Friday, September 11, 2009



I gave a very successful talk at the Burbank Public Library last week – "Writing the Short Story" was sponsored by the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime and attended by about 50 people, ranging from beginners to published authors. Librarian Louise Paziak was terrific, providing me with a plush auditorium, cold water and copying my numerous handouts. Kudos to librarians everywhere for enriching the lives of writers.

I had a wonderful time, talked for 2 hours, and then schmoozed with some very interesting and really nice folks afterward. Many thanks to ARLENE for her delightful thank-you note – got it in the mail yesterday, Arlene!

Louise has contacted me about a couple of future presentations next year. Of course, I'll be delighted.

I spoke to Terrie Castillo at the da Center for the Arts (now partnerned with the SCA Galleries and Cheryl Bookout) about providing my Short Story Workshop to the Pomona Community. I have given the workshop (and its shorter talk/panel versions) dozens of times in the past few years, but never in my own community. Go figure!

I will plan an adult/all ages/all levels of writing experience talk similar to the one I gave in Burbank last week first, then maybe a workshop for young people who are just learning to write fiction. Details will have to be worked out, but a portion of any nominal fees will be donated to the da/SCA in support of Community Arts.

Inspired by my talk, I began work on another story and knocked out a few more pages on the novel as well. The publication of six of my stories this year by Flashshot brings my total short story publication numbers up over 100. Woohoo!

Every time I get "Painter's Block" I write. I've had Painter's Block for a couple of weeks.


I took four small paintings into Susie Eaton at BUNNY GUNNER to be framed together. I did these for the SUMMERTIME show at Bunny Gunner Gallery this summer, and have decided they would look better framed together, quatro-style, as "The Four Seasons" – hey, it's always summertime here, right?
(That's Time  and Motion on the left)

I am still looking for studio space in Pomona, but I am also weighing the pros and cons of working offsite from my home.

Pros: More discipline, less turpentine and mess in the house (big concern – I'll have to repaint the studio/office soon, and not in "early spatter") and more room for larger works.

Cons: More discipline, can't work in underwear anymore, can't work at odd hours without getting out of the house, bathroom not steps away, kitchen not steps away, beautiful light at home.

Maybe I need to make studio space here at home work for me somehow. Maybe a garage remodel? Greenhouse or glass-framed shed? The patio would be beautiful, but I need a more controlled environment for drying/light/heat/ etc.

Life – it's one big happy dilemma.


The summer orchids bloomed and bloomed but are at the end of the blooming cycle and now must set growth for next year. I love the beautiful leaves, flat and succulent (phaelenopsis) upright and spiky (miltonia) and the long, strappy leaves of the cymbidium. Time to feed and prune and watch for root & repotting issues. Next February the first cymbidium spikes will appear, and maybe a spike from that big, gorgeous re-blooming purple phaelenopsis, the Valentine orchid I call it. Then it will be a constant show of big white, yellow, pink & red cascades, then the delicate miniatures, then the summer blooms again.
Jeeves, one of the elderly cats, is looking a bit better with a good appetite and is more active. He loves to be brushed. He's about half the size he used to be in his prime, but still a wonderful kitty.

A few days in Tucson with my brother. Ostensibly for a Birthday Celebration for him with a handful of cousins, the cousins backed out at the last minute and my brother, his wife and I ended up at a Tucson Denny's for dinner. I was very disappointed in the cousins, who are on my sh*t list right now, but delighted that we had a very good time anyway. My brother Bill – who is active in Veteran's Affairs and works tirelessly with homeless veterans – is truly a Beautiful Thing. (And Lori, his wife, is too!) Happy Birthday, Bill. (That's an old pic of us - we've both lost weight since then!)

PS  I'm posting this on September 11th, but I want everyone to remember that it is not just tragedy that unites us. We are united in happiness, too.

Pictures of me then... 
...and now (with orchids & tomatoes)
And be careful out there.


John Clifford said...

Looking forward to being able to have the benefit of your talk without having to drive further than downtown.

Kate Thornton said...

Thank you, John! Hope to see you there. I think we're looking for sometime after the first of the year, but I haven't pinned down any dates yet.