Checking in


Well, I just had me a little epiphany: taking a blog hiatus for this long means that coming back becomes just about the hardest thing ever. It seems like I’ve been tackling both everything and nothing in the last couple of months. So where do I start? How do I transition into the barrage of yummy posts I have planned? Just the thought of recounting recent events in coherent order wearies me. Note to self: let’s try not to do this again, okay?

Instead, I’m going to follow the example of Pirate Queen Havi’s weekly “Chicken” series—which is where she checks in (get it? Chicken?) with a list of the previous days’ struggles and triumphs. So here we go: the past couple of months (really this whole year), in shorthand.

The hard stuff.

Still injured.
Definitely on the mend, but not back to 100% yet after my accident. The tough part is that I’m no longer obviously injured, so nobody (including myself) is automatically cutting me any slack anymore—even though I still need some. And I’m not very good at asking for it.

Unanswered questions.
A visit to the dentist uncovered some other accident-related injury, but nobody seems to agree on precisely what it is, or how to deal with it. I’m not in any pain, though, and was totally unaware that anything was wrong in the first place, so I’m happy to be patient on that one.

Red tape.
Arrrrrrgh! Hard, hard, hard, hard, hard. And time-sucking in astronomical proportions. Hulk smash. That’s all there is to say about that.

Deadlines. And resistance.
See above with the slack-cutting. Most of my deadlines are self-foisted (is that a word? I hope so, because I like it). So a lot of the stress is internal. I really needed to impose structure, though, to allow myself to get past all the projects I’m desperately trying to finish, and move on to new ideas that have me all excited (see below). And, of course, I’m resisting my own rules like crazy. Lots of things to work through there.

Well-intentioned but infernal inquiries.
I’m practicing my international-spy evasion skills and smiling-sage non-answers to requests for progress reports and offers of unsolicited advice.

Especially when the interruption comes in the form of noise. And when I just want cozy time alone with my brain. Interesting side note: I seem to be growing more agitated by this sort of thing (ringing phones, leaf-blowing neighbors, door-to-door-ers, etc.) as the years go by, rather than less. Hmm.

My inbox is a looney bin.
I get a lot of emails anyway (who doesn’t?), but now I’m buried in them. There used to be hundreds in want of a reply, but now I’m down to dozens, so that’s an improvement. But if I owe you an email, I apologize. I’ll get there. Someday.

Tantalizing, off-limits brainwaves.
I always seem to get my best ideas when I’m mired in something else, and can’t devote time to whatever fledgling project is flapping its imaginary wings just out of reach. Maybe it’s the gimpy-time I’ve had this year, or all those hours of focused Xacto knifing, but there seems to be a high volume of new ideas lately. Thinking on ways I can satisfy just a little of the impulse toward the new-n-shiny, while sticking to my guns on the old.


The good stuff.

Holy cow, but I live in a beautiful place.
I mean, seriously. Just look at that business up there.

My friends. Especially those of the Tacoman persuasion.
You people are the best. Thank you for the hugs, and surprise treats, and movie references, and snail-mail pretties, and rides when I couldn’t drive, and all that glorious Northwest coffee. I owe y’all big.

Rubber mats and bouncy balls.
My physical therapist, E., is all kinds of adorable and fabulous. She’s helping me kick this injury’s heiney, standing on one foot and with one hand behind my back. Literally!

Lots of ‘em. I have to stay silent on the specifics right now, but there’s some pretty big stuff on the horizon. Hello, résumé gold!


Photo courtesy of Shawn Sheehy

Three-dee pop-up kindred spirits.
Pop-up book artist rockstar Shawn Sheehy came to town this month, and not only did I get to be his student for two classes, but I also got piles of seriously fun hang-out time with him. If he ever comes to your hometown, don’t miss his classes. They’re like a brilliant cross between M.I.T. Engineering and Kindergarten for Grown-Ups. Also, he’s good at making gravy for dinner parties.


Speaking of food, the winter veggies at my house are just about eaten up. Time for spring and farmers markets! In the meantime, the Tailor has been baking up a storm to use up the last of the pumpkins and apples. I love tiny pie tarts.

Deep in the heart of Texas.
That’s where the Tailor and I are going to be next month. I have never been to Texas. Road trip!

Stuff that’s happening right now.

Okay, now I can be more specific. Before I return with some semblance of regularly-scheduled blog content, a list of things happening either right this minute or in the very near future:


Dead Feminists at Powell’s!
Seeing our stuff for sale at my all-time favorite bookstore makes me happier than a bird with a French fry. If you’re in Portland, or you’re going to be, you can now find Dead Feminists postcards, Lemonade Journals and mini-prints at Powell’s! Last time I was there I found them in the Red Room.


Rumor has it they’re also in the Orange Room, but Powell’s is crazy-huge and charmingly labyrinthine, so I never did come across them there. Never fear, though: the myriad Info Desk staff are smart and lovely. They’ll point you in the right direction.


P.S. How cool is the description on that sign? I love those people.


Picture Pages
I’m exhibiting in the Woolworth Windows again, as part of Tacoma’s Spaceworks program. Like last time, I’m creating an installation that comes together in real time. This time, though, I’m not painting in a glass box—I’m doing one huge drawing of a Tacoma hillside that’s made up of hundreds of tiny watercolor sketches. The sketches are done on different days, in all weather conditions and through changing seasons, and are tacked up in the window as they’re finished. The scene grows and takes shape like a puzzle being put together piece-by-piece. So go take a look—and come back often. Tacomans: can you figure out which viewpoint I’m drawing from?


I’ll be posting more photos here as the installation comes together. In the meantime, check out the post about the project on the Spaceworks blog.


Photo courtesy of Jessica Spring

Circus Libris
Jessica’s new solo exhibit opens this Thursday! Using an array of old-fangled technologies from papermaking to letterpress printing, Circus Libris tames words and images to delight the reader with new-fashioned books. If you’re local, check out the opening reception this Thursday, at the University of Puget Sound Collins Memorial Library (click for event details).


Where there’s a will, there’s a Wayz.
It’s that time of year again: the Wayzgoose is almost here. This year, though, Tacoma’s wackiest institution is facing a funding gap. To help make up the difference, King’s Books is hosting the first-ever Wayz & Means Letterpress Film Festival. You read that right. There are films (plural!) about letterpress. And we’ve got ‘em. Come for the nerdy street cred, the raffle prizes, or the snacks—and come as you are. Extra rounds of applause for successful Orville-Redenbacher popcorn tosses.

Wayz & Means Letterpress Film Festival
Sunday, April 1 • 6 to 8 pm • Tickets $20
King’s Books • 218 St. Helens Ave. • Tacoma, WA

Once you’ve satisfied your inner letterpress film buff, come back to King’s for the main event. This year’s Wayzgoose is going to be better than ever—and you can bet I’ll be there with bells on. Jessica and I are sitting out the steamroller printing to make room for a new crop of artists, but we’ll have a table at the marketplace, and lots of goodies to share.

Eighth Annual Wayzgoose
Sunday, April 22 • 11 am to 4 pm • Free!
King’s Books • 218 St. Helens Ave. • Tacoma, WA

Whew! Are we caught up now? I think so. Thanks for sticking with me here—see you real soon. I promise.

3 Responses to “Checking in”

  1. Chandler, I doubt even a tank could stop you from meeting your deadlines! Congrats on the new installations!

  2. [...] you might recall, last Sunday we had a little film festival celebrating all things letterpress. Even though the [...]

  3. [...] standing at my table for six+ hours hobbled me like an arthritic old woman—I don’t think my knee was up to printing. My only regret was not being able to witness much of the spectacle this [...]