christmas morning. And when we visited his aunt later in the week, she had hers all spread out on her bed, claiming the colors matched the art in her bedroom perfectly. They're lovely people. I hope the quilts keep them warm and convinced of our long-distance love.

[we three quilts]

[a shot of just one. all three were a variation on these colors.]

[a glimpse at the soft creamy underbelly.]

[the three of them, all ready to rock and roll. i almost thought they were more beautiful like this ...]

[bonus quilt! a riotously pink and purple number.]

[the soft pink underbelly.]

P.S. What do you think of the new look? The lovely Russanne helped me figure it out. Her blog is really fun, by the way.